The predictions, courtesy of Nielsen’s Gracenote database, are based on over one million simulations that produce estimates of the chance each team reaches a particular stage of the competition.
The science behind the above FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Cup modelling is awesome in its crunching and stitching of complex data sets but it doesn’t take into consideration the real-life freak events, the outliers.
If Gracenote had been around in middle of last century, all simulations would produce a high propensity for Brazil winning the 1950 World Cup and reverse the chances for underdog rivals Uruguay.
As all World Cup scholars know, Uruguay beat Brazil 2 – 1 at the famous Maracanã Stadium and since the upset ‘Maracanazo’ entered the South American lexicon as a term for overwhelming disappointment.
Four years later West Germany would beat World Cup favourites the ‘Magical Magyars’ Hungary in the 1954 final, aka The Miracle Of Bern.
Fast forward to the early 21st century and the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan.
South Korea had never won a World Cup match and, as hosts, managed to reach an unprecedented semi-final, despatching European footballing giants Spain and Italy along the way with more than a modicom of Mediterranean acrimony.
In 2014, no one could have predicted Germany’s 7-goal trouncing of Brazil in a score-line and manner of defeat unbecoming to the World Cup tropical hosts.
Meanwhile, back in 2022 the most unpredictable World Cup of all time continues to unfold with Saudi Arabia beating Argentina, Japan stunning Germany, Ecuador beating Qatar, the first World Cup host nation to lose its opening game.