Brazil most likely to win World Cup, but not guaranteed: Oxford mathematician

Dr Joshua Bull, an Oxford mathematician at the University’s Mathematical Institute, has done a modelling, which forecasts the likelihood of a Brazil victory in the FIFA World Cup finals stating today in Qatar.

Sharing his modelling with IANS, Dr Bull laughingly said: “So this is, you know, my prediction, my future in sports modelling on the line. And my model is basically saying that Brazil are definitely looking most likely to win, but by no means guaranteed.”

Describing himself as a ‘non-football expert’, Dr Bull uses what is called an xG tool, which is popular in football modelling circles. He has simulated every game in the tournament — the first ever winter World Cup in football — to arrive at a conclusion.

He calculates from predicted xGs for teams in a match to a likely score of the match by using what he described as ‘a Poisson distribution’. He also falls back on current ratings of teams as listed in eloratings.net.

Having gone through the modelling process match by match, he projects a Brazil versus Argentina final, with the former beating the Netherlands and the latter defeating France in the semifinals.

Dr Bull’s four other quarterfinalists are Portugal, Spain, Belgium and Denmark in the beautiful game’s greatest show on earth.

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