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The 2018 FIFA World Cup, likely to become the world’s most widely watched sporting event in history and more popular even than the Olympics, kicks off in Russia today; Consequently, the potential winners will remain of significant interest from the pubs of England to the streets of Moscow.
The topmost successful football team, in the history of the FIFA World Cup, has been Brazil. “Os ingleses o inventaram, os brasileiros o aperfeiçoaram” (“The English invented it, the Brazilians perfected it”); that’s what they say in Brazil (The first set of modern rules, of this beautiful game, was drawn up by England. The world’s oldest association). Brazil has been the only team to have played in every World Cup finals, lifting the trophy a record five times, but the question is whether it wins the FIFA World Cup 2018.
The traditional way to measure, the likely winners, is to look at bookmakers’ odds.Companies use statistics to analyse large data to quantify the probability of outcomes of any possible match. Bookmakers offer odds on all the games and potential winners that will both be kicking off in the next few weeks. Merging odds from lots of bookmakers should give an even better estimate of the winner. With this approach, Brazil is the clear favourite to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup (with a probability of 16.6%), followed by Germany (12.8%) and Spain (12.4%).
But the future is all about machine-learning techniques, these days, which are well known to outperform statistical approaches! This modern and highly advanced technology is being used to predict the likely outcome of the 2018 FIFA World Cup!
Researchers have predicted the outcome, of the FIFA World Cup 2018, by simulating the entire soccer tournament 100,00 times. Andreas Groll with his colleagues, at the Technical University of Dortmund in Germany, have used a machine learning technique (the random-forest approach) to identify the most likely winner!
The random-forest approach is just a powerful technique to analyse big data sets. Based on determining future events by a decision tree in which an outcome calculation is at random branches of multiple decision trees, many times. The final results are taken by averaging the results of all these randomly constructed decision trees.
Potential factors that should determine the outcome include, economic factors (such as GDP population), FIFA’s national team ranking and variables within the team (such as average age, number of Champion League players in a team, home advantage etc.) The traditional bookmakers’ approach was combined with machine learning to improve accuracy.
The result of the prediction was very different, after simulating the entire tournament 100,000 times, against the traditional method:
- The German team, instead of the Spanish, would win the World Cup.
- Spain, at the beginning of the tournament, will have the best chance of winning.
- But, Germany will become the front-runner if it makes the quarter-finals.
- Both Russia nor Saudi Arabia, of the tournament, kick-off, will neither make even to the quarter-finals.
What are your opinions of England winning the world cup? Please Comment Below.
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