Goldman Sachs used machine learning to run 200,000 models, mining data on team and individual player attributes, to help forecast specific match scores.

They then simulated 1 million possible variations of the tournament in order to calculate the probability of advancement for each squad.
And the winner?

  • Brazil is expected to win its sixth World Cup title, defeating Germany in the final by an unrounded score of 1.70 to 1.41
  • While France has better overall odds of lifting the trophy, its expected meeting with Brazil in the semi-finals has it falling short of the title match
  • England is expected to make it to the quarter-final stage (and will lose to Germany).
  • Spain and Argentina are forecast to underperform, both losing in the quarter-finals
  • Russia isn’t expected to make it out of the group stage at all, despite its role as tournament host
  • Goldman sees Saudi Arabia as the surprising team that will advance out of the group stage, ahead of the host nation

[Download the report]