The 2018 World Cup barrels along, thrilling at almost every turn. I would say that memorable World Cups are dependent on dramatic matches in the last three stages, so hopefully this one doesn't end in a damp squib. Based on the showings so far, I would argue that the strongest four sides have been Brazil, Uruguay, France and Belgium - who are all in the same half of the draw. So my one worry is that whoever wins that half of the draw might just cruise to victory in an easy final. Let's hope not!
Anyway, today's article will be a quick update to see what each team's prospects are before the quarter-finals. As always, our World Cup model has been updated to reflect the values used in this article.
Running the model 5000 times, this is how each team manages:
England have sneaked into third, thanks to the hashtag easy side of the draw, despite not showing as much attacking fluency as Belgium, who drop into fourth. England are in fact the most likely runners-up of the tournament.
France have flown up to second thanks to a dazzling attacking display against Argentina. Credit should also go to Sweden, who now have a 5.5% chance of winning the tournament, compared to a 0.30% chance when the tournament kicked off.
Anyway, it's time to jump on a bandwagon...
Is it coming home?
Look, we only deal with probabilities, and we've already said that England have a 16.9% chance of winning the whole thing. But anyway, let's plot our estimates of England's chances on a graph:
This means that we can have complete confidence in the trendline shown. The equation at the top of the graph is that of the trendline, where x is the day of the tournament, with x=1 the day we published our first probabilities (the 8th of June).
The final will be on the 38th day of this graph, so putting that into the equation, we get:
*BUT* if there is some delay, and the tournament isn't concluded until the 5th of August, then England's chances would be 100%! So... they just need some distraction...
There's a 16.9% chance of it coming home.
Disclaimer: all the stuff in the previous section is terrible statistics, please don't write in, or use it as actual proof of anything!