Visagio has created a model to calculate each team’s chances of winning. This insight will address some interesting facts about the result obtained using the model for each of the 32 teams participating in the World Cup.
The detailed result from the model can be found in the table below:
In this analysis, is possible to identify each team’s probability of elimination for every round of the World Cup. In the case of Brazil, for example, there is a 4.3% probability of elimination during the group round. The probability for defeat during the round of sixteen is 24.7%. In 18.0% of the scenarios, Brazil makes it into the quarter-finals but is eliminated in the round. Elimination occurs during the semi-final with a probability of 19.4% of the simulations. The team has a 13.3% chance of probability in becoming the runner-up and a 20.2% probability of becoming the finalist champion.
Additionally, we have prepared 32 interesting facts about the teams below!
In its fourth World Cup (if we consider Soviet Union, it would be its 11th), Russia is playing as the host country. Based on the model, it has a 61% chance of classifying for the round of sixteen. The team, eliminated during the group round in 2014, will receive the support of its fan base to attempt a better campaign in 2018.
The Saudi Arabian team will compete in its fifth World Cup. Absent from the events since 2006, the team has a 86% chance of being eliminated during the group stage, but it will attempt to counter the probabilities and repeat the feat it has achieved in 1994, when it reached sixteenth round.
Considered by many to be the best African team, Egypt has one of the top players – Mohamed Salah. The team is competing in its fourth World Cup and will attempt classification, battling it out with the host team, the traditional Uruguayan team, and the Saudi Arabian team. The model indicates that Egypt has a 30% chance of moving onto the second round.
The first country to win the World Cup, the Uruguayan team has a strong striker duo – Suarez and Cavani – that offers hope for good results in Russia. Based on the model, it is the team with the second highest probability of advancing to round of sixteen – trailing only Brazil. However, it is likely to run up against plenty of challenges during the second round, when it plays against Portugal or Spain.
The current European champion, the Portuguese team has the best player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, and hopes to surpass its best performance in World Cup history. It came in third place in 1966 and was also a semi-finalist in 2006. The team starts off against Spain, in a group with Iran and Morocco. It is considered one of the teams favoured to make it to the second round. The Portuguese team is favoured to make it to the quarter-finals, but in an eventual match against France or Argentina, the favouritism can be altered. Based on the model, Portugal has a 32.9% chance of making it to the semi-final.
One of the main global soccer powers in the recent years, winning the EuroCup in 2008 and 2012 and the World Cup title in South Africa in 2010, Spain comes off an early elimination in 2014 and attempts to revive its solid campaigns from a not-so-distant past. Based on the model, the team is the top third team favoured to win the title, with a 14.1% chance of taking home the trophy.
The Moroccan team, whose best performance in a World Cup was 11th place in 1986, comes in as the underdog in a group with two of the greatest global soccer powers. Based on the model, Morocco is the team with the third highest probability of being eliminated during the first round. The team has only a 7.4% chance of classifying.
The Iranian team has never classified for the second round when playing in a World Cup. The model indicates that there is only a 15.7% chance for this statement to be proved otherwise in Russia.
Current European vice-champion, the French team has a 37.4% chance of making it to the semi-final. That may not seem like much, but based on the most probable paths, the team will face Spain or Portugal in the quarter-finals in a match that promises to be one of the most balanced in the competition.
With a 4.5% chance of classifying for the second round, the Australian team is the one least likely to make it to the round of sixteen of all 32 teams competing for the title.
With a 71.1% chance of classifying, the Peruvian team will attempt to repeat its solid performance from 1970, when it was quarter-finalist. The team faces France, Denmark, and Australia during the first round, but the most probable scenario for the team to move forward into the quarter-finals involves a win against Argentina during the sixteenth round.
The Danish team, which was highly successful during the 1990s – EuroCup champion in 1992, Confederations Cup champion in 1995, and World Cup quarter-finalist in 1998 – appears with only a 37.3% chance of classifying for the sixteenth round.
With an 11.9% chance at winning the title, the Argentinean team is seeking a victory after a drought that has lasted more than two decades. Despite having Lionel Messi, one of the top players in the recent years, the team was unable to win the last editions of the American Cup and failed to score during the last World Cup. The team arrives in Russia with hopes that its star player can make it international three-time champion.
Making its debut at a World Cup, Iceland surprised the world by classifying for the quarter-finals during the 2016 EuroCup. The country has few more than 300,000 inhabitants, and with its participation in the 2018 edition of the World Cup, it becomes the smallest country to compete in history. On the field, the team will fight the odds – it has a 68.6% chance of being eliminated during the first round.
The Croatian team will participate in its fifth edition of the World Cup. The best result that the team has achieved was third place in 1998 in a phenomenal campaign, eliminating the strong Romanian and German teams. During the semi-finals, it was defeated by France 2 to 1, but the team roped in third place by beating Holland. While it did not make it to the finals, the team had the top striker in the World Cup: Davor Suker. Based on the model, the team has only a 6.3% chance of repeating its 1998 campaign and reaching the semi-finals, but it is one of those favoured to move onto the second round through Group D.
The Nigerian team has the fourth highest probability of being eliminated during the first phase, at 91.3%. The team is heading into its sixth participation in a World Cup and will try and repeat its performance from 1994 and 1998, when it was able to move onto the round of sixteen.
The Brazilian team comes from a participation remembered for its stinging defeat to Germany in the semi-finals, but the model indicates that it is the main team favoured to win the title. The team is the greatest champion in World Cup history, with five titles, and is the only one to participate in all editions of the tournament. Based on the model, Brazil has a 53.0% chance of at least repeating its performance in the last World Cup by making it into semi-finalist.
The Swiss team’s best run was its unprecedented elimination during the round of sixteen in 2006, when the team had scored no goals during regular time and overtime. Switzerland was defeated by the Ukrainian team on penalties during the round of sixteen. The model indicates that the team has a 73.0% chance of classifying for the second round.
The Costa Rican team surprised the world during the 2014 World Cup, classifying for the second round in a group with Uruguay, England, and Italy. The team also passed Greece during the round of sixteen and was only eliminated after being defeated by Holland in the quarter-finals. To repeat this result and become a quarter-finalist, the team is defying all odds, which gives it a 1.7%. probability. The explanation for this is that, to reach the quarter-finals, the team will probably need to beat either Brazil or Germany, the two teams most favoured to win the title.
The Serbian team has only a 16.1% chance of classifying. The team will compete in its second World Cup. In 2010, it was eliminated during the first round, despite its unexpected victory against the German team.
Current champion, the German team is attempting to repeat its feats from Italy (1934 and 1938) and Brazil (1958 and 1962) and become the third team to become champion of two consecutive titles. With a 16.2% chance of winning the title, the model indicates Germany as one of the main competitions in the Russian World Cup. England, Belgium, and Colombia are the main threats that could eliminate Germany before the semi-finals.
A well-established presence at World Cups, Mexico will attempt to surpass its best campaign – placement in the quarter-finals in 1970 and 1986. The model indicates that the team has a 10.4% chance of making it to the semi-final.
The Swedish team arrives with only a 21.5% chance of classifying for the second round. The country, which has been global vice-champion – losing to Brazil in 1958 – was unable to classify for the last two editions of the World Cup and returns to compete after making it to the round of sixteen in 2006.
The South Korean team will compete in its 10th edition of the World Cup, hoping to repeat its incredible campaign during the 2002 event, during which, it was one of the hosts and have made its way to the semi-finals. The model indicates only a 0.04% chance of the team repeating this event.
The Belgian team arrives with good expectations, despite the fact that it has never won a World Cup or EuroCup. The team is indicated by many as the best Belgian generation of all times yet was unsuccessful in its last competitions. The team is favoured to make it to the round of sixteen, but the model indicates a 33.3% chance of elimination during this round and a 33.6% chance of elimination in the quarter-finals.
The Panamanian team will compete in its first World Cup. The team achieved a historic classification in a controversial match against the United States. The model indicates that Panama has a 9.1% chance of moving onto the round of sixteen, defeating Belgium or England in the group round.
The Tunisian team never made it to the second round of the World Cup, but it was champion of the African Cup of Nations in 2014. The team is in a complicated group, together with Belgium and England, and this is reflected in its likelihood of advancing to the round of sixteen: only 5.8%. It is the team with the second highest probability of being eliminated during the group round.
The country that created the sport, but has only won the title of finalist once during the controversial 1966 World Cup. The model indicates that players Harry Kane and Dele Ali have only a 4.3% chance of repeating its record performance and taking the trophy home to their country. It is much more likely that the team will be out before the semi-final: the English team’s chances of being eliminated before the quarter-finals are 74.4%.
The Polish team placed third in the World cup twice – 1974 and 1982. Lewandowski’s team will attempt to repeat this feat, but it only has a 5.3% probability of making it to the semi-finals. It is more likely that the team will reach the round of sixteen and be eliminated by Belgium or England.
The Senegalese team will compete in its second World Cup. In 2002, the team surprised the world and was qualified, beating France and tying with Denmark and Uruguay during the first round. The team went on to beat Sweden in the round of sixteen before being eliminated by Turkey in the quarter-finals. The model indicates a 3.1% chance of Senegal repeating this campaign and becoming quarter-finalist in Russia.
The Colombian team is coming from the best run in its history – it made it to the quarter-finals in 2014. The big name from the team during the World Cup in Brazil was James Rodriguez, the star striker during the competition. To repeat this event in 2018, Colombia needs to confirm its favouritism to qualify in Group H and win a possible match against England or Belgium. The model indicates a 51.9% chance of having the Colombian team once again among the world’s top eight.
The Japanese team has reached the sixteenth round during the World Cup twice already but is not favoured to repeat this feat in 2018. The model reveals an 83.5% chance of the team being eliminated during the first round.
About the Authors
Felipe Pena is a consultant at Visagio, specialising in projects focused on budgetary management, process engineering, and analytics in the acquisition and banking sectors.
Marcus Sousa is a consultant at Visagio specialising in projects focused on management model, supply, and analytics in the retail, financial market, metallurgical industry, and energy sectors. Marcus also serves as Leader of the Visagio Research & Intelligence area, focused on surveys and market analyses.