Sports Statistics: Which Country Is Most Likely to Win The World Cup?

As we count down to the 2014 World Cup kickoff, football fans debate the chances of their favorite teams.  Would they agree with sports statisticians' predictions?

The Economist created an interactive feature that shows the chances that a team will win the tournament, at each stage.  According to the "probability circle," Brazil is the favorite by a wide margin, Spain and Germany are about evenly tied, Portugal’s chances are just ahead of Argentina’s, and Switzerland’s odds stand at 5 percent.

Note: to see the interactive version of this chart, go to:

"The probabilities are based on the outcome of every official FIFA game since 1993, along with the relative ranking of teams when they've played one another, and the location of games (eg, Brazil has a notable advantage by playing at home). Then, the model simulates every possible 2014 World Cup game combination to determine the probability for each team to advance."

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Frederique Laubepin


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