History Suggests Who Will Win The 2018 Cup
Thirty-two countries compete, only one will take home the Cup on 15th July. Looking at past tournaments to determine trends, statistics and patterns, one country seems to be more likely to win. BBC conducted research to determine how history can suggest which one that is. Their research found that in order to be the world champions this year the country must be;
Since the competition expanded to include 32 teams in 1998, all of the eventual champions have been seeded. Therefore, by eliminating those who are not it quickly turns 32 to 8 teams who are likely contenders to win.
France, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and Russia.
Don’t host the competition
While it may have been the route to success in the past, hosting the Cup competition is less likely to win. From 1930 to 1978, there were five home winners. But, since then, the past nine tournaments have seen the hosts crowned champions only once when France claimed the Cup in 1998. Thus, Russia is eliminated from the pool, leaving France, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium and Poland.
Have strong defence
Since 1998, none of the five champions conceded more than four goals over their seven games. With the teams left, Poland has had by far the weakest defence during qualifying, conceding 1.4 goals per game. Furthermore, Germany and Portugal conceded 0.4 per game, Belgium and France 0.6, Brazil and Argentina 0.88. Thus, Poland is also knocked off the list.
Be from Europe
In the past, the only World Cup winners have ever come from Europe and South America. European tournaments almost always produce home winners. During the past ten competitions, only one non-European team took home the title in a European country – and that was Brazil’s win in Sweden in 1958.
Have the best keeper
It takes the whole team to win the Cup, but the wins are more accurately defined by the keeper. There have been four of the past five Golden Glove awards for the best keeper in the World Cup go to the team that claimed the title. So, of the remaining four teams it is more probable that Germany’s Manuel Neuer, France’s Hugo Lloris, Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois are the more likely contenders to take home the Glove. More so, than Portugal’s Rui Patricio.
Since the expansion of contenders, the squads with more experience have proven to be more successful. As the BBC reported; ‘France had a squad that averaged 22.77 caps per player. Four years ago, Germany boasted 42.21 each. In between, there was a gradual rise – Brazil averaged 28.04 in 2002, Italy 32.91 in 2006 and Spain 38.30 in 2010.
When our three remaining teams named their final squads, France’s average caps was down at 24.56, while Germany’s was at 43.26 and Belgium’s 45.13.’
Not be defending champions
There has not been a back-to-back win since Brazil took home the title in 1958 and 1962. Since that double, the 13 defending champions have only made it past the quarter-finals on two occasions; Argentina in 1990, and Brazil in 1998. However, Brazil did finish in fourth in 1974.
Yet, in the past four tournaments, the defending champions were eliminated in the group stage on three occasions. Taking this into consideration, let’s look at Germany – they have an excellent past, as in the last nine tournaments they have won twice, reached three more finals and finished third on two more occasions. So, in this respect, history could be against them.
According to these trends and patterns, Belgium is most likely to win the WorldCup.
That is if these patterns hold…