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Dr Stats' head says Holland, heart says Spain

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Holland are favourites to win the World Cup according to The Reg's resident football stats expert Dr Ian McHale. But the football fan in him says Spain.

Dr McHale, senior lecturer in statistics at Salford University, had Holland as favourites and Spain a close second before the tournament started.

After the group stage Dr McHale's stats model of 9000 international games still had Holland as favourites.

Our stats sage re-ran his model this morning. “It makes Holland the slight favourites with a 55.8 per cent probability of winning. However, this takes Spain's opening defeat to the Swiss in to account,” he said. “I am not sure it is relevant information now. It is a really close call. If you ask for my opinion, not based on the mathematics, I would go for Spain!”

The bookies fancy Spain too. At the time of writing the best prices available were 2.2 (US +120, UK 6/5) on Spain to win in 90 minutes, and 3.85 (US +285, UK 57/20) for Holland.

The bloody German octopus, Paul, fancies Spain too.

Dr McHale and his team are also behind the Actim Index, which is the official ratings system of the English Premier League.

Dr McHale will give us a post-mortem of his model's World Cup performance next week. ®

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