Feeds

Euro 2012: England is semi-final probability

Stats-cruncher lifts nation's hopes

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Euro 2012 stats Ahead of the first ball being kicked at the Euro 2012 tournament, England is the third-ranked team and has a 68 per cent chance of getting out of the group stage according to the UK's top academic soccer statistician.

You read that right. With one of its best players unavailable for the first two matches, a manager who's had his feet under the table for less than two minutes plus a racism controversy – England still might do OK.

The number-crunching has been done by Dr Ian McHale, senior lecturer in statistics in the University of Salford and chair of the Royal Statistical Society's sports section. McHale and his team have run a million simulations of the tournament, using data from 11,000 international games.

The Reg ran details of his work during the 2010 World Cup, where he predicted Holland would win before the tournament started. After the group stages, and using the new data, this was revised to a Spanish victory. You might recall an unattractive Holland team losing to Spain in the final.

This time round, Spain are favourites, Germany second and England third. A Germany/England semi-final beckons. Hosts Poland and the Ukraine are bottom ranked at 15 and 16 respectively.

McHale's model uses an objective rating of players using official match statistics, not one based on subjective notions such as flair. He uses an 'ordered probit' model (an ordered regression model, stats fans) to estimate the probability of the three outcomes of a match – whether the result will be a win, a draw or a loss.

The model only uses the results of previous International games, the number of goals scored, and location of game. Weighting comes from Fifa's database of team rankings.

Factors that favour a team:

  • if they're at home;
  • haven't travelled too far;
  • are ranked higher than the opposition;
  • if they're an improving team according to ranking;
  • the seriousness of the game (friendly or major tournament - better teams take major tournaments more seriously); and
  • if they've been winning recently.

The bottom line is that England is going into a football tournament seriously undervalued from a betting perspective. UK bookies are well known for relying on home sentiment, and a misplaced sense of soccer entitlement, to offer punters terrible odds on the England team. By contrast Spain and Germany, the favourites, are poor value in betting terms.

But don't get too excited. At this point there is a 90 per cent chance of England not winning the tournament. (Spain has a 12 per cent chance of winning, and Germany has an 11 per cent chance.)

Dr McHale's Rankings

rankings_graphic

In order, that's:

Rank Country % chance winning
1 Spain 12%
2 Germany 11%
3 England 10%
4 Russia 9%
5 Netherlands 8%
6 Sweden 7%
7 Denmark 7%
8 Republic of Ireland 7%
9 Greece 6%
10 Italy 6%
11 France 4%
12 Portugal 4%
13 Croatia 4%
14 Czech Republic 3%
15 Poland 3%
16 Ukraine 2%

®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.