Who will win the 2022 World Cup? Will "my" team win the tournament and if not how far will they get? These are the questions many football fans around the world are asking themselves. Oxford University mathematician Joshua Bull developed the "Oxford Mathematics 2022 World Cup Predictor" and wants answers to the questions.
He analyzed the game data from past tournaments and looked at, among other things, how close a team is to the opposing goal and how often they have scored a goal in the past. Bull also considered information about the now 32 participating teams and players. Finally, an algorithm simulated the group stage matches a million times and took the most common results. He then simulated every knockout game 100,000 times, which should result in various forecasts for the outcome of the World Cup in Qatar.
For England's first game against Iran on Monday, a 1-0 win is the most likely outcome. England will make it to the quarterfinals. The mathematician predicts a less successful tournament for Germany. The DFB team is said to lose to Belgium in the round of 16 and thus be eliminated from the tournament.
After Bull won the 2020 British fantasy football competition with over eight million participants two years ago, he now wants to make predictions for various matches at this year's World Cup and publish his results on social media.
Even if the predictions are mathematically the most likely, this in no way means that they will actually occur. It "is still statistically very unlikely to be exactly true - it's just more likely than other alternative scenarios," the mathematician clarifies.
There are many predictions about sporting events - we also remember animals, such as the octopus Paul from Oberhausen. At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he had correctly predicted the seven games with German participation and the final. At the World Cup in 2018, a dachshund, a snow leopard and a goat, among others, were supposed to predict the games. Last year, the lady elephant Yashoda from Hamburg was supposed to predict the results of the European Championship.
Sources: Oxford Mail, t-online, with DPA material