UBS predicts Germany would win the World Cup in Russia


Swiss investment banking giant, UBS said according to its computer simulations, Germany has the highest probability of winning the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be going underway on the 14th of June, 2018.

In a new report – “Investing and football: 2018 World Cup in Russia” – CIO looks at what investors can learn from successful football teams, and what impact the tournament is likely to have on the Russian economy. CIO also makes its customary attempt at forecasting the winner, by tweaking some of the modeling techniques it uses in its daily work and applying them to the art of making football predictions.

The World Cup opener – Russia versus Saudi Arabia at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium – is unlikely to feature the eventual winner. CIO’s model puts Russia’s chances of winning the whole thing at 1.6 percent, and Saudi Arabia’s at zero. It’s almost a given, says CIO, that the World Cup trophy will be heading to Latin America or (back) to Europe.

“According to our simulations, Germany, Brazil, and Spain have the highest likelihood to win the tournament,” says CIO analyst Michael Bolliger. CIO assesses Germany’s chances at 24 percent, Brazil’s at almost 20 percent, and Spain’s at 16 percent. Bolliger explains: “Germany and Brazil are set for an easy start, while Spain will have to hit the ground running if they are to beat Portugal, the current European champions, in their opening game.”

Beyond the big three, who’s worth keeping an eye on? Perhaps surprisingly (or alarmingly, to those who favor a cautious approach), England have emerged from CIO’s simulation as the fourth-likeliest winner, with an 8.5 percent chance of victory.

France, Belgium and Argentina remain realistic contenders. “Argentina’s fate will strongly depend on the form of their star players in our view, which is an element of uncertainty and hard to capture with our quantitative model,” says Bolliger. “France should be able to advance to the semi-final, but after the possible elimination of Portugal, they might face Brazil.”

This year’s tournament will be the poorer for Italy’s absence. Gli Azzurri failed to qualify, but CIO nevertheless modeled how they might have fared if they’d made it. CIO’s simulation gave the Italians a 1.6 percent chance of victory, similar to Mexico or Russia.