France to win Euro 2016, predicts Goldman Sachs

Wales' Gareth Bale

Football fans who fancy a flutter on Euro 2016 should put their money on France to win the tournament on their own turf, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs.

The Wall Street bank reckons the French side has a 23% chance of exploiting home advantage to triumph in the final.

England will put on a creditable performance by making it into the semi-finals, according to the bank’s predictions, losing out to Spain.

However, Goldman warned that “it is difficult to assess how much faith one should have in these predictions”.

The bank’s performance at the last major international football tournament was underwhelming, with its prediction of a Brazil victory on home soil flying well wide of the mark.

Goldman made Brazil the clear favourites, calculating a probability of 48.5% that the Samba nation would beat fierce rivals Argentina in the final.

In fact, Brazil were dumped out of the tournament unceremoniously when they were thrashed 7-1 by Germany in the semi-final.

Goldman said Brazil’s failure to live up to expectations, coupled with the group stage exit of both Spain and Italy, showed the “charming unpredictability” of football.

It added that football was “stochastic”, meaning that it conforms to a broad pattern of probabilities but cannot be accurately predicted.

Goldman makes Germany, the eventual winners of the 2014 World Cup, only the second favourites to win this year’s tournament despite having a slightly higher rating on the “Elo” rating system originally used to rank chess players.

Goldman backed France to defeat the Germans in the final, in the belief that home advantage will make the difference for Les Bleus.

It admitted that this was despite a large number of “enthusiastic Germany supporters” among its analysts.

While England fans might be heartened by the prediction of a semi-final appearance, courtesy of a quarter-final victory over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, Goldman believes there isn’t much to look forward to for the remaining home nations.

Wales, boasting the world’s most expensive player, Gareth Bale, was given a 0.1% chance of winning the tournament, as was Northern Ireland.

The only nation with worse prospects is Albania, given no chance at all of taking home the trophy.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Rob Davies, for theguardian.com on Monday 6th June 2016 11.36 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

 

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