Over the next nine months, countless people will marvel at Manchester City or berate Jose Mourinho without ever really grasping how powerful and all-pervasive the Premier League has become. While 21st-century Britons routinely struggle to understand what it is that they do well as a nation, there is at least one example of power and dominance staring them directly in the face: the Premier League.
On July 8, at the Estádio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte, Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany in the first semi-final of the 2014 World Cup. Much has been written about this match, for instance it generated 35.6 million tweets making it the most-discussed single sports game ever on Twitter.
This is (maybe) the final post in the series dedicated to the prediction of the World Cup results − I'll try and actually write another to wrap things up and summarise a few comments, but this will probably be a bit later on. Finally, we've decided to use our model, which so far has been applied incrementally, ie stage-by-stage, to predict the result of both the semifinals and the finals.
We're now down to 8 teams left in the World Cup. Interestingly, despite a pretty disappointing display by some of the (more or less rightly so) highly rated teams, such as Spain, Italy, Portugal or England, European sides are exactly 50% of the lot. Given the quarter final game between France and Germany, at least one European team is certain to reach the semifinals. Also, it is worth noticing that the 8 remaining teams are the group winners − which kind of confirms Michael Wallace's point.
Now that the group stage is finished. We needed a few tweaks to the simulation process (described in some more detail on my blog), which we spent some time debating and implementing before taking a look at the round of 16 games.