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Mathematicians Predict Probability Of England Winning Euro 2020 Final

Mathematicians Predict Probability Of England Winning Euro 2020 Final

Just how likely is it that it will come home?

Jake Massey

Jake Massey

A month ago, few football fans expected England to make it all the way to the Euro 2020 final. Those who did probably changed their minds after the dire 0-0 draw with Scotland in the second game of the group.

But here we are on the eve of the final - and the Three Lions are just one win away from lifting the trophy at Wembley.

Just how likely is it then that football will come home?

Bring it on home, Gareth.

Every fan will have their own opinion, but let's cast those aside for now and look at the objective data-based judgements of mathematicians.

Well, celebrity maths teacher Bobby Seagull said the odds are stacked in England's favour.

Taking into account both countries' international finals records, he said: "Italy have only won four of their nine finals, so a 44 percent track record.

"While England, 1966, one out of one. We have a 100 percent track record. So the stats say it's coming home."

OK, so much for the objective data-based judgements I promised you.

Thankfully, Ray Douse - director at virtual maths tutoring service Maths-Whizz - provided a less tongue-in-cheek insight.

He told The Mirror: "With more than 55 years having passed since England's solitary win at a major senior football competition, is it a coincidence that the implied chance of England beating Italy on Sunday from the odds on Betfair is about 55 percent?

"What other guides do we have to assess the probability of an England victory? Well, the head-to-head record of England against Italy is not encouraging.

"In eight meetings between the teams in World Cup and UEFA European Championships, Italy have won seven and lost only one, so that suggests England's probability of winning is only 12.5 percent.

"Italy have been in ten World Cup and Euro finals and won five of them, compared to England's record of only ever having been in one final - but at least we won it. So on those facts England's chances look better."

Let's not have any of these scenes tomorrow please.

Looking beyond the nations' track records, he added: "Goldman Sachs have a very sophisticated model that has processed data from 6,000 matches since 1980 to conclude that England have a 58 percent chance of beating Italy.

"The only trouble with that model is that it was predicting Belgium to win the Euros until they got beaten."

Oxford professor Dr Tom Crawford has been following the progress of both countries closely and he agrees that, on paper, England should be favourites to edge the clash.

He said: "Crunching the numbers, we see that Italy have had a much more difficult route to the final than England in terms of the quality of teams they have faced.

"On average, England have faced a team 11 places below them in the European rankings, whereas Italy's opponents have only been four places worse off.

"As for the final, with home advantage and a European ranking three places higher than the Italians, the expectation is that England should have more than enough to finally bring football home on Sunday. Come on England!"

Barry thinks it's coming home.

Even mathematicians can't keep a clear head at the moment then it seems, so what chance do the rest of us have?


Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: SPORT, Football, Euro 2020, England