What does predicting the economy got to do with predicting the World Cup winner? A lot if you listen to Swiss Bank UBS.
In the World Cup 2006, the economists and analysts at the Wealth Management Research at UBS used the statistical model that enabled them to predict market trends and investment decisions and applied it to predict the World Cup winner Top Skor Piala Dunia.
They correctly predicted that Italy would be the champion. They also succeeded in getting six of the eight quarter-finalists correct. Their track record also included correctly forecasting three of the four semi-finalists.
UBS’s model is a purely quantitative analysis and the criteria used are past performance, home advantage and teams’ strength. Now let’s discuss the model:
For past performance, so far seven nations have won the championship. (Brazil five times, Italy four times, Germany three times, Argentina and Uruguay two times, France and England one time each). So according to UBS, if you pick one of these seven teams, it appears to be a safe bet.
As for the home advantage, a third of the past world cups was won by the host country. Now:
# The weather is mild winter in South Africa and it appears that the host nation may not have the climate advantage. This applies similarly to the African nations in the finals.
# Some matches will be played at venues at high altitude. This is a clear advantage to the host and the South American teams like Brazil.
# In every tournament, there is speculation of referees favoring the Home team. Will there be many controversial calls helping the host?
# This being Africa’s World Cup, there are many who wonder if an African nation will advance past the group stage into the quarter-finals for the first time. In every tournament, there will always be a team which will be the surprise package. Will this team come from Africa?
# And lastly, there is this “outside-of-Europe” syndrome. So far every World Cup had been won by either an European team or a South American side. No European team has won outside the comfort of their own continent. Now in South Africa, many pundits believe that the South American teams will have so-called ground advantage.