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Supercomputer predicts who'll win Qatar 2022

Great news for South America, bad news for England as AI predicts who'll win the 2022 FIFA World Cup

November 17, 2022 By Ali M.
The Three Lions look to bring football home, but according to the University of Oxford, the odds don't favor Southgate's side.

All eyes are on Qatar as fans across the globe eagerly await the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off on November 20 with the showdown between the host nation and Ecuador.

The likes of England, Brazil, Argentina, the Netherlands, France, Spain, and Germany are all in the Middle East and will kick off their campaign to win the beautiful game's most iconic trophy.

However, which nation will lift this prestigious trophy come the December 18 final at the Lusail Iconic Stadium? The well-known University of Oxford have attempted to answer this question and their answer does not bode well for the Three Lions.

The English collegiate research university ran a mathematical model to predict this year's winner, with the AI crowning Brazil as the favorites to emerge victorious. It is easy to see why Selecao were the highest rated as the model factored in squad strength, each team's world ranking, every first-team game since 2018, and expected goals.

However, while the five-time FIFA World Cup champions are the favorites this time around, they do not boast a significant advantage over the next best team on this list, which is Argentina.

Led by the iconic Lionel Messi, the Copa America holders are one of the, if not the, most in-form teams heading into Qatar 2022. While Brazil have a 14.72%, La Albiceleste are just inches behind with a 14.36% chance of winning, as per the University of Oxford's mathematical model.

Many would have expected the highest-ranked European nation on this list to be France or England. However, the third is the Netherlands with 7.84%, sitting just above fourth-placed Spain (7.03%) and fifth-placed France (6.37%). The Oranje failed to qualify for Russia 2018, but under Louis van Gaal, the Dutch have been one of the continent's most impressive sides.

Belgium come in sixth with a 6.31% chance of winning this tournament, which looks to be the last for the Red Devils' golden generation, while Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal are in seventh with only a 5.60% chance of triumphing.

Wrapping up the top 10 are Denmark (4.94%), Germany (3.84%), and Uruguay (3.55%). But where are the Three Lions?

By this metric, England do not even make the top 10 and are merely 11th on this list with a 3.41% shot at winning. Poor form, low goalscoring, and a tricky route to the final all play a part in this rating as Southgate's men could face France and then one of Portugal and Belgium in the quarterfinals and semifinals, should they make it that far. 

Nonetheless, football is not played on paper, and with the Euro 2020 runners-up boasting one of the most talented squads, expect Kane and Co. to have a better go at Qatar 2022 than the University of Oxford predicts.

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