Ein game on Sunday, three on Monday, now four this Tuesday. The World Cup in Qatar is getting more and more sporty. Nobody knows in advance what goals will look like. But there are predictions. Some come from the gut, others from the head, still others from the computer. Like that of Daniel Memmert and Fabian Wunderlich, which they have been doing at FAZ.NET since the 2014 World Cup. It’s not only exciting to see how much the favorites are favorites, but also to see who has the edge in close duels.
That’s not the game between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at the start of the World Cup day (11:00 a.m. CET in the FAZ live ticker for the World Cup and on MagentaTV). The former world champion from South America is ahead in all categories of the forecast. At the 2018 World Cup, Saudi Arabia was eliminated in the preliminary round, but Lionel Messi and Co. made it to the round of 16. Now it should go on. His last World Cup should be the crowning glory for the star. The market value of the Argentines is significantly higher, and the world rankings also show a clear picture, so the forecast is no longer a surprise: Argentina wins with a probability of 81.5 percent.
The roles in the second game between Denmark and Tunisia are not quite as clear (2 p.m. CET in the FAZ live ticker for the World Cup, on ZDF and on MagentaTV). As with the previous game, the 2018 tournament ended early for both, the Europeans failed in the round of 16, the Africans even earlier. The Danes are tenth in the world rankings, Tunisia is 30th. And Christian Eriksen and Co. (13.6 million euros on average at 2.2) are also trailing their opponents in terms of market value. This leads to a Danish winning probability of 65.4 percent.
The third game on Tuesday (5:00 p.m. CET in the FAZ live ticker for the soccer World Cup, on ZDF and on MagentaTV) promises to be extremely exciting. Mexico and Poland meet almost on an equal footing in terms of probabilities: Will Mexico win? 34.5 percent. Victory Poland? 34.4 percent. Draw? 31.1 percent. In the other categories, the picture is astonishing: Mexico is well ahead of Robert Lewandowski’s team in the world rankings (13th to 26th place), but Poland is ahead in terms of market value (9.8 to 6.7). The 2018 World Cup was similar: Poland failed after the preliminary round, Mexico in the round of 16.
At the end of the day (8 p.m. CET in the FAZ live ticker for the soccer World Cup, on ZDF and on MagentaTV), it will be clearer again, at least according to the forecast. Finally, the 2018 world champion, France, is playing. Opponent is Australia, who had to leave four and a half years ago after three preliminary round games. The world rankings (4th vs. 38th) are as clear as the players’ market ratings on average (42.8 vs. 1.5). All in all, this gives the Equipe tricolore a 74.6 percent chance of winning. It was actually even higher recently. However, the injury of star striker Karim Benzema reduces the chances a little.