A recent Reuters poll asked 145 analysts from around the globe who they believed would win the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The survey which was conducted between 16-31 May, found that Germany’s national soccer team got the highest number of nods, with 43 out of 145 analysts believing they would lift the trophy in July.
Brazil placed second with 37 votes – teeing up an interesting final after they experienced a humiliating 7-1 semi-final loss in their home country in 2014.
France, Argentina and Spain were all also in for a chance to win the trophy, however hosts Russia were given almost no chance of winning the competition.
A March survey by JP Morgan, conducted with 100 clients at a Paris conference, also placed Germany as champions, while investment bankers UBS sees a 24% probability current title-holder Germany wins the July 15 final, with Brazil and Spain the next most likely teams to succeed.
The analysts also believe that Argentinian striker Lionel Messi, who has scored over 600 senior career goals for club and country, is expected to win the Golden Boot – an award for top goalscorer of the competition.
According to Reuters, the majority of bookmakers agree with the analysts, and the tightest odds were 9/2 on both Germany and Brazil to be crowned champions, and Messi was favourite to win the Boot.
It also noted that some economists relied on their standard econometric modelling skills to predict the World Cup’s outcome.
“I guess the point is that in a rational world in which the form book rules, one of Brazil or Germany should win,” said Peter Dixon at Commerzbank, who ran 10,000 stochastic simulations.
“But somewhere amongst the simulations there may well be a universe in which Saudi Arabia beats Panama in the final. The very fact there is a random element is one of the reasons why we may well be wrong, and why sports like football hold such a deep fascination.”