Football's coming home? According to Goldman Sachs, it isn't

 
Josh Mines
Goldman Sachs reckon England will fall at the final hurdle at the World Cup, losing to Brazil in the final

After a last minute win against Tunisia followed by a 6-1 drubbing of Panama, it's fair to say that excitement around England's chances at the World Cup has reached fever pitch.

But according to Goldman Sachs, the Three Lions are set to come agonisingly close to bringing football home.

The finance giant used machine learning to predict how the rest of the World Cup was likely to pan out.

Goldman's machine learning technology simulated 1m variations to eventually find who would bring home the trophy from Russia.

Read more: England hit Panama for six to light World Cup touchpaper

Before the tournament, the computer reckoned the final would be between Germany and Brazil - but a recalculation after England's two wins on the trot led it to predict an England - Brazil final.

Unfortunately, England was then expected to lose against Brazil, handing the South American nation its sixth World Cup.

Goldman Sachs predicted that England would come second in their group to Belgium, and beat Colombia and Mexico in the round of 16 and quarter final, before pulling off a remarkable win against 2010 winners Spain in the semis.

Chief economist at Goldman Sachs Jan Hatzius said:

For England fans who might find themselves daring to dream, our updated model predictions might constitute a beacon of hope,

We continue to predict that Belgium will top Group G, ahead of England, using the unrounded goal difference as the tie-breaker on points. After a projected victory over Colombia in the Round of 16, we now expect England to meet Mexico in the quarter-finals, rather than meeting Germany.

This tips the outcome in England’s favour, as they are projected to defeat Mexico, before overcoming Spain—just—in the semi-finals. In turn, this would set up a Brazil—England final on 15 July (though those hoping for an England victory should look away now).

Read more: World Cup 2018: England should not fear Group H last 16 opponents

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