Monday 6 June 2016 11:56 am

This is Goldman Sachs' favourite to win Euro 2016

If you have yet to place your bets on the upcoming 2016 UEFA European Championship, perhaps this latest round of predictions will help you, as one of the world's biggest banks gets in on the action.

Goldman Sachs has revealed its favourites to win the tournament, which starts in France this week. The bank used historical data from each team to estimate "a set of probabilities that a particular team will reach a particular round", and has also provided a 'most likely' case for how the tournament will unfold, although it cautions that 'most likely' does not mean 'likely'.

And according to all the firm's careful calculations, the most likely winner is… France, with a 23 per cent probability of lifting the trophy. "France is slightly favoured because of its home advantage," the bank pointed out.

Germany is next most likely, with a 20 per cent probability of winning, followed by Spain with 14 per cent. England is fourth most likely to triumph, according to Goldman Sachs, with an 11 per cent probability.

Read more: Who is in England's Euro 2016 squad?

The bank's research was put together by a group of German analysts, who said their approach to the numbers had taken into consideration the stochastic – or random – nature of the tournament. "Also, the predictions are not far from bookmakers' odds," they added.

However, they warned: "On the minus side, we ignore a number of potentially important factors that are difficult to summarise statistically, including the quality of the individual players unless they are reflected in the team’s recent track record." 

Read more: Here's how to keep your staff happy during Euro 2016

The analysts pointed out that the beautiful game's "charming unpredictability" was on full display at the last World Cup in 2014, when the Goldman Sachs model "failed to anticipate the elimination of heavyweights Spain and Italy in the group stage and gave Brazil a 48 per cent probability of winning the trophy". (It did however correctly predict that England would be heading home in the group stages.)

"More encouragingly, it identified three of the four semifinalists before the start of the tournament, and the fully updated version predicted the winner of every match in the knockout stage except for the 7-1 semifinal between Germany and Brazil," they continued.

The predictions will be updated after each day of play during Euro 2016, using new performance data to generate new probabilities.

Read more: Surprised? We think Euro 2016 is more important than the EU referendum

Goldman Sachs has clearly taken a very scientific approach to this piece of research, but the bank has stressed that punters shouldn't bank on the stats paying off – the analysts carrying out the research admit: "None of us are really football experts but some are enthusiastic Germany supporters". 

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