Nielsen’s Gracenote Projects Brazil and Argentina Will Prevail at World Cup 2022
Statistical model suggests South American giants will outperform European contenders in world’s most popular football competition
Gracenote, a Nielsen company, today released its World Cup 2022 forecast which identifies Brazil and Argentina as the two favourites most likely to triumph in Qatar.
Gracenote uses a proprietary football ranking system to estimate the chances of different results for every possible World Cup 2022 match through extensive simulations, to assess the chances for each team to reach different stages of the tournament.
• According to Gracenote, Brazil is the favourite to win the 2022 World Cup with a 20% chance of lifting the trophy on December 18. Brazil is at the top of Gracenote's World Football Ranking after losing just three times in 50 matches since being eliminated from the 2018 World Cup by Belgium.
• Argentina has a 16% chance of becoming world champions for the first time since 1986. Since losing to France at the 2018 World Cup, Argentina has lost four matches but the team is unbeaten for over three years, since a 2-0 defeat by Brazil in July 2019.
• If both Brazil and Argentina win their respective groups, they will enter the knockout phase in the same half of the draw and will meet in the semi-finals. Despite this, a World Cup final between Brazil and Argentina is currently the most likely match-up on December 18 according to Gracenote simulations.
• The leading European contenders for the trophy this year are Spain and the Netherlands, both with a 7% chance of lifting the trophy, and Belgium with a 6% chance. World Cup holders France are next according to Gracenote projections with a 5% chance of a repeat performance.
• The most likely 16 teams to qualify for the knockout phase of World Cup 2022 are Argentina, Brazil, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, France, Uruguay, Denmark, England, Germany, Switzerland, Ecuador, Croatia, IR Iran and Mexico.
• Morocco is the most likely African team to reach the knockout phase but begins the tournament as third favorites to progress from Group F, behind 2018 semi-finalists Belgium and finalists Croatia.
Simon Gleave, head of analysis for Gracenote Sports said, "Based on their dominance of international football since the last World Cup, Gracenote projects Brazil and Argentina to continue to outperform competitors in the upcoming tournament. No other teams have been anywhere near as consistent over the last four years as the two South American giants and this consistency means that there is a good chance of one of them prevailing in front of a global audience of fans.”
Most likely World Cup 2022 finals
3.2% Brazil v Argentina
2.4% Brazil v Belgium
2.3% Belgium v Argentina
2.0% France v Argentina
2.0% Spain v Brazil
1.9% Denmark v Brazil
1.9% Portugal v Brazil
1.8% Netherlands v Brazil
1.8% France v Brazil
1.7% Brazil v Uruguay
The Gracenote World Football Ranking
Gracenote Sports originally developed its proprietary football ranking in 2002. The methodology based on the Elo system which is used for ranking chess players has been fine-tuned over the intervening 16 years. Every time two teams compete one "wins" points from the other depending on the result, the winning margin, who is at home and the relative strength of the two teams playing. Gracenote Sports also weighs the number of points which change hands by the importance of the competition, so World Cups and continental championships are the most important and friendlies the least important.
So, for example, if Brazil (ranked number one) wins a friendly on the neutral ground against 30th-ranked Costa Rica 1-0, Brazil will improve its rating by relatively few points as that result is more or less expected. If however, Germany beats Brazil 7-1 in Brazil at a World Cup in Brazil, Germany's rating will improve considerably at the expense of Brazil's as both are strong teams and the final result as well as the winning margin are something of a surprise.
The Gracenote World Cup Prediction
The ratings within the ranking of football teams can be used to estimate the percentage chance of each match at the 2018 World Cup being a win, draw or loss for each of the teams. These percentages are then fed into a simulation of the World Cup which we run one million times to produce estimates of the chance that each team reaches a particular stage of the competition.
During the 2022 World Cup, the simulation will be run after each day’s results to produce a new forecast which takes account of the latest information.