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Proven predictive model backs Three Lions for World Cup glory

Every World Cup there is some bonkers ‘thing’ that predicts the match results and tournament winners. When it’s a psychic octopus or a clued up cat we’re somewhat dismissive of their achievements. The Lloyd’s Corporation though have a significantly more data driven approach to their modelling though and they’re backing England to conquer the world in 2022. Here we look at how the journey will unfold for Gareth Southgate’s men and dive into how much faith you can place in the analysis.

What do Lloyd’s know?

When Lloyd’s first dropped the news that their prediction was backing England to win the World Cup in Qatar we immediately pondered that very question – ‘What do Lloyd’s know?’. It turns out that they know quite a lot having accurately predicted the winners of the 2014 and 2018 World Cups; that’s no mean feat. With that in mind, England fans, in particular, might want to explore their analysis in a little more detail!

How does the Lloyd’s analysis work?

So, how does the Lloyd’s modelling work we hear you ask. Well, there are a number of factors their analytical model chews through with some of the key components being salary – in terms of pure player wage – other endorsements, such as advertising deals, age, position and nationality. This information all pooled together allows Lloyd’s to assign an insurable value to each specific player. It’s worth noting at this point that future non-playing earnings are not factored into the calculations.

This data is then applied across the respective nations giving each team a total insurable value. In the World Cup bracket run through the team with the combined highest insurable value progresses at each stage until a winner is determined in the final. The only other key thing to note is that the insurable values are calculated at a squad level and the workings by Lloyd’s were completed prior to squad announcements.

fikayo tomori
AC Milan defender Tomori was not given the thumbs up by Southgate

This means two things. Firstly, the values are based off a projected 30 man squad meaning manager  squad selections will have a direct impact on the strength of a team; for example, in a world where Fikayo Tomori has a much higher insurable value than Harry Maguire, England’s weighting will be overstated in the Lloyd’s model if Lloyd’s had assumed Tomori would be selected ahead of Maguire. Secondly, a nation with a really strong XI but then a big drop off in quality might be under-positioned in this sort of analysis. A nation like Ghana, who announced their squad yesterday, are perhaps a good example of where this might happen.

How do Lloyd’s project England’s tournament unfolding?

England are predicted to top their group ahead of the United States. That sees them progress to the round of 16 where African side – and the reigning African Cup of Nations Champions – Senegal will await after finishing second in their group behind the Netherlands. As many people expect, Lloyd’s also predict an England vs France quarter final.

Gareth Southgate’s men should come out on top in that clash with their insurable value topping £3bn with France coming in at just £2.7bn. That would set up a semi-final meeting with Spain before England then face – and beat – the £2.6bn valued Brazil in the final to claim glory for the first time since 1966.

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