News & Analysis

Supercomputer predicts England as second favourites to win Euro 2024

17th June 2024
Paige West

A model developed by researchers from the University of Liverpool’s Management School has positioned England as the second favourites to clinch the Euro 2024 title.

The forecasting model leverages the latest machine learning technologies to predict match outcomes by analysing the quality of individual players and their potential interactions on the pitch. After conducting 10,000 simulations, Professor Ian McHale and Dr Benjamin Holmes from the Centre for Sports Business, along with Dr Kamila Zychaluk from the Department of Mathematical Sciences, have provided detailed predictions for each match at the upcoming UEFA European Championship.

See the Euro 2024 prediction tree: Euro 2024 predictions

On the question of whether this time ‘it’s coming home’, the model offers a promising outlook for Gareth Southgate’s team. England is rated as the second favourites, behind Germany, with a 22% probability of lifting the Henri Delaunay Cup.

Professor McHale highlighted the comprehensive nature of their analysis: "Having measured player performances over the last 10 years, the machine learning model takes into consideration the abilities of actual players on the pitch. Our model knows how good each player is, and how they will interact with teammates and opponents."

In contrast, reigning champions Italy are seen as having a slim chance of defending their title, with only a 1% probability of winning the tournament. This follows their dramatic penalty shootout victory against England at Wembley in 2021.

The model predicts that the most likely final will feature Germany against England, with Germany having a 51% chance and England a 42% chance of reaching the decisive match. Other strong contenders include France, Portugal, and The Netherlands.

Under the guidance of Steve Clarke, Scotland has a 59% chance of progressing to the knockout stages. This prospect is bolstered by rule changes from Euro 2016 that allow third-place teams to advance from their groups. A spot in the last 16 would mark a historic first for Scotland, which has never progressed past the group stages in any previous Euro or World Cup appearances.

The forecasting model, which has been published in the International Journal of Forecasting, adapts its predictions based on real-time changes, such as player injuries or suspensions, as the tournament unfolds.

Professor McHale explained the advanced nature of the model: "While bookmakers make subjective adjustments to probabilities to account for changes in lineups, our model uses advanced performance metrics at the individual player level and machine learning to recalculate predictions. The end result is a forecasting tool that has been shown to beat the market."

This model offers football fans and analysts a highly detailed and dynamic prediction tool, making the anticipation for Euro 2024 even more intriguing.

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