Home advantage to swing it for Brazil – PwC

Germany and Argentina edge out Spain as third favourites for World Cup

People arrive past a large banner with images of Brazil fans at the international airport in Curitiba. Photograph: Reuters

People arrive past a large banner with images of Brazil fans at the international airport in Curitiba. Photograph: Reuters

 

Hosts Brazil are clear favourites to win the soccer World Cup but only because of their home advantage, according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

PwC conducted an “econometrics” qualitative assessment of the chances of each team at the World Cup.

“In previous analyses of the Olympic Games, we found a strong link between medal totals and the size of the economy. But no such relationship has been found for the World Cup,” said PwC economist Dan Broadfield.

“Instead, key factors include the number of players available to each country, the national interest in football, long-term footballing tradition, and recent form.”

On those criteria, plus location of the contest, Brazil came out on top, followed closely by Germany with Argentina just edging out Spain as third favourites. The study found a clear advantage for host nations, who, on average, can expect to progress a further two rounds than if they were not hosting, PwC said.

The study also attempted to determine which is the Group of Death, based upon the cumulative chances of each of its teams. According to PwC, its is group D, featuring England, Uruguay, Costa Rica and Italy, finishing marginally ahead of group G, which comprises Germany, USA, Ghana and Portugal.

“Although England rank in the top eight on the index, they face a battle to progress from their group – given the slightly higher ranking of their direct rivals Italy and Uruguay,” Mr Broadfield notes. “It will be tough for England to qualify from this group but, if they do, they should have a decent chance to at least reach the quarter finals.