Soccer

Football’s Probably Coming Home to England, Goldman Model Predicts

Could football finally be coming home? Goldman Sachs Group Inc. thinks so.

After its original selection, Belgium, was eliminated from the Euro 2020 tournament on Friday, the U.S. bank now predicts that England will win its first major soccer tournament in 55 years, based on a probability model.

“It’s (probably) coming home,” Goldman’s Christian Schnittker wrote in a note, referring to the line of the 1996 song Three Lions that is chanted — often ironically — by England fans.

Goldman used data on about 6,000 matches played since 1980 to devise its model, which takes into account factors such as current team strength, along with recent performances, home advantage effects, and whether a country is a “tournament team” that outperforms during competitions.

The forecasts remain highly uncertain, even with the fanciest statistical techniques,” Goldman wrote in its original report published in May. “This is, of course, precisely why football is so exciting to watch.”

England faces Denmark on Wednesday for a place in the final of Euro 2020, which is being played a year late due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Italy plays Spain in the other semifinal on Tuesday.

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