Euro 2016 simulation – Knockout Stage
Before the Euro 2016 tournament started on June 10, we ran a SciSports simulation of 200.000 matches to find out which team is the most likely to win the European Championship. As it turned out, Spain was the heavy favourite, followed by Germany and France. Now that the group stage is done, we ran a second simulation to see what changed.
The first simulation correctly predicted 12 of the 16 nations that reached the knockout stage. Only Hungary, Iceland, Ireland and Northern Ireland exceeded our simulation’s expectations by qualifying for the final sixteen.
Knockout stage simulation
Spain is still our favorite for the title, but their odds plummeted from 31.6% to 19.7%. Their loss versus Croatia saw them finish second in the group, which put them in what seems to be the more difficult side of the bracket. They now have to face Italy in the round of 16 and most likely Germany in the quarter-finals. Because of this, our simulation calculated that Spain reaches the final only 27.2% of the time, compared to 45.6% in the first simulation.
The big ‘winner’ of the group stage according to our simulation is Belgium. Before the tournament started, their chances of winning the tournament was only 6%. Now that the group stage is done, their chances have risen with 7.4 points to 13.4%. Even more impressive, their odds of reaching the final is bigger than one in three (37.6%) and is the highest of the sixteen nations left.
Italy is perhaps the biggest loser of the group stage. Even though they won their group, they are pit against defending champions Spain and will most likely face world champions Germany in the following round. The odds of them reaching the last eight has dropped from 53.2% to 34.7% (-18.5) and their prospects for the semi-finals are not much better (from 31.3% to 17.3%, a 14 point drop).
For Hungary, Slovakia and Iceland, the dream seems to end in the first knockout stage. In less than one in five simulations do the Hungarians beat Belgium, while Slovakia loses to Germany 86.2% of the time. Iceland is most likely to be eliminated, with England winning their match-up in more than nine out of ten simulations.
The winner of Croatia-Portugal has a big chance of also getting to the semi-finals. Based on their odds on reaching the quarter-final and the semi-final, the winner of Croatia-Portugal reaches the semi-final in about 7 out of 10 simulations (70.5% for Portugal, 68.6% for Croatia). Only Belgium surpasses that number, with them reaching the semi-final 73.8% of the times they play the quarter-final.
Germany, though still considered the number two favourite behind Spain, is unlucky that they will face either Italy or Spain the quarter-finals. The current world champions reach the last eight in 86.2% of the simulations, but by going up against either Italy or Spain in the following round, the odds of the Germans reaching the semi-finals is only 44.3%. The same is true for the winner of Switzerland-Poland, which is the most even match in the first knockout stage (51.6% to 48.4%). The winner of this match will face either Portugal or Croatia, resulting in the odds of reaching the semi-finals falling to 15.1% for both teams.
Due to their match-up against Ireland, hosts France are now more likely to reach the final eight than before the tournament, but their odds of reaching the semi-final (and final) have dropped slightly. This is due to them facing most likely England in the quarter-final and Italy, Spain or Germany in the semi-final. Should they survive this tough road to the final, their odds of actually winning the tournament have risen slightly, from 10.8% to 12.3% (+1.5).
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