Wednesday, June 9, 2010

That's Why They Play the Games

The ghosts of World Cup 1950 that will stalk England on Saturday

The Rematch is almost upon us, and it's only appropriate that I turn to the Soccernomics model for national team performance to provide a prediction of the possible outcome. If two teams, i and j, face each other the Soccernomics model uses the following equation to predict goal differential:

GD(ij) = 0.137 ln[pop(i)/pop(j))] + 0.145 ln[GDP(i/GDP(j))] + 0.739 ln[exp(i)/exp(j)] + 0.657 for home team

In the case of England and the US, no one is the home team so we can drop the final term in the equation. Now we turn to the population, GDP, and experience terms.

Population
  • England: $35,334
  • United States: $46,381
Experience:
Plugging these variables into the above equation yields a 0.203 goal differential advantage for England. England greatly benefits from their nearly 2-to-1 advantage in international experience that counts nearly six times as much as the other variables. For all the smack talk from English fans, this is hardly an advantage in the World Cup.

This match will likely be far more even than some would think. It's certainly within the United State's capability to win it. Both teams are in top form, and everyone is hoping for an outstanding clash worth the 60 year wait.

I have only one thing left to say.

"DON'T FIRE UNTIL YOU SEE THE WHITES OF THEIR EYES, BOYS! BEAT ENGLAND!!!"

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