World Cup 2014: 'England players bringing their WAGs to Brazil will have no bearing on success or failure,' reveals Professor Stephen Hawking

Hawking also took a dig at Uruguay's 'ballerina' striker Luis Suarez

England players having their wives and girlfriends with them at next month's World Cup in Brazil will have no bearing on their success at the tournament, according to Professor Stephen Hawking.

"To bring WAGs or not to bring WAGs, that is not the question," he said. "This will have no bearing on England bringing home the bacon, rather England’s likely success can be worked out by looking at a number of environmental, physiological, psychological, political and tactical variables."

The scientist Prof Hawking, whose book 'A Brief History Of Time' was a best-seller, has analysed data from every tournament since 1966 for bookmakers Paddy Power and the bad news is he reckons the heat, the altitude and the distance from home could all scupper England's chances.

But he thinks the prospects for Roy Hodgson's men will be improved for their second group game against Uruguay because he believes match officials from the northern hemisphere will be less sympathetic towards the South Americans' Liverpool striker Luis Suarez's on-pitch theatrics.

England's chances of a victory in the match in Sao Paulo on 19 June will also be 20% higher purely because of the colour of the shirt they will be wearing.

He said: "Statistically England's red kit is more successful and we should play 4-3-3 rather than 4-4-2. Psychologists in Germany found red makes teams feel more confident and can lead them to being perceived as more aggressive and dominant. Likewise, 4-3-3 is more positive so the team benefits for similar psychological reasons.

"The data shows we also need to hope for a European referee. European referees are more sympathetic to the English game and less sympathetic to ballerinas like [Luis]Suarez.

Prof Hawking also outlined his formula for taking penalties.

He said the key to success was a run-up of more than three steps and giving the ball "some welly", but "velocity is nothing without placement".

He said: "If only I had whispered this in Chris Waddle's ear before he sent the ball into orbit in 1990. Use the side foot rather than laces and you are 10% more likely to score.

"The statistics confirm the obvious. Place the ball in the top left or right hand corner for the best chance of success - 84% of penalties in those areas score. The ability of strikers to place the ball results in them being more likely to score than midfielders and defenders."

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