What are England's chances of winning the World Cup? About 1.5 per cent

Brazil are unsurpisingly the favourites, but which three teams mathematically have zero chance?

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The Independent Football

Brazil have the best chance of any team to win the World Cup while England are rank outsiders. Tell us something we don't know, we hear you saying.

But on the eve of the World Cup, mathematical calculations carried out on behalf of independent.co.uk have revealed the ghost of the Maracanazo is, on the balance of probabilities, going to be put to rest.

A detailed algorithm plotting the chances of the 32 teams competing in Brazil based on a range of factors gives the Selecao a 21.62 per cent chance of lifting the Fifa World Cup Trophy on July 13.

Defending champions Spain are second favourites with a 15.72 per cent chance of glory, ahead of Argentina (9.01 per cent), Portugal (8.11 per cent chance), Uruguay (7.01 per cent chance) and Germany (6.11 per cent chance).


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England meanwhile are given only a 1.5 per cent chance of winning, meaning the Three Lions would have to play the World Cup on average 66 times to emerge victorious. What was that about the spirit of 66?


With apologies to fans of Japan, South Korea and Australia, however, even when running the algorithm 1,000 times those teams never came out on top, meaning these countries effectively have an absolute zero chance of winning.


The algorithm calculated the chances of each team winning based on:


  • Overall Fifa points
  • The experience of their coach
  • Which continent the team is from and how well adapted the players are to playing in hotter conditions
  • Home country advantage for Brazil
  • The experience of their squad
  • The climate of where they will play their matches
  • The team's form going into the tournament


Portugal, Colombia and Switzerland score somewhat surprisingly higher than England owing in part to their Fifa rankings and Roy Hodgson's team having to play a high proportion of their matches in sapping conditions, while teams such as USA and Greece have relatively experienced squads in terms of caps.

Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal have a better chance than England



You can see an example of a team's route to glory as plotted by our algorithm by clicking on one of the teams below (will open in a new window). If you would like more information about the algorithm itself please get in touch via the comments below or by emailing matthew.champion@independent.co.uk.