Four years is a long time in soccer, but players, fans and nations have long memories.
Brazil was last seen at a World Cup being well beaten by the Netherlands in the third-place playoff, which followed a humiliating 7-1 demolition from Germany in the semi-final.
However, one study by Goldman Sachs sees retribution in Russia for Brazil this time around, as the American multinational has tipped the South Americans to clinch their sixth trophy and to beat Germany in the final to do it.
Brazil’s route to the final will also have more historic payback, according to the Goldman Sachs data published Monday, with a repeat of the 1998 World Cup final against France in the last four. The French famously won on that occasion 20 years ago, but the forecast this time is for Brazil to edge it, according to a system put together from Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research.
No doubt the return to fitness and form of Brazil’s talismanic forward Neymar has played a part in placing Brazil at the top this particular World Cup probability table, as he’s been on target during both of the country’s recent tournament warm-up matches.
Such is the certainty of this particular prediction process, Goldman Sachs gives Brazil an 18.5 percent probability of winning, with the French the next best placed side with just 11.3 percent.
As for the rest of the teams competing at Russia 2018, it doesn’t appear as though there will be too many surprises along the way. This data see 20 of the 32 nations not even winning a match in the group stages, with all the seeded teams except for the host nation easing into the knockout phase.
“At the World Cup, differently from the European Cup for the national teams, there are typically fewer surprises. At the European Championship it can sometimes happen that Greece wins the title or for example Portugal in the last edition. At the World Cup the winner is typically from the same group of countries, such as Brazil, Argentina, Germany or Spain. Unfortunately, Italy cannot hope to win this competition this year, but there will not be a big surprise for the winner.” Former Italian International and three-time UEFA Champions League winning Coach Carlo Ancelotti commented when asked for his thoughts.
It doesn’t appear they’ll be much at all for Russians to cheer, with just two points and only three goals forecast from their three games before elimination.
Saudi Arabia and Uruguay will be the ones to come out of Group A, but by the time the tournament reaches the quarter-final stage, it will have a familiar looking feel.
However, for Spain, Argentina and England, that’s as far as they’ll go – losing out to France, Portugal and Germany, respectively.
A previous predictor put forward by rival bank UBS last month tipped Germany to retain the title, using a similar model. Historically though, the World Cup has the potential to be unpredictable and this edition promises to be no different when it begins on June 14.