Jun 12, 2018
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World Cup 2018: Does historical past inform us who will win in Russia?

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World Cup 2018: Does historical past inform us who will win in Russia?

Thirty-two international locations, one winner.

However how will you predict the staff that may raise the World Cup in Moscow on 15 July?

By trying on the tendencies, statistics and patterns from tournaments previous, BBC Sport has eradicated 31 nations and concluded which one shall be topped world champions.

Listed below are the issues that the 2018 World Cup winners should do…

Be seeded

Because the World Cup expanded to 32 groups in 1998, all the eventual champions have been seeded. Certainly, the final non-seeded winners had been in 1986, when Argentina had been carried to the trophy by Diego Maradona and his ‘hand of God’. In a single transfer, we’ve got eliminated 24 groups within the competitors and are left with eight.

Do not be the hosts

Russia profit from a 44-year custom of the host nation being seeded. With a world rating of 66, they might not be one of many prime eights in the event that they weren’t staging the get together.

Internet hosting the World Cup, although, shouldn’t be the path to success it as soon as was. The primary 11 editions of the event, from 1930 to 1978, produced 5 house winners. Since then, the previous 9 tournaments have seen the hosts topped champions solely as soon as – France in 1998.

Whereas it was by no means probably that the US, Japan, South Korea or South Africa had been going to win the World Cup, Italy in 1990, Germany in 2006 and Brazil 4 years in the past weren’t helped by being the host nation.

Hold it tight

Within the 32-team period, not one of the 5 champions have conceded greater than 4 objectives over their seven video games.

our seven remaining sides, Poland had by far the leakiest defence throughout qualifying, conceding 1.four objectives per recreation.

Germany and Portugal conceded 0.four per recreation, Belgium and France 0.6, Brazil 0.61 and Argentina 0.88.

Be from Europe

World Cup winners have solely ever come from Europe and South America. Till lately, European groups didn’t journey effectively, however Spain’s success in South Africa and Germany’s triumph in Brazil bucked the pattern.

European tournaments, although, nearly at all times produce house winners. Of the 10 competitions to be hosted by international locations from Europe, just one has been gained by an outsider, and it’s a must to go all the best way again to 1958 for Brazil’s win in Sweden.

Have the most effective goalkeeper

You would possibly assume goalscorers win World Cups, however solely twice since 1982 have the champions offered the winner of the Golden Boot – Brazil’s Ronaldo in 2002 and David Villa of Spain concerned in a four-way tie in 2010.

World Cup winners are literally extra precisely outlined by their goalkeeper, with 4 of the previous 5 Golden Glove awards for the most effective keeper within the event going to the quantity one of many staff that lifts the trophy.

Of the remaining 4 groups, it isn’t arduous to think about any of Manuel Neuer (Germany), Hugo Lloris (France) or Thibaut Courtois (Belgium) being named the most effective goalkeeper this time round. It appears extra of a stretch that Portugal’s Rui Patricio will stroll away with the Golden Glove.

Have the expertise

World Cup-winning squads are steadily getting extra skilled, a pattern that started when the finals expanded to 32 groups in 1998.

On that event, champions France had a squad that averaged 22.77 caps per participant. 4 years in the past, Germany boasted 42.21 every. In between, there was a gradual rise – Brazil averaged 28.04 in 2002, Italy 32.91 in 2006 and Spain 38.30 in 2010.

When our three remaining groups named their remaining squads, France’s common caps was down at 24.56, whereas Germany’s was at 43.26 and Belgium’s 45.13.

Do not be the defending champions

The World Cup is tough to defend. Not since Brazil gained back-to-back tournaments in 1958 and 1962 has a staff lifted the trophy twice in a row.

In truth, since that Brazil double, the 13 defending champions have solely received previous the quarter-finals on two events – Argentina in 1990 and Brazil in 1998, although Brazil did end fourth in 1974 when the format was two group levels, then a remaining. Prior to now 4 tournaments, the defending champions have been eradicated within the group stage on three events.

Germany have a wonderful latest World Cup pedigree. Prior to now 9 tournaments – together with three as West Germany – they’ve gained twice, reached three extra finals and completed third on two extra events.

Nonetheless, with regards to successful it once more in Russia, historical past is towards them.

So, there you will have it. Belgium are going to win the World Cup. Until another person does. Which is feasible….

Graphics by BBC Sport’s Katie Moses and Andrew Park

BBC Sport – Football
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