2018 FIFA World Cup: Final Predictions, Odds and Best Bets

Who will win the FIFA World Cup 2018: Our predictions for the final

Through our partnership agreement with BETEGY we are making a prediction for every match in Russia. Based on statistical data BETEGY has simulated projections for each of the games. A modified version of standard BETEGY algorithm is used to generate predictions for World Cup 2018. This dedicated tournament version is still based on the classical mathematical models but takes into account additional, tournament related, set of factors. For World Cup 2018, algorithms consider other, more individual factors, i.e. player personality influences.

During World Cup 2014, BETEGY correctly predicted the winner of the tournament and all four teams in semi-finals before the final part started. With World Cup 2018, BETEGY focuses more on individual factors related to players than on teams as a whole. Therefore, expected forecasts accuracy should be even higher.

Since the beginning of the World Cup, we had over 70% success rate with the predictions provided by BETEGY.

Before the tournament, our Algorithm correctly chose 15 of the 16 teams that reached the first knockout stage, including Brazil - our pick to win the tournament - and England, who we predicted would finish fourth overall. We only missed the qualification of Japan who finished on same points and goal difference with Senegal (our predicted team to qualify from Group H) and passed the group stage only due to fair play.

Our Algorithm believes in Belgium winning the world cup with a 33% probability narrowly followed by France with a 32% chance of winning the world cup. England are predicted to finish third with a 20% probability followed by Croatia at 15%.We predict that the correct scores for the semi-finals and final to be as follows:

Our Prediction
Semi-final Tuesday, 10 July (20:00 hrs CET) France vs Belgium 1-2 (after extra time)
Semi-final Wednesday, 11 July (20:00 hrs CET) Croatia vs England 1-2
Third Place Saturday, 14 July (16:00 hrs CET) France vs Croatia 2-0
FINAL Sunday, 15 July (17:00 hrs CET) Belgium vs England 1-0

Let us now look in detail at our predictions for the two semi-finals

Tuesday, 10 July – France vs Belgium, semi-final FIFA World Cup 2018.

France and Belgium will face each other on Tuesday, July 10th at 20.00 (CET) at the St. Petersburg Stadium.

Back in the semi-finals of a World Cup edition after 12 years, France are perhaps the last remaining out of the teams that started this campaign as possible winners. The other Russia 2018 World Cup favourites, Argentina, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Brazil have all been sent home. The Brazilians were eliminated by Belgium, France’s challengers and semi-finalists for the second time in their history after Mexico '86.

Precedents and statistics

There are 62 previous clashes between these two Nations: Belgium have met more times only neighbouring Holland (126), while for France this is the most repeated challenge during the course of the country's football history. The balance is surprisingly in favour of Belgium, which over time have collected 24 wins, 17 draws with 21 wins for France.

Considering only official competitions, however, the balance changes completely. At the World Cup the two selections previously crossed paths in 1938 and 1986 and both matches ended with a Les Bleus victory (although in '86 France won only on penalties the final for third place). At the Euros they met only once in 1984, where the Belgians have again lost (for 5-0, with a hat trick by Platini).

Team Forms and Recent Results

France and Belgium are now the two top favourites for final victory. France have a strong team. The 4-3 win against Argentina in the first knockout round revealed an impressive Mbappé. The 2-0 win against Uruguay in the quarterfinals showed that the Bleus are not dependent on the plays of a single player and can win as a team unit. They are a balanced team composed of talented players.

Belgium are high on enthusiasm after their win against Brazil. After exalting Lukaku's talents at the group stage, during the knock out phase the Les Diables Rouges relied on the exceptional qualities of Eden Hazard and De Bruyne, as well as the strength of the other elements. Against Brazil, coach Martínez has shown that he is able to tactically prepare the matches as best as possible, by inserting the strength and height of Fellaini in the middle and altering his 3-4-2-1 formation during non-possession to a defence of four to counter Brazil’s attacking trio. Belgium’s golden generation have finally managed to express their full potential and certainly, they will not want to waste this opportunity to write the history books.

France vs Belgium – Our prediction

This promises to be a fascinating semi-final encounter between two teams with a wealth of attacking talent at their disposal, with France bagging nine goals in their five World Cup matches so far, and Belgium notching a tournament-leading 14 goals.

Our Algorithm believes in Belgium qualifying to the next round, recognising significant chances for an extra time or penalties: 37% for a Belgium Win and 34% for a draw after 90 minutes.

Wednesday, 11 July – Croatia vs England, semi-final FIFA World Cup 2018.

The match between Croatia and England is scheduled for Wednesday, July 11th at 20:00 (CET).

A surprising World Championship like Russia 2018 is ready to give another unique emotion to one of the two semi-finalists. On the one hand, Croatia returning for the first time to the semi-finals after 20 years from their amazing display at FIFA World Cup 1998 in France. Then England, returning amongst the best four in a world cup event after Italy '90. Anyway it goes, it will be a historic final for the winner: it could be the second for England or the first ever for Croatia.

Precedents and statistics

Due to the recent birth of the State of Croatia (1990), there are not many precedents between these two nations. Croatia and England have challenged each other 5 times in official matches, but never in a World Cup and never at the knockout phase. The first match was in the qualifying round of Euro2004. After that then they have clashed in the qualifying rounds for the Euros in 2008 and the World Cup in 2010, in both cases home and away matches. The budget is 3 wins for England and 2 for Croatia.

The curiosity is that after this semi-final, there are already two other matches lined up for these two nations: they will meet in October and November as part of the newly formed UEFA Nations League.

Team Forms and Recent Results

There are still those who accuse the Croatian players and Coach Dalic that they have not fully managed to express their extraordinary technical potential and talent. This may be a fair observation, but underestimating what Croatia have achieved in this world cup would be a big mistake. If the results with Russia and Denmark – which they could have practically won before going for the penalty shootouts - were not fully convincing, we must take into account that Croatia had to overcome the pressure of being match favourites. Against England, Croatia should play with a clearer mind and without the obligation to win. The same conditions that prevailed for their dominating 3-0 win over Argentina at the group stage.

The enthusiasm within the English team is highly visible. What should have been a "test" World Cup for the young England team in view of the real goal, Qatar 2022, is proving an exciting journey towards the final that has been missing since 1966, in the home edition that ended in a triumphant way. The fans are already singing " It's coming home ", obviously referring to the World Cup that has not landed beyond the English Channel for more than 50 years. The potential of this team could not be fully assessed during the group stages, while the final sixteen highlighted the two strengths of this England squad. The first is the character, demonstrated in the ability not to be beaten after the goal suffered just before the 90 minute against Colombia in the second round. The second is their technical and play qualities, with which they could easily, penetrate the strong Swedish defensive line up.

Croatia vs England – Our prediction

Our Algorithm believes in England qualifying to the next round, recognizing significant chances for an England win at 52% and 33% for a draw after 90 minutes.


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