Formula predicts who will win World Cup

BY COEN LAMMERS
Last updated 05:00 01/06/2010

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The All Whites have just beaten the finalists of the upcoming World Cup, according to a radical new British formula which predicts Serbia and Brazil to reach the final.

The formula, developed by Stefan Szymanski, professor of economics at the City University in London, together with respected football author, Simon Kuper, is the key ingredient in their new book, Why England Lose.

The theory is mainly based on economic data.

The formula can correctly predict at least 75 per cent of results based on the differences between the countries' GDP (more resources), population sizes (bigger talent pool), experience at the World Cup, and home advantage.

The doubling of the GDP is worth 0.1 goal. Economics aside, however, experience still counts for a lot, with double the experience counting as half a goal. Home advantage is even given greater importance, a whopping two-thirds of a goal, which hands South Africa a decent head start in every game.

According to the theory, Serbia will knock out the US, South Korea and Spain to lose in the final to Brazil.

Interestingly, according to the formula, New Zealand will shock the footballing world and advance from group F alongside Italy, only to be eliminated by the Netherlands. And who would it put it past them on the latest performance?

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