Euro 2016: Goldman economists forecast French win on home advantage

(From left) France's Lucas Digne, Christophe Jallet, André-Pierre Gignac and Morgan Schneiderlin attend a training session at the St Symphorien Stadium in Longeville-les-Metz on June 3, 2016.
(From left) France's Lucas Digne, Christophe Jallet, André-Pierre Gignac and Morgan Schneiderlin attend a training session at the St Symphorien Stadium in Longeville-les-Metz on June 3, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc. may not have had the best of luck when it came to trade recommendations this year, but maybe its economists will have more success with football.

With the Euro 2016 tournament set to kick off at the Stade de France in the Paris suburbs on June 10, Goldman economists led by Jan Hatzius are predicting victory for host nation France. It last won the title in 2000.

The economists based their forecasts on performance data covering 4,719 international matches played since 1958, as well as an Elo rating, originally devised to rank chess players.

The French team has a 23 per cent probability of winning the tournament, Goldman's model shows, topping Germany's 20 per cent thanks to its home advantage. Next most likely is Spain with a 14 per cent chance, followed by England with 11 per cent.

The economists are not optimistic about Albania though, giving it a zero per cent probability. Wales, even with Real Madrid's Gareth Bale, the world's most expensive player, in its squad, has just a 0.1 per cent chance, the same as Northern Ireland.

Do not be too quick to take Goldman's word and run to the bookmakers, however. The "charming unpredictability" of the Beautiful Game was proven when Goldman used a similar model to predict that the Brazil had a 48 per cent chance of lifting the World Cup in 2014.

They were beaten 7-1 by eventual champions Germany in the semi final. The system also failed to predict the elimination of Spain - world champions at the time - and Italy in the first round.