By now you would have seen and have probably memorised the Euro 2016 knock-out bracket. You may have played the prediction game and picked your favourite team to win the tournament. If you are like us, you would already thought about how many penalty shoot-outs England will have to win to win the whole thing (answer= 4).
In case, you have not noticed, Euro 2016 Knock-out bracket is as lop-sided as it gets. For the purpose of discussion, let’s use the above picture and classify the draw as the Left (the one with Wales) and the Right (the one with England).
We will now attempt to statistically prove how lop-sided it actually is.
According to Previous Tournament Performances
The Left consist of eight nations which never previously won the European Championships. The best performers were Portugal and Belgium – both have finished runners-up before. In this aspect, the Right is laden with past winners and runners-up. The eight teams in the Right have won a total nine previous editions and finished runners-up a total of six times. The Last 16 clash between Italy and Spain is a pairing of two nations that shared four previous trophies between them.
According to UEFA Rankings
Another way to judge the strength of the teams is of course to look at their UEFA rankings. The rankings were given before the tournament start.
The average ranking of the teams on the Left is 16.1, with Portugal the top-ranking nation at 4th. Belgium is the next at 5th. Northern Ireland (33), the lowest ranked team coming into Euro 2016, is on the Left as well. In comparison, the average ranking of teams on the Right is 11.1. The top three ranked nations – Germany, Spain and England – are on the Right.
According to Player Values
German website Transfermarkt provides the player values of a lot of professional players around the globe. While seemingly arbitrary (eg how to price Lionel Messi when he has never left FC Barcelona), the site is credited with extremely accurate valuations.
Using this criteria, we can again overwhelmingly show that the Right is much stronger. The average player value of all eight teams on the Right is €14.0mio. Spain is the most valuable team at €592mio (for 23 players), followed by Germany at €580mio. The average player value of the Left is €9.3mio, a staggering 50% less valuable.
To conclude … England should really have won their Group!!!
Euro 2016 Fantasy Football – Match Day 4 Selections
Euro 2016 – The Stats Don’t Lie
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