KordaMentha accountants predict winner of World Cup 2014

It's not just football players taking each other on during the next five weeks, match predictors around the world are having an intense showdown too.

A team of Sydney-based forensic accountants is the latest to join the field of predictions, tipping Germany to defeat Argentina in the final of the World Cup.

The numbers aren't looking great for the Australian squad which has only an 11 per cent chance of making it out of the group round, according to the analysis conducted by the advisory and investment firm KordaMentha.

Using a predictive model developed by a Hungarian-born American pysics professor in the 1960s and originally used to rate chess players, the data analysis included factors like FIFA world rankings, current team form, the average squad age and the impact of home crowds and weather conditions.

But the analysis goes against the grain of other predictions that have been made by major names and companies around the world, including that put forward by the famous American statistician Nate Silver.

Silver, who won fame for his accuracy when he correctly predicted 49 of the 50 states at the 2008 United States presidential election and made it onto Time's list of the world's most influential people, has Brazil well ahead as the favourite to take home the cup.

According to his analysis, which uses an algorithm he developed himself called the Soccer Power Index, Brazil has 42.2 per cent chance winning, while the next favourite Argentina has 12.8 per cent.

Australia fares poorly in his forecast, with apparently zero probability of winning. Our team is in company with Algeria and Honduras and only 0.1 per cent behind Iran, Cameroon and Costa Rica.

Bloomberg Sports and Goldman Sachs are also jumping on the Brazil bandwagon and even Big Head the sea turtle is on the side of the home nation (although it must be noted that he is a long-term resident of that country).

Big Head isn't the only mystic animal coming out of his shell for the World Cup. There's Alf, the leader of a Gentoo penguin colony, the well-regarded Nelly the elephant, and the soccer ball-kicking camel Shaheen.

Australia has it's own oracle-kangaroo Flopsy, who comes complete with the nickname Predictaroo and her own Twitter account. She's backing Brazil in the opening match against Croatia.

No doubt the late Paul the octopus, the original fortune-telling animal who had a surprisingly high success rate, would be smiling with pride to see others follow in the trail of his tentacles.

As for the local accountants going against the seemingly global tend of supporting-Brazil, their team leader Alex Bell said he isn't getting cold feet.

"I would be disappointed if we lost to Predictaroo. I would be more disappointed to lose to Predictaroo than Nate Silver," Mr Bell said.

The story KordaMentha accountants predict winner of World Cup 2014 first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop