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What are the chances of England qualifying for the next round?

We crunch the numbers to reveal just how slim England's chances really are...

by Josh Powell | June 20, 2014

England’s chances of progressing past the group stage of the 2014 World Cup are slim. Unhealthy-supermodel-type slim. The Three Lions’ defensive frailties were brutally exposed by Luis Suarez and co. on Thursday night and now Roy Hodgson’s team face the prospect of heading home less than two weeks into the tournament.

2-1 defeats to Uruguay and Italy have all but put England out of the competition at the group stage for the first time since 1958. Despite being significantly more easy on the eye than they were in the 2010 World Cup, the Three Lions look destined to crash out of Group D, possibly with a game to spare.

However there is a tiny – and we mean Mathieu Valbuenan tiny – chance of England somehow stumbling through, if the following three things happen over the next five days:

  • Italy beat Costa Rica at 5.00pm on Friday
  • Italy beat Uruguay at 5.00pm on Tuesday
  • England beat Costa Rica by two goals or more at 5.00pm on Tuesday

Since 1998, when the World Cup expanded to 32 teams, nobody has got through the group after losing their opening two games, but we sat ourselves down with a bacon sandwich to do the maths and try to get rid of this banging hangover with some English optimism. Taking the odds off Paddy Power we crunched the numbers to figure out just how much of a chance England actually have.

Unfortunately it is just as bad as we thought.

What-Are-Englands-Chances

  • Can England pull off a miracle? Get the latest World Cup odds right here: Desktop | Mobile

The math…

If you’re enjoying your Friday afternoon and coasting through work you might want to avoid this next bit. If you’re interested in how we worked this out then crack on…

All the percentages are based on Paddy Power’s odds at 1.00pm on Friday afternoon. In bookmaking, the odds reflect the likelihood of such an event as a percentage. If the odds are A/B you can work the percentage out by dividing B by (A+B) and then multiplying by 100. For example…

Italy are 8/15 (or 1.53) to beat Costa Rica. By those odds the likelihood of this happening is 65 per cent.
Italy are 17/10 (or 2.7) to beat Uruguay on Tuesday. Again those odds suggest there is a 37 per cent that will happen.
Finally, England are 13/8 (or 2.63) to beat Costa Rica by two goals or more, which works out as a 38 per cent chance.

By multiplying those odds (as decimals) together that gives us England’s chances for success. The total of those numbers multiplied is 10.8, so after dividing 1 by 11.8, we are left with  0.0847, or 8.5 per cent. Bleak indeed.

  • The question now is do you still believe? There might be a 91.5 per cent chance of England crashing out but stranger things have happened. Get the latest World Cup odds right here: Desktop | Mobile

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