We made some predictions, some panned out, others not so much. Here is how it went.
Let’s jump right ahead with a table summarizing what we predicted and what actually happened.
There’s quite a bit of information here. First we have the probabilities we assigned to each outcome before the games. We also give you the expected goal difference, with decimals since these are averages. The final column shows the effect the results had on each team’s StatiumElo rating, from the point of view of the first team. For example, Germany’s rating went up by 16 points while Ukraine’s went down by the same amount. Conversely England lost 8 points that Russia happily accepted (yet some of their “fans” were somewhat despondent).
What went right
We correctly predicted six wins. Some of them were harder to come by than expected, such as France’s opening game1, others could have gone even better, for Spain in particular. We also predicted that Ireland-Sweden would be the closest game of this week. Looking at the result and what happened on the field this seems like a good assessment. We also had high hopes for Croatia and, though the score is close, their performance was more than convincing.
What went so-so
Draws, almost by definition. As a matter of fact, draws are almost never the most likely outcome, even when two teams are roughly equal, such as Ireland and Sweden. If we look more specifically though, it was not totally unexpected for England to draw against Russia, and even for Portugal to do so against Iceland. Both teams had more than 50% chance of winning, yet they also had more than 25% chance of drawing. Looking at what happened during both games, neither team was in real danger of losing but they were not able to put themselves out of harm’s way, and Russia and Iceland both ceased the occasion at the end of the game.
What went wrong
Three games went in a totally opposite direction from what we (and almost everyone else) predicted. Two of the seemingly weakest teams decided to rebel and make it interesting. Both Wales and Hungary were sitting at the very bottom of our ranking, and though Austria and Slovakia are not behemoth by any mean, they seemed to have a clear edge on paper. But the first true upset of this tournament was Italy’s clear victory over Belgium. Belgium has one of the most exciting line up of the competition and everyone (including ourselves) thinks of them as one of the major contenders of this tournament. Meanwhile, Italy has the oldest squad of the Euro 2016 and very few star players at this point. But they have a plan2, and Belgium was their first victim.
Ready for round 2
Here is our updated ranking at the beginning of week 2, which you can compare to last week’s.
Germany is back at 4th place thanks to their clear win against Ukraine5 while Italy’s performance helps them crack the Top 10. Meanwhile, true to the law of action-reaction, Belgium falls from 4th to 7th place. The rest of the ranking stays relatively stable.
Finally, here is our #predictor3000, updated with the latest results. As usual you can look at all possible match-ups, not only the ones scheduled next.
That and redefining the boundary between yellow and red, at least when talking about cards... ↩
You might wonder why they still lose points in our ranking. The reason is they were not only expected to win, but to win it big, by two or more goals. StatiumElo can be harsh sometimes, but it’s for their own good! ↩
Though Germany had a slight edge on paper, the magnitude of the win was rather unexpected according to our prediction. As a consequence they see the 4th largest increase in rating after this first round. ↩