Who will win the World Cup? FIFA’s predictions have been eerily accurate

Who will win the World Cup? It’s a question that’s been on every football fanatic’s mind for − let’s be honest − the past four years. EA Sports revealed its World Cup 2018 predictions in May, way ahead of the start of the tournament, by way of a comprehensive FIFA 18 simulation, and its top tip has made it to the final.

While it’s easy to dismiss World Cup predictions based on a video game, EA Sports’ FIFA franchise has actually successfully predicted the last two World Cup football tournaments.

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In 2014, it correctly bet on Germany to lift the trophy, while back in 2010 it accurately said that Spain would emerge victorious from the pinnacle of international soccer. As a track record, it’s not too shabby – and surely more trustworthy than an octopus.

Based on a simulation of every World Cup match, the popular football game’s choice to win this year’s tournament was France. And what a prediction that could prove to be.

Les Bleus certainly haven’t got it in the bag (yet), but they made it to the the final with a hard-fought victory over Belgium on Tuesday, and will battle England’s conquerers Croatia for the grand prize. We’ll see what happens on Sunday afternoon.

Google, incidentally, is also tipping France for the title at the time of publication, with its new result predictor tool giving Kylian Mbappe and co a win probability of 49%, and Luka Modric and his side a 22% chance.

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FIFA 18 actually managed to hit the nail on the head with several of its World Cup 2018 predictions. It correctly tipped Russia to finish second in Group A, Argentina to lose to Croatia, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal to go out at the hands of Uruguay, Messi to go out at the hands of France, Brazil to lose to Belgium in the quarter-finals, and for the Red Devils to then fall to defeat against France in the semi-finals.

What did it foresee for England? A 5-4 penalty shootout loss against Colombia in the Round of 16. As we all know, the Three Lions did indeed face Los Cafeteros at the last 16 stage, but Gareth Southgate’s men − to the shock of everyone − managed to win on penalties.

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The simulation also saw Germany reach the final, and that definitely didn’t happen, with the 2014 champions crashing out in remarkable fashion in the group stages, finishing behind, Sweden, Mexico and South Korea.

FIFA 18 also has French star Antoine Griezmann tying Spain’s Isco for the World Cup Golden Boot award, on five goals apiece. In reality, Harry Kane is the tournament’s current top scorer with six goals, and he could add to that tally in the third place playoff. Griezmann (and Mbappe) both have a slim chance of catching him, but Isco only managed a single goal before Spain were knocked out.

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