Euro 2016: Surprises and predictions before the quarterfinals

Who would have predicted Iceland to win? Prof. Dr. Feindt looks closer at the 2016 European Championship and uses the Blue Yonder algorithm to review and calculate the results.


The round before the quarterfinals couldn’t have been more interesting or exciting. The Germans can be proud of their great teamwork and well-earned 3:0 win. The Italians gave a most impressive performance against the reigning European champions, Spain.

And then came the surprise upset of Euro 2016! Before the tournament started, who would have thought Iceland would make it to the quarterfinals? The team is playing great soccer and, although the probability that they win the tournament remains small for the likable Nordics, they certainly are winning hearts. Even the best algorithm in the world could not have predicted that the Icelanders would kick England out of the tournament and, by making it into the quarterfinals, write soccer history against France.

Forecast reality check

Even with these big surprises in the middle, the quarterfinals went exactly as expected. We track the quality of our predictions with the Brier score – a classification that measures the accuracy of probabilistic predictions. The categories that we predict are won, undecided (or penalty shootout in the knockout round), lost. A Brier score of 0 means a perfect prediction, for example, 100% for team 1, 0% for undecided and 0% for lost, and team 1 actually wins. 2 is the best possible value that comes up with this tip if team 2 wins or the game is undecided.

The biggest surprises in the round of 16

Iceland – England with a Brier score of 1.24 (13.6% for Iceland, 19.1% penalty shootout, 67.3% for England)

Italy – Spain with a Brier score of 0.93 (21.7% for Italy, 31.5% penalty shootout, 46.8% Spain)

The average score for Blue Yonder’s forecasts was 0.589 and expected was 0.588.


Quarterfinals predictions

France – Iceland: 82.1% France, 1.8% Island, 16.1% decision in penalty shootout

Germany – Italy: 44.7% Germany, 22.3% Italy, 33% decision in penalty shootout

Wales – Belgium: 17.2% Wales, 53.5% Belgium, 29.3% decision in penalty shootout

Poland – Portugal: 31.5% Poland, 38.7% Portugal, 29.7% decision in penalty shootout


The most likely semifinal results

Belgium – Portugal and Germany – France 20.2%

Belgium – Poland and Germany – France 17.5%

Belgium – Portugal and Italy – France 12.7%

Belgium – Poland and Italy – France 11.1%

Germany makes it into the semifinals with 61.3%. Opposing team in semifinals is France (90.1%) or Iceland (9.9%).


Forecasts for the final

There is a 24.6% chance that Germany will reach the final. If this is true, the opponent will be Belgium (38.3%), Portugal (26.9%), Poland (22.2%) or Wales (12.5%).


Prof. Dr. Michael Feindt Prof. Dr. Michael Feindt

is the mind behind Blue Yonder. In the course of his many years of scientific research activity at CERN, he developed the NeuroBayes algorithm. Michael Feindt is a professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, and a lecturer at the Data Science Academy.