The factors that go into ranking the World Cup predicting system include: the nation’s past history in the event, whether or not a team is hosting the event, and the current form of the team. If you look further in depth into the methods of the system you will find some other factors that will also tip the scale one way or the other include: how much a team is winning matches by, who they beat leading up to the Cup, the location of the matches, the health of star players, and whether or not the match was a WCQ or just a friendly.
Obviously the system favors powerhouse teams over the newboys considering the fact that past World Cup experience influences the study. And it should be no surprise that the six top teams in this year’s Elo Ratings were all considered favorites for the event by football critics and bookies alike. The team with the highest rating of any squad was no surprise due to the fact it is also the country that has won the event the most times. Brazil was rated at 2,085 according to the system. The second best shot is who other then Spain at 2,078 and you have to assume that their disappointing past Cup success put a damper on their score. In third place was a slight surprise in another team with a frustrating past Cup record in the Netherlands who scored 2,005 points. It was the first time since 1978 that three teams scored over 2,000.
Other solid contenders using the system were England, Italy, Germany (who probably aren’t very high now that Ballack is hurt), Argentina, and France. All five of these teams spanned between the 1900’s and 1800’s respectively.
But one interesting thing the study did suggest is that this year is one of the weaker World Cups since 1994 when you consider the overall value of every team’s Elo Rating. Many nations are playing in their second or even first World Cup and such a significant stat likely would negatively affect the rating system. South Africa, though, has a 78% chance of advancing past the first round according to the system. Likely because no hosting nation has ever been knocked out in the first round of the tournament.