Researchers at the University of Ulster made the claim after carrying out statistical analysis of every match that will take place in Japan and South Korea over the next month.
A focus group of football supporters plumped for England's traditional World Cup nemesis, Argentina, to win the coveted prize, while a computer had Brazil coming out on top. Defending world champions France were placed fourth, while Portugal took third spot.
Peter O'Donoghue, a lecturer in sports studies, admitted the result of the research was "a classic case of head versus heart, number crunching against subjective judgement".
"It will be interesting to see how the tournament pans out and whether the human brain or the computer is the best way of analysing such unpredictable contests as a World Cup," he said.
The second model used a computer to simulate the World Cup ties and based its results on rankings and the distance teams travelled to compete. The simulation was run 2,000 times and predicted that Brazil would beat Italy in the final and lift the trophy for the fifth time. Argentina took third place, followed by Spain.
News source: smh.com.au
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