On the days of the group phase results come in fast and aplenty. Four games have been played since our first update. So what has changed? Do we have a new leader? And how does the ECON MEAN committee estimate do? Are we “better together”?
When I last write an update, a little over 24h ago we were just about to go into Netherlands – Ukraine. Now I immediately admit I am biased here but … what a game. I don’t know about you but I was on the edge of my seat for the full 90 minutes and I very much enjoyed this display of two teams, both chasing the ball for possession, both driving towards the opponent’s goal and topping it all off with a single yellow card. A memorable game that both sides could have won. This had been the kind of game I had been waiting for …
Groups D and E
On Sunday Group D already kicked off with the 1-0 win of a solid England over a Croatia holding back. Monday it was Scotland’s turn to celebrate its return to a large tournament. Unfortunately for our Scottish friends they were outmatched by the Czech team that deservedly won. That leaves group D in an interesting situation with Croats and Scots needing one, better two, wins and their next opportunity to do so, and to help each other is when they face the Czechs and English respectively. Friday June 19th could be a decisive day. Will Croatia and Scotland go va banque?
Group E was the evening programme for the Monday. Slovakia achieved a deserved win against a courageous Poland that unfortunately had to stomach the tournament’s first red card. Sweden and Spain managed a stunning goalless draw where, writing now some 30 minutes after watching it, I still struggle to understand exactly why neither team managed to break the spell of the 0.
So, what has transpired on the forecasting front? Well, here are the results of the 4 games we have seen since the last update. Well let us first have a look at how the scores of the forecasters have evolved over the last 10 games
We can clearly see that from match 3 two forecasters have been competing for the top spot. But we also see that although some have fallen behind, they seem to be catching up again. So with 25 more group-phase games to come there is still plenty to of competition!
Who’s at the front?
Benjamin Hentschel is still in the lead, like in the first update, closely followed by “Pjanic at the Isco” and “Would Rather Be Watching Cricket“. But before the leading 3 ease themselves into a comfortable position, “Ferris Bueller“, Jack O Connel , “Surfing Manatees“, Vincent Coencas and Franck-Ngolo P are very close on their heels.
Most of the forecasters are within 1 “sigma” around the mean score of 30.9, the front-runner is on the right-side outside of 1-sigma and yours truly is, though not alone, on the wrong side outside of the 1-sigma region. But this forecasting is a marathon, not a sprint!
ECONMEAN is the new “contestant” whose forecast is simply the rounded mean of all our forecasts. ECONMEAN so far does better, with a score of 33, than the average. The ECONMEAN forecast is evidently not entirely linear in the forecasts due to the rounding!
What is next? The ‘Group of Death’
Tomorrow will have only 2 games, but what games they could be. Group F is a group that would deservedly be termed the “Group of Death”. With as its members the EURO royalty in the form of reigning European Champion Portugal, with Ronaldo star-power, and the EURO2016 finalist, and current World Champion France. that comes with a squad with all-round excellence but also a Wildcard in Benzema of which it is still a little unsure which way it will fall.
The third team in the group, Hungary, took the long way to qualification. Coming out of a qualification round from which Slovakia, Croatia and Wales also made it to this tournament, knocking Bulgaria and Iceland out in the play-offs, the Hungarian team has definitely showcased its ability to persevere and comeback.
The final team in Group F is Germany, who after the debacle at the 2018 Word cup in which they started as the title-holder but did not even survive the group phase. Still under the guidance of Joachim Low, who is set to leave after this tournament, we will see a rejuvenated German squad that has started building back with Mueller, Kroos and goalie Neuer as the experienced part of the crew.
Tomorrow’s France – Germany and Portugal – Hungary are games to look forward to.