ECON2020-21: Updates & Score 16/6

The second round of games has started with group A seeing all their 2nd encounters. The decision time is coming for some of the teams. Does that also mean it is decision time for the brave forecasters of the ECON2020-21 tournament? Do we have a new leader?

It is just two days ago since our last update and it is not as if there is nothing else to do. But, the EURO2020 surely are able to produce interesting matches.

Groups A and B

In group B, with Finland losing against Russia today, the Russians have managed to repair some of the damage of their loss against Belgium, while the Fins have lost the head-start that they had from their win over Denmark in that dramatic game. This makes Denmark – Belgium extra interesting tomorrow. For Denmark this outcome today means that a second loss will almost certainly mean the exit from the tournament, while a Danish win would see all 4 teams in group A basically return to the start, with just one game left.

For Group A the Welsh victory over Turkey has all but ended Turkey’s chances in the EURO2020 while Wales now has a decent chance of finishing as 2nd in this group. Switzerland is in danger, with their loss today they are currently in 3rd position with an unenviable 1 point. Even if they win their next match, against Turkey, they would still only draw with Wales assuming Wales loses against Italy. But Italy is through to the knock-out stage and might well be happy to share a point with Wales, which would keep Wales out of reach of Switzerland.


So how are the forecasters of the ECON2020-21 tournament doing? Do we have a new front-runner or is Benjamin Hentschel still ahead? When writing these lines I am, as you might notice, under the influence of some epic music, so let me disclose where that comes from:

With that out of the way, let me not keep you in agony any longer. Here is the score after the three games of today:

We have a new front-runner, “Surfing Manatees“. Congratulations! Not only has “Surfing Manatees” gone into the lead, but has also managed to eek out a small but significant gap to the number 2, “Ferris Bueller” who is evidently not having a day off.

How did we get here?

With Benjamin Hentschel, “Would rather be watching Cricket” and Vincent Coencas giving some ground to the front-runner it seems interesting to have a look at how we got here.

Evidently the forecasts are slowly fanning out and that really makes you wonder whether we are just doing a random-walk away from the trend? Let us have a brief look at the level of ‘disagreement’ among the forecasts.


Here is the variance in the forecasts for the goals of team 1 (blue) and the goals of team 2 (yellow). The forecaster agreed most strongly about the number of goals North Macedonia would score against Austria. While they are expecting to agree even more on the number of goals that Finland will score against Belgium. I wonder why? Similarly, so far the forecasters disagreed most strongly about how many goals Portugal would score against Hungary. For the future forecasts there seem to be different expectations regarding the number of goals Belgium will score against Finland.

Or does this simply mean that we are all just guessing?


When we look at the mean forecast for the number of yellow cards per game (blue) and compare this to the actual cards given so far (yellow) then it looks as of the forecasts were a little pessimistic in terms of the number of sanctioned fouls, but a little stationary in terms of the variability per game.

So, did the forecasters agree on the number of cards? If we look at the variances for red- (blue) and yellow (yellow) cards we get

If you consider that typical goal-number predictions are between 0 and 4 and typical yellow card predictions are also between 0 and 4, then comparing the variances indicates the forecasters disagree far more often about the number of yellow cards issued then about the number of goals in a game. Most forecasters are expecting very few red cards and there is fairly widespread agreement about that amongst forecasters.

Goal difference

Finally, if we look at the goal-difference the forecasters expected on average for the individual games then we get the following picture, with the mean forecasted difference (blue) and the actual one (yellow).

Is there a hint here that the early forecasts were better than the later ones? I guess the answer to that and many more questions you could ask requires one thing: more data!

What is next?

Tomorrow brings us a decisive game in group B, DenmarkBelgium. Will group B return to its initial state with all teams an equal number of points? The group C has both its next matches tomorrow. Will Ukraine and North Macedonia have recovered from their losses on the first match day of Group C? Will Austria and the Netherlands both want to secure their entrance into the knock-out phase? The forecasters on average were clear:

  • “Group C: Ukraine vs North Macedonia 1-0
  • “Group B: Denmark vs Belgium 1-2
  • “Group C: Netherlands vs Austria 2-1

Let’s see tomorrow whether they were right this time.

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