A computer scientist from the University of Leuven has carried out a computer investigation to find out who will win the Euro 2020* football championship, due to start on 11 June. And the answer is Belgium.
Belgium’s first match is on day two, 12 June, against Russia. And according to computer science doctoral student Pieter Robberechts, the competition will end on 11 July with Belgium defeating Spain in the final, to take the trophy.
Robberechts used a Monte Carlo simulation, a process used in computer science to predict the probability of different outcomes when random variables are present.
“We know which team is in which group and drew up 20,000 scenarios. Belgium will play the first game against Russia. In some scenarios we let Belgium win, and in others Russia wins and Belgium loses,” Robberechts explained to the VRT.
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“Depending on the different results, we get different scenarios of the tournament's progress. And in the end we count which scenario occurs the most and therefore has the greatest chance. It also looks at the performances of the Red Devils in recent matches.”
And the outcome of the simulation – do not take this as betting advice – was that Belgium would emerge from the group phase to face Wales or Switzerland.
“Then apparently against Italy, and then France and the final will be against Spain and according to my simulation we will win that match,” Robberechts predicts.
Importantly, the simulation takes no account of the effect of possible injuries or other unpredictable events, which in football can be all-important.
*The championship was postponed from last year because of Covid restrictions, but has kept its original title.