France or Croatia – Who’s taking the World Cup home?
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France or Croatia – Who’s taking the World Cup home?

Published : July 13, 2018

FIFA World Cup 2018 landed us a battery of surprises but none greater than the entire world supporting one football team only – The Wild Boars of Thailand and their fabulous 25-year-old coach Ekapol. The 12 boys went through a grueling time after a cave expedition went wrong and it’s only after their rescue after some 10+ days that we found it in us to turn our attention to what was happening on our screens. It was then time to pick sides.
So far, FIFA 2018 has been riddled with crazy upsets and upheavals – For the first time in the history of the tournament, none of the big three viz. Germany, Argentina, and Brazil made it to the last four. Russia eliminated Spain early on, sparking all sorts of interesting reactions from around the world. Finally, when the 2 goats – Messi & Ronaldo – were sent packing, we knew this world cup was totally out of the syllabus.
And finally, Croatia, a country of just over four million, is facing the biggie France, a team invigorated with young blood.

Getting serious now…
So, we thought of subjecting FIFA 2018 to Analytics using Actionable Analytics & Machine Learning to see what kind of surprises lay in wait.
Presenting here a quick overview of all the action we saw during the World Cup: very interestingly, we saw a Conversion Rate of 3.26% from the Total Number of passes to Total Shots taken by these footballers.
An amazing 40% of the Shots on Target were Scored… that’s not a bad ratio given the fact that these days, quality of Goal Keepers has improved…..

Funnel of Passes, Shots & Goals

This year World Cup 2018 has also seen some major upsets right from Group Stage to Semi-Finals.
We used Actionable Funnel Analytics to study these drop-outs & suggest a few Actions these teams can possibly take, here:

Now, getting to Final – the most awaited event coming this Sunday: France VS Croatia.
We grouped the players of these 2 teams using the RFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetary) Model on Smartech & clearly for France, Kante & Lloris have been the star players for France & Mbape the most Promising player. On the Croatian side, Modric & Perisic are the Star players & Rebic the most promising one.

RFM Model for France & Croatia:

We went a bit further & looked into the statistics on how each individual players have performed throughout their International career & using analytics, predicted the style of play in Finals & what is the likely scoreline you can expect for the World Cup Finals.

Type of Game Expected:
• On an average 2 goals expected with defensive style of play by both teams with a lot of shot blocks. Ivan Rakitic from Croatia will be key to curb France’s attack.
• Referees are going to have a tough time with the number of fouls.
Winning Formula: Score Less but Defend Well.

Here is how we went about the Clustering:

Most of the French & Croatian players were in Cluster 2, except Rakitic who was a part of Cluster 4.

Based on the data study our Prediction of the Score Line for World Cup Finals 2018 – France wins with a score line of 2-1.

Tell us your prediction for the finals in comments section below.

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