Euros prediction (5)
Final time — the model (and bookies) predictions have indeed materialised and Italy face England in the final. I’ve done the final update after the semi-finals and here’s the model prediction.
Italy are favourite — I think this is probably right, though I also believe it’ll probably be a slightly closer game. The bookies go the other way and, I think a bit overly-enthusiastically, tip England to be just above Italy (the odds map to probabilities of about 31% for Italy to win, 37% for England to win and 32% for a draw). Even considering the home advantage, I don’t think England are on top by that margin — it’s not impossible they win (and the model predictions reflect this, to be fair), but…
Personally, I think that England will try and start strong (as they’ve basically done in all the tournament games). When they don’t score immediately, in particular, they then tend to slow down massively and the second part of the half generally see their opponents take over — Denmark took the lead and threatened to score a second and even in their game again Scotland in the group stage, after an intial English burst, the Scots sort of took over the proceedings, though they were never too dangerous… Italy, on the other hand, typically also tend to take control and starts churning their opponents, even when they fail to break them (like against Turkey or Austria, in the first half of these games). Of course, Spain have done this much better than us in the semi-final, but then we showed we can still adapt and defend, if necessary. That’s why I can see this as a close game — but I hope we win it (and that the model is right!) 😉