I had a go at the BBC’s pundits for being really predictable in my last post. With the exception of Jan Molby nobody stuck their neck out and broadly they all predicted the same set of results. They were safe, dull and will probably turn out to be wrong anyway.
Picking individual games is a recipe for trouble. At the start of last season would you have backed Wigan to get 40+ points? Quite possibly. Would you have backed them to win at Liverpool, at Arsenal and against Man United within the space of 4 weeks? Almost certainly not.
I’m not going to be able to predict all 31 results, or even all 6 within a group, or even any team’s first 3 games with any certainty. Despite those constraints, here are my predictions, complete with the logic behind them. They aren’t especially shocking but they go against the conventional wisdom on display right now.
BBC Sport asked 16 of its pundits to say who they thought would be the champions and who else would make up the final four. Here’s a breakdown of how often each team was selected to get as far as at least the semi finals:
Germany - 16 (10 wins, 4 runners up, 2 semis)
Spain - 16 (5 wins, 7 runners, 4 semis)
Netherlands - 15 (1 win, 3 runners up, 11 semis)
France - 12 (3 runners up, 9 semis)
Portugal - 2 (2 semis)
England - 1 (1 semi)
Poland - (1 semi)
Germany, Spain, Netherlands and France are the bookies top four teams. You could ask anyone in the street and they’d probably tell you those 4 teams in some order too.
Are the pundits giving us any actual insight here? I don’t think so.