We’ve reached the business end of the tournament. With the group stages a distant memory, we look back at the thrills and spills of the first two weeks of competition.
So far there have been 27 penalties given at the World Cup, a record number at the tournament, 18 of which have been scored. The previous record for the most penalties at a World Cup came in 2002 when 20 were scored, and there are still 10 more games to go this year.
The impact of Video Assistant Referees should not be overlooked. Whether you like it or loathe it, the introduction of video reviews has added to the drama and controversy of the World Cup. It has been used regularly for penalty decisions, and has decided matches and group positions. Think back to how in 120 seconds VAR decided Group B with a goal given to Spain despite an offside flag, and a penalty awarded to Iran against Portugal denied them a win to top the group. It may not be a perfect system, but it is arguably making the sport fairer.
You can’t help but get carried away with the quality of football and the surprises in the group stages. Of the 16 teams through to the next stage, only two were not foreseen by Lloyd’s model. The biggest shock was Germany being knocked out in the group stages of the World Cup for the first time – even finishing bottom of the group. The current World Cup holders, with an insurable value of £1.05bn, were tipped to make it to the final but it wasn’t to be, instead Sweden were joined by Mexico from Group F. The other team to go through unexpectedly from Group H were Japan (£153.1m) at the expense of Senegal (£311.5m).
With the quarter finals at the weekend, it’s still all to play for and we are still in with a shout of having correctly predicted the winner. We will be watching France’s progress very closely, but cheering on England, of course!
We will continue to track progress of the teams and assess how successful our model has been in identifying the winners and losers over the next few weeks in Post. To learn more about our predictions for the tournament, visit Lloyds.com/DreamTeam.
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