A World Cup supercomputer has predicted England will lose in the semi-finals to Portugal – who will then face Lionel Messi and Argentina in the final.
Gareth Southgate’s side are on a poor run of form heading into this winter’s tournament in Qatar. The Three Lions are winless in their last six games, the fifth time it’s happened in their history.
That form isn’t a factor in BCA Research‘s recent experiment, who have sampled matches from the last four World Cups as well as each national team’s FIFA ratings. England are predicted to reach the semi-finals, as they did four years ago, but are set to be beaten on penalties by Ronaldo and co./winorlose/
In 2006, England were famously knocked out of the World Cup by Portugal on penalties. Earlier in the game, Wayne Rooney was sent off after a stamp on Ricardo Carvalho. It saw Ronaldo, who was Rooney’s teammate at Manchester United at the time, wink towards the bench after the incident.
England’s path to semi-final defeat sees them win Group B before defeating Senegal in the last 16 and Mexico in the quarter-finals./winorlose/
It’s at this point they’ll fail to overcome Portugal once again. That doesn’t mean Ronaldo will be celebrating his second major international honour, however. Argentina, who are on a 34-match unbeaten run, are expected to beat Portugal in the final on December 18.
That means the official Messi vs Ronaldo debate will be settled once and for all, with the Paris Saint-Germain superstar coming out on top.
Messi’s been in fine form for PSG this season after a nervy debut campaign last time out. The 35-year-old is expecting this World Cup to be his last, meaning he has one more shot at winning football’s most prestigious prize.
“This will be my last World Cup – for sure. The decision has been made,” he told Argentine journalist Sebastian Vignolo earlier this month.
Messi has played in five World Cups, first featuring in the tournament against Serbia and Montenegro back in 2006.
Lionel Scaloni’s men take on Saudi Arabia in their opening Group C match on November 22./winorlose/