Brazil, Spain, Germany and France are the most probable teams to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, according to a mathematical analysis developed by the School of Applied Mathematics at the Brazilian Fundacao Getulio Vargas.
Nearly a million simulations were processed from the goals scored and conceded in the last four years in every match of the 207 FIFA-affiliated teams, according to the study.
According to the calculations, the probability of Brazil conquering its sixth world title is 21 per cent, while that of Spain stands at 13.5 per cent.
Germany comes next with 11.4 per cent, followed by France with 9.5 per cent, Argentina with 8.5 per cent, Portugal with 5 per cent, England with 4.8 per cent, Belgium with 4.3 per cent and Sweden with 3.8 per cent.
Japan, according to the study, is least likely to become the champion, with only 0.1 per cent of probability.
Moacyr Alvim, analyst and co-author of the study, explained that although Brazil is the favourite, this does not mean it has a high chance of winning, adding it is important to note that mathematically "this year, we have a 79 per cent chance of not ranking first."