Germany's handball players have no chance on the title at the just beginning World Cup in Germany and Denmark. This is the result of a comprehensive computation using statistical methods that would otherwise be used to predict the spread of epidemics or the evolution of stock prices. Scientists from the Technical University of Dortmund, the Ruhr University Bochum and the Technical University of Munich predict that the Danes will succeed. The probability is 41.2 percent. For France the percentage is 18.4, for Croatia nine and for Germany 6.7 percent.

It's not even enough to win the group

Germany will not even win in his group. France will win here if statisticians are right. The other group winners are, in addition to Denmark, Croatia and Hungary. The team led by Professor Andreas Groll from the Dortmund Department of Data Analysis and Statistical Algorithms created it together with the Dortmund graduate Jonas Heiner and the Bochum handball expert Jörn Uhrmeister and Gunther Schauberger from the Munich Department of Epidemiology. After announcing the provisional 28-man squad for the World Handball Championship, they modeled the course of the tournament and simulated hundreds of thousands of different game outputs; for each exit they calculated a probability. "In every single simulation, each game in the group phase was predicted according to the model," explains Schauberger. "Based on that, we predicted the further course of the tournament until the World Champion."

Countless factors flowed into the bill

The researchers considered countless factors: the physical dimensions of the players; the number of players who reached the final of the Champions League or the European Cup last season; the fact whether there are groups of nominated players from the same club who are supposed to be well-received; the strength of the national league; the number of players operating abroad and their level of play; the place in the world ranking list; the valence of the continental union to which a nation belongs; Country population and gross domestic product; the home advantage of the two host nations; Age and tenure of the coaches as well as their origin compared to the supervised nation.

There is one more uncertainty factor

Surely the researchers are not. It is possible that the method is too focused on individual variables, says Uhrmeister. There is also hope for Germany. The scientists are repeating their bill now after announcing the final player. The new result should be available on January 14th. It can only get better.

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