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Goldman builds its World Cup book

One piece of analysis that is certain to be a fixture on desks this summer is a 59-page report by Goldman Sachs. In preparation for the football World Cup, which kicks off on June 9 in Germany, Goldman Sachs has put together a guide to each participating country and its team’s chances of success.

German foreign minister Joschka Fischer, UK chancellor of the exchequer Gordon Brown and England team captain David Beckham are among well-known contributers to the guide, sharing their thoughts on football and this year’s tournament.

Combining official Fifa rankings and odds provided by a cast of bookmakers, the investment bank has compiled probability forecasts for each team. The favourite to win the World Cup is Brazil, with a 12.4% probability. Four of its players make Goldman Sachs’s World Cup dream team, which was elected by 2,100 of Goldman Sachs’s employees and clients.

England ranks second most likely to win, with Spain, France, Holland and Argentina close behind – all are forecast to have about an 8% probability of success. Germany, despite enjoying the advantage of being host, is reckoned to have a 5.5% probability of winning, although the report says the team could well make the semi-finals.

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