Burnley star tipped for Euro 2020 glory as 125/1 outsiders threaten Portugal's crown!
Get ready for football’s biggest ever shock at Euro 2020 – that’s the verdict of a Super Computer which has analysed all the teams and their results over the last 20 years.
The startling prediction sees massive underdogs Czech Republic crowned as champions after beating another of the outsiders, Denmark, 3-2 in a thrilling final.
Football experts at Sportradar, the world’s leading sports data provider, “played out” the whole of the tournament through their innovative Simulated Reality solution using Artificial Intelligence algorithms.
And it was good news for Burnley's Matej Vydra, who was included in Jaroslav Šilhavý's final 26-man squad for this summer's tournament.
The 29-year-old, who netted six times for the Clarets during the 2020-21 campaign 31 appearances in all competitions, scored for his country in a 2-1 win over Israel in the Nations League in October.
He went onto feature in the Czech Republic's World Cup qualifiers against Estonia, Belgium and Wales earlier in the year and featured for just under half-an-hour in this month's international friendly defeat against Italy having replaced Jakub Jankto.
Now, according to Sportradar, Vydra will make history with his nation when helping to guide them to their first ever success in a major tournament.
Sadly, for pre-tournament favourites England, it was another semi-final defeat as they crashed out to the beaten finalists with once again their luck deserting them in a major competition.
But even though the Euros is renowned for its unpredictability, the Czech Republic’s forecast success would be right up there with Greece’s sensational victory against all the odds in 2004.
And remember, the Euros is the place for seismic shocks with England suffering humiliating defeats by minnows Republic of Ireland in 1988, Sweden in 1992 and Iceland in 2016.
Also, the Czech Republic and Denmark, this year’s finalists according to Sportradar, have “form” when it comes to Euro shocks themselves.
Denmark didn’t even qualify in 1992 and were drafted in only two weeks before the competition began when Yugoslavia were forced to withdraw. They ended up going all the way, beating the mighty Germany 2-0 in the final to complete an improbable journey.
And how about the Czech Republic in 1996? They were beaten in their opening game by Germany, but turned things round to beat Italy 2-1 in their next game and ended up getting to the final although there was no fairy tale ending this time as Germany beat them for a second time to take the Euro crown for the third time.
England, under Gareth Southgate, are predicted to continue in their role of “nearly men” as they reach the last four before losing 3-2 to Denmark.
So, the Three Lions are projected to remain the perennial “bridesmaids”, not having won a major international tournament since the 1966 World Cup, which was held in England.
In the Euro 2020 Group stages, England qualified for the knockout stages after two wins and a loss. They beat Croatia 5-2 in their first game, but had to battle hard to beat the ‘Auld Enemy’ Scotland 1-0 before going on to down eventual winners, the Czech Republic, 2-1.
In the Round of 16, England progressed by beating France 3-1, going on to beat Poland 3-2 in the quarter-finals before they succumbed to Denmark in the semis.
Despite their loss against England in the Group stage, the Czech Republic also beat Spain and Germany in the knockout stages to set up a semi-final against Portugal, which the Czechs won 1-0.
Werner Becher, Sportradar’s regional chief executive officer for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, said: “After such a long delay there’s a real sense of excitement about this tournament amongst fans. We’ve tapped into the breadth of our technical capabilities to simulate the tournament, processing millions of data points from the last 20 years in order to identify the winning team.
“Football is unpredictable, it’s one of the things we love most about the game, but few fans would have put Czech Republic and Denmark in the final.”
HOW IT ALL WORKS
Simulated Reality is completely driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The advanced technology uses Sportradar’s historic database to create a huge number of different game situations, outcomes and game plays.
“Simulated Reality football matches reflect team form and normal match conditions, using more than a decade’s worth of historic and statistical data to produce an immeasurable number of data points.
“We have created a product that truly reflects the fan experience when watching and betting on a real game. It is completely new and unique to the industry.
“Simulated Reality gives us the opportunity to model how real games would take place as they would happen in real stadiums. It’s all so fan-friendly.”