Nate Silver’s World Cup Predictions were for the Netherlands to fall to both Spain and Chile, and to fail to advance out of Group B. To which I responded:

Like Martyn Bradbury, with his belief in the “Missing Million”, I shall trust my instincts, safe in the assumed knowledge that the Netherlands will crush both Chile and Australia, and may even pull a draw with Spain (oh, who am I trying to fool – they’ll kick Spain’s ass!).

Well, who knew? I hauled myself out of bed at a far earlier hour than I ordinarily would on a Saturday morning, donned my warm socks, pyjama pants and dressing gown, hunkered down in a comfortable chair, and watched de Nederlands unleash hell upon an unsuspecting Spain to complete a 5-1 demolition.

Sure, for the first forty minutes, the Dutch gave away far too much ball to Spain and seldom looked dangerous. But that second half! What a turn around! Four goals to zip! Being awake on a Saturday morning never felt so good…

Of course, Mr Silver’s odds for Group B have now changed dramatically. The Netherlands had a 42.9% probability of advancing to the quarter finals; they’re now a 90.6% probability to advance, with a 57.4% chance of topping the Group. Spain, meanwhile, have gone from likely topping the Group to having a 65.7% chance of failing to advance at all. (The odds should further change at the end of the American working day, as Mr Silver updates each team’s SPI rating.)

Although Mr Silver is still predicting that the Netherlands will lose to Chile, and Chile to Spain, the Netherlands’ positive goal difference would likely keep them at the top. Not that Chile has a hope of beating the Netherlands in real life…

Go Nederlaaaaands!


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