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Paul the Octopus predicted Spain's 2010 World Cup victory. Can Goldman predict the winner for 2014? ROLAND WEIHRAUCH

Goldman crunches numbers to predict World Cup winner

May 28, 2014

FORTUNE -- As if Landon Donovan's controversial omission from the U.S.'s World Cup team wasn't bad enough, fans of U.S. Soccer now have another setback to deal with: Goldman Sachs (gs) is picking against you.

After crunching the data, including all competitive matches (meaning no friendlies) going back to 1960, the investment bank has completed their official predictions for the upcoming FIFA World Cup, and they don't have the Americans getting to the Round of 16 (Germany and Portugal are picked to go 1-2 in Group G.)

As for the winners, Goldman's statistical maneuvering comes to the same conclusion many armchair pundits have already drawn: hosts Brazil are the heavy favorite to win a record sixth World Cup. The team with the longest odds to lift the trophy? Costa Rica at 3000/1.

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The Goldman bracket has Brazil beating Germany in the semi-final, with Argentina overcoming defending champions Spain to complete an all South American final in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.

Oh, and for our English readers — sorry, Goldman doesn't have you faring too well either. The bank predicts that for the first time since 1958, England will fail to make it out of the first round of a World Cup it has qualified for.

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