A bold claim? Lloyd’s tips England for World Cup based on ‘insurable value’

England have been tipped to win the World Cup by a forecasting model that successfully predicted France would win in 2018 and Germany in 2014.

According to Lloyd’s of London, which has made its prediction based on the “insurable value” of all 32 teams in Qatar, Gareth Southgate’s men will emerge triumphant over Brazil in the final, after topping Group B and then beating Senegal, France and Spain en route.

Underpinning Lloyd’s model is the notion that salaries in elite football are a decent proxy for talent – and therefore the quality of every squad can be calculated by assessing factors that include wages, endorsement incomes and players’ ages.

The research, backed by data and analysis by the Centre of Economics and Business Research and Sporting Intelligence, found that England’s squad in Qatar will have an estimated insurable value of £3.17bn, ahead of France (£2.66bn) and Brazil (£2.56bn). It also found that the average insurable value of one England or France player is more than the entire Costa Rica squad.

England are the 8-1 fourth favourites with bookmakers, behind Brazil, Argentina and France. However, the same model correctly predicted that Germany, who were 11-2 third favourites, would triumph in 2014 and picked out France, who were 7-1 fourth favourites and ranked seventh in Fifa’s rankings, before their victory in Russia four years later.

In both cases, the model highlighted that they had relatively young squads and an abundance of talent in Europe’s top leagues. In 2018, it also rated England as the third best team, when they were placed only 12th in the Fifa rankings.

Lloyd’s, which provides more than £150m in sports-related accident and health policies each year, will announce its findings – along with what it considers to be the “most insurable” XI picked from all available players in Qatar – at an event with the 1966 winnerSir Geoff Hurst on Thursday. Its model rates England’s Jude Bellingham as the most insurable player at the World Cup, followed by France’s Kylian Mbappé and Brazil’s Vinícius Júnior.