The makers of free-to-play mobile football management sim Champ Man 16 (official site) have run 100,000 simulations of this summer's UEFA Euro 2016 tournament, which kicks off in France on June the 10th with the hosts playing Romania, and concluded that it won't be Les Bleus or the Azzurri that emerges victorious. It'll be Spain, winners in 2012 and the third-highest rated team in the competition, below Belgium and Germany, according to the latest FIFA rankings.
Spain won out in 30 percent of the simulations, with the most likely final seeing them face off against the Germans. England won seven percent of the time, with a one-in-ten chance of making the final. I don't know about you, but that feels like a figure worth a punt on. Not that I'm a betting man, mind, so instead I'll just think that England will be beaten finalists, and congratulate myself silently on July the 10th. I'll maybe mutter a "knew it" under my breath. Mind open an ale. You know how it goes. Satisfyingly.
Anyone looking for an underdog to get behind might want to side with Turkey, as in two percent of the simulations they won the lot. It's happened before, with Denmark winning in 1992 and Greece in 2004. I remember that Greece final so vividly. Never has such a dogshit team won something so prestigious, but it was all worth it to see Ronaldo all red faced and puffy, crying real tears like a kid let down on Christmas. Magical, it was. But come on, seriously, it'll be one of the big guns that wins, so save your money.
Then again, Champ Man's predictions mightn't be worth the paper they're not written down on. England's James Milner is, so the results say, likely to be a prime candidate for a red card at some stage of the competition. The same James Milner who's achieved just the two reds during his entire club career, spanning 570 matches. The same James Milner who's unlikely to be in the starting line up for any match at the Euros, unless Jack Wilshere breaks again, by stepping on a coaster or hanging up a shirt or something, and Dele Alli has a red mist meltdown in midfield during our game with Wales. The same James Milner whose reading of tweets by the @boringmilner Twitter account is the most radical thing that James Milner has ever done.
Oh, it's all bollocks, isn't it? You'd be better off taking tips from an octopus again.