Forecasting World Cup 2014 Winners On Premier League Performance

With a great deal of international stars plying their trade in the Premier League, each week English fans are treated to sneak previews of what could happen at this summer€™s World Cup. Most of the nations who will be represented in Brazil this summer have at least one player in the English top flight who has been in and amongst the goals €“ favourites Brazil have seven players who have either scored or assisted in a goal (as of 8th April 2014), while joint 6/1 picks Germany and Argentina have another six between them. To work out the bearing of each of the World Cup€™s top teams on the Premier League€™s scores and results, we€™ve applied a points tally to each player who has contributed goals and assists this season, to come up with the national sides who have had the biggest impact in England using League Of Your Own, a stats-based site which reflects changes made in player line-ups, set pieces and timings of each Premier League goal.

Argentina

Despite having only two point-scorers in the Premier League €“ and both playing for Man City at that! €“ Argentina€™s average skyrockets when you consider the great form that they€™ve both put on for City of late. With Zabaleta€™s five assists added to Aguero€™s five €“ and fifteen goals for good luck €“ City would certainly struggle without their national stars.

Brazil

The home side and favourites to lift the trophy this summer have six PL point-scorers in their national side €“ and without that nation€™s contribution to the Premier League it would drastically impact the table. Chelsea would lose seven points this season without the efforts of David Luiz, Ramires, Oscar and Willian €“ which would put them third below Man City who would fare slightly better despite missing Fernandinho.

Spain

With a massive 69 points contributed between just four players, the World Cup€™s fourth favourites and defending champions Spain are key in having Man City still in the title hunt. By removing Spain€™s national players from the Premier League it€™s Liverpool who interestingly go five points clear of Chelsea at the top €“ twelve if you remove Torres from Chelsea who did not make the last national squad.

Belgium

By far the most interesting change to the table comes in the form of the tournament dark horses Belgium €“ currently at 15-1 to lift the World Cup. The national team has almost a full XI from the Premier League alone, with the likes of Simon Mignolet impressing in goal and team captain Vincent Kompany shoring up the defence for Man City €“ as well as putting in his own share of the points. Understandably behind England in terms of the nationality which has contributed the most points this season, Belgium€™s tally of 130 has nonetheless earned a runaway runners-up spot, due mainly to the combined efforts of Lukaku for Everton, Aston Villa€™s Christian Benteke and Eden Hazard of Chelsea. Without them or the other four Belgian point-scorers this season, the Premier League table would look very different. Liverpool€™s lead at the top would be a near-unassailable 12 points as title challengers Chelsea drop to fifth, while the efforts of Christian Benteke in keeping Aston Villa safe would be cancelled out €“ dropping them into the relegation zone a point behind and a game ahead. Lukaku€™s contribution towards nineteen extra Evertonian points would be gone too, as would any chance they had of obtaining that fourth spot and the chance of playing Champions League football next season. It would even have changed the way we looked at Manchester United€™s season; without the defeats inflicted on them by sides featuring Belgian players United would be right back in the race for a Champions League place, four points ahead of Chelsea who would be very much be stuck without Eden Hazard. Considering Belgium€™s current status as the dark horse of the World Cup, it€™s interesting to see just how much of an effect their national players have on the Premier League this season €“ more than any of the other World Cup contenders, their level of involvement in the top flight has more of a say in who wins it this season.
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