It is the World Cup season. There are many prediction models, and one of the most widely used statistical technique is the Poisson distribution:

The historic match results are available in the public domain, for example, at http://eloratings.net/. The data are analysed to obtain an index referred to attack strength or goal expectancy. This can further elaborates into more complex data like home team and away team expectancy.

By using a matrix of score scales, usually from 0 to 9, all possible outcomes under 10 goals per team are defined with the respective probability. An example matrix with scores from 0 to 2 will look like one below:

This is the basics of predicting soccer in a quantitative way using the Poisson distribution. There are of course many other prediction methods and models, including organic method like asking the famous Paul the octopus 🙂