LONDON - Form may be temporary, as the saying goes, but when a World Cup is at stake temporary attributes can be crucial to a successful campaign and statistics revealed this week suggest Germany and Uruguay could have the edge over other favourites in Brazil.
Sports data analysts Opta have been poring over last season's statistics from Europe's top five leagues in England, Spain, France, Italy and Germany and have constructed a formula that may provide an insight into who will lift the World Cup on July 13.
They have come up with a "Dream Team" of form players who should be the ones to watch in Brazil.
"The 11 was devised by looking at a range of stats for each player in each position," Duncan Alexander, head of UK content at Opta, told Reuters on Tuesday.
"Opta collect more than 250 categories and record about 2,000 data points in each match that's analysed, but we have a range of tools that allow us to easily filter players by attribute and performance."
The line-up, which is sure to provoke arguments in pubs, beer-halls, cafes and taverns the world over, contains the usual suspects Yaya Toure, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but former champions Germany and Uruguay both boast two in-form players heading to Brazil.