At the last World Cup in South Africa, Paul the octopus was known for predicting the outcome of matches, especially for Germany. He would make his prediction by choosing a mussel from one of two boxes with that nation’s flag on. Apparently he successfully predicted seven of Germany’s results (including defeats) and also picking Spain to win the tournament.

As octopuses only live a couple of years or so, Paul has since died. Don’t worry though, we are in luck, as China think they have a replacement. Baby pandas!

That’s right, these baby pandas will predict outcomes of group stage games by choosing food from one of three baskets which, logically, represent a win for either team and a draw.

As things hot up in the knockout stages they will step it up. The pandas will climb one of two trees, marked with the national flags, to select the country they predict will get through to the next round.

Will they match Paul the octopus’s record?

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Ball Banter

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