Professor Stephen Hawking has questioned some of the most complex question in theoretical physics, but in an interview with BBC Newsnight he has calculated the optimum conditions needed for England to succeed at next month’s World Cup in Brazil.

Hawking spent a month analysing the England performances at World Cups since 1966, taking into account everything from hair colour to air temperature.

He said that the red colour of England’s shirt for their game in Sao Paulo on 19 June will improve their chances of winning by as much as 20% purely because of its perceived dominance.

The phycisist also claimed that the 4-3-3 formation is similarly perceived as more positive and aggressive than 4-4-2, and this would have a similar psychological impact as the shirt colour.

European referees should also help England along the way, as Hawking said:

“The data shows we also need to hope for a European referee. European referees are more sympathetic to the English game and less sympathetic to ballerinas like [Luis]Suarez.”

In a penalty shoot-out, the professor said that before striking the ball, the player should have a run up of more than three steps and give the ball a “welly”, but notes that power is nothing without precision, and the player should aim for the top corners for the best chance of beating the goalkeeper.

Worryingly, however, for such a warm World Cup, Hawking found that England’s chances of winning declined by 59% for just a five degrees Celsius rise in temperature.

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