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Sunday, September 12, 2021

World Cup qualification simulations (September 2021)

All confederations except OFC are now busy with their main group qualification stage.

  • UEFA finish their group stage in November. The 10 group winners qualify. The play-offs between the 10 group runners-up and the best 2 group winners from the Nations League 2020-2021 (finished third or lower in their group) for the remaining 3 berths are scheduled for March 2022, to be played as 3 knock-out paths with each path consisting of 2 single semi-finals and a single final.
  • CAF finish their group stage in November. The 10 group winners qualify for stage 3: 5 home-and-away play-offs, to be played in March 2022. The 5 winners of stage 3 qualify. In January 2022 the postponed African Cup of Nations 2021 will be played in Cameroon. The match schedule for this tournament is known and included in these simulations.
  • CONMEBOL finish their group stage in March. Top 4 qualifies, number 5 goes to the interconfederational play-offs, to be staged in the second week of the June 2022 window. The date for the draw of the pairing of confederations in these IPO's is yet unknown.
  • CONCACAF finish their group stage in March. Top 3 qualifies, number 4 goes to the interconfederational play-offs.
  • AFC finish their group stage in March. Numbers 1 and 2 of both groups qualify, numbers 3 of both groups play a single play-off in the first week of the June 2022 window to determine the AFC number 5, which goes to the interconfederational play-offs.
  • OFC's qualification format is still unknown. They will probably start (and finish) their qualification in the January 2022 window. Their final top dog goes to the interconfederational play-offs.

Friday, September 10, 2021

FIFA ranking: September 2021 final preview

FIFA will publish the September ranking next Thursday September 16th. This final preview contains 181 matches, out of 182 matches played since August 9th. 152 Matches were World Cup qualifiers, the rest were friendlies.


One team reaches a new high:

Kosovo (109 - 114 in October 2019)


Two teams climb to their highest ranking again:

England (3 in August 2012)

Senegal (20 in July 2019)


Two teams drop to a new low:

Togo (136 - 133 in April 2021)

Moldova (180 - 177 in November 2020)

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

FIFA ranking September 2021: preview

Here are the minimum and maximum points for each team in the September 2021 ranking. FIFA will publish the ranking on September 16th.

Minimum and maximum points per team are determined with a small piece of software which calculates per match the minimum and maximum possible points for each participating team, given the minimum and maximum starting values of both teams before the match.


Note that only scheduled (and included) matches with both teams known at calculation time are incorporated in this analysis. 

FIFA ranking September 2021: preview results

Here are the scheduled matches counting for the FIFA September 2021 ranking with FIFA's Home Team Win Expectancy (We) in % and the points exchanged in case of Win, Draw or Loss of the home team. In cases where matches can go to PSO, also the points exchanged when the home team wins (PSO-W) of loses (PSO-L) the penalty shoot-out are given.

The 1 or 0 before each match indicates if the match is included (1) or not (0) according to my inclusion-method.


Normally the home team's gained points will be the away-team's lost points. Still, both are given because there are in FIFA's calculation approach cases when they will not be the same: PSO-matches and knock-out matches in final competitions.

FIFA ranking: September 2021 probable ranking

The FIFA September international match window starts next week. All confederations (well, except OFC) are now in full swing qualifying mode for the World Cup next year in Qatar. 

UEFA and CONCACAF have a one day extension to be able to accommodate 3 match days: MDs 4-6 in the UEFA groups and MDs 1-3 in the CONCACAF octogonal. 

CONMEBOL also has to play three match days to catch up their postponed March match days. They even need a two day extension for that. Recent news about the English Premier League clubs refusing to release their players from countries on the COVID-19 red list could, same as in March by the way, pose a threat for especially the South American qualifiers as players from all these countries need a 10-day quarantaine when returning to England. CONMEBOL doesn't have any room in the calendar to postpone their qualifiers any further though, so it's unsure what will happen here.

CAF starts their group stage with MDs 1 and 2.

AFC starts their final group stage with the first two match days. Also the first legs of the two stage 3 play-offs in the qualification of the Asian Cup of Nations 2023 are played, with the second legs played in the October window.

The few remaining countries not playing qualification might engage in friendlies, some in small friendly tournament form.

FIFA ranking: September 2021 probable results

Here are the probable results of all 182 currently scheduled matches up to and including September 9th, used to calculate the September 2021 probable ranking. The results are generated using elo ratings.

Also the already played matches since August 8th, (probably) counting for the September ranking, are presented.


The 1 or 0 before each match indicates if the match is included (1) or not (0) according to my inclusion-method. Also the Home Team Win Expectancy (We) according to elo is given for each match in %.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

CONCACAF qualification World Cup 2022 (August 2021)

The eight teams qualified for the Octogonal, the final CONCACAF qualification round for the World Cup 2022 in Qatar, are known. Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Honduras were automatically qualified for this round. El Salvador, Canada and Panama qualified from the second round play-offs in June.

Last week the Gold Cup 2021 finished, with the USA winning in extra time over Mexico. Semi finalists were Canada and invitee Qatar. So now all is set for the Octogonal, 14 match days to be played between next month and March next year. Numbers one to three qualify for Qatar, number 4 qualifies for an interconfederational play-off in June 2022 against a yet unknown opponent from Asia (number 5), South America (number 5) or OFC (number 1). No word yet from FIFA when the draw for the interconfederational play-offs will be staged.