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Friday, October 12, 2012

Best teams to play against on 14 November

This is based on (FIFA points for a win) / (actual effort from Elo rating).

I ran 10000 simulations using the Elo Ratings for the matches still to be played before the November 2012 FIFA ranking deadline.

I took into account only teams that would bring at least 200 points for an OFC opponent.

Of the top 20 best teams to play against only 8 are still available for the 14 November FIFA match date.

I'm not 100% (thus I can't take the credit for it), but one of teams is no longer available because of a list of ideal opponents I sent to certain FA.

Teams in bold still available:

Central African Republic
Algeria (at home vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Dominican Republic
Haiti (Caribbean Cup qualification 12 - 19 November in Grenada)
Sierra Leone
Greece (away to the Republic of Ireland)
Slovakia (away to the Czech Republic)
Switzerland (away to Tunisia)
Norway (away to Hungary)
Czech Republic (at home vs. Slovakia)
Cape Verde Islands
Belgium (away to Romania)
Bosnia-Herzegovina (away to Algeria)
Italy (at home against France)
Colombia (in the US vs. Brazil)
Serbia (in Switzerland vs. Chile)

About me:

Christian, husband, father x 3, programmer, Romanian. Started the blog in March 2007. Quit in April 2018. You can find me on LinkedIn.


  1. 10000 sims?? whoa..

  2. What constitues "best team" to play against? ie what's the criteria?

    1. Sorry, I've re-read the post again, and the answer is in the first sentence.....!

  3. Dominican Republic is going to play against Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Gold Cup Qualifiers. September 27.

  4. Isn't it better for you fifa-ranking not to play friendlies? Espacially when you are on a roll (like Belgium now is)and your average result is 4/6 . I mean even if you win the friendly, your average drops... That's not fair. Why don't they just drop the friendly's? (Next question, can you calculate a FIFA-ranking whitout the frienlies?)

    1. Yes, it is. A lot better. I suppose it doesn't matter as long as no one is exploiting this weakness in the ranking system, it will still be fair for everyone, but it can be exploited.

      It's been done before on here, the calculation. And the scores for teams are huge.

    2. For instance this is the reason why Haiti are so high in the table. Their last friendly was February 2011!

    3. The concept of friendlies should be re-thought. IMHO FIFA "friendlies" like the SAFF Cup should give more ranking points as they play according to competition rules; matches are random/drawn and subs are held to minimum (3 each). Also any other team that would want to play a friendly and keep it in accordance with competition rules could have a chance to gain some meaningful points for the ranking..

    4. There is at least one reason to absolutely play friendlies: You don't have five matches in the last year.

      I have been looking at this as I have been developing a file for calculating the ratings.
      1) I think it has been established here that it hurts to host events - Brazil, Ukraine, and South Africa all dropped a fair amount (South Africa is getting hurt doubly because they hosted the WC and soon the ACN).
      2) It seems to me that some of the CAF teams lack friendlies. Is is exploitation? I have no clue.

      To back this up: if I take the average importance over each year and then give it the 20/30/50/100 weighting, of the top 77 teams from last month, the top five teams are African and seven of the top nine (Haiti and Portugal are the two others). In addition, there is quite a gap from #5 to #6 on that list, though Haiti will jump into the top five in the October rankings.
      At the bottom of the list: Poland, Ukraine, Brazil, and South Africa.
      Interestingly (to me), of the teams with a FIFA rating about 1000, only Brazil and Argentina were in the bottom have of the list and Argentina just barely.

    5. Libya are certainly making use of this. It's not like it's illegal. :)

    6. Actually, I have Libya down the list a fair amount, in addition to Haiti and Portugal, the top 10 I have as Central African Republic, Mali, Sierra Leone, Algeria, Benin, Cape Verde Islands, Ghana, and Uruguay.

      Libya's "importance" multiplier using the 10/30/50/100 weightings is sub-4 for the November ranking while Hati, Mali, and Central African Republic are all 4.5+.

    7. Ryan,

      I can explain some of it:

      When CAF teams have qualifiers scheduled in a FIFA match window with two dates they will use only one of those dates, while UEFA teams will schedule a friendly on the other date.

      Central African Republic and Haiti don't afford to play friendlies. Mali have recently had a coup d'etat. Don't know about Benin and Cape Verde Islands and their FA funds for friendlies.

      Libya have recently avoided playing friendlies or have played friendlies but made sure at least one of the "A" status rules were broken. It's not illegal.

    8. FIFA have an article on Haiti on their ranking site:

  5. Croatia won't play a friendly in November (well technically they are; against a Croatian league select team, but that won't count towards FIFA rankings)