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Friday, March 29, 2013

2014 FIFA World Cup seeding based on generated results (29 March 2013)

I've generated the results for the 392 matches between now and 15 October 2013 using the Elo ratings. I'm well aware actual results could be wildly different. Another thing to take into account: teams will most likely scheduled friendlies for the remaining available FIFA dates and this will affect their final ranking.

Somewhere in the not so distant future, I'll start doing simulations for the remaining matches.

For the Northern Ireland - Russia qualifier I've used 11 June as the new date, but when FIFA announce the official date I'll use that instead.

Based on these generated results, African group I and the play-off spots in CONCACAF and CONMEBOL would be decided on goal difference.

Here's the breakdown by confederation:

Korea Republic and Japan as group winners, Uzbekistan and Australia as runners-up. Iran would defeat Jordan in the play-off and advance to meet Chile or Venezuela.


Group winners: South Africa (A), Tunisia (B), Côte d'Ivoire (C), Ghana (D), Congo (E), Nigeria (F), Egypt (G), Mali (H), Cameroon/Libya (I), Senegal (J).

The draw mechanics for the next round are not known yet. However, if FIFA choose the September ranking to seed the group winners, this is how it would look:

Pot A: Côte d'Ivoire (15), Ghana (24), Mali (28), Nigeria (34), Tunisia (36)
Pot B: South Africa (48), Cameroon (54) / Libya (55), Egypt (56), Senegal (62), Congo (94)


Direct qualification: Mexico, USA. It will be between Costa Rica and Honduras for the play-off spot vs. New Zealand.


Direct qualification: Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador. The CONMEBOL representative for the intercontinental playoff vs. Iran would be decided between Chile and Venezuela on goal difference.


New Zealand to meet Costa Rica or Honduras in the play-offs.


Direct qualification: Croatia, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, England, Spain.

This is how it looks for the UEFA play-off (if the seeding is done using the October FIFA ranking):

Pot A: Portugal (8), Belgium (13), Greece (18), France (20)
Pot B: Romania (21), Sweden (22), Denmark (25), Ukraine (27)

Norway out as worst runners-up.

This is the top 30 of the October 2013 ranking based those generated results:

1 Spain 1605
2 Croatia 1541
3 Argentina 1461
4 Germany 1295
5 Colombia 1283
6 Netherlands 1220
7 Mexico 1204
8 Portugal 1164
9 Brazil 1161
10 Italy 1108
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1087
12 England 1085
13 Belgium 1067
14 Switzerland 1036
15 Ecuador 991
16 Côte d'Ivoire 976
17 USA 966
18 Greece 955
19 Russia 950
20 France 940
21 Romania 906
22 Sweden 892
23 Ghana 884
23 Venezuela 884
25 Denmark 883
26 Chile 865
27 Ukraine 861
28 Korea Republic 807
29 Mali 804
30 Czech Republic 795

The seeded teams for the final draw would be: Brazil, Spain, Croatia, Argentina, Germany, Colombia, Netherlands and Mexico.


  1. Does this ranking take in account the away matches for the Netherlands in June against Indonesia and China?

    1. hows mexico, portugal ahead of Italy lol impossible. how would Italy drop from 6th to 10th?

    2. This was posted on 29 March 2013 - before the confederations cup.

  2. Oh, wow. I still hope Italy somehow become a seeded team for the final draw. As a German fan I totally don't want them in our group (although it would mean we couldn't meet them until the final...)

    Anyway, there is still much conjecture involved and who knows what teams will qualify in the end?

  3. The friendly Bosnia and Herzegovina has against Oman in June is counted I guess? Only the August friendly not because we still haven't scheduled any game yet? Hope we don't take again an opponent only to get money like we are doing with Oman...

    1. Oman aren't too bad a side. They're probably at least a bit better than the likes of Lithuania and Latvia in your group, they're just ahead of both of them in the FIFA ranking, and are still in contention to qualify for the World Cup, and nearly qualified for the Olympics last year, missing out in an intercontinental playoff with Senegal. so I wouldn't think it a worthless fixture, I think it'll serve as decent preparation, especially since they actually do pretty well at home. Check it out, they don't lose often at home:

      FIFA has them at 105th, ELO has them much higher at 78th.

  4. England beneath Bosnia, I'm sure some fools in the English press will make a big deal out of that one if it happens...

  5. bosnia is gonna end in pot 1, trust me...

    1. Can I ask a question : What if Bosnia e.g. substitutes 8 players vs Oman, would it still count in the rankings? Currently, the fact that playing and winning any friendly, if your average is above 600, actually brings your ranking down is quite franky silly!

    2. vedadpasic, according to the rules 8 substitutes in a match make it a non-official match. And it occurs frequently that matches are excluded from the calculation because of this reason.

      It's a bit paranoid to think, but it gives teams the opportunity to let a match (which has a negative effect on their FIFA points total, as is indeed the case with most friendlies for top teams) on formal grounds get excluded from the calculation.

      It is indeed a silly consequence of the chosen calculation method, but I don't know many examples where top teams purposeful misuse this 'hole in the law'. Please note I use the words 'top teams'.

  6. Any insight as to why Croatia will be so high? I've looked at to compare Croatia with others (e.g. Italy), and I don't see anything obvious -- is it all the rest of 2013 matches that boost Croatia's points more than all the other European powerhouses?

    1. Dorian,

      Indeed, it's the program they will play for the remainder of 2013:
      - CRO-SCO WCQ (7th Jun)
      - SRB-CRO WCQ (6th Sep)
      - CRO-BEL WCQ (11th Oct)
      - SCO-CRO WCQ (15th Oct)

      Four high-valued matches (against reasonably placed opponents and one top opponent Belgium) they are predicted to win and no friendlies so far (although nogomet indicates a friendly against Liechtenstein will be played in August).
      Croatia will be 4th in April and will stay there until September when they will climb to second spot with these predictions.

      I've explored the consequences of a Liechtenstein-friendly in August: with a win Croatia will then be third in October.

  7. Dorian - Croatia is a European powerhouse based on their current team, i.e if they played against Italy they would most likely win.


  8. Why are Russia seeded lower than Portugal when they have 3pts more and two games in hand?

    And what's with Croatia surpassing Germany and Argentina?

    1. Anon,
      that's how the calculation of the FIFA points for the October ranking works out, given a prediction based on Elo for all matches planned between now and including October 15th, the deadline for the October ranking.

      The calculation is based on all the match results in the last 4 years, not only on the results in the current qualification process.

      Regarding Croatia, see for some sort of explanation the answer to the question from Dorian above.

    2. Also, there is the ridiculous fact that most 2nd places teams that qualified for the quarters and lost (and even some 1st place teams) like Czech republic and Greece, actually got less points at the Euros than teams like Croatia that drew, won and lost one game!

      Croatia got an average of 734 points over 3 games, while Greece got 524 and Czech republic got 727!

      It is a ridiculous and completely unrealistic system, that completely favours the top teams and it is very hard to break into the "club". Croatia did it in the 90s with that amazing generation and it is holding on on inertia, whatever other compatriots of mine might think ;) Today's team is nowhere close to the one from the 96 and 98 tournaments!

      Concerning Portugal and Russia, is someone forgetting Portugal reaching the semis and Russia shamefully dropping out in the group stages of the last Euro?

    3. Oh come on, Croatia deserved those points. They got 4pts, same as Greece and France in a tougher group. Czech Rep is a bit different because they got 6, but it's basically 4/3 = 1.33. and 6/4 = 1.5. Croatia get the edge because the teams they got their points from were higher ranked, despite the Czechs getting a better points multiplier. Poland were very low in the rankings. The last team to go is my England, and they got 8/4 = 2. To cue incredulity when we boosted up the rankiings :D

      Croatia haven't been at the top all the time. in 2008, they were 2nd seed, but won the group. In 2010 they were top seed, but didn't qualify and dropped to the 2nd pot, which is what happened to England the previous qualifiers.

    4. vedadpasic,
      a system that completely favours the top teams ?

      In short the assumptions for this calculation system are:
      - match points from the matches played in the last 4 years are taken into account, with degrading influence the further you look back;
      - a better match result gives more match points;
      - a stronger opponent gives more match points;
      - a more important match gives more match points;
      - an opponent from a stronger confederation gives more match points.
      Where do you read something about 'a better positioned team gets more match points' ?

      Top teams are in the top by merit (read: results) only, not because of the system.

      You can have your doubts about some of the underlying assumptions made in the calculation system (for instance the role and weight of friendlies), but once agreed this is the set of rules, the achieved results lead to this ranking.

      And about the difficulty to break into the 'club': it looks like Colombia and Croatia are going to prove it is not so difficult to break into the club. The difficulty lies in staying there (ask Uruguay) !

    5. @vedadpasic
      The notion that Croatia is amongst top teams because of the 1998 generation is ridiculous. Even the superficial analysis of Croatian ranking disproves your argument. After the bronze generation retired, Croatia dropped very sharply and quickly in the FIFA ranking, hitting a low in 2002 when they finished a year on 32nd place. They had mediocre ranking up until 2007 when Slaven Bilic promoted the new generation of players - Modric, Corluka, Eduardo, Mandzukic, etc. These are top class players and because of their quality Croatia were able to beat some of the biggest teams and perform well on major tournaments for the first time since 1998. 2013 will be the 7th consecutive year that Croatia will finish the calendar year as a top 10 team in the world. Therefore, Ed, I agree that it is very difficult to stay in the "club", but these facts prove that Croatia have done it. Unlike Colombia, Uruguay and other "one hit wonders".

    6. nogomet,

      you're right. Croatia is a consistent top 10 team (with only some very short spells outside it) for years now. I meant this years remarkable jump to the top 5, the 'ultimate' club, if you will ;-)

      And it certainly doesn't do them justice to keep comparing nowadays Croatia with the '98 generation, they've earned and sustained their place in the top 10 on their own merit. After all, the FIFA ranking only looks back 4 years.

      Btw it remains to be seen if Colombia is another one hit wonder.

    7. And a small statistic to prove nogomet's point in another way:

      The average ranking position from January 2003 until March 2013:
      1 Brazil 3.3
      2 Spain 3.5
      3 Netherlands 4.7
      4 Argentina 5.1
      5 Germany 6.8
      6 Italy 7.5
      7 England 7.7
      8 France 8.6
      9 Portugal 9.4
      10 Croatia 14.7
      11 Czech Republic 15.3
      12 Mexico 15.7
      13 Greece 17.5
      14 Uruguay 18.0
      15 USA 18.5
      16 Russia 20.4
      17 Turkey 20.7
      18 Denmark 20.9
      19 Sweden 22.8
      20 Paraguay 25.8

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  11. Croatian football federation continues to work hard to make our team unseeded in the WC draw. They announced that Croatia will play a friendly vs. Portugal on 10 June. Could someone please calculate how will this match impact Croatian predicted October ranking should they win, draw or lose?

    1. Hang on, this is different to making a friendly against a team that does nothing for Croatia. This is exactly the kind of match Croatia needs to prepare for the crucial game against Belgium. Lose the group to Belgium, and you may well not qualify at all.

    2. Additionally, beating Portugal would knock down the score of a seeding rival.

  12. nogomet,

    No worries, they'll have to work much harder than that to get Croatia unseeded :)

    With a win in a Liechtenstein-friendly in August taken into account, Croatia stays 3rd with a win en will be 4th with a draw or loss against Portugal.

    Both logical slots for a friendly are filled now, so that should be it for Croatia. Even losing to Liechtenstein (you see I'm desperate to explore all eventualities :D) keeps Croatia at 4th spot in October.

    So the task is simple: qualify and you're seeded. Unless all of the Elo-predictions for the other top 20 teams are going the wrong way for Croatia, but I don't believe in that.

    1. Thanks Ed. There is still one option for an additional friendly match - 10 September. I hope they don't do it. These friendlies seem like they won't hurt us, but we should bear in mind that Elo predictions predict our wins in Belgrade and vs. Belgium in Zagreb, which will be very hard to accomplish. So each unnecessary friendly could make the difference.

    2. Completely true.
      It all starts with winning the 4 remaining qualifiers and that's easier said than done. Luckily, that is a task for the team and not for the federation officials :D

  13. @nogomet

    Croatia's chances of being seeded dropped by 10 points to around 70% if I remember correctly.

  14. Now the dust has somewhat settled in the European domestic and cup club competitions, it's time to shift focus again to NT football. An overcrowded month of June lies ahead with some 180 (!) matches, ranging from preparatory and other friendlies to a stack of WC qualifiers, the first legs of the CHAN qualifiers and the Confederations Cup. In July a further four competitions are completed: the second legs of the CHAN qualifiers, the COSAFA Cup, the East Asian Championship and the Gold Cup. And to top this busy summer: in August a lot of friendlies are played, including some very interesting clashes like Italy-Argentina, Portugal-Netherlands and Switzerland-Brazil. In september then start the final four match days of WC qualifying, sprinkled with some nice friendlies like Brazil-Portugal and the two-legged Superclasico between Argentina and Brazil.

    In the past two months a bunch of friendlies are announced and included in the fixture-list, many involving top-30 teams. This has lead to some movement in the predicted top 20 for the October ranking already. I thought a recap would not hurt. Remember, these predicted ranking is based on results for all the 457 matches up to and including October 15th, the deadline for the October ranking. Each predicted result is based on the Elo win-expectancy at the moment the match is played. All fixtures in the list at this moment and of course also the complete course of each tournament is included. The first legs of the African WCq play-offs are not included.

    The top 7 (subject to qualification) and Brazil are seeded for the World Cup draw if the October ranking is used for this purpose.

    1 Spain 1583
    2 Germany 1374
    3 Croatia 1357
    4 Argentina 1299
    5 Colombia 1283
    6 Mexico 1188
    7 Netherlands 1181
    8 Brazil 1110
    9 Italy 1091
    10 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1088
    11 England 1086
    12 Belgium 1067
    13 Portugal 1045
    14 Switzerland 1042
    15 Ecuador 992
    16 Cote d'Ivoire 971
    17 USA 965
    18 Greece 954
    19 Russia 949
    20 France 934

    1. Hey Ed!

      Thanks for this, but just one quick question, how did You get 1088 for Bosnia, when my calculations obtain 1082 if we win all the remaining fixtures, the friendly in Oman included...

      What is the date used for calculation, I presume it will be after 16.10.2013.?

    2. Hey vedadpasic,

      the October ranking is published October 17 and I include all matches up to and including October 15. Indeed, Elo predicts all wins for the remaining fixtures for Bosnia:

      1 15-10-2013 LTU 720,000
      1 11-10-2013 LIE 375,000
      1 10-9-2013 SVK 1080,000
      1 6-9-2013 SVK 1080,000
      1 10-6-2013 OMA 276,210
      1 7-6-2013 LVA 607,500
      1 22-3-2013 GRE 1410,000
      1 6-2-2013 SVN 459,000
      1 14-11-2012 ALG 504,990
      2 16-10-2012 LTU 675,000
      2 12-10-2012 GRE 475,000
      2 11-9-2012 LVA 795,000
      2 7-9-2012 LIE 382,500
      2 15-8-2012 WAL 489,000
      2 31-5-2012 MEX 0,000
      2 26-5-2012 IRL 0,000
      2 28-2-2012 BRA 0,000
      2 16-12-2011 POL 0,000
      2 15-11-2011 POR 0,000
      2 11-11-2011 POR 480,000
      3 11-10-2011 FRA 470,000
      3 7-10-2011 LUX 645,000
      3 6-9-2011 BLR 1192,500
      3 2-9-2011 BLR 1192,500
      3 10-8-2011 GRE 187,000
      3 7-6-2011 ALB 1125,000
      3 3-6-2011 ROU 0,000
      3 26-3-2011 ROU 1110,000
      3 9-2-2011 MEX 0,000
      3 10-12-2010 POL 129,000
      3 17-11-2010 SVK 546,000
      4 8-10-2010 ALB 332,500
      4 7-9-2010 FRA 0,000
      4 3-9-2010 LUX 622,500
      4 10-8-2010 QAT 94,860
      4 3-6-2010 GER 0,000
      4 29-5-2010 SWE 0,000
      4 3-3-2010 GHA 477,300
      4 18-11-2009 POR 0,000
      4 14-11-2009 POR 0,000

      tf pts mp avg_pts wght wgt_avg
      1 6512,700 09 723,633 1,0 723,633
      2 3296,500 11 299,682 0,5 149,841
      3 6597,000 11 599,727 0,3 179,918
      4 1527,160 09 169,684 0,2 033,937
      BIH 1087,329

      At the moment Bosnia has a predicted 1087 points and not 1088 anymore, due to the matches played between May 22 and now, resulting in slight changes in FIFA-rankings of opponents of Bosnia etc. etc.

    3. Ed,

      concerning "win/draw/lose" according to ELO-rankings, could you clarify how you determine what a draw is? I can see the calculation method of, but is a win expectancy of 0.600 equalling a draw or what?

      i'd be interested in the expected results of the top 6-12, which, in my opinion, fight for the last remaining seeds)

    4. Jeroen,

      I apply the following simple rules (Ew is the win-expectancy of the home-team according to Elo):

      For friendlies:
      if Ew > 0.634 than home-team wins
      elseif Ew >= 0.366 than draw
      else away-team wins

      For non-friendlies (importance-factor > 1):
      if Ew > 0.609 than home-team wins
      elseif Ew >= 0.391 than draw
      else away-team wins

      Both numbers 0.634 and 0.609 are derived from the percentage of draws in the last 4 years for each type of match, 26,8% in friendlies and 21,9% in non-friendlies.

      The current prediction succes rate is about 55% with these assumptions. Not very high, but also not too bad.

  15. Ed,

    considering you've counted USA-BEL as a draw, CRO-BEL als a Croatian victory, FRA-BEL probably as a French victory and both FRA & CRO are high-rated teams, is there still a possibility teams like Belgium might end up seeded, in case Belgium wins all these games (not that unlikely if you suppose they qualify for WC)?

  16. Jeroen,

    Elo's predictions for Belgium's remaining fixtures are at the moment: a win against Serbia, Scotland and Wales, a draw against USA and France and a loss against Croatia.

    Turning the three non-wins into a win lifts Belgium to a seeded 5th spot (in the meantime pushing the Netherlands to an unseeded 8th spot).
    A draw against Croatia (and wins in the two friendlies against USA and France) puts Belgium at 7th spot, 3 points in front of the Netherlands and 4 points behind Mexico. That will become a close call.
    Just two wins against USA and France and the predicted defeat against Croatia probably kills the seeding aspirations of Belgium: they will be at 8th spot in October then.
    All these bold statements of course under the assumption that every other elo prediction is realised.

    So yes, a seeded Belgium is still a possibility (and if so, fully deserved). A first step has to be made tonight in Cleveland though.

  17. draw against Croatia: you'd have to keep in mind that most likely that would mean Croatia would have to play play-offs and might be eliminated, so top 8 would be enough.

    Idem if f.i. Croatia loses next month, Belgium might just be able to afford a loss in Croatia and still qualify while Croatia might be eliminated.

    But you're right, there are many steps to take... and many IFF's

    Thank's for the details :). I'll put my bet on a USA-BEL 2, FRA-BEL 1 and CRO-BEL 2 (1-2-X system) :).

  18. Jeroen, the first step has been made in good fashion. An impressive result for the Red Devils, even if it concerns just a friendly! With that win the current prediction for Belgium is a 9th spot in October, in front of Italy and Bosnia and right behind Brazil.

    Your 'best bet' prediction ends Belgium at 5th spot in October and the Netherlands outside the seeded spots, a dream scenario for many Belgian fans, I presume :)

  19. Belgium chances of being seeded for the final draw rose from 17.03% to 29.32%, while Portugal's fell from 21.41% to 9.1%. Update in 2 weeks.

  20. That was a vital draw for England against Brazil yesterday!
    Instead of the predicted loss England has gained valuable extra points for the ranking and is now predicted 8th in October, back in contention for the seeded spots and in close fight with Mexico and the Netherlands in front of them and Belgium, Italy and Bosnia right behind them.

    1. Yes, but England were "supposed" to beat Ireland. Would have been better off beating Ireland and losing to Brazil.

      Which of course is because of the three points thing. If it was two points, 1 against both would be better than two against Ireland.

      I do of course prefer two draws to beating Ireland and losing to Brazil. That's the better accomplishment.

  21. ed, do you have a list of all your predictions for these countries? Since some teams are predicted to win ALL games (Bosnia) and others, like Belgium, loses some non-crucial games, it would be nice to see which teams have some ability to progress

  22. Jeroen,

    Here's the list with match predictions for the remaining fixtures for teams 6-14 in the current predicted October ranking.

    2013-06-04 Jamaica - Mexico; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-06-07 Belgium - Serbia; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-06-07 Czech Republic - Italy; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-06-07 Indonesia - Netherlands; Friendly; 2
    2013-06-07 Latvia - Bosnia-Herzegovina; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-06-07 Panama - Mexico; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-06-07 Portugal - Russia; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-06-08 Switzerland - Cyprus; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-06-09 Brazil - France; Friendly; 1
    2013-06-10 Croatia - Portugal; Friendly; X
    2013-06-10 Oman - Bosnia-Herzegovina; Friendly; 2
    2013-06-11 China PR - Netherlands; Friendly; 2
    2013-06-11 Mexico - Costa Rica; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-06-15 Brazil - Japan; Confederations Cup; 1
    2013-06-16 Mexico - Italy; Confederations Cup; X
    2013-06-19 Brazil - Mexico; Confederations Cup; 1
    2013-06-19 Italy - Japan; Confederations Cup; 1
    2013-06-22 Brazil - Italy; Confederations Cup; 1
    2013-06-22 Japan - Mexico; Confederations Cup; 2
    2013-06-26 Brazil - Uruguay; Confederations Cup; 1
    2013-06-27 Spain - Mexico; Confederations Cup; 1
    2013-06-30 Brazil - Spain; Confederations Cup; Brazil PSO win
    2013-06-30 Uruguay - Mexico; Confederations Cup; 2
    2013-07-07 Mexico - Panama; Continental final; 1
    2013-07-11 Mexico - Canada; Continental final; 1
    2013-07-20 Mexico - Cuba; Continental final; 1
    2013-07-24 Panama - Mexico; Continental final; 2
    2013-07-28 USA - Mexico; Continental final; USA PSO win
    2013-08-14 Belgium - France; Friendly; X
    2013-08-14 England - Scotland; Friendly; 1
    2013-08-14 Italy - Argentina; Friendly; X
    2013-08-14 Portugal - Netherlands; Friendly; X
    2013-08-14 Switzerland - Brazil; Friendly; 2
    2013-09-06 Bosnia-Herzegovina - Slovakia; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-09-06 England - Moldova; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-09-06 Estonia - Netherlands; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-09-06 Italy - Bulgaria; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-09-06 Mexico - Honduras; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-09-06 Northern Ireland - Portugal; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-09-06 Scotland - Belgium; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-09-06 Switzerland - Iceland; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-09-09 Brazil - Portugal; Friendly; 1
    2013-09-10 Andorra - Netherlands; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-09-10 Italy - Czech Republic; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-09-10 Norway - Switzerland; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-09-10 Slovakia - Bosnia-Herzegovina; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-09-10 Ukraine - England; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-09-10 USA - Mexico; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-09-18 Brazil - Argentina; Friendly; 1
    2013-10-02 Argentina - Brazil; Friendly; X
    2013-10-11 Albania - Switzerland; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-11 Bosnia-Herzegovina - Liechtenstein; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Croatia - Belgium; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Denmark - Italy; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-10-11 England - Montenegro; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Mexico - Panama; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Netherlands - Hungary; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Portugal - Israel; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Belgium - Wales; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Costa Rica - Mexico; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-15 England - Poland; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Italy - Armenia; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Lithuania - Bosnia-Herzegovina; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-15 Portugal - Luxembourg; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Switzerland - Slovenia; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Turkey - Netherlands; World Cup qualifier; 2

  23. Hardstikke bedankt! ;).

    This means the folliwing 1-2-X per country:
    Belgium: 3-1-1
    Bosnia: 6-0-0
    Brazil:8-0-2 (1 X = penalty wins)
    England: 5-0-0
    Italy: 4-1-4

    So Bosnia & England can only lose points compared to the October prediction*. Italy is, according to me, somewhat underrated in the predictions, Mexico has to many games which are uncertain (demending on the CONCACAF & Conferderations cup) which makes their points hard to predict. Brazil (which are already seeded) might still lose some points.

    Hard to predict, that's for sure.

    (* = i know, they can gain points if the teams they have to play rise on the FIFA ranking)

    1. Yep, according to his predicted ranking and this post with the results used, 7/8 seeds are taken:

      And whoever wins our group will be the last seed:

    2. One of the Italies was obviously supposed to be Argentina. :D

    3. MV,
      even if Croatia loses against Belgium they will be right behind Belgium at 6th spot in October. So, if they handle their subsequent play off well (and they are certainly capable to win against any play off opponent), Croatia will be seeded.
      The fight for the last seeded spot will then be between the Netherlands, Mexico and Italy. That's why I still think that when Croatia qualifies they will always be seeded.

      Jeroen, graag gedaan !

    4. Yes, meant to write "whoever qualifies". My pessimism about our chances of qualifying in case we don't beat Belgium at home caused the lapsus. :D

      You didn't post Colombia's predicted results, since they're currently 5th. I guess it's all wins except against Argentina. What would need to happen for them to lose the seeded spot? How many games would they need to lose to go under the 1080 pts limit?

    5. Colombia has all predicted wins except for a loss away at Argentina and a draw away at Uruguay.

      Interestingly, a home loss against Peru causes a lot of damage according to Elo: 982 pts left, because it also shifts the home match against Ecuador to a draw.
      Same goes to some extent for a loss at home against Ecuador (1064 pts, 13th spot), becauce it also shifts the away match at Paraguay to a draw.
      Just a loss away at Paraguay on Oct 15th doesn't do much: 1163 pts.
      I can at least say that some of the predictions for Colombia clearly balance 'on the edge of a knife'. Edgar's simulation results (April 12th) point in the same direction: Colombia's seeding probability is with 53% even lower than the Dutch seeding chances with 66%.

      The current Elo-predictions for the top 5 (just to be sort of complete):
      2013-06-07 Argentina - Colombia; World Cup qualifier; 1
      2013-06-07 Croatia - Scotland; World Cup qualifier; 1
      2013-06-08 Spain - Haiti; Friendly; 1
      2013-06-11 Colombia - Peru; World Cup qualifier; 1
      2013-06-11 Ecuador - Argentina; World Cup qualifier; X
      2013-06-11 Spain - Republic of Ireland; Friendly; 1
      2013-06-14 Guatemala - Argentina; Friendly; 2
      2013-06-16 Spain - Uruguay; Confederations Cup; 1
      2013-06-20 Spain - Tahiti; Confederations Cup; 1
      2013-06-23 Nigeria - Spain; Confederations Cup; 2
      2013-08-14 Ecuador - Spain; Friendly; 2
      2013-08-14 Germany - Paraguay; Friendly; 1
      2013-08-14 Liechtenstein - Croatia; Friendly; 2
      2013-09-06 Colombia - Ecuador; World Cup qualifier; 1
      2013-09-06 Finland - Spain; World Cup qualifier; 2
      2013-09-06 Germany - Austria; World Cup qualifier; 1
      2013-09-06 Serbia - Croatia; World Cup qualifier; 2
      2013-09-10 Faroe Islands - Germany; World Cup qualifier; 2
      2013-09-10 Paraguay - Argentina; World Cup qualifier; 2
      2013-09-10 Uruguay - Colombia; World Cup qualifier; X
      2013-10-11 Argentina - Peru; World Cup qualifier; 1
      2013-10-11 Colombia - Chile; World Cup qualifier; 1
      2013-10-11 Germany - Republic of Ireland; World Cup qualifier; 1
      2013-10-11 Spain - Belarus; World Cup qualifier; 1
      2013-10-15 Paraguay - Colombia; World Cup qualifier; 2
      2013-10-15 Scotland - Croatia; World Cup qualifier; 2
      2013-10-15 Spain - Georgia; World Cup qualifier; 1
      2013-10-15 Sweden - Germany; World Cup qualifier; X
      2013-10-15 Uruguay - Argentina; World Cup qualifier; 2

    6. So, three wins in their six remaining qualifiers and they're in.
      I think that makes them in.

  24. Can someone please tell what are the chances that Russia will be seeded if they win all their games from now until the draw?

    1. Sviatoslav,

      Russia is predicted to lose only to Portugal, all other fixtures are wins according to Elo.
      If they win against Portugal also, Russia will be at 8th spot in October in a tight group behind Mexico, but in front of England, Belgium, Italy and Bosnia. So they have still a small chance to become seeded.
      Edgar's simulations showed a seeding probability of 5% for Russia.

  25. Russia plays "only" vs low ranked teams except for Portugal and Israel. Winning games vs Luxemburg reduce their ranking points. If you use the current ranking of countries, you'd get the following points if Russia winst all:

    Portugal 1462,5
    Israel 1065
    Northern Ireland 607,5
    Azerbaijan 600
    Luxemburg 397,5 (twice)

    So a win vs Portugal AND Israel is crucial, but even if they win all remaining games, most likely not enough to beat teams like Belgium, Italy, ...

  26. Today some new friendlies were announced:
    Italy - Haiti (11/6)
    Bosnia-Herzegovina - USA (13/8)
    Mexico - Cote d'Ivoire (14/8)

    This drops Mexico from 7th to 8th, Italy from 10th to 11th and Bosnia from 12th to 14th in the predicted October ranking.

  27. Thanks guys. So like I thought, beating Portugal is crucial if Russia want to be seeded. Not an easy task but good to know that it's still a possibility.

  28. OK Bosnia is back on! :) Of course, as always, subject to other results!

    However, the news from today are is that the Oman match due to be played on Monday is now cancelled, due to the Spanish agency organising the tie has failed to provide suitable transport to Muscat, or so it is said...

    Hence, now with victories vs USA, SVK twice and LIE and LIT, still not so simple but definitely possible, I have Bosnia on 1104 points! I took into account the fall that Slovakia will take with this draw vs Liechtenstein, but also LIE going up due to the same fact...

    Slim chance, but possible!

  29. The predictions for the top 14 teams were mostly realised yesterday, except in Buenos Aires and Zagreb. The top 20 of the predicted ranking for October is at the moment:
    1 Spain 1617
    2 Germany 1341
    3 Colombia 1332
    4 Croatia 1278
    5 Argentina 1269
    6 Netherlands 1177
    7 Belgium 1117
    8 Mexico 1111
    9 Brazil 1088
    10 Italy 1080
    11 England 1079
    12 Portugal 1054
    13 Switzerland 1052
    14 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1028
    15 Chile 1001
    16 Russia 984
    17 USA 967
    18 Ecuador 956
    19 Greece 928
    20 France 917

    Vedadpasic, the Oman friendly is still included as it is still in the FIFA list. Without this friendly Bosnia has a predicted 1071 points.
    Nogomet, MV, wtf happened in Zagreb ?
    Jeroen, way to go Belgium !
    Sviatoslav, last chance for a seeded Russia blown away.
    Everybody, Colombia still standing tall.

    1. It's hard to tell what exactly happened. Everybody is still in shock, and cannot believe that we lost against such a weak team AT HOME. Even Scottish fans predicted our win with 2 or 3 goals. This is an extraordinary event since Croatia is among best (or the best?) home teams in Europe, with only 1 defeat (1-4 vs England in 2008) since 1994 when we started to play competitive matches. So this is our second competitive home defeat in history, and again vs. British side. Croatia have a pattern of playing badly in June, but to lose vs. Scotland at home was totally unexpected. Kudos to Scots who played with heart and passion and deservedly took the win. For Croatia, the first place is now probably unreachable due to inferior goal difference. Unless we can pull a 2003 and defeat Belgium 4-0 again.

    2. What happened was that, in Modric's absence, the coach decided to play in a diamond formation. I can't remember if we ever played in this formation before. The midfielders were sometimes (mostly) 50 yards from each other, sometimes they were bumping into each other. It was so bad Scotland actually dominated possession in the first 20 minutes of the game.

    3. Hey Ed! Well, I don't know what will happen regarding this game, but our team is most definitely NOT going to Oman... So I doubt that it will count, what is the procedure in this case?

      Concerning the Bosnia's points, we have a discrepancy in our calculations, but that is surely due to us estimating differently where our opposition is going to stand come September/October... I calculated Slovakia being approx 62nd and Liechtenstein 147, with Lithuania being as predicted here... So for the past years, 149.84 + 179.92 + 33.94 = 363,7. And for the past year:

      1 15-10-2013 LTU 720,000
      1 11-10-2013 LIE 397,500
      1 10-9-2013 SVK 1035,000
      1 6-9-2013 SVK 1035,000
      1 13-8-2013 USA 507,600
      1 7-6-2013 LVA 607,500
      1 22-3-2013 GRE 1410,000
      1 6-2-2013 SVN 459,000
      1 14-11-2012 ALG 504,990

      Or an average of 741.84. So totalling 1105.500.

    4. Hey vedadpasic,

      if a friendly match is not played, it can't count for the ranking, can it ? Friendlies get planned and then cancelled all the time, so this will be just one more of those.

      About Bosnia's points:
      Elo predicts a draw for the friendly against the USA, not a win for Bosnia.
      My sheet works with the FIFA-ranking and Elo-rating at the moment the match is played: SVK is then at a predicted spot 61, LIE at spot 153 and LTU at spot 100. So yes, slightly different ranking positions for Bosnia's opponents, but mainly the result against the USA, cause the difference in predicted points total for Bosnia.
      But alas, also with around 1105 points a seeded spot seems still out of reach for Bosnia. Just qualify and give us a real scare in Brazil :D

    5. I'll tell you what happened.

      Blazevic said they'd put 5 past Scotland.

      Olic was talking about wanting to run up the goal difference and win by 2 or 3 goals.

      Stimac basically said they wouldn't let Scotland out of their own half. He also said they wouldn't lose.

      Bad mistake Blazevic, Olic, Stimac.

      The Scots used that as motivation and complacency crept into Croatia and you saw the result. They thought the match was in the bag before a ball was kicked. It doesn't work that way.

      Eduardo though showed some sense, saying the disrespect was wrong. They should've listened to him.

      As long as Croatia cut this attitude out they should still qualify. They have more talent than any unseeded side they'll meet in a playoff, except maybe if France end up in there unseeded.

    6. Stimac said also that they would press the Scots, that's why he said they wouldn't get out of their half, that they'd be all over them.

      As was said, the Scots actually were comfortable in the first 20mins, going against everything Stimac said. This is because of complacency and firing up the Scots. The Croats weren't putting in the work, they completely underestimated Scotland. They thought they just had to turn up.

      If you're in a nation that didn't televise the match, you can watch it in full here:

      I was watching the stream but real life interrupted me near the end of the first half so I didn't get to see the rest. I have also watched the end few minutes, and there isn't any of the rampant urgency you'd expect Croatia to have under the circumstances. The Scots hold them off quite comfortably to win.

      Great channel. Legal streaming of certain European qualifiers if the match isn't televised in your country.

    7. EDIT: The first 20mins is actually missing from that video.

      I remember now, I actually watched it on BBC2 Scotland. I'm surprised I get to watch the stream, since Idon't get to see England matches even though they also are screened on free TV. I guess they must have made a distinction between England and Scotland, since you can't watch it on the BBC in England. I used my Sky box to watch on BBC2 Scotland. I guess they had a problem with their stream until 20mins in. There is a bit of a blank space before the video starts, maybe a minute or two.

    8. Hey Ed! I just started meddling in Elo calculations, but correct me if I am wrong that it now predicts a win of Bosnia over the US with 0,65? Slim margin I know, but still? :)

    9. vedadpasic,

      you are correct. If you use the elo ratings for BIH and USA as they are now (1782 and 1775 respectively) then (with the home advantage of BIH) the elo win expectancy Ew is 0.649.
      The USA plays the Gold Cup in July and that has an predicted effect on their rating: it will be 1817 in August. With that the Ew for this match will become 0.592 and that's within the margin I use to predict a friendly draw.
      But it's clear that Bosnia should have the (at least predicted) upperhand in this friendly.

  30. nogomet, MV,

    looks like a bit of underestimation then, hard to avoid against an opponent without a qualifying chance and you yourself firmly in the driving seat.
    OK, it's a good lesson to be learned and maybe, as Lorric said, without real damage in the end.

    About home records of European teams in EURO and WC qualifying competitions, I've compiled this short overview from 1990 until yesterday with the number of home losses in that period and the last one:

    Netherlands 1 (11/10/2000 POR 0-2)
    Croatia 1 (10/9/2008 ENG 1-4)
    Italy 2 (8/9/1999 DEN 2-3)
    Spain 2 (7/6/2003 GRE 0-1)
    Germany 2 (17/10/2007 CZE 0-3)
    Portugal 3 (10/9/2008 DEN 2-3)
    Russia 3 (7/9/2010 SVK 0-1)
    England 4 (21/11/2007 CRO 2-3)
    France 6 (26/3/2013 ESP 0-1)
    Switzerland 8 (7/9/2010 ENG 1-3)
    Greece 11 (15/10/2008 SUI 1-2)
    Belgium 12 (3/9/2010 GER 0-1)
    Bosnia-Herzegovina 12 (7/9/2010 FRA 0-2)

    Outside Europe (just WC qualifying): Brazil 0, Mexico 1, Argentina 2.

    1. I'm surprised England have done that well, 4 home losses in 23 years. I've never thought we have anything special of an advantage at home at all. It could just be simply a product of England's ability to rarely be defeated. I wonder how many away defeates there are. I shall find out...

      I'm not clear on if you started with the qualifying competition for Italia 90, or at 1990 itself, I'm going to presume the latter due to there being qualifying matches in 1990.

      lost away to Norway and Netherlands in 93. Sweden in 98. Northern Ireland in 2005. Croatia in 2006. Russia in 2007. Ukraine in 2009.

      So 7 away defeats. Anyone fancy trying the other nations?

      The other three home losses were to Italy in 97, Scotland in 99 and Germany in 2000. England got the last word on all these three, KOing Scotland from the playoff they were contesting and topping the groups containing Italy and Germany.

    2. Stat I came across here:

      36 – the number of consecutive qualifying matches that Italy have now gone without defeat, UEFA EURO and FIFA World Cup combined. Of those, La Nazionale have won 28 and drawn eight.

    3. Longest actual runs without defeat in WC and EURO qualifying for European countries (wins-draws-total):
      Italy 28-8-36
      Spain 29-3-32
      Germany 24-4-28
      England 9-6-15
      Belgium 6-1-7
      Switzerland 5-2-7
      Netherlands 6-0-6
      Bosnia-Herzegovina 5-1-6
      Bulgaria 2-4-6
      Austria 3-2-5

  31. OK, the complete list then.

    The number of home and away losses in EURO and WC qualifying from Jan 1st 1990 (quite arbitrary date I guess) until now for european countries. Home matches on neutral ground are excluded. Russia includes Sovjet-Union, Czech republic includes Czechoslovakia and Serbia includes Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro.

    H A total team
    2 3 5 Germany
    2 5 7 Italy
    3 5 8 Montenegro
    2 7 9 Spain
    6 3 9 France
    2 9 11 Croatia
    4 7 11 England
    1 11 12 Netherlands
    3 9 12 Portugal
    7 9 16 Denmark
    3 14 17 Russia
    4 13 17 Serbia
    4 13 17 Sweden
    7 13 20 Republic of Ireland
    8 12 20 Switzerland
    7 15 22 Ukraine
    9 13 22 Romania
    10 13 23 Czech Republic
    11 15 26 Greece
    10 17 27 Bulgaria
    11 16 27 Norway
    10 20 30 Poland
    8 23 31 Scotland
    13 18 31 Slovakia
    11 21 32 Israel
    12 20 32 Belgium
    12 21 33 Bosnia-Herzegovina
    15 18 33 Turkey
    13 26 39 Austria
    20 20 40 Slovenia
    19 25 44 Finland
    19 25 44 Kazakhstan
    18 28 46 Hungary
    20 29 49 Northern Ireland
    20 31 51 Belarus
    22 29 51 Wales
    23 28 51 FYR Macedonia
    17 35 52 Georgia
    24 29 53 Lithuania
    24 31 55 Latvia
    24 34 58 Armenia
    24 36 60 Iceland
    25 37 62 Moldova
    23 43 66 Azerbaijan
    24 43 67 Albania
    26 41 67 Cyprus
    30 38 68 Andorra
    34 36 70 Estonia
    35 42 77 Liechtenstein
    41 51 92 Faroe Islands
    42 52 94 Malta
    46 48 94 Luxembourg
    51 53 104 San Marino