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Friday, April 12, 2013

2014 FIFA World Cup final seeding simulations (12 April 2013)

Italy look favorites to clinch the last seeded spot, with Ecuador, England, Mexico and Portugal around 15 points behind the Italians.

100% - Brazil
98.92% - Spain
94.54% - Germany
93.89% - Argentina
82.64% - Croatia

66.44% - Netherlands
53.1% - Colombia
44.25% - Italy
30.55% - Ecuador
27.94% - England
23.81% - Mexico
21.41% - Portugal
17.03% - Belgium
11.25% - Switzerland
10.88% - Uruguay
5.65% - Russia
4.59% - Venezuela
3.95% - Peru
3.19% - Chile
2.27% - Bosnia-Herzegovina
1.1% - Czech Republic
0.54% - USA
0.5% - Ukraine
0.37% - Japan
0.23% - Paraguay
0.23% - Serbia
0.19% - Sweden
0.18% - Albania
0.15% - Montenegro
0.08% - France
0.07% - Côte d'Ivoire
0.04% - Equatorial Guinea
0.01% - Iceland
0.01% - Norway

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  1. Have FIFA even confirmed they will be using their own rankings to seed the top 8? They usually produce an alternative formula to give them their "desired" top 8, or they could now even decide to seed the 8 former winners (if they all qualify) which would suit them commercially, one would think.
    And while we are at it, the way they geographically split the other pots often produces an imbalance in the quality of groups. These are two possible "group of death/life" scenarios: Spain, Netherlands, Mexico, Ivory Coast OR Uruguay, Greece, Uzbekistan, Tunisia.
    For purposes of producing evenly-matched groups, I'd prefer it if they just split the 4 pots according to the most recent ranking before the draw, and kept teams from the same continent apart in the same way they keep same-country clubs apart in the Champions League draw.

    1. I'd like to see FIFA seed the whole field, but I don't see it happening. The draw procedure would be too complicated for the general public.

    2. Yes, absolutely - and it would be transparent. And FIFA love transparency, don't they? Oh....... ;-)

    3. I'm not sure if you could do it. I'll let someone work it out because I'm too tired right now, but here:

      Is the information you need to form the pots if it had been done for the last World Cup. The pots are pretty diverse, so it might have been possible.

    4. Well, it could be done, but it would not be easy. In order to maintain the geographical separation, each pot would come with different rules.

      If you would link teams together (similar to the CL Group Stage draw) and separate them into Groups A-D from E-H, it probably would haven been easier.

  2. Albania 0.18% and Equatorial Guinea 0.04% chance of being seeded in the WC draw ?
    What outlandish, freakish results are necessary to realise that ? No matter how hard I try, I can't imagine it :)

    Comparing this list with the seeding list based on Elo-predictions, the first 6 (Brazil, Spain, Croatia, Argentina, Germany, Colombia) are the same. According to Elo Mexico and the Netherlands will fight with Portugal and Italy (and maybe England as an outsider) for the remaining two seeded spots.

    New face introduced here is Ecuador with better chances than England, Mexico and Portugal. Ecuador is at the moment predicted 16th in October according to Elo, a substantial 70 points behind Belgium for instance. I am surprised !

  3. Ed,

    This list is based on Elo-predictions as well, but it simulates the matches instead of looking at the favorite as a deterministic winner.

    1. Amir, I know, but how does that explain the higher probability for Ecuador to get seeded especially compared to the seeding probabilities for Mexico and Portugal?

      That doesn't make too much sense for me if you are looking just at the predicted October ranking. Is it maybe because the probability of getting qualified is also incorporated in these seeding probabilities and Ecuador has already a much higher probability of qualification than Mexico and Portugal ?

    2. Ecuador has better opponents than Mexico and Portugal. Even though it is the underdog in some of the matches, it does have a decent chance of winning, and therefore gain many points.

    3. Amir, that sounds logical, thanks !
      I could have thought of that myself :)

  4. While it is true that the organizing committee will be pushing for three South American teams seeded, it is very hard to imagine Colombia a seeded team in 2014.

    Colombia has qualified for the World Cup only four times, has made it to the second round only once, and hasn't qualified for the World Cup since 1998.

    1. Another reason why seeding the 8 former winners would suit FIFA. That said, why even have a ranking system if it is not going to be used consistently for the flagship tournament?

    2. In 2010 France were the losing finalists from the previous tournament and yet FIFA chose not to seed them.

      If Colombia are in the top 7 in October, why not?

    3. All they need to do is introduce World Cup performances into the fray (vide 2006). Colombia automatically has 0 points for 2006 and 2010 and is nowhere in the running for a seeded spot. That would torpedo Portugal or England into contention for the last seeded spot (or both with Croatia with minimal points for World Cup showings or maybe Italy losing out due to their poor 2010 performance).