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Friday, September 6, 2013

2014 FIFA World Cup final seeding simulations (6 September 2013)

More about the simulations in the second and third paragraphs of the first 'Road to Brazil' post.

Most improved since the 21 June simulations:

11.96% - Switzerland
10.55% - Argentina
6.47% - England
3.32% - Italy
2.34% - USA

Most declined:

-16.59% - Chile
-7.68% - Croatia
-4.99% - Bosnia-Herzegovina
-2.93% - Belgium
-2.43% - Ecuador

Chances of being seeded over the 10000 simulations:

100% - Brazil
98.74% - Spain
97.86% - Argentina
96.49% - Germany
79.82% - Italy
72.98% - Colombia
63.09% - Netherlands
44.59% - Belgium
30.12% - England
26.65% - Switzerland
25.9% - Portugal
25.81% - Croatia
22.99% - Uruguay
6.15% - Chile
5.01% - Ecuador
2.35% - USA
0.81% - Bosnia-Herzegovina
0.33% - Peru
0.16% - Czech Republic
0.12% - Albania
0.02% - Mexico
0.01% - Greece

Chances of being seeded if the team has qualified:

100% - Brazil
100% - Spain
97.86% - Argentina
97.12% - Germany
83.18% - Italy
73.24% - Colombia
63.16% - Netherlands
53.43% - Uruguay
49.25% - Belgium
38.89% - Croatia
36.88% - England
34.33% - Portugal
28.2% - Switzerland
6.65% - Chile
5.22% - Ecuador
2.37% - USA
2.18% - Albania
1.7% - Peru
1.1% - Czech Republic
0.92% - Bosnia-Herzegovina
0.02% - Mexico
0.02% - Greece

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. Great stuff as always, however don't FIFA usually "contrive" a formula for the Top 8 seeds rather than use their own ranking?

  2. Hi Edgar,

    In the case that Argentina qualified, what would have to happen so Argentina wouldn't be seeded? Which teams would be seeded? Brazil, Spain and ... ?

    Many thanks,

    1. Hi Federico,

      Just wondering, you want Argentina to be seeded or not to be seeded? :)

      I don't have any simulations. But it is highly likely that Argentina qualifies even losing their 3 remaining games for the qualifiers (there are 100% chances according to Edgar's simulations). If Argentina were to lose the 3 remaining games, they could lose enough points for the ranking that they would slip out of the top 7 ranked teams. Still, they would make it to the WC, but not seeded perhaps. At the same time, their competitors would have to perform really well: Colombia, Netherlands, Belgium, Croatia, Portugal, England and maybe even Uruguay would have to do a good job. In this scenario, you would have as seeds:
      Brazil, Spain, Germany, Italy, Colombia, Netherlands and two out of the following: Belgium, Croatia, Portugal, England and Uruguay. Like I said, I don't have any numbers, I'm just guided by intuition.

      I think it was Ed who posted the min/max expected points for the october ranking. That could give you an idea of what teams can potentially pass Argentina. Any chance to have a look at that?

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Federico,

      here's an updated list with min/max points for the October ranking

      team min max
      Spain 1398 1540
      Argentina 1068 1390
      Germany 1059 1314
      Brazil 1038 1093
      Colombia 1028 1390
      Italy 1011 1233
      Belgium 996 1254
      Uruguay 979 1250
      Portugal 956 1137
      USA 900 1038
      Chile 894 1159
      Netherlands 883 1119
      Croatia 861 1142
      England 851 1154
      Greece 757 991
      Switzerland 720 1140
      Ecuador 699 1049
      Paraguay 572 981

      If Argentina loses all three remaining matches they could be overtaken by everyone on this list, except Paraguay, Ecuador, Greece and USA.

    4. That's nice, Ed. Seeing Paraguay in this list is kinda funny. After Uruguay's victory over Peru, Paraguay's qualification chances are almost extinguished. They could end up in a seeding spot even though they will not reach the play-offs. I wonder what people will have to say about FIFA's ranking if that happens... I'm guessing this is because they still have to face Argentina and Colombia and two victories would boost them up there?

    5. For my selection of countries I used the list of Jeroen at the bottom about countries that could still reach a seeded spot. His list doesn't regard existing (or non-existing) qualification chances at all and is an other min/max approach in the sense that for each country in turn the points are maximized, while the points for all other countries are minimized, just to see if the country could somehow reach a top-8 spot.

      Anyway, it's clear that a maximum 981 points for Paraguay won't be sufficient to take a seeded spot, while indeed their qualification chances are, well, dead.

    6. Juan and Ed, many thanks to both for your answers.

    7. A small extra:
      Currently, the points needed to reach (for sure) top 7 + Brazil is currently somewhat around 1165 pts.

      This is what the top teams need to do to reach at least 1165 points:
      Argentina: 1 win
      Belgium: win vs Croatia + draw vs Wales (draw vs Croatia + win vs wales probably would do just fine, but no guarantee)
      Italy: 2 wins + 1 draw
      Uruguay: 2 wins + 1 draw
      Germany: 1 win + 2 draws
      colombia: 1 win + 1 draw
      Spain: collecting enough money for the Brazil trip ;) (already certain)

    8. and the last one:
      about 1100 pts will be required to finish top 7 + Brazil.

      This is wat teams need to do to get at least 1100 points:
      Netherlands (3): 3 wins (2 wins + 1 draw vs Andorra still gives them 1106)
      Belgium (2): 1 win
      Switzerland (3): 3 wins
      Portugal (3): 2 qualification wins + draw vs Brazil
      England (3): 3 wins
      Croatia (3): 2 qualification wins
      Chile (3): 2 qualification wins
      Argentina (3): 1 draw
      Germany (3) :win vs. Faroer or draw vs Ireland OR sweden
      Colombia (3): 1 win
      Italy (3) : 2 wins
      Uruguay (3): 2 wins
      Spain (3): all losses

      Italy and Uruguay could afford only 1 win + 1 draw if they're beating the right teams. Number in brackets: the amount of games still to be played.

    9. Wow, that's interesting. Would it be accurate to say that if Uruguay beats Colombia (one of the right teams I suppose) next Tuesday they'll be really close to being seeded? Assuming this result for Uruguay, I see it somewhat difficult for the rest of the teams: England 3 wins, Croatia 2 q wins, Switzerland 3 wins, Netherlands 3 wins.

    10. not that fast :). 1100 = the minimum requirement to be a real contender, not the pts which guarantee a seeded spot. 1100 points just makes them "eligable".

    11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    12. Ed,
      I try to reproduce your min points for October Ranking. I obtained the same results, except for England. I have 19 points less than you.

      I have the following points
      2010-2012: 585 points (the same that this post
      November 2012-2013: 11 matches.
      0 (Sweden),
      546 (Brazil),
      375 (San Marino),
      430 (Montenegro),
      181 (Brazil),
      161 (Ireland),
      450 (Scotland),
      577.5 (Moldova),
      0 (Ukraine),
      0 (Montenegro),
      0 (Poland).

      I only obtained your result if a considered England matches of October 2012:
      375 (San Marino)
      365 (Poland)

      Could you tell me where is the mistake? Thanks.

    13. Federico,

      your match points are OK.

      You have to include the match against Poland on 17/10/2012 into the first time frame: 3085.5 divided by 12 matches = 257.13

      You can't use the 585 points from that post as the combined result for 2nd, 3rd and 4th time frame:
      2: 8057/13 = 619.77 (0.5) => 309.88
      3: 3929.62/8 = 491.2 (0.3) => 147.36
      4: 8226.975/12 = 685.58 (0.2) => 137.12
      summed: 594.36 + 257.13 = 851.49

  3. Is this after yesterday's matches? Because Belgium, Croatie and Italy were winning, while The Netherlands lost some points against Estonia.

  4. All,

    here's the update of the predicted October ranking after yesterday's matches. As the battle for the seeded UEFA play-off spots seem to culminate around spot 20 I give the predicted top 30:

    1 Spain 1540
    2 Argentina 1310
    3 Colombia 1305
    4 Germany 1233
    4 Italy 1233
    6 Netherlands 1120
    7 Croatia 1116
    8 Belgium 1113
    9 Brazil 1093
    10 Portugal 1091
    11 England 1081
    12 Uruguay 1069
    13 Switzerland 1044
    14 USA 1005
    15 Chile 999
    16 Greece 991
    17 Cote d'Ivoire 926
    18 Russia 903
    19 Sweden 885
    20 Romania 874
    21 Ukraine 873
    22 France 866
    23 Mexico 853
    24 Bosnia-Herzegovina 849
    25 Ecuador 835
    26 Ghana 829
    27 Costa Rica 775
    27 Peru 775
    29 Norway 769
    30 Algeria 766

    Wow, a lot of unexpected things happened yesterday. The struggle for the last seeded spots in the WC final draw has heated up even more with draws for the Netherlands (ugh, a typical case of underestimation; they were very poor), Croatia and Switzerland and the win for Uruguay.

    Bosnia-Herzegovina lost totally unexpected at home against Slovakia and now they are suddenly in danger of ending as runner-up in the group behind Greece and even entering the play-offs unseeded. Their predicted win in and over Slovakia next Tuesday has changed to a draw as a consequence.

    Regarding the UEFA play-offs: the draw against Georgia was bad news for France. They slip to a predicted 22th spot behind other potential play-off contestants like Sweden, Romania and Ukraine.

    The predicted UEFA play-off setting at the moment:
    pot 1: Croatia, Portugal, Sweden, Romania
    pot 2: Ukraine, France, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Norway
    (Bulgaria out as worst runner-up)

    Mexico lost again valuable points and are now predicted to become CONCACAF 4th behind Honduras, but still before Panama.
    Uruguay has pipped Venezuela as CONMEBOL's 5th.

    Phew, after Tuesday everything could be different again. First the conclusion of the CAF group phase this weekend.

    1. As expected, the reserve squad of Croatia arrived to Korea today, so anything other than a defeat on Tuesday would be a huge surprise.

    2. Hi ed,

      Nice work.
      How come Croatia finishes over Belgium in this prediction? Is it because it is expected that they beat Belgium in the upcoming qualifier game?

    3. Juan,
      Indeed, elo still predicts a Croatian win over Belgium.

    4. Yes, I thought so. Leaving predictions aside and considering recent results I am not so sure about a Croatian victory. Belgium will come out to play with the peace of mind that a home victory against Wales in the last game will qualify them directly to the WC. While Croatia will desperately need a win against Belgium. The scenario looks very favoring for Belgium's play, leaving them good chances to impose their game. But it's football, we never know what will happen until the final whistle, that's the beauty!

    5. My idea too, I personally consider Belgium at least equal to Croatia at the moment.

      But using elo prevents me from having to have a personal judgement about the 150 matches still to play before October 15th.
      I'm just a messenger of elo's whims :D

    6. Yes, don't worry, I totally understand: that's why I said "leaving predictions aside"... as a way to look it from a different angle. I guess many games could be analyzed beyond elo's whims. I referred to Croatia and Belgium, in particular, because I think these teams are strongly fighting for a seeding spot. And the upcoming game in October will be very important for both teams: not only qualification is at stake but also seeding. Even if Croatia cannot qualify directly, according to your numbers winning that game would allow them to be seeded. I think such a game deserves a little more attention than just the prediction... that's all! :)

      Well, I read somewhere else here that Croatia is not taking the first team to play against Korea, a very bad call I guess...

    7. And Igor Stimac said that the results vs Belgium and Scotland are not a priority for him. He said he will try some new solutions, clean players from yellow cards and prepare for the play-offs. So I wouldn`t bet a single dime on Croatia. They are out of the contention for the seeded spot. And with such a circus boy as a coach, even the qualification for the WC is in serious jeopardy.

    8. That sucks for Croatia. Well, I think the Croatian coach is right on focusing on the play-offs. The coach cannot come out to talk about seeding before qualifying to the WC. If he fails to qualify he would have to face a storm of criticism for having considered Croatia as a seed, and therefore creating a false image of importance that led the team to failure, or some crap of this nature.

    9. Well nogomet,

      congratulations with that really big surprise! With that unexpected win (elo predicted a draw) Croatia climbs to a predicted 1142 points in October. Not as much as when the friendly wasn't played at all (1164 pts), but the damage is rather limited.

    10. Yes, it's a shock. Nobody expected it. Literally a reserve squad (with some players who are even reserves of reserves) somehow managed to beat Korea in Korea after a demoralizing match in Belgrade, an 18-hour flight, jet lag, and only 1 training session. I didn't watch the match, but are Korea really that weak?

    11. Just a quick look at the men who played for S. Korea leaves me thinking it was something like a B squad. Might be wrong about that though.

    12. Thanks, that would explain a lot. However, I struggle to understand why did Korea field a B squad when they paid so much money to drag Croatia from the other side of the world and had such a nice opportunity to collect easy FIFA points vs 8th team in the ranking.

    13. Despite qualifying for the World Cup, Korea fired their coach. That might have something to do with it. The new guy might have been giving some fringe players a chance to impress him, see if someone can seize the moment. Or might have very different ideas about who should be in the team.

      Something similar happened when England fired Capello, Pearce had the team for one game during the interim, and called up a load of his U21 players for the match. I thought this was a great idea, it would be just another game and meaningless under a one-game boss for the regulars, so why not let some other players have a taste of the shirt and see how they respond to it?

      Anyway [devil hat on] Scotland somehow managed to beat Croatia in Croatia after getting beaten by just about everyone for months beforehand. Are Croatia really that weak? [devil hat off] :D

    14. Never been worse. Our "coach" is actually a player agent/murky businessman. He challenged the absolute ruler of Croatian football, Z. Mamic, so he was placated with the national team. This way he gets provisions from transfers as all the money in Croatian football comes from transfers (first league avg attendances are a few hundred) and the only way for a Croatian club to make a decent transfer reaching millions is with players playing for the national team (as the league is utter #%&$).

      As a result of having such a "manager" we play every game with a different system. System, not line-up. It was 3-5-2 against Korea, three centre forwards against Serbia, diamond against Scotland (that went well!), false 9 against Wales at home and then 3-4-3 away,...

      And Stimac has absolutely no idea who to play on half the positions in the team (LB, DM, LW, RW, and one centre-half (34 y o Simunic is a fixture)).

  5. Ed
    Congratulation for your fantastic quick reaction on yesterday games.
    Keep it up on Wednesday morning!:)

    1. Adrian, thank you and you're welcome.

      Of course I'm curious myself how results affect the various issues around qualification and seedings. And why not share it with you other addicts :)

      Wednesday is just a normal working day for me, so the publication of that update shall be delayed a bit, I think :)

  6. fwiw: these are the teams who are (theoretically) able to finish top 8 in Octobers FIFA ranking:

    Spain (guaranteed top 8)

    Before 6 september, we had 32 teams, now just 18 left...

  7. WOW! According to the final table of your sinulation, can you imagine 4 South-American countries leading it's groups?

  8. VERY important info about the seeding:

    For those who don't speak Dutch or can't get a good translation through Google Translate, a rough summary:
    3 december the decision about seeding will be made, in 1990 Belgium, seeded according to the ranking system used at that time (which one?), was almost forced to lose it's seeding, but D'Hooghe didn't allow that. He plans to do the same thing this year if necessary.

    D'Hooghe is member of the Executive committee of the FIFA, so his words have some value :).

    1. From Wikipedia:

      The six seeded teams for the 1990 tournament were announced on 7 December 1989.[14] The seeds were then allocated to the six groups in order of their seeding rank (1st seed to Group A, 2nd seed to Group B, etc.).
      The seeds were decided by FIFA based on the nations' performance in, primarily, the 1986 World Cup with the 1982 World Cup also considered as a secondary influence. Six of the final eight in 1986 had qualified for the 1990 tournament. Italy – who were seeded first as hosts – had not reached the final eight in 1986, and this left FIFA needing to exclude one of the three (qualified) nations who were eliminated in the 1986 quarter finals: Brazil, England or Spain.

      Owing to their performance in 1982 but also to their overall World Cup record, Brazil were seeded third and not considered to drop out of the seedings. FIFA opted to seed England ahead of Spain. Spain had only been eliminated in 1986 on penalties, while England had been defeated in 90 minutes; both countries had also reached the second stage in the 1982 event, but Spain had also appeared in the 1978 event, while England had failed to qualify. FIFA President João Havelange had reportedly earlier stated that Spain would be seeded.[15]

      Spain believed the seeding was contrived to ensure England would be placed in Group F, the group to be held off the Italian mainland, in a bid to contain England's hooliganism problems. Spanish coach Luis Suárez said, "We feel we've been cheated...they wanted to seed England and to send it to Cagliari at all costs. So they invented this formula".[14] FIFA countered that "the formula was based on the teams' respective showings during the previous two World Cups. England merited the sixth position. This is in no way a concession to English hooliganism".

    2. The most important part of the article is:
      'De kans is reëel dat België op 6 december in de top 8 van de FIFA-ranglijst staat. Als de loting verloopt volgens de ranking, zou België reekshoofd zijn en zo meteen enkele toplanden ontlopen.
      In het verleden werd voor de loting rekening gehouden met de prestaties op de vorige twee WK's, maar voor het WK 2010 was de FIFA-lijst het enige criterium. Op 3 december wordt de knoop doorgehakt.'

      There's a real chance that Belgium on December 6th is positioned in the top 8 of the fifa ranking. If the draw is based on the ranking Belgium would be seeded and avoid a few top countries.
      In the past the seeding for the draw was based on performances in the last two WC's, but for the WC 2010 the fifa ranking was the only criterium. The decision will be made December 3rd.

    3. fyi: The draw for the WC finals is December 6th in Bahia, Brazil

    4. Knowing D'Hooghe opposed Havelange succesfully, means we have a good chance to consider the top 7 + Brazil as seeds. I do hope however D'Hooghe keeps his intentions that way if Belgium wouldn't be in top 7.

    5. Why delaying that decision until a few days before the actual draw? Totally not transparant and a source for all kinds of allegations about 'fixing the seeds'.

      FIFA really needs to publish their seeding method in the tournament regulations before the qualifying starts !

    6. yes, that's a shame! that's why I am hoping that we have as many "uninvited guests" as possible among the top 7!

    7. Has somebody tried to see what would the seedings look like if the 2006 formula is used? My guess is: Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, England/Uruguay.

    8. Ed, Daniel Burnier,

      somehow i can understand FIFA: FIFA's ranking isn't the best ranking method (elo's better, but slower). By waiting untill the end of qualification, they can avoid the ranking becoming this manipulated that it doesn't reflect reality. Now they can use it when it somehow reflects reality. And personally, i think it does now, with the exception of Croatia, which is somewhat overrated imho (perhaps i'm biased being Belgian).

    9. The formula used in 2006 was:
      (ranking WC98 + ranking WC02*2)/3 + (ranking dec03 + ranking dec04 + ranking nov05)/3

      I made the following substitutions:
      WC98 => WC06
      WC02 => WC10
      dec03 => dec11
      dec04 => dec12
      nov05 => the predicted ranking nov13

      Top 8:
      1 Germany 60.0
      2 Spain 59.7
      3 Netherlands 55.3
      4 Argentina 53.7
      5 Brazil 49.0
      6 Portugal 47.3
      7 England 47.0
      8 Italy 42.3 (ex aequo with Uruguay)

      Bravo nogomet !

    10. Wow, excellent work Ed! I'm surprised to see Italy below England, given they were world champions in 2006. I guess the last WC disaster really screwed them.

    11. Thanks Jeroen! Very interesting.

  9. I'm guessing that FIFA will decide to use the following criteria: first, only the 32 teams that participated in WC2010 will be eligible for seeding in WC2014. Second, these teams will be ranked by Oct 2014 FIFA ranking, and top 7 teams plus Brazil get seeded.

  10. Oops. Meant to say Oct 2013 ranking, of course...

  11. After yesterday's games, these are the min-max points:

    Teams are ranking based on the scenario every game is won.
    this is the structure:
    rank - country - min points (both losses) - max points (both wins)

    GAMES - pts if they only win that game

    01 Spain 1409 1513

    Spain - Belarus 1465
    Spain - Georgia 1457

    Seeded, whatever happens

    02 Argentina 1163 1388

    Argentina - Peru 1267
    Argentina - Uruguay 1283

    03 Germany 1093 1311

    Germany Republic of Ireland 1189
    Germany Sweden 1215

    04 Colombia 1028 1262

    Colombia Chile 1154
    Colombia Paraguay 1136

    05 Belgium 996 1250

    Belgium Croatia 1138
    Belgium Wales 1107

    06 Uruguay 1072 1249

    Uruguay Ecuador 1156
    Uruguay Argentina 1164

    07 Italy 1088 1230

    Italy Denmark 1166
    Italy Armenia 1152

    08 Croatia 901 1150

    Croatia Belgium 1046
    Croatia Scotland 1004

    09 Switzerland 866 1138

    Switzerland Albania 995
    Switzerland Slovenia 1009

    10 Netherlands 917 1137

    Netherlands Hungary 1033
    Netherlands Turkey 1021

    11 Chile 910 1126

    Chile Colombia 1022
    Chile Ecuador 1013

    12 Portugal 956 1097

    Portugal Israel 1046
    Portugal Luxembourg 1006

    13 Brazil 1071 1093

    Brazil Korea Republic 1093

    14 England 887 1080

    England Montenegro 995
    England Poland 972

    15 USA 954 1040

    USA Jamaica 990
    USA Panama 1003

    1. I think we could be facing a huge surprise in the top 7 of October: Switzerland.

      After the games of yesterday, the seeded teams, based on the October rankings, could well be: Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Italy, Colombia, Belgium and Switzerland.

      Netherlands misses out by just one point to the Swiss team. Serves them right, they were not convincing at all in the past matches against Estonia and Andorra.

    2. If this will be the case (Belgium, Colombia and Switzerland being seeded), they will change the rules and add in the performances of the last world cup :-)

    3. Too bad FIFA is in Switzerland :-)

    4. Getting seeded is also used as a billboard to sell tickets for matches with a guaranteed top country. Colombia, maybe, since it's in South America, sure, but... Belgium and Switzerland I mean with all do respect, i think they're pretty good teams, probably better than ours at the moment (dutch) but their popularity with the plebs/vulgus is quite low. Good luck selling tickets and TV ads for those matches like Belgium - Iran or Switzerland - Jordania.

      Please descend into the real world. Fifa only cares about the $s. I would be highly surprised if FIFA only uses their FIFA momentum meter to rank teams. Especially if it would negatively affect big fifa darlings like England and Italy.

    5. Belgium used to be seeded in 1990,1994 and 1998, i didn't hear anyone complaining :) (ok, I was 11-19 years old that time).

      In fact, by NOT seeding big teams, they create more interesting duels in the first rounds. If Switzerland takes Netherlands place, you'd get a Spain-Netherlands in the first round. Even if this would mean you'd get a Belgium-Iran, i guess they'd prefer that above a Spain-Belgium / Netherlands-Iran in first round.

      This would be an example of possible seeding groups, supposing Switzerland takes Uruguay's place:





    6. More interesting duels in the first round? A death sentence for many bigger soccer nations, and a severely imbalanced draw? Just because you, who did not qualify for the last 5 UEFA and FIFA tourneys, get a relatively easy draw. Quite possibly some matches no one wants to see might i add. And then Switzerland.... I mean for real, don't you see a big problem with the credibility of FIFA rankings and its subsequent sponsor if this scenario you portray will be effectuated?

      Please wake up out of your dream, Come december, you will get screwed. Count on it. We've been there before (2006).

    7. @Jeroen,
      How many points you get for a draw? is it half the amount of a win?
      I mean Belgium is on 996 points
      a Wales win wil bring 112 points
      a Croatia win wil bring 143 points
      But how many for a Wales and Croatia draw?


    8. Already found it: 1/3 of the points

  12. I don't have access to my database, but this will probably be sufficient to stay ahead of Switzerland in case they win both games:


    Spain: always
    Argentina: always
    Germany: 1 win or 2 draws
    Colombia: 1 win vs Chile of win vs. Paraguay + draw vs Chile
    Belgium: win vs. Croatia (equalling) or a win AND a draw
    Uruguay: 1 win
    Italy: 1 win
    Croatia: 2 wins

    Since Belgium AND Croatia can't accomplish this both, at least one will fail, so they need just one other team to fail.

  13. All,

    here's the update of the predicted October ranking after yesterday's matches:

    1 Spain 1514
    2 Argentina 1307
    3 Colombia 1261
    4 Italy 1231
    5 Germany 1230
    6 Croatia 1149
    7 Switzerland 1138
    8 Netherlands 1137
    9 Uruguay 1131
    10 Belgium 1107
    11 Portugal 1096
    12 Brazil 1093
    13 England 1080
    14 Chile 1013
    15 USA 1007
    16 Greece 983
    17 Russia 926
    18 Bosnia-Herzegovina 925
    19 Sweden 892
    20 Cote d'Ivoire 884
    21 France 871
    21 Mexico 871
    21 Ukraine 871
    24 Ghana 829
    25 Denmark 787
    26 Ecuador 774
    27 Venezuela 771
    28 Romania 768
    29 Algeria 766
    30 Serbia 750

    Switzerland, Croatia, Uruguay and Bosnia-Herzegovina performed better than expected by elo.
    Switzerland has grabbed their last chance to climb into the top 7.

    Croatia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Portugal and England all have two predicted wins in October.
    Uruguay (2 draws) and Belgium (1 win and 1 loss) are the two who could substantially improve on their current spots above to claim a possible seeded spot.
    Chile is too far away already to make a realistic claim anymore, this is: without major help from a number of countries above them.

    Bosnia-Herzegovina recovered in time and still has the upper hand (goal difference) versus Greece in their group. Romania lost (alas, but you were right, Edgar !).

    The predicted UEFA play-off setting at the moment:
    pot 1: Croatia, Portugal, Greece, Sweden
    pot 2: France, Ukraine, Romania, Iceland
    (Bulgaria out as worst runner-up)

    1. Ed, what are the predicted outcomes for two Swedish games? Would it be enough for France to be seeded if Sweden lose vs Germany?

    2. Also, a very interesting situation with France and Ukraine both on 871 points. I wonder what would FIFA do if these two teams are on the seeding line.

    3. nogomet, a win vs Autria and a draw vs Germany.

      That would surely be enough for France. Sweden would end with a loss against Germany at 851 points, even behind Ukraine.

    4. If France and Ukraine end both on 871 points, and FIFA acts consequently (!), then the decimals will decide.
      FIFA did that before in the Wales/Faroer case some years ago.

    5. it looks like that the worst case for France is if Ukraine qualifies directly leaving England to the play-offs

    6. Ouch yes, not only unseeded, but in the seeded pot at least two opponents they will fear :)

    7. Nice, Ed. If I were FIFA I would consider october's ranking for seeding but additionally i would require that the seeded team played the previous WC. In that case, and considering your numbers, we would have:

      Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands and Uruguay. Which looks perfectly fine to me. The surprise of Switzerland and the rest seem logical seeds.

      i like the idea of having 3 south american teams as seeds, that makes the final draw a lot simpler. I am for Colombia/Uruguay, but not both.

  14. Here's what elo thinks of the relevant matches in October:
    2013-10-11 Honduras - Costa Rica; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-10-11 Mexico - Panama; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 USA - Jamaica; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Argentina - Peru; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Colombia - Chile; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Ecuador - Uruguay; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-10-11 Venezuela - Paraguay; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Croatia - Belgium; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Wales - FYR Macedonia; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Armenia - Bulgaria; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-10-11 Denmark - Italy; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-11 Malta - Czech Republic; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-11 Faroe Islands - Kazakhstan; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-10-11 Germany - Republic of Ireland; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Sweden - Austria; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Andorra - Romania; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-11 Estonia - Turkey; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-11 Netherlands - Hungary; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Albania - Switzerland; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-11 Iceland - Cyprus; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Slovenia - Norway; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-10-11 Azerbaijan - Northern Ireland; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Luxembourg - Russia; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-11 Portugal - Israel; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Bosnia-Herzegovina - Liechtenstein; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Greece - Slovakia; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Lithuania - Latvia; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-10-11 England - Montenegro; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Moldova - San Marino; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Ukraine - Poland; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 Spain - Belarus; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-11 France - Australia; Friendly; 1
    2013-10-12 Korea Republic - Brazil; Friendly; 2
    2013-10-15 Costa Rica - Mexico; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-10-15 Jamaica - Honduras; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-10-15 Panama - USA; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-10-15 Chile - Ecuador; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Paraguay - Colombia; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-15 Peru - Bolivia; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Uruguay - Argentina; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-10-15 Belgium - Wales; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Scotland - Croatia; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-15 Serbia - FYR Macedonia; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Bulgaria - Czech Republic; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-10-15 Denmark - Malta; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Italy - Armenia; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Faroe Islands - Austria; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-15 Republic of Ireland - Kazakhstan; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Sweden - Germany; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-10-15 Hungary - Andorra; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Romania - Estonia; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Turkey - Netherlands; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-15 Cyprus - Albania; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-10-15 Norway - Iceland; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Switzerland - Slovenia; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Azerbaijan - Russia; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-15 Israel - Northern Ireland; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Portugal - Luxembourg; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Greece - Liechtenstein; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Latvia - Slovakia; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-10-15 Lithuania - Bosnia-Herzegovina; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-15 England - Poland; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Montenegro - Moldova; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 San Marino - Ukraine; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-15 France - Finland; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Spain - Georgia; World Cup qualifier; 1

  15. The FIFA points in the October ranking for the top 15 with all combinations of results:

    ex. 1w/2d : 1st match (11/10) win and 2nd match (15/10) draw
    l stands for loss
    Sorted on the currently predicted position in the October ranking.

    team 1w/2w 1w/2d 1w/2l 1d/2w 1d/2d 1d/2l 1l/2w 1l/2d 1l/2l
    ESP 1513 1481 1465 1476 1444 1428 1457 1425 1409
    ARG 1387 1307 1266 1318 1237 1197 1283 1203 1163
    COL 1261 1189 1154 1178 1106 1070 1136 1064 1028
    ITA 1231 1188 1166 1179 1136 1114 1153 1110 1088
    GER 1311 1230 1189 1247 1166 1125 1215 1134 1093
    CRO 1149 1081 1046 1052 0984 0949 1004 0935 0901
    SUI 1138 1043 0995 1052 0957 0909 1009 0914 0866
    NED 1137 1068 1033 1059 0990 0956 1021 0952 0917
    URU 1249 1187 1156 1192 1131 1100 1164 1102 1072
    BEL 1250 1175 1138 1155 1080 1043 1107 1033 0996
    POR 1096 1062 1045 1036 1002 0986 1006 0973 0956
    BRA 1093 0000 0000 1078 0000 0000 1071 0000 0000
    ENG 1080 1024 0995 1008 0951 0923 0972 0915 0887
    CHI 1126 1057 1022 1051 0982 0947 1013 0944 0910
    USA 1040 1007 0990 1015 0982 0966 1003 0970 0954

    1. Ed,

      Very good work and Thanks.

      According to FIFA Brazil will play a friendly match against Zambia on 15/10.

    2. I saw it. So here you go, to be complete:

      team 1w/2w 1w/2d 1w/2l 1d/2w 1d/2d 1d/2l 1l/2w 1l/2d 1l/2l
      BRA 1078 1065 1059 1064 1051 1045 1057 1044 1038

    3. The FIFA rankings published today seem quite different from what was predicted. Does your list use these figures?
      ESP 1.514
      ARG 1.263
      GER 1.261
      ITA 1.199
      COL 1.180
      BEL 1.159
      URU 1.126
      BRA 1.067
      NED 1.058
      CRO 1.051

    4. Today ranking is for September and Ed is talking about October ranking.

    5. Hopefully you have seen that I've all the time been predicting the October ranking.....

    6. Germany arrives at 1295 points on the Oct ranking when it wins both remaining matches, says the FIFA tool. 1311 here.
      NED after W+W goes to 1120 (1137) , BEL 1249 (1250).
      Did FIFA not update opponent ranking?

    7. Well, I'm sure that f.i. the Netherlands will arrive at 1136 points with two wins and Germany at 1311 points with 2 wins.
      I don't know about the quality of the prognosis tool, but I've seen anomalies before in that tool.

      Btw the points I presented above for October were calculated with a FIFA-ranking of September without the last adjustments made yesterday: the awarded match TUN-CPV and 3 matches excluded (JOR-PLE, EQG-LBY and DOM-CRC). That can cause minor differences of 1 point for some countries.

  16. Federico,

    as you can see in the table above Argentina (is qualified and) will always be seeded. Same as Spain when they qualify.
    All other teams still have to get some good results to remain in or climb into the top 7.

  17. nice piece of work Jeroen!!!
    something does not work here though: If the result of the first column is set to "win" and I also add "win" to the second column, the outcome is not the point but the abreviation of the country's name (e.g. ESP,POR)

  18. What is happening to the website of FIFA? the ranking was not updated till now!

    1. True. But try this one:

  19. Very Urgent:

    Cape Verde disqualified for using a suspended player in their game last Saturady, Tunisia got the game 3-0 and advanced to the final round as fifth team in the first pot

    Pot 1:
    Côte d'Ivoire

    Pot 2:
    Burkina Faso

  20. LOL - Egypt got well and truly screwed by Cape Verde's disqualification and now have to play a top seeded team instead of a weaker one!

    1. Not sure I see where you are coming from. There was only a 1 in 5 chance they would draw Cape Verde anyway.

    2. No because now Tuninisa are in, it means that Egypt are in Pot 2! They would have been in Pot 1 if Cape Verde had stayed in!

    3. Egypt would always have been in pot 2 whatever happened. It's their own fault, if they had took the African nations cup seriously they would have picked up points for that and would have surely had a higher fifa ranking

    4. Absolutely correct. Hopefully they will draw either Algeria or Tunisia which would at least guarantee one North African team at the finals.

  21. Can someone do a calculation if FIFA does the 06 or 02 seedlings just in case?

    1. For 2006 see

  22. Hi,
    In the Dutch press today, there is an article that the Dutch FA will try to get Colombia in a friendly match right before the draw just to get enough points for the seedings.

    Does anyone know if that makes sense, or are there better alternatives? thanks.

    1. It makes sense assuming the following is true:

      1)The Netherlands knows the seeding criteria in advance. If the october ranking is used (as most people here speculate), that friendly game wouldn't count at all for the seeds.

      2)The Netherlands is sure to beat Colombia. What if they tie or lose?

      3)Colombia is not aware of seeding criterias and decides to risk their current position.

      If october ranking is used, Netherlands depends on other matches results (even if they win their remaining two). Especially Switzerland's results I think.
      Another alternative would be to change the criteria, which is totally possible since FIFA has used a different criteria for every WC.

    2. Also you should know that, usually, friendly games do not award many points for the ranking. Sometimes even if you win the friendly game, you end up with less points than before.

    3. It all depends on the chosen seeding procedure for the final draw. The draw is December 6th and that decision will be made December 3rd.
      If the same procedure will be used as last time for the WC in South Africa then the October 2013 ranking will be the only criterium and a match against Colombia in November will have no effect whatsoever.

      Other than winning both remaining qualifiers and hoping Switzerland, Belgium, Croatia and Uruguay more or less slip up, there are no alternatives. Friendlies will normally only cost you points, anyway.

    4. Good to know we said almost the same thing, Ed. :)

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. The Dutch press is not very well informed anonymous. You're not by any chance from the Telegraaf are you? ;-) The reason the October ranking will likely be used is because teams involved in the playoff will otherwise have an unfair advantage by playing qualifiers for which they receive more points. I'm still hoping FIFA surprise by using the FIFA Ranking from October, but then only seeding teams that played in the 2010 World Cup. Then we (Netherlands) have a chance to be seeded. Saying that, I don't see us beating both Hungary at home and Turkey away at the moment, so I'm getting used to the terrible prospect of having only one game against what will likely be a good team in order to qualify for the second round in Brazil, assuming we'll lose terribly against the seeded team!

    7. Don't be so pessmistic Homer. I'm from Argentina and I'm sure that the Netherlands will make it through the group stage, seeded or not seeded. Maybe if they end up in the group of death they can be diqualified. But even so, remember 2006, Argentina Netherlands Ivory Coast and Serbia. The group of death and both Argentina and Netherlands went to the round of 16 with no issues. :)
      You'll be fine, don't worry.

    8. Sure I remember 2006, but I have crisper memories of three losses at Euro 2012, and of seeing almost a full 90 minutes of poor football in matches against China, Indonesia, Portugal, Estonia and even Andorra! Sure, we often play better against the better teams because the ones above all played defensive and on-the-break against us, but not only at international country v country football we're getting worse, we're dropping down at European club level and at local level. In the past we sold big stars to Barcelona, Madrid and top English teams, but nowadays we sell second-rate players to Norwich, Sunderland, Aston Villa and are overtaken by Russia and Ukraine. I would love to be optimistic, and it is not that I'm not, but it is just that I'm realistic, not pessimistic!

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. 2013-10-15 Norway - Iceland; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Switzerland - Slovenia; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Azerbaijan - Russia; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-15 Israel - Northern Ireland; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Portugal - Luxembourg; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Greece - Liechtenstein; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Latvia - Slovakia; World Cup qualifier; X
    2013-10-15 Lithuania - Bosnia-Herzegovina; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-15 England - Poland; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Montenegro - Moldova; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 San Marino - Ukraine; World Cup qualifier; 2
    2013-10-15 France - Finland; World Cup qualifier; 1
    2013-10-15 Spain - Georgia; World Cup qualifier; 1
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