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Friday, June 28, 2013

FIFA Ranking: July 2013 final preview

FIFA will publish the ranking of 4 July.

Only 4 matches left: the final and 3rd place final of the Confederations Cup, Swaziland - Angola (CHAN qualifier - considered friendly) and Grenada - Dominica (friendly).

This is how the points could change for the 8 teams involved:

Spain (L: 1532, PSO L: 1566, PSO W: 1599, W: 1633)
Italy (L: 1078, PSO L: 1110, PSO W: 1142, W: 1174)
Brazil (L: 1005, PSO L: 1035, PSO W: 1065, W: 1095)
Uruguay (L: 980, PSO L: 1016, PSO W: 1052, W: 1088)
Angola (L: 368, D: 372, W: 380)
Grenada (L: 264, D: 273, W: 291)
Dominica (L: 124, D: 137, W: 164)
Swaziland (L: 60, D: 75, W: 107)

2018 FIFA World Cup: CAF qualifying format to be changed?

In May 2013, CAF announced the qualifying format for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (hosted by Morocco).

With all the 2014 FIFA match dates used for the 2015 qualifiers, it means the preliminaries for the 2017 ACN and 2018 World Cup will only start in 2015. The preliminary draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place on 24 or 25 July 2015.

CAF can't use the 2010 WCQ system because back then the World Cup and the Nations Cup where held in the same year.

Should FIFA upgrade regional tournaments?

FIFA have recognized CHAN matches as "A" matches, although the squad are made up exclusively of players active in the national leagues. Most of the top African teams have few local players. I consider this to be a mistake as it hurts the ranking of African teams, but that's what they asked for after all.

I think FIFA should upgrade the status of regional tournaments. Currently, these matches are considered friendlies (importance multiplier of 1), although they are played under strict rules (at most 3 substitutions) and usually fans place a lot of importance on these competitions.

Friday, June 21, 2013

10000 sims on the road to Brazil (21 June 2013)

More info in the first 'Road to Brazil' post.

Here's the outcome:

2014 FIFA World Cup seeding simulations for the African play-offs
2014 FIFA World Cup seeding simulations for the European play-offs
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification chances
2014 FIFA World Cup final seeding simulations
2016 UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying draw pots simulations

2016 UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying draw pots simulations (21 June 2013)

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

I know the EURO 2016 qualifying format will most likely change, but since I already had the code in place, here are the updated simulations.

Pot 6:

100% - Andorra
100% - San Marino
100% - Gibraltar
99.92% - Malta
99.55% - Liechtenstein
98.14% - Faroe Islands
97.69% - Luxembourg
81.87% - Kazakhstan
17.08% - Cyprus
5.7% - Azerbaijan
0.02% - Georgia
0.01% - Moldova
0.01% - Iceland
0.01% - FYR Macedonia


2014 FIFA World Cup final seeding simulations (21 June 2013)

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

Most improved since the 12 April simulations:

32.25% - Italy
30.49% - Belgium
19.55% - Chile
19.26% - Colombia
13.1% - Uruguay


2014 FIFA World Cup qualification chances (21 June 2013)

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

Most improved since the 12 April simulations:

58.98% - Iran
37.19% - Algeria
34.94% - Costa Rica
31.23% - Ukraine
28.41% - Australia
23.28% - Ghana
22.32% - Chile
22.02% - USA
21.31% - Belgium
17.54% - Uruguay
13.81% - Burkina Faso
11.88% - Ethiopia
8.84% - Nigeria
8.6% - Portugal
7.17% - Bosnia-Herzegovina

2014 FIFA World Cup seeding simulations for the European play-offs (21 June)

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

The October 2013 FIFA ranking will be used to seed the teams (this has been confirmed by FIFA).

Worst runner-up is most likely to come out of groups B or E.

39.68% - Group B
38.46% - Group E
7.69% - Group D
7.23% - Group C
3.47% - Group A
2.17% - Group H
1.16% - Group I
0.14% - Group G

2014 FIFA World Cup seeding simulations for the African play-offs (21 June 2013)

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

The September 2013 FIFA ranking will be used to seed the teams (this has been confirmed by FIFA).

I'm aware of the disciplinary procedures opened against 3 African teams. I expect Ethiopia and Togo to lose 3 - 0 their matches against Botswana and Cameroon. The Equatorial Guinea issue has to do with player nationality (most likely Ricardinho). I will update the simulations when the decisions will be final.

As of now 5 teams have qualified for the play-offs: Ethiopia, Tunisia,  Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt and Algeria.
Algeria have pulled out of CHAN and Supersport hinted they might have done this in order to avoid Egypt in the play-off draw. If that is true, it was in vain, as Egypt have only a 15.34% chance of being seeded. We could see another Algeria - Egypt or Côte d'Ivoire - Egypt clash.

2014 FIFA World Cup play-offs: FIFA ranking used to seed teams

Last Saturday, FIFA made an unexpected (though welcome) announcement.

FIFA Ranking: July 2013 probable ranking (III)

Next update: 28 June 2013.

FIFA will publish the ranking on 4 July.

I'm aware of the disciplinary procedures opened against 3 African teams. I expect Ethiopia and Togo to lose 3 - 0 their matches against Botswana and Cameroon. The Equatorial Guinea issue has to do with player nationality (most likely Ricardinho). I will update the ranking when the decisions will be final.

Probable results computed using the Elo Ratings.

The total points are already set for all teams, with the exception of the 12 teams involved in the remaining matches. For minimum and maximum points see the preview.

Before posting comments like: "Hey my team actually beat the other team! It's a mistake!" please read the previous paragraph again and look when these results were posted (Yes, before the matches actually took place!) ;)

FIFA Ranking: July 2013 preview (III)

Next update: 28 June 2013.

FIFA will publish the ranking on 4 July.

11 matches left before the deadline: 1 friendly, 2 CHAN qualifiers and 8 Confederations Cup matches.

I'm aware of the disciplinary procedures opened against 3 African teams. I expect Ethiopia and Togo to lose 3 - 0 their matches against Botswana and Cameroon. The Equatorial Guinea issue has to do with player nationality (most likely Ricardinho). I will update the ranking when the decisions will be final.

Spain are now sure of keeping their first spot.

Colombia above Argentina - first time since February 1998.

Friday, June 14, 2013

2014 FIFA World Cup final seeding simulations (14 June 2013)

The simulation algorithm is explained in the first Road to Brazil post.

Most points gained:

33.57% - Belgium
22.3% - Chile
21.89% - Colombia
11.64% - Uruguay
10.3% - Portugal

Most points lost:

-48.13% - Croatia
-22.29% - Ecuador
-15.47% - Mexico

2013 FIFA Confederations Cup simulations (14 June 2013)

The simulation algorithm is explained in the first Road to Brazil post.

Fourth in group:

Tahiti - 88.46%
Japan - 44.86%
Mexico - 29.32%
Italy - 22.11%
Nigeria - 8.3%
Brazil - 3.71%
Uruguay - 3.12%
Spain - 0.12%

EURO 2016 qualifying draw seeding (14 June 2013)

Next update: August / September 2013.

The coefficients for the EURO 2016 qualifying draw will take into account results from:

2010 World Cup (qualifiers and final tournament) - 20% of total weighting
EURO 2012 (qualifiers and final tournament) - 40% of total weighting
2014 World Cup (qualifiers) - 40% of total weighting

Click here for more info on the coefficient system.

France will host the final tournament.

The qualifying format is already known (but things will most likely change): 9 groups (2 x 5, 7 x 6)

Top two from each group and the best team in third place advance. The other eight play-off for the final four spots.

FIFA Ranking: July 2013 probable ranking (II)

Next update: 21 June 2013.

FIFA will publish the ranking on 4 July.

Probable results computed using the Elo Ratings. See the list of results used for this ranking. 

Scotland will climb at least 22 places - best ever climb, improving on the 18 spots climbed in July 2006.

Austria (at least 19 places up) and South Sudan (2 places up) will equal their best ever climb. Austria climbed 19 places in July 2006, while South Sudan climbed 2 spots in September 2012.

FIFA Ranking: July 2013 probable results (II)

Here are the probable results used for the July 2013 probable ranking (II). They are generated using the Elo Ratings.

Before posting comments like: "Hey my team actually beat the other team! It's a mistake!" please read the previous paragraph again and look when these results were posted (Yes, before the matches actually took place!) ;)

1 - First team wins
X - Draw
2 - Second team wins

FIFA Ranking: July 2013 preview (II)

Next update: 21 June 2013.

FIFA will publish the ranking on 4 July.

48 matches left before the deadline.

Most points gained (worst case scenario):

129 - Scotland
126 - Austria
126 - Armenia
107 - Peru
95 - Finland
88 - Malta
87 - Ukraine
83 - Colombia
66 - Slovenia
57 - Cape Verde Islands

Friday, June 7, 2013

FIFA Ranking: July 2013 probable ranking

Next update: most likely 21 June 2013.

FIFA will publish the ranking on 4 July.

Probable results computed using the Elo Ratings. See the list of results used for this ranking.


FIFA Ranking: July 2013 probable results

Here are the probable results used for the July 2013 probable ranking. They are generated using the Elo Ratings.

Before posting comments like: "Hey my team actually beat the other team! It's a mistake!" please read the previous paragraph again and look when these results were posted (Yes, before the matches actually took place!) ;)

1 - First team wins
X - Draw
2 - Second team wins

FIFA Ranking: July 2013 preview

Next update: most likely 21 June 2013.

FIFA will publish the ranking on 4 July.

123 matches will be played this month, most of them FIFA World Cup qualifiers. There's also the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.

Most points gained (worst case scenario):

52 - Cuba
31 - New Zealand
17 - Burundi
13 - Lebanon
8 - United Arab Emirates
7 - US Virgin Islands
6 - New Caledonia
5 - Palestine
5 - Bangladesh
5 - Guam

EURO 2016: UEFA looking to change qualifying format

In 2012, Gianni Infantino said UEFA will review the qualifying format to make sure it's not boring.

Martin Samuel recently interviewed Michel Platini. You can find the full transcript on the Daily Mail. A lot of issues were discussed and even the qualifying format for EURO 2016 was brought up. Here's the excerpt. Looks very similar to the proposal presented by Mr. Platini in 2011.

I think Mr. Platini made a small mistake - the UEFA meeting in Dubrovnik will take place in September this year, not in 2014.

Best teams to play against on 14 August

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 August 2013 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 6 are still available for the 14 August 2013 FIFA match date.

June 2013: Recommended friendly impact

The best opponent to play against is determined using a combination of Elo ratings and FIFA rankings. Let's look at the June FIFA ranking and we'll see the impact of one extra friendly. The difference in ranking is computed assuming all things remain equal, except the points of the given team.

The most popular opponent for the month of May is Equatorial Guinea - the best opponent for no less than 99 teams.

Of the top 15 teams, only Netherlands and England would have benefited from an extra friendly - both gaining 2 points. England would have climbed one spot.

June 2013: FIFA Ranking vs. Elo Ratings

Top 10 differences for countries with a better Elo Rating:

Team - FIFA Ranking - Elo Rating - Difference


South Sudan 200 139 61
Fiji 182 122 60
Syria 138 80 58
Korea DPR 114 57 57
Vanuatu 191 143 48
Kuwait 111 70 41
China PR 95 56 39
Gambia 162 126 36
Finland 84 50 34
Iraq 98 64 34