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Friday, November 17, 2017

FIFA Ranking: November 2017 final preview

One match left: Fiji - Estonia. The visitors can't stop collecting flags.

FIFA will publish the ranking on 23 November. India vs. Macau was not included in the October calculation, but I expect it to be included in the November edition.

Friday, October 13, 2017

2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying: CONCACAF

For the 2018 qualifiers, CONCACAF chose to seed the teams using the August 2014 FIFA ranking. Should they use the same approach, we're looking at the August 2018 edition. We're already in the last time frame (most recent 12 months).

Scheduled matches (including World Cup and play-offs) included as defeats.

2018 World Cup simulations (13 October 2017)

We're almost there. Only 9 spots left - 6 through play-offs and the other 3 in Africa.

The pots for the UEFA play-offs draw (seeded using the October 2017 FIFA ranking):

FIFA Ranking: October 2017 final preview

FIFA will publish the ranking on 16 October.

No matches left.

Official UEFA Nations League seeding

More info in this UEFA.com article. Draw will take place on 24 January 2018.

Looking at the last simulations, there were just two changes:

Netherlands took the last League A spot, although Wales were favorites to clinch it.
Same thing happened in League B, with Czech Republic pipping Hungary.

Friday, October 6, 2017

2018 World Cup simulations (6 October 2017)

There will be no updates until Friday. Plenty of websites will publish the seeds for both the final draw and the UEFA play-offs, so there's no need to worry :)

6 October means all matches played up to and including 5 October. So no matches later than this.

Taking into account the actual group distribution, these are the teams most likely to make it to Russia:

2019 AFC Asian Cup 3rd round sims (6 October 2017)

The usual 10000 sims after the third match day (5 September 2017). Kyrgyz Republic bounce back and replace Myanmar in the list of teams most likely to qualify.

Friday, September 29, 2017

FIFA Ranking: October 2017 preview

Had no time last week, so here it goes. 104 matches. Very important ranking for the World Cup, as FIFA will use it to determine all the pots, not just Pot 1.

My apologies to fans of teams already eliminated, but we'll focus first on those teams still in the running.

Friday, September 15, 2017

FIFA to seed ALL the teams using October ranking

It finally happened. I must admit I wasn't expecting this, but it's good news. Especially since this will increase the number of FAs looking to improve their ranking :) Perhaps it will finally get FIFA to change the ranking algorithm.

I think the African teams could complain as the October ranking won't include their final group stage matches - scheduled for November, but that's life.

AFC MA Ranking update (15 September 2017)

Weighting for the FIFA ranking part of the formula dropped from 30% to 10%. The MA ranking at the end of the club season (November 2017) will be used to determine the slot allocations for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

When losing strategically helps the motherland

Yes, I grew up under the Communist regime and I can still remember the patriotic songs we had to sing about the motherland and our beloved leader. However, these songs were always about winning for the motherland, never about losing. Yet in the world of the AFC Cup, it's better to lose sometimes.

I was looking on Wednesday over the AFC MA ranking and I was surprised by the inroads Tajikistan are making due to Istiklol's run in the AFC Cup. I realized that Tajikistan could climb to 7th in the East should Istiklol win their remaining matches.

Friday, September 8, 2017

2018 World Cup simulations (8 September 2017)

It seems while I was climbing to 1750m in the mountains, all sort of things happened. One of the most amusing was this call to arms from one of the blog readers. Ed was kind enough to answer in detail and here's the usual update of the sims.

I've added info regarding the AFC 5th place play-offs, the intercontinental play-offs and the UEFA play-offs (worst 2nd place, seeded / unseeded). Scroll to the end.


FIFA Ranking: September 2017 final preview

FIFA will publish the ranking on 14 September.

No matches left.

UEFA Nations League seeding simulations (8 September 2017)

The usual 10000 simulations. The coefficient will not include the play-offs.

Hats off to Finland for playing fair!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

UEFA Nations League: Losing could improve your chances

Just a word of warning - I'm not suggesting any FA/player/manager should/will/are prone to lose matches on purpose. This is just an analysis. I'm very much against match fixing.

Did you know each European FA qualified for EURO 2016 got 8 million Euros from UEFA? Not bad, eh? Of course, there's also the achievement of being at a final tournament and all that warm and fuzzy feeling. It's quite nice to qualify.

2019 AFC Asian Cup 3rd round sims (14 July 2017)

The usual 10000 sims after the second match day (13 June 2017). Great improvement for Myanmar and Philippines. On the other hand, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Singapore stumbled and lost momentum.

Friday, July 7, 2017

FIFA Ranking: August 2017 preview

FIFA will publish the ranking on 10 August. Of course, the CONCACAF Gold Cup is the big event this month and there are some CHAN qualifiers and the final matches of the 2017 COSAFA Cup.

This preview is based on 10000 simulations.

2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup simulations

The Gold Cup kicks off today.

The usual 10000 simulations.

Friday, June 16, 2017

FIFA Ranking: July 2017 preview

Overdue, I know (so I've been told by e-mail). With deadlines at work and end of school year events for my kids, there's little time for the blog these days.

Anyway, FIFA will publish the ranking on 6 July.

This preview is based on 10000 simulations.

UEFA Nations League update (16 June 2017)

The coefficient used for the first edition draw will be made up of:

2014 World Cup (qualifiers and final tournament) - 20% of total weighting
EURO 2016 (qualifiers and final tournament) - 40% of total weighting
2018 World Cup (qualifiers) - 40% of total weighting.

Friday, May 19, 2017

AFC MA Ranking update (19 May 2017)

Weighting for the FIFA ranking part of the formula dropped from 30% to 10%. The MA ranking at the end of the club season (November 2017) will be used to determine the slot allocations for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Friday, May 5, 2017

FIFA Ranking: June 2017 preview

This will most likely be the final preview for June, as the top 70 is pretty much set there are only 7 matches left (all friendlies) - 3 of them scheduled for the Saturday before the June ranking release.

FIFA will publish the ranking on 1 June.

AFC MA Ranking update (5 May 2017)

Weighting for the FIFA ranking part of the formula dropped from 30% to 10%. The MA ranking at the end of the club season (November 2017) will be used to determine the slot allocations for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Friday, April 21, 2017

2019 AFC Asian Cup 3rd round sims (21 April 2017)

The usual 10000 sims after the first match day. Great improvement for India.


AFC MA Ranking update (21 April 2017)

Weighting for the FIFA ranking part of the formula dropped from 30% to 10%. The MA ranking at the end of the club season (November 2017) will be used to determine the slot allocations for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Friday, April 7, 2017

FIFA Ranking: May 2017 preview

This will most likely be the final preview for May, as the top 96 is already set. The ranking will be almost identical to the April edition.

FIFA will publish the ranking on 4 May.

AFC MA Ranking update (7 April 2017)

Weighting for the FIFA ranking part of the formula dropped from 30% to 10%. The MA ranking at the end of the club season (November 2017) will be used to determine the slot allocations for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Applying the 2026 allocations to the 2014 World Cup

First of all, I must say I'm against the expansion - and I'm saying this as a fan of a team that hasn't been to the World Cup since 1998. Further more, to quote the late David Taylor, I would like to disabuse anyone of the notion that I would embrace the expansion idea as it would give Romania a better chance of qualifying. More on this later in the post.

2018 World Cup simulations (31 March 2017)

The usual 10000 simulations, based on the current Elo ratings and including results up to 29 March 2017.

With the 2017 release dates announced, I've used the October 2017 ranking for the UEFA play-off seeding and, of course, for the final draw seeding.

FIFA Ranking: April 2017 final preview

FIFA will publish the ranking on 6 April.

No matches left.

UEFA Nations League update (31 March 2017)

The coefficient used for the first edition draw will be made up of:

2014 World Cup (qualifiers and final tournament) - 20% of total weighting
EURO 2016 (qualifiers and final tournament) - 40% of total weighting
2018 World Cup (qualifiers) - 40% of total weighting.

Friday, March 17, 2017

FIFA Ranking: April 2017 preview

Next update: 31 March 2017

125 matches left [Sim results at the end].

Brazil will be the next No. 1 if they win against Uruguay (away) and Paraguay (at home). However, the odds are not in their favor. Argentina (home vs. Chile, away to Bolivia) were 1st in 57.95% of the 10000 simulations I ran, with Brazil with only 42.05%. Of course, Elo ratings don't take into account high altitude.

Friday, March 3, 2017

AFC MA Ranking update (3 March 2017)

Weighting for the FIFA ranking part of the formula dropped from 30% to 10%. The MA ranking at the end of the club season (November 2017) will be used to determine the slot allocations for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Friday, February 10, 2017

FIFA Ranking: March 2017 preview

With only 3 matches left (all friendlies) this will most likely be the final preview for March.

FIFA will publish the ranking on 9 March.

Those 3 matches include the battle of the giants: San Marino vs. Andorra.

This is how the points and ranks could change for the teams involved:

Friday, February 3, 2017

FIFA Ranking: February 2017 final preview

FIFA will publish the ranking on 9 February.

3 matches left: a friendly and the final and 3rd place match of the 2017 AFCON.

Friday, January 6, 2017

2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers: 3rd round seeding

Guam have pulled out of the competition citing financial issues. Nepal, winners of the inaugural AFC Solidarity Cup, will take Guam's place in the draw.

Kuwait have been given until 11 January to sort their issues with FIFA. If they fail, a draw will be used to determine their replacement, although I would have expected AFC to name Macau (Solidarity Cup runners-up) to be named as stand-by team. [Update: Macau will be the stand-by team according to a letter from AFC]

FIFA Ranking: January 2017 final preview

FIFA will publish the ranking on 12 January.

8 matches left before the deadline: 2 continental qualifiers and 6 friendlies.

This is how the points and ranks could change for the teams involved:

2019 UEFA Under-21 qualifying seeding

Since I've been asked, here's the seeding for the 26 January draw.

The coefficient will be made up of:

- 2011-13 UEFA European Under-21 Championship (qualifying competition and final tournament) - 20%
– 2013-15 UEFA European Under-21 Championship (qualifying competition and final tournament) - 40%
– 2015-17 UEFA European Under-21 Championship (qualifying competition: group stage and play-offs) - 40%