Friday, June 23, 2017

UEFA Nations League seeding simulations

The usual 10000 simulations.

The usual update without sims can be found here.

League D

100.00% - Faroe Islands
100.00% - Kazakhstan
100.00% - Moldova
100.00% - Luxembourg
100.00% - Liechtenstein
100.00% - Malta
100.00% - Andorra
100.00% - San Marino
100.00% - Gibraltar
99.92% - FYR Macedonia
99.64% - Kosovo
99.19% - Latvia
94.91% - Georgia
91.40% - Armenia
57.40% - Azerbaijan
41.47% - Belarus
40.21% - Finland
35.62% - Estonia
23.67% - Lithuania
16.57% - Cyprus

League C

100.00% - Norway
100.00% - Bulgaria
99.85% - Israel
99.54% - Montenegro
99.43% - Serbia
97.60% - Scotland
94.75% - Albania
84.20% - Slovenia
83.43% - Cyprus
82.13% - Greece
80.34% - Denmark
76.33% - Lithuania
69.48% - Romania
64.38% - Estonia
59.79% - Finland
58.53% - Belarus
42.60% - Azerbaijan
32.55% - Hungary
21.14% - Czech Republic
15.80% - Turkey
13.05% - Northern Ireland
8.60% - Armenia
5.09% - Georgia
2.96% - Ukraine
2.44% - Republic of Ireland
2.13% - Wales
0.81% - Latvia
0.76% - Netherlands
0.63% - Bosnia and Herzegovina
0.54% - Sweden
0.39% - Austria
0.36% - Kosovo
0.29% - Slovakia
0.08% - FYR Macedonia

League B

96.13% - Russia
90.53% - Sweden
89.95% - Republic of Ireland
87.36% - Slovakia
86.13% - Northern Ireland
85.03% - Ukraine
82.04% - Turkey
80.60% - Wales
80.43% - Bosnia and Herzegovina
80.39% - Netherlands
78.45% - Czech Republic
67.82% - Austria
67.45% - Hungary
30.52% - Romania
30.12% - Iceland
19.66% - Denmark
17.87% - Greece
15.80% - Slovenia
5.25% - Albania
3.59% - Croatia
2.40% - Scotland
1.20% - France
0.57% - Serbia
0.46% - Montenegro
0.15% - Israel
0.10% - Poland

League A

100.00% - Germany
100.00% - Portugal
100.00% - Belgium
100.00% - Spain
100.00% - England
100.00% - Italy
100.00% - Switzerland
99.90% - Poland
98.80% - France
96.41% - Croatia
69.88% - Iceland
31.79% - Austria
18.94% - Bosnia and Herzegovina
18.85% - Netherlands
17.27% - Wales
12.35% - Slovakia
12.01% - Ukraine
8.93% - Sweden
7.61% - Republic of Ireland
3.87% - Russia
2.16% - Turkey
0.82% - Northern Ireland
0.41% - Czech Republic

Sorting teams by the average league:

League A

Pot 1: Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Spain
Pot 2: England, Italy, Switzerland, Poland
Pot 3: France, Croatia, Iceland, Austria

League B

Pot 1: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Netherlands, Wales, Slovakia
Pot 2: Ukraine, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Russia
Pot 3: Northern Ireland, Turkey, Czech Republic, Hungary

League C

Pot 1: Romania, Denmark, Greece, Slovenia
Pot 2: Albania, Scotland, Serbia, Montenegro
Pot 3: Israel, Norway, Bulgaria, Cyprus
Pot 4: Lithuania, Estonia, Finland

League D

Pot 1: Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia
Pot 2: Latvia, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Faroe Islands
Pot 3: Kazakhstan, Moldova, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein
Pot 4: Malta, Andorra, San Marino, Gibraltar

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. How are UEFA going to handle the Armenia-Azerbaijan problem? By the looks of it it's one of the most likely, if not the most likely League D final.
    The only decision I see is very ugly (to put them in different leagues regardless of their ranking)

    1. UEFA has already announced that Armenia and Azerbaijan will be placed in different groups no matter what. The possible final would probably be played at a neutral ground anyway.

  2. Also the whole thing seems really problematic at this stage, so many issues:
    1) By the looks of it teams currently projected to be in League D are just going to concede the rest of their WC games to remain there. Same goes for the projected League C teams that have abysmal WC qualification chances (Hungary-Andorra "upset" anyone?)
    2) The Nations league is biannual and unless they incorporate it in the WC qualifiers you don't really win anything for every even edition of the tournament, so if some team wants to abuse the system they'll just win the lower league to get the EC spot during the odd editions, and after 2 years they'll concede all their games to get relegated back during the even editions.
    3) You don't get rewarded for finishing 2nd/3rd in the group, so we might get situations where before the last game a team knows that they can't win the group, which again promotes losing
    So many reasons to lose on purpose, and the only way you are punished is the impact on the actual qualification draw (whether it be seeded by Nations league stats, FIFA ranking or UEFA ranking).
    With all of this in mind I think this will also reduce the revenue for the tournament since the audience won't be so sure if the teams are playing to win or playing to lose, something tells me that there are going to be many "upsets" in the tournament which is pure antifootball. UEFA will of course claim that teams losing on purpose are going to get punished but we all know that it it's usually impossible to know if the team lost on purpose.
    Also the 3 team group in league C is ugly (altough I won't bother much with this one since it seems to be rigged from the start, dumb stuff like this can only be justified with the intention of giving a specific team an advantage, so UEFA should have the money in their pockets and probably know what they are doing)

    1. It's going to get even worse when teams in League B realize that it's better to finish 2nd or 3rd in their group so they don't have to go up and play in the League A playoffs after most League A teams qualify directly. The incentives are completely messed up here.

  3. @Dennis - i think you may be wrong as the top League B teams make the League B playoffs then lower ranked League B teams get promoted to League A playoffs if there are spots remaining so finishing lower down in theory makes the playoffs harder for lower ranked League B teams.

    1. Are you sure that's how it is going to be? That's how it should happen, but UEFA's regulations are very unclear. They say teams will be taken from "the following league in decreasing order taking into consideration the global ranking of the relevant league." I can't tell what that means.

    2. I can't be 100% certain but that is how the system best makes sense when I have read previous explanations.

      In terms of global ranking
      League A > League B > League C > League D and all teams within each league will be ranked based on finishing order in the group and points

      If 16 (out of 24) teams from League A and B qualify for the Euros (out of 20) then the other 8 will ALL make the League A and B playoffs.

      In my opinion it is highly likely that only a few League A or B teams do not make the playoffs and it entirely possible that a League C team could make the League B playoffs.

    3. Yes but the question is which 4 will be in the League A playoffs and which in the League B one? Say one League A team doesn't make it. Will UEFA take the three higher finishers in League B and move them up to join that A team? Or keep the 4 highest finishers in the B playoffs and take the next 3 teams and move them up? You'd assume it'd be better to not get moved up to join the League A sides that remains.

    4. It would make most sense that the 5th-7th best League B teams would move up, at this stage there is no reason to suggest otherwise. In practice I think both League A and B playoffs will be of a similar standard so it shouldn't make a lot of difference either way.

  4. Interesting to see League A and D getting set while leagues B and C will be a lot clearer after the next round of World Cup Qualifiers, I can't wait to the next update.

  5. I would suggest that the Nation League Performance have an impact on WC Qualification:
    As UEFA now has 55 Nations it is likely that UEFA dislike to have 9 groups - one with 7 teams -so my suggestion are a 10 group qualification. Winner qualifies for WC and the six best runners up according to Nation League will qualify for playoff- with the following rule: Teams that are finishing 2nd in B-Division and 1st in C Division are all ranked 17th