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Saturday, December 22, 2018

2022 FIFA World Cup seeding (AFC): 10000 simulations (22 december 2018)

The format of the Asian qualification for the next World Cup is not yet known in detail. Looking at the AFC match calendar for the coming years it seems that the format will be the same as for the previous World Cup:

  • 1st round: play-offs played in June 2019 (2 MD);
  • 2nd round: group stage played from September 2019 until June 2020 (10 MD);
  • 3rd round: another group stage played from September 2020 until October 2021 (10 MD);
  • 4th round: play-off to determine the AFC number 5 played in November 2021 (2 MD).

Intercontinental play-offs will probably be played in 2022.


The seeding for WC 2018 was as follows:

  • 12 teams (ranked 35 - 46, first 6 seeded) played the first round (then already in March 2015);
  • 40 teams (ranked 1 - 34 plus 6 first round winners) played the second round in 8 groups of 5 teams;
  • 12 teams (8 group winners plus 4 best group runners-up) played the third round in 2 groups of 6 teams;
  • group numbers 1 and 2 qualified for Russia and the two group numbers three went to the 4th round.

The seeding was always based on the most recent FIFA-ranking available at the moment the draw for a round took place.

Here are the results of 10.000 simulations of all currently scheduled matches with Asian teams involved. It contains all preparatory friendlies for the Asian Cup and the continental showpiece itself next month all the way to the final on the first of February 2019. I've done an earlier simulation of this tournament last May when the groups were drawn.

First the probabilities (%) for the Asian Nations Cup 2019, then the impact on the FIFA ranking of Asian teams ahead of the draw of the first round of Asian qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar.

The group results, ordered by average group position:


group A            1st           2nd            3rd            4th
United Arab Emirates 52,11 26,82 14,44 6,63
Thailand 16,42 26,31 31,31 25,96
Bahrain 17,57 24,02 25,93 32,48
India 13,90 22,85 28,32 34,93
group B            1st           2nd           3rd            4th
Australia 51,84 26,72 14,43 7,01
Syria 24,19 32,72 23,81 19,28
Jordan 11,81 21,56 34,34 32,29
Palestine 12,16 19,00 27,42 41,42
group C            1st           2nd            3rd            4th
Korea Republic 63,34 26,24 8,10 2,32
China PR 26,45 42,16 21,36 10,03
Kyrgyzstan 6,30 18,90 39,78 35,02
Philippines 3,91 12,70 30,76 52,63
group D            1st           2nd            3rd            4th
Iran 68,72 21,87 7,37 2,04
Iraq 20,45 41,46 26,79 11,30
Vietnam 7,96 22,26 34,31 35,47
Yemen 2,87 14,41 31,53 51,19
group E            1st           2nd            3rd            4th
Saudi Arabia 38,85 25,77 19,36 16,02
Qatar 24,18 26,61 27,00 22,21
Lebanon 19,78 23,47 25,49 31,26
Korea DPR 17,19 24,15 28,15 30,51
group F            1st           2nd            3rd            4th
Japan 48,47 29,35 16,08 6,10
Uzbekistan 28,22 31,54 27,08 13,16
Oman 19,33 29,08 34,34 17,25
Turkmenistan 3,98 10,03 22,50 63,49




Round of 16

Iran 96,82
Korea Republic 96,75
Japan 91,62
United Arab Emirates 89,71
Australia 89,23
China PR 82,00
Iraq 81,98
Saudi Arabia 79,84
Uzbekistan 77,68
Syria 75,34
Oman 74,27
Qatar 71,26
Thailand 64,43
Lebanon 62,47
Korea DPR 58,19
Bahrain 57,56
India 57,08
Jordan 55,58
Vietnam 52,70
Kyrgyzstan 49,65
Palestine 47,69
Philippines 31,46
Yemen 30,27
Turkmenistan 26,42

Quarter finals (in square brackets the probability when qualified for the round of 16)

Iran 78,09 [80,65]
Korea Republic 77,74 [80,35]
Australia 64,74 [72,55]
Japan 64,31 [70,19]
United Arab Emirates 60,68 [67,64]
China PR 44,44 [54,20]
Uzbekistan 42,07 [54,16]
Syria 41,69 [55,34]
Iraq 40,14 [48,96]
Saudi Arabia 37,76 [47,29]
Oman 33,55 [45,17]
Qatar 28,12 [39,46]
India 25,68 [44,99]
Bahrain 24,34 [42,29]
Thailand 23,80 [36,94]
Jordan 20,88 [37,57]
Lebanon 20,36 [32,59]
Korea DPR 18,24 [31,35]
Palestine 16,86 [35,35]
Vietnam 11,41 [21,65]
Kyrgyzstan 10,93 [22,01]
Philippines 5,28 [16,78]
Yemen 4,48 [14,80]
Turkmenistan 4,41 [16,69]


Semi-finals (in square brackets the probability when qualified for the quarter finals)

Iran 57,97 [74,23]
Korea Republic 52,53 [67,57]
Japan 43,24 [67,24]
Australia 41,71 [64,43]
United Arab Emirates 28,57 [47,08]
Uzbekistan 22,46 [53,39]
Syria 21,43 [51,40]
Iraq 17,97 [44,77]
Saudi Arabia 16,71 [44,25]
China PR 16,48 [37,08]
Oman 16,35 [48,73]
Qatar 11,21 [39,86]
India 8,28 [32,24]
Jordan 7,46 [35,73]
Lebanon 6,95 [34,14]
Bahrain 6,41 [26,34]
Korea DPR 5,71 [31,30]
Thailand 5,63 [23,66]
Palestine 5,11 [30,31]
Vietnam 2,47 [21,65]
Kyrgyzstan 2,34 [21,41]
Turkmenistan 1,13 [25,62]
Philippines 1,03 [19,51]
Yemen 0,85 [18,97]


Final (in square brackets the probability when qualified for the semi-finals)

Iran 42,60 [73,49]
Korea Republic 37,70 [71,77]
Japan 22,97 [53,12]
Australia 21,53 [51,62]
United Arab Emirates 10,48 [36,68]
Uzbekistan 9,16 [40,78]
Syria 9,01 [42,04]
Iraq 7,77 [43,24]
Saudi Arabia 7,47 [44,70]
China PR 6,21 [37,68]
Oman 5,47 [33,46]
Qatar 4,57 [40,77]
India 2,76 [33,33]
Lebanon 2,49 [35,83]
Jordan 2,05 [27,48]
Korea DPR 1,72 [30,12]
Bahrain 1,55 [24,18]
Palestine 1,51 [29,55]
Thailand 1,20 [21,31]
Vietnam 0,67 [27,13]
Kyrgyzstan 0,59 [25,21]
Turkmenistan 0,21 [18,58]
Yemen 0,16 [18,82]
Philippines 0,15 [14,56]


Winner (in square brackets the probability when qualified for the final)

Iran 30,31 [71,15]
Korea Republic 19,40 [51,46]
Japan 13,41 [58,38]
Australia 11,81 [54,85]
United Arab Emirates 3,75 [35,78]
Uzbekistan 3,62 [39,52]
Syria 3,21 [35,63]
Iraq 2,81 [36,16]
Saudi Arabia 2,28 [30,52]
Oman 2,04 [37,29]
China PR 1,75 [28,18]
Qatar 1,58 [34,57]
India 0,89 [32,25]
Jordan 0,64 [31,22]
Lebanon 0,56 [22,49]
Bahrain 0,45 [29,03]
Korea DPR 0,42 [24,42]
Palestine 0,36 [23,84]
Thailand 0,32 [26,67]
Vietnam 0,19 [28,36]
Kyrgyzstan 0,12 [20,34]
Philippines 0,03 [20,00]
Yemen 0,03 [18,75]
Turkmenistan 0,02 [  9,52]


The FIFA ranking for Asian teams after the Nations Cup, ordered by average Asian ranking position:

bye to round 2:   avg_pos
Iran 1,395
Australia 2,687
Korea Republic 2,967
Japan 3,252
Saudi Arabia 6,740
Syria 7,367
United Arab Emirates 7,712
China PR 7,754
Oman 9,629
Lebanon 10,265
Iraq 10,785
Qatar 12,218
Uzbekistan 12,400
Kyrgyzstan 13,616
India 15,494
Palestine 15,595
Vietnam 16,397
Korea DPR 18,135
Jordan 18,143
Bahrain 19,702
Thailand 21,064
Philippines 21,579
Tajikistan 21,774
Chinese Taipei 23,889
Turkmenistan 25,081
Yemen 25,950
Myanmar 26,668
Hong Kong 27,743
Afghanistan 29,000
Maldives 30,000
Kuwait 31,000
Indonesia 32,000
Nepal 33,000
Singapore 34,000
seeded in round 1:
Malaysia 35,000
Cambodia 36,000
Macau 37,000
Laos 38,000
Bhutan 39,000
Mongolia 40,000
unseeded in round 1:
Guam 41,000
Bangladesh 42,000
Brunei Darussalam 43,000
Timor-Leste 44,000
Pakistan 45,000
Sri Lanka 46,000

About me:

Software engineer, happily unmarried and non-religious. You won't find me on Twitter or other so called social media. Dutchman, joined the blog in March 2018.

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