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Thursday, November 19, 2020

FIFA ranking: November 2020 final preview

Here is the final preview of the November 2020 ranking. FIFA will publish this ranking next Thursday November 26th. This ranking will be used to seed the UEFA teams for the draw of the European qualifying groups for the World Cup 2022 in pots of 10 teams. The draw is on December 7th.

The cancelled UNL-match Romania-Norway was awarded 3:0 to Romania and as such included in this ranking. It was just enough, together with the sudden collapse of Russia, to seed Romania in pot 2.

No news yet on the also cancelled match Switzerland-Ukraine. If that match is, as expected, awarded to Switzerland 7 points will be exchanged from Ukraine to the Swiss, compared to their respective points presented below.

And this November Week of Football already concludes NT-football for this strange year. There's currently only one match scheduled for the remainder of the year: an Asian WC qualifier between Qatar and Bangladesh, to give the Qatari's ample time to play next Summer's Copa America in June and the Gold Cup in July as guest team.


One team returns to their highest ranking:

Senegal (20 in July 2019)


One team records a new low:

Moldova (178 - 175 in June 2018)


Best movers:

10 - Equatorial Guinea, Burundi

7 - Romania, Hungary


Worst movers:

-9 - Libya

-7 - Iceland

-6 - Republic of Ireland, Lesotho, Andorra


Best movers in the top 50:

7 - Romania, Hungary

4 - Slovakia, Morocco


Worst movers in the top 50:

-7 - Iceland

-6 - Republic of Ireland

-5 - Colombia, Russia


Stay safe and healthy everybody !


pos

team

   pts Nov.

    +/- ranking

    +/- points

1

Belgium

1779,53

0

15

2

France

1755,05

0

3

3

Brazil

1742,65

0

18

4

England

1670,25

0

1

5

Portugal

1662,23

0

1

6

Spain

1645,33

0

6

7

Argentina

1641,95

1

6

8

Uruguay

1639,08

-1

2

9

Mexico

1632,12

2

7

10

Italy

1624,77

2

13

11

Croatia

1616,77

-2

-17

12

Denmark

1613,88

1

4

13

Germany

1609,91

1

3

14

Netherlands

1608,88

1

13

15

Colombia

1600,66

-5

-30

16

Switzerland

1585,91

0

-3

17

Chile

1566,83

0

-3

18

Wales

1561,84

2

12

19

Poland

1558,88

-1

-9

20

Senegal

1558,37

1

9

20

Sweden

1557,53

-1

0

22

USA

1544,97

0

3

23

Austria

1530,94

2

8

24

Ukraine

1527,82

-1

-11

25

Peru

1511,88

-1

-21

26

Tunisia

1502,87

0

-4

27

Japan

1502,49

0

-1

28

Venezuela

1500,71

0

8

29

Iran

1496,25

0

4

30

Serbia

1494,69

0

6

31

Algeria

1487,67

-1

-1

32

Turkey

1486,98

1

1

33

Slovakia

1477,62

4

12

34

Paraguay

1476,02

1

0

35

Nigeria

1474,35

-3

-14

35

Morocco

1473,63

4

13

37

Romania

1465,63

7

11

38

Korea Republic

1464,89

0

1

39

Russia

1461,48

-5

-19

40

Hungary

1460,45

7

21

41

Australia

1457,49

1

0

42

Republic of Ireland

1456,50

-6

-11

42

Czech Republic

1455,79

3

10

44

Norway

1450,04

-1

-6

45

Northern Ireland

1440,02

-4

-18

46

Iceland

1438,18

-7

-23

47

Jamaica

1436,60

1

-1

48

Scotland

1436,32

-3

-10

49

Egypt

1432,32

3

12

50

Cameroon

1428,44

3

15

51

Costa Rica

1426,73

-1

0

52

Ghana

1424,22

-4

-14

53

Greece

1412,84

1

5

54

Finland

1411,40

1

9

55

Bosnia-Herzegovina

1409,98

-4

-14

56

Ecuador

1409,00

4

29

57

Mali

1408,43

-1

14

58

Burkina Faso

1391,29

0

1

59

Qatar

1387,49

-2

-4

60

Congo DR

1385,84

-1

2

61

Cote d'Ivoire

1384,21

0

6

62

Slovenia

1379,19

0

3

63

Montenegro

1370,00

1

1

64

Honduras

1366,64

-1

-7

65

North Macedonia

1362,33

0

6

66

Albania

1359,51

3

15

67

Saudi Arabia

1352,95

0

2

68

Bulgaria

1350,13

-2

-4

69

Iraq

1347,28

1

3

70

El Salvador

1345,73

-2

0

71

South Africa

1340,96

1

9

72

Canada

1331,56

0

0

73

United Arab Emirates

1326,36

1

-3

74

China PR

1322,96

1

0

75

Guinea

1316,87

-4

-16

76

Syria

1313,10

3

-1

76

Curacao

1312,96

5

0

78

Panama

1310,88

-1

-6

79

Uganda

1306,82

-3

-14

79

Bolivia

1306,81

0

-7

81

Cape Verde Islands

1305,83

-3

-10

82

Oman

1302,89

0

0

83

Benin

1301,60

0

2

84

Haiti

1284,80

3

0

85

Uzbekistan

1283,08

-1

-9

86

Gabon

1279,64

-2

-12

87

Israel

1279,36

1

4

88

Belarus

1268,84

2

-4

89

Georgia

1266,52

-3

-20

90

Zambia

1266,27

-1

-8

91

Congo

1264,27

2

2

92

Lebanon

1263,15

-1

-6

93

Vietnam

1258,06

1

0

94

Madagascar

1256,88

-2

-7

95

Jordan

1244,45

2

6

96

Kyrgyzstan

1240,08

0

0

97

Bahrain

1238,15

2

13

98

Luxembourg

1235,32

-3

-12

99

Armenia

1233,27

2

18

100

Cyprus

1223,75

-1

-1

101

Mauritania

1207,30

-3

-20

102

Palestine

1203,99

2

0

103

Trinidad and Tobago

1200,72

2

0

104

Kenya

1187,19

-1

-18

104

India

1186,98

4

0

106

Mozambique

1184,99

0

-15

107

Faroe Islands

1182,52

0

-10

108

Zimbabwe

1180,51

3

1

109

Azerbaijan

1180,39

5

5

109

Estonia

1179,98

0

-5

111

Thailand

1178,07

2

0

111

Libya

1177,80

-9

-31

113

Niger

1172,84

-1

-6

114

Central African Republic

1171,29

-4

-13

115

Korea DPR

1169,96

0

0

116

Sierra Leone

1164,82

4

14

117

Kosovo

1154,81

0

-3

118

New Zealand

1149,43

3

0

119

Namibia

1147,30

-3

-15

120

Guinea-Bissau

1145,99

-2

-9

121

Tajikistan

1142,96

1

-5

122

Kazakhstan

1141,72

-3

-11

123

Malawi

1139,86

0

-1

124

Philippines

1135,94

0

0

125

Angola

1134,19

-1

-2

126

Antigua and Barbuda

1127,35

0

0

127

Sudan

1124,11

1

14

128

Togo

1115,00

-2

-12

129

Lithuania

1113,61

1

9

130

Comoros

1112,13

2

17

131

Guatemala

1110,63

0

8

132

Turkmenistan

1106,51

-3

0

133

Rwanda

1099,27

0

10

134

Equatorial Guinea

1097,31

10

31

135

Tanzania

1085,25

-1

4

136

Latvia

1082,30

6

11

137

Myanmar

1081,26

-3

0

138

Chinese Taipei

1078,48

-2

0

138

Burundi

1077,93

10

20

140

St. Kitts and Nevis

1073,86

-3

0

141

Suriname

1073,39

-2

0

141

Solomon Islands

1072,78

-2

0

143

Lesotho

1072,02

-6

-2

143

Hong Kong

1072,00

-2

0

145

Yemen

1070,54

-3

0

146

Botswana

1065,76

3

11

147

Ethiopia

1064,09

-1

3

148

Kuwait

1059,94

-1

0

149

Nicaragua

1054,61

0

0

150

Afghanistan

1052,24

1

0

151

Andorra

1047,83

-6

-17

152

Liberia

1047,45

0

0

153

Malaysia

1040,02

1

0

153

Eswatini

1039,70

0

-2

155

Maldives

1038,31

0

0

156

New Caledonia

1035,12

0

0

157

Gambia

1034,21

0

12

158

Singapore

1020,27

0

0

159

Dominican Republic

1019,36

0

0

160

Grenada

1014,55

0

0

161

Tahiti

1014,27

0

0

162

Barbados

1008,78

0

0

163

South Sudan

997,86

5

15

164

Fiji

996,27

-1

0

164

Vanuatu

995,62

-1

0

166

Papua New Guinea

990,55

-1

0

167

Guyana

988,40

-1

0

168

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

985,75

-1

0

169

Bermuda

983,27

-1

0

170

Belize

973,98

0

0

171

Nepal

968,37

-1

-6

172

Mauritius

964,94

0

0

173

Indonesia

964,07

0

0

173

Cambodia

963,79

0

0

175

Chad

959,17

2

16

176

St. Lucia

953,45

0

0

177

Malta

951,37

3

17

178

Moldova

950,34

-3

-4

179

Puerto Rico

941,09

-1

0

180

Cuba

935,97

-1

0

181

Liechtenstein

924,09

0

-6

182

Macau

922,10

1

0

183

Montserrat

920,53

1

0

184

Bangladesh

920,46

3

6

185

Djibouti

918,91

0

0

185

Dominica

918,70

0

0

187

Sao Tomé e Príncipe

914,07

-5

-9

188

Laos

912,07

0

0

189

Bhutan

910,96

0

0

190

Mongolia

906,34

0

0

191

Brunei Darussalam

903,90

0

0

192

American Samoa

900,27

0

0

193

Cayman Islands

896,65

0

0

194

Samoa

894,26

0

0

195

Gibraltar

887,55

0

-2

196

Bahamas

879,61

0

0

197

Timor-Leste

879,43

0

0

197

Somalia

879,13

0

0

199

Guam

872,83

0

0

200

Aruba

867,44

0

0

200

Pakistan

866,81

0

0

202

Seychelles

865,69

0

0

203

Tonga

861,81

0

0

203

Turks and Caicos Islands

861,56

0

0

205

Eritrea

855,56

0

0

206

Sri Lanka

853,07

0

0

207

US Virgin Islands

844,16

0

0

208

British Virgin Islands

841,73

0

0

209

Anguilla

821,24

0

0

210

San Marino

810,17

0

-2


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.

65 comments:

  1. Just compared this ranking to the ELO one and there is an extreme difference for Ecuador (19 vs 56). Any reason for this?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting question, we have to go back to October 2017 for an answer:

    Ecuador was 35th in the September 2017 ranking and 26th in elo, then dropped suddenly to 60th in the FIFA October 2017 ranking because of two losses in CONMEBOL qualifying for the WC 2018 in October 2017 against Chile and Argentina. Their elo ranking dropped in October 2017 to 30th.

    Their next match was in September 2018, so after the reformatting of the FIFA ranking calculation in June 2018. They started in that new calculation method as 60th. Since then they stayed closely around that 60th position in FIFA (between 58 and 66) while their elo ranking showed a bit more ups and downs (between 25 and 40).
    It didn't help much that almost all their matches in the period September 2018 until this October (when the WC 2022 qualifiers finally started in South America) were friendlies. Only the Copa America 2019 was a potential source of big points, but precisely there they performed poorly with 1 draw and 2 losses.

    Now in the November 2020 ranking Ecuador gains 29 FIFA points but only 4 spots to 56, but they jump from 28th to 19th in elo because of their two wins against Bolivia (+16 points) and especially Colombia which delivered a whopping 47 elo-points.

    Conclusion: Ecuador was accidentally in a low spot in the FIFA ranking when the calculation method changed. The volatility of teams in the FIFA ranking was strongly diminished by the new method, so Ecuador struggles to gain substantial points. The volatility in the elo ranking in points is bigger, mainly because of the application of a higher I-factor.
    Since then there's a gap of some 30 positions between FIFA and elo ranking for Ecuador, growing to 41 positions after this November ranking is published. This gap will eventually become smaller again but how long it will take Ecuador to close this gap nobody knows. It is safe to say that they are under-ranked at the moment in the FIFA-ranking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The same thing happened but in less effect to Jordan NT, due to changing in calculations method of new system. In other words, if the new system has been published starting Aug, 2018 instead of June 2018, so Jordan NT could have been at least 10 places more than what are they now(let say about 85 instead of 95)...some unfairness here to some teams,including my team.

      Delete
  3. Please, read 37 instead of 41 in the last paragraph.

    ReplyDelete
  4. UEFA awarded a 3-0 win to Switzerland against Ukraine.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It means Ukraine is relegated to League B. Wow!

    ReplyDelete
  6. fifa haven't updated the rankings if today is supposed to be a day of mourning for maradona you'd think fifa could say something.

    ReplyDelete
  7. FIFA published the ranking today instead of yesterday. I don't know why.
    The cancelled match Switzerland-Ukraine is not included in this ranking while UEFA already had declared the match a forfeited 3:0 win for Switzerland. At least, UEFA announced that for the next Nations League Switzerland remains in league A and Ukraine is relegated to league B and that can only be realised with an awarded 3:0 win for the Swiss. I haven't seen any other official confirmation from UEFA yet.
    The cancelled match Romania-Norway (an awarded 3:0 win for Romania) is included in this ranking.

    I have made a mistake in the final preview above: the AFCON qualifier Chad-Guinea ended in a 1:1 draw, but I had it incorrectly as a 3:1 win for Chad. The correct points for Chad are therefore 946,67 and for Guinea 1329,37.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was Norway - Israel friendly included as a forfeit, or was it not included?

      Delete
    2. Norway-Israel friendly was excluded.

      Delete
  8. https://www.uefa.com/insideuefa/disciplinary/updates/0263-10f07669c421-a1b7e2cc6859-1000--ab-switzerland-v-ukraine/

    UEFA did publish its decision on Switzerland-Ukraine, with a loss to the visitors.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Note to all: in the section Important info at the top of this page you will find from now on the link to the sheet with detailed points calculations for all teams in the current FIFA ranking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,Ed! Many thanks as always for the detailed calculations!
      I have one improvement suggestion for ease of use this file. Can you add a sheet with ALL games on it, please? Columns may be the same as on individual sheets for each team.
      Because now it's almost impossible quickly determine the number of all played games in a particular month or, for example, number of played games in a particular tournament.
      If you make such a summary sheet with all the games, then using the filters user can quickly find out any of these questions! :) Thanks in advance!

      Delete
    2. Hi professor, a good suggestion.

      In the up-to-date December points_calculation sheet (link can be found in section Important Info) I've added a tab Matches which contains all matches included in the FIFA ranking calculation from June 2018 until now. Enjoy !

      Delete
  10. FIFA included the Erhiopia v Zambia matches in the ranking even though both teams clearly used more than the allowed 6 subs. I doubt they agreed this with FIFA beforehand so those matches will probably be demoted in one of the next couple of rankings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read in the publication article of the November ranking that 160 matches were included and that Ethiopia played the most matches: 5. This must mean that the friendly match Ethiopia-Sudan 2:2 on November 6th must be included also, compared to the final preview above where this match was not included.
      Only 0,249 points were exchanged from Sudan to Ethiopia. I've updated the detailed calculations sheet.

      Delete
    2. Hi Ed I'm having trouble coming up with the 160 games total played for the November rankings. I have only 159 and I don't know which one of these are missing.

      Here's what I have thus far:

      52 UEFA Nations League (not including the two games not
      played)
      48 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier
      10 South American World Cup Qualifying
      4 European Championship Qualifier
      45 Friendlies

      Delete
    3. There are 53 Nations League matches included in the November ranking. Only SUI-UKR wasn't included, ROU-NOR was.

      Delete
    4. Sudan used 9 substitutes in the match against Ethiopia so that one will probably also be relegated next ranking if they get the information in time, otherwise one of the next rankings. Annoying that those unelected FIFA people don't disclose the decimal points so that it can be clear when they include or disregard a match. Now we humble second citizens have to bow to them and work it out with maths. Sad!

      Delete
    5. Indeed Homer. They are neglecting their core business, which shows how much they really care for 'world football'. If it doesn't bring a buckload of money the attention fades fast....

      Delete
  11. The European World Cup Qualifying Draw will be interesting. I think that out of the #1 seeds the three that are most vulnerable not to make the world cup are Portugal, Belgium, and Denmark. I am not saying that these three are not capable of making it to the the WC, but they just feel vulnerable to not win their groups. This World Cup qualifying will be much harder to qualify as Euro 2020 was postponed. Many teams use Euro qualifying, the tournament itself if they qualify, and the Nations League to transition and build that chemistry & balance for the World Cup qualifiers, but with the postponement of Euro 2020 and the COVID situation, this WC qualifying cycle puts everyone at risk, especially the # 1 seeds. Also, not winning the group and assuming you make the playoffs will be trickier this time around as now you have to beat 2 different teams in two separate games. We saw many times big upsets happen when a team dominates but doesn't score and then the other team wins on one shot one goal. Also, you have to worry about not getting a red card and other unlucky things happen during a game. Imagine having to play two different games against two different opponents. And don't forget about if a game goes to penalties. A two legged playoff against one opponent favors the stronger teams, but having to win two games against two different opponent is dangerous for all teams who participate, including the strong and mighty. No question about it that you will see a few #1 seeds from Europe fail to qualify for the 2022 WC. My expert opinion is that Portugal is at high risk. They can't win a group without Rolando playing and in his prime. He needs to be on a scale out of 10 a 10 in peak prime form. He isn't no more and once he retires Portugal goes back to failing to qualify for World Cup's at an alarming rate like they have been doing before Ronaldo came onto the scene. Ronaldo is a special player that comes along once in a few decades in the entire world. Without Ronaldo, Portugal loses it's potency about 30% continuously. Portugal would not have qualified for many World Cups and had the interational football success it has had this century without Ronaldo. Without a special player like Ronaldo on Portugal's team, they are at best an above average team on a regular team. Remember that Portugal. Once Ronaldo retires then Portugal struggles to qualify for World Cups on a regular basis just like before he came onto the scene. Portugal better pray that Ronaldo can get them to one final WC before he retires as it will be a struggle this time as he is not the same Ronaldo as he was in years past. He is at the tail end of his prime. It's going to be tough.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think I got your point :)

    But I disagree, Portugal isn't that dependent on Ronaldo anymore. They have always had and still have excellent youth teams, so new talents will always emerge. But with several internationally highly regarded base players on midfield like Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Danilo Pereira and William Carvalho (plus excellent keeper Rui Patricio) and up and coming stars like Joao Felix, Diogo Jota and Francisco Trincao up front I see a bright near future for this team. And no one has to teach a Portuguese team how to defend.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I want to point out something. And for everyone reading my post, I want everyone to read it and remember it for a very long time. Ronaldo was instrumental in helping Portugal qualify for the 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 World Cups. He is a special player in a special category that comes around only once in 30 years. One player on the planet comes along every 30 years more or less. All these 4 World Cups that i mentioned Ronaldo was in perfect peak prime form. This 2022 World Cup qualifying will be Ronaldo's last and assuming he competes for the 2022 WC qualifiers, he will not be in a perfect peak primer form, but rather one step below it. My point is I always felt that without Ronaldo that Portugal would not qualified for all of the last World Cups. I personally don't believe that Portugal would of qualified for more that 1 of the last 4 World Cups without Ronaldo and him being in peak prime form, and if that. Having said that lets see how many of the next 4 World Cups (2022, 2026, 2030, 2034) Portugal will qualify for knowing that he won't be in perfect peak prime form for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers as he is on the tail end of his career + knowing he won't be there for the 2026, 2030, and 2034 World Cup qualifiers. I would be very surprised if Portugal qualified for more than one of the next four World Cup and quite honestly I wouldn't be surprised if they qualifies for none of the four. Before Ronaldo came onto the scene, Portugal would rarely qualify for a World Cup here and there. In my honest expert opinion, Ronaldo is the one that made a Portugal a world force instead of being at best an above average team continuously. Yes Portugal has always had throughout time quality skillful players on paper, but overall they for most of their history didn't have the overall players that would of made a world power on a regular basis. I always say to everyone Portugal was nothing special before he showed up on the scene and Portugal will be nothing special after he leaves the scene. Once he is not there anymore, Portugal will be the nation that struggles to qualify for World Cups on a regular basis and will rarely qualify for them. I want to say one more thing. I have nothing against Portugal and I am just making a point. I am a futbal historian and I constantly here commentators and annalists on TV say how great and special Portugal is. And I know when they say that they don't understand it from a historian perspective and analysis like I do. They don't understand that without Ronaldo, Portugal will for the most part always be a slightly above average team, but not a powerhouse like it is considered by the so called people today. I am very interested to see if Ronaldo will have enough in the tank one more time to get them to the World Cup one more time because I know they will rarely qualify after he retires i am 100% convinced. I feel they won't. They will need to win the group because I am so convinced that if they do manage to get 2nd place and go into the playoffs that they won't be able to win two separate games against two separate opponents to qualify for Qatar. And I see lots of #2, 3, and 4 seeds that are capable of beating Portugal if Ronaldo is a step below the level he has been the last decade and a half. My prediction is that Portugal will not qualify for the 2022 World Cup. I want everyone to remember all what I wrote here and see if I the expert historian and analyst is right. Also, if anyone want me to analyze the chances of a certain nation or nations for qualifying for the 2022 World Cup just ask me. Just make out the request to me "Anonymous"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. History is the past. It all depends on the specific generation of football players in the country and the strength of the opponents in the qualifying group. Hungary played in the finals of World Cup 38 and World Cup 54, then since 1986 it has not played in major tournaments for 30 years, now it has qualified the European Championship twice in a row, but did not make it to the 2018 World Cup. And what conclusion can be drawn from this? Nothing.
      As noted above, Portugal now has a VERY strong generation of footballers and they may well achieve a good result even without Ronaldo. At the same time, with Ronaldo, they took only 2nd place in the qualifying group of the 2014 World Cup, and above them was... Russia))

      Delete
    2. and Ukraine was above in Euro 2020/21 qualifying

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  14. Anonymous. You sai a lot of bull.
    You know nothing about football.

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  15. Portugal was nothing before Ronaldo and they will be nothing after Ronaldo.

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  16. I am going to say that with the COVID situation where any team is vulnerable to get positive COVID results and the fact that because of this pandemic that lots of teams haven't had time to jell new up and coming talent & the fact that now if you finish 2nd in your group that you have to win two separate games against two separate teams that there will be at the very least three #1 European seeds that fail to qualify for the World Cup. The only three #1 seeds that I am virtually 100% sure that they will win their group is England, Netherlands, and Croatia. Because the playoff situation is like this and will make even the strong and might teams vulnerable every # 1 seed will be desperate to win their group and avoid the playoffs. England, Netherlands, and Croatia are the only number 1 seeds that have jelled their teams. Forget about the Nations League and that these teams didn't do well. I studied and was reading what each team was doing during the Nations League games. These three teams clearly are thinking to not just qualify for the World Cup for sure, but will also try and go far in Qatar and have all the pieces in place to fight for the trophy. Croatia is a prime example. Ever since the 2018 World Cup ended use the Euro qualifiers and Nation League games to give young up and coming future National team regulars experience and games to jell and build that chemistry. Croatia during the Euro qualifiers were in a transition and giving so many youngsters a try and still won the group, which was the goal. And for the Nations League it was more of this and results were secondary. The experience, chemistry, and jelling was the most important thing. Now if lets say Croatia have eight players get COVID positive tests and not play and will have 8 solid players to fill in and still be dominant. I love what Croatia has done. Nobody sees this and nobody understands this. People- you should't just look at results as Nations League to try and determine who is good and who isn't. The Nations League is a time for many for transition, building chemistry, and jelling all geared towards the next World Cup cycle. Anyone who doesn't understand that the World Cup is the most important & toughest to qualify for and the most toughest to compete in is a fool. And whoever doesn't understand that using the Euros and Nations League to build for this is more of a fool.

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  17. Hey, whoever is interested in making lots of money out there just listen to me and make these bets where they have such bets. Bet on that Portugal will not win their 2022 European World Cup qualifying Group & bet that Portugal will not qualify for the 2022 World Cup. I don't gamble on sports. That is me. I just don't bet, but all you people that do bet and especially all you people that bet fortunes, please just listen to me. Portugal will not win their group. They might not even come in second in their group and qualify for the playoffs. But even if they do manage to somehow squeak into the playoffs, they will not win two separate games against two different opponents. Guys trust me on this. I know what I am talking about. I know it and I feel it. Portugal will fail to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. I have two guarantees that I will make. (1) Portugal will fail to qualify for the 2022 World Cup & (2) England, Netherlands, and Croatia will qualify for the 2022 World Cup for sure and they will do so by each winning their respected groups. Again, these three will each qualify by winning their groups. The rest of the #1 European seed- Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Denmark all have potential to qualify for the 2022 WC, but I feel along with Portugal at the very least two more from this list of six will fail to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. COVID plays a big factor and the fact that having to beat two different teams in the playoffs is very hard and anything can happen in any playoff game. Example, red card, penalty kick foul, one shot one goal, game goes to penalties, and etc.

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  18. Anonymous. I bet you are Croatian.
    Portugal have a fantastic young squad and beat this Cr9atia you so kuch praise 4x1 without Ronaldo, and 3x2 with a reserve squad full of youngsters.

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  19. Although Anonymous (the first anonymous) seems to have a bit of an anti-Portugal bias, it's not impossible they will fail to qualify.

    World Cups are much harder to qualify for than the European Championships now and regularly one of the big teams fails to make it. Italy of course failed to qualify for the last World Cup. It's likely that at least one will fail this time.

    Of the top seeds, I would rank them in the order of being most at risk:

    Croatia (controversial, but best players are ageing, laboured to qualify for the Euros)
    Denmark (good Nations League tournament, but still more limited than others)
    Germany (clearly not as strong as past German teams)
    Portugal (always make hard running of qualifying)
    England (they always get easy groups so will usually qualify unless they stuff it up completely)
    Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands should all qualify comfortably.

    Portugal are one of those who do not consistently win their group, though they usually qualify even when they don't.

    Not winning your group is a bigger issue for World Cup than Euros.

    I'd say Portugal have 80-90% chance to qualify, but that's not 100%.

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  20. Also, one other factor is the lack of a "big team" in pot 2 for the draw, making it less likely for there to be a death trap for a team like Portugal. Although arguably Poland, Ukraine and Switzerland are perhaps better than Croatia and Denmark, and capable of holding their own with the "big teams".

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  21. Poland is not better than Croatia and Denmark. I'm sure because I watched all their last matches. Poland now is very poor team. In pot 2 maybe Romania has worse team, maybe

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  22. You can't put a lot of stock in Euro qualifying results and Nations League matches because all the nations use these matches to transition, jell, and build chemistry for the World Cup qualifiers. The Nations League is newly former. Every cycle it is going to be different teams winning the groups based on the fact that a lot of teams a transitioning. The Nations League was designed primarily to let the teams play a somewhat meaningful game instead of a friendly. These games are perfect for the transitions, jelling, and building that chemistry. And since only one team can win the group, most teams lose focus on winning the group after staring off badly. Then the focus become primarily to build the team for the future. England, Netherlands, and Croatia did the best in building for the future as #1 seeds. These are the only # 1 seeds that I would bet my life to make it to the World Cup if I was forced to pick three teams that would for sure make the 2022 World Cup. I think ever other #1 seed is vulnerable. COVID is a big factor. If a key starting player or two can't play because they got infected by COVID, England, Netherlands, and Croatia are the only teams in Europe that have players to replace the players infected WHERE THEY WOULD'T MISS A BEAT. From my observing each nation and what they did in these Nation League matches, their are many teams that have great players waiting to step in if anyone is unable to play because of COVID and/or Injury, but they WOULD MISS A BEAT. Even if it is a slight beat, still it could be very costly. And I keep stressing and will keep stressing that having to win two separate playoff games against two separate teams in order to make it to Qatar is very dangerous and even all the #1 seeds are vulnerable to not qualify through the playoffs if they have to go through them. You have COVID that could prevent key players from playing, anything in a game can happen, one shot on goal can kill of a strong and mighty team, penalties, red card, and the time has arrived where so many of these #2 and # 3 seeds and a few #4 seeds are so technically strong and capable of many things in a single playoff game. Imagine having to go through two playoff games. Every #1 seed knows how dangerously risky this playoff system is and each of them is going to do everything if possibly can to win their respected groups and avoid the playoffs. I am 100% convinced that Portugal and at the very least two other #1 seeds will not make the World Cup. And it might be even 4 or 5 possibly. I wouldn't be surprised. I wouldn't be surprised if of these- Italy, France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, or Spain failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. I just know that Netherlands, England, and Croatia are the only teams that have jelled, transitioned, and built that chemistry where they are for sure going to win their groups and make it to the 2022 World Cup. The only 3.

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  23. Hey ROBERT--Your Analysis is ridiculous. FYI, Italy failed to advance from it's group at Euro 2004 and then won the 2006 World Cup. Greece won Euro 2004 and failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. Spain won Euro 2012 and then failed to advance from it's group at the 2014 World Cup. Denmark didn't qualify for Euro 2016 and made it to the 2018 World Cup and made the Round of 16, while there were many that qualified for Euro 2016 and failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Those are just a few examples there are more. Robert, only a fool like you (and I repeat like you) looks at Euro results and Nations League results try and figure out who is strong now and for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. They key is to look underneath the surface and see what each nation is doing to prepare for the most important tournament and sporting event on the planet we all know as the World Cup. Only a fool Robert.

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    1. First, I don't know which "Anonymous" you are, or if you are all the same person, I don't know, maybe try using a screen name to identify you. But I backed up my opinions with recent results and campaigns. You can say that you don't think those results will be reflected in the World Cup campaign - fine, you have your opinion, but if you're going to argue against my opinion, come up with something better to back it up.

      Yes, countries sometimes do well in one tournament and then badly in the next, but they also sometimes do well in one tournament and well in the next, and badly in one tournament and then badly in the next, like Spain when they won three consecutive championships between 2008 and 2012, or like Netherlands failing to qualify for the 2016 EUROs and the 2018 World Cup. Drawing conclusions from recent form is completely reasonable, in fact you will not find many pundits who will disagree with that method.

      We will see which teams struggle or succeed soon enough, I have no particular biases against any team or country, I simply call it how I see it.

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    2. Also, why wouldn't the teams be treating the Nations League seriously and why can't you read anything into the results? They are not just friendlies. The games have a big impact on seeding for the next EURO qualifiers, as well as being a chance (in League A) to compete in the finals, or (in other leagues) to compete for a World Cup playoff or get promoted to a higher league for better seedings. I am not saying that teams which played badly in the NL will definitely play badly in the World Cup qualifiers. I am just saying it is perfectly reasonable to say that there is more likelihood of a team which did badly in the NL struggling in the WC quals than a team which did well in the NL. Not very controversial.

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    3. Again, the most important tournament to qualify for is the World Cup. There are over 50 nations competing in the Nations League. Some are completely rebuilding, some are transitioning, some are figuring out the chemistry, and YES some already have all that in place and are where they want to be. In other words, 50+ nations and each are in different phase to build and be where they want to be when the World Cup qualifiers come around. So, you will have skewed results everywhere in the Nations League each time out because of these factors + many others that I didn't even mention because I don't want to write a book here. You measure the best nations on their quality and brand how consistently they qualify for the World Cup and their Overall success in the World Cups they played. The Nations League is a minor tournament. You can't compare World Cup success to Nations League Success. Being in one World Cup semifinal is worth more that winning 10 Nation League titles. Being in 8 World Cups and always failing to to advance to the Round of 16 is miles and miles worth more than qualifying for 0 or 1 World Cup, but winning 10 Nation League Titles. The Nations League is not special. Again, you don't measure how great a nation is by their success in the Euro qualifying and Nations League. South American nations never brag about their Copa America success. They just brag and think about the World Cup. Every other tournament and the success you have in them is a bonus. The World Cup is the king of kings tournament.

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    4. I think it's absurd to say that teams don't care about the EUROs qualifiers or Nations League. There are three international tournaments that matter, World Cup, EUROs and Nations League. I will allow that the Nations League matters less than the other two, but the EUROs matter just as much as the World Cup within Europe. Do you honestly think teams who win the EUROs think of it as some kind of tin pot tournament and aren't going to care about the qualifiers? Ask the Dutch what they thought about missing out on EURO 2016.

      So why wouldn't teams be trying at 100% when qualification is at stake? And why wouldn't they, even if the Nations League is a slightly less prestigious tournament, bother trying in those matches? It is not as though the stakes are low in the Nations League. Getting relegated to Nations League B means less revenue and less competition for national associations, and kills your chance of winning the competition next time. Teams aren't going to treat it purely as a transitional tournament. Even if they are building to some extent, they want to stay in League A. And they certainly aren't going to treat EURO qualifiers (!) as a chance to experiment and build for the World Cup.

      You say "being in one World Cup semi-final is worth more than winning 10 Nations League titles", we will have to strongly disagree on this one. No-one remembers beaten World Cup semi-finalists. The Nations League is a new competition, yet the record books will always say who won the finals tournament. It will become a matter of pride for the countries who win it. Getting to a semi-final of a tournament means relatively little. And to be honest if you win 10 Nations League titles then you are going to reach World Cup semi-finals anyway so the comparison is silly.

      We are not talking about football history anyway here. You are getting my argument confused. We are talking about which teams are likely to do well or less well in the NEXT qualifying tournament. You talk about "great nations", I am talking about the next World Cup qualifiers. If, say, Spain have a bad qualifying campaign, it doesn't mean they didn't win three tournaments in a row 2008-2012 and if a nation like Finland wins their group, it does not suddenly mean they had an amazing history of success (though it will be a great achievement). I am just making predictions about the next campaign. History does not matter as much as recent form when you are talking about the next campaign.

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    5. ROBERT, you are the one confused and missing the point. A lot of things you said are completely nonsense. Nobody is saying that the nations are not giving it their best during the Euro qualifiers, at the Euros, and Nation League matches. The point is that the vast majority of the nations during these Euro and Nation League matches are in a transition and finding themselves for the future which are the WC qualifiers and WC itself if they qualify. The point is that even though all these nations that are in transition and building their team during these matches, they are doing the best and want to achieve the best results possible, BUT THEY ARE NOT IN PEAK FORM DURING THESE TIMES. AND DURING THESE MATCHES THEY ARE BUILDING FOR THE WC QUALIFIERS WHILE TRYING TO ACHIEVE THE BEST RESULTS POSSIBLE. Also, let's take Germany, Italy, and Netherlands for example. When do we see these such nations perform the best overall and are at their peak form and not vulnerable. YES, the WC qualifiers and the World Cups in particular. When do we see nations like Czech Republic, Portugal, and Greece perform their at their best and peak, YES the Euros. The best show it at the World Cups and the ones that are not at that elite level show it at the Euros. Of course you will get bad campaigns here and there by nations like Germany and Netherlands once in a while at the World Cup, but overall these nations are a threat for the title and almost always it takes another elite nation to end their World Cup.

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    6. Your argument seems to be by this point that teams basically use the entirety of the EUROs and the qualifiers as essentially a warm-up for the World Cup and a building or transition exercise. I'm sorry, but very few people are going to accept that. The EUROs is an important tournament in its own right and all the big nations give 100% to win it and of course qualify, which you yourself acknowledge. To use results from the EUROs as a basis for forecasting the World Cup qualifiers is thus perfectly legitamate, which was the whole point that set off this debate to begin with.

      The record of less prestigious teams such as Greece or Denmark winning the EUROs as opposed to the World Cup is a reflection of the fact that you have fewer top teams at the EUROs than the World Cup because there is no Argentina, Brazil or Uruguay, and hence more chance of the big teams knocking each other out, not because the teams are not in peak form or performing at their best or giving 100%. If you look at the World Cup semi-finalists from history (something you claim is bigger than 10 Nations League wins) you see loads of medium-sized footballing nations at that stage. There have been loads of major upsets at the World Cup, like Germany being knocked out at the group in 2018, Spain in 2014 having just won the last three tournaments, Costa Rica winning the group at the same World Cup etc. Is that evidence that the big teams are not at their peak because they got knocked out by some underdog? I just don't agree that there's any basis for the argument you're making at all.

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    7. Let's look at a couple of examples to illustrate how dumb the argument you're making is.

      Germany went from semi-finalists at EURO 2016 to group stage at WC 2018.

      France went from quarter finals at WC 14 to finalists at EURO 2016.

      I think we both accept Germany and France are top teams, no? So, then, by the logic of your argument, these teams would be using the EUROs to prepare for the World Cup. They would be basically ignoring the EUROs and using them as a warm-up, letting the smaller teams in to win the EUROs.

      But that just isn't what happens when you look at the records of top teams.

      Let's look at the overall records. Spain have won 3 EUROs compared to 1 World Cup. Netherlands 1 EURO and 0 World Cups. France 2 EURO and 2 World Cups. Germany have won 4 World Cups and 3 EUROs. Italy 4 World Cups and 1 Euro. Those are the most successful teams in Europe. Together they've won 10 EUROs and 11 World Cups. Basically no difference. Going by your theory you should be seeing big teams pull it out more for the World Cup but you just don't.

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    8. ROBERT, you keep missing the point. That is that the World Cup is the most important and the hardest to qualify for on ant continent. When you look at National Teams and which ones are the better ones and which ones aren't the answer is always the ones that qualify for the World Cup most often and the ones that have the overall best success at them. By your simple minded thinking, you would say that Greece are better than Croatia because Greece has one major title (Euro 2004) and Croatia has none. Anybody who has an ounce smart above you and truly knows soccer will tell you that Croatia is better. Yes, Croatia hasn't won a major tournament, but it just became independent in 1991 and just started participating for the World Cup qualifiers starting for the 1998 World Cup. In fact, Croatia since its independence has attempted to qualify for 6 WC's and has qualified for 5 successfully. Greece has throughout their WC history attempted to qualify for 19 WC's and only qualified for 3 of them. Also, Croatia has a 3rd place medal and a runner-ups medal. I am sure that if I asked you ROBERT what you would rather have: A Euro Championship or a World Cup Runner-Ups Medal, you would say the European Championship. Anyone who has a brain and who knows soccer would tell you that they would rather have the Runner-Ups Medal because everybody knows that 95% or so of the nations in the world won't ever make a World Cup Final once, but you can always win you Continental Title. Ask a nation like Egypt for example if they would trade all their African Cup Nations Championship for a World Cup Finals Runner Up medal. They would say of course. ROBERT, you know why? Because the WC is the most important and prestigious sporting tournament in the World. What would you rather win ROBERT if you are a professional tennis player. Would you rather win one Wimbledon or twenty Masters tournaments for your career. Of course you Robert would pick the twenty Masters. A person with any brains would rather have one Wimbledon runner ups trophy then rather have a hundred Masters Championship. Would you Robert rather have your favorite European soccer club to have won one Champions League in their history or no Champions League title, but 5 Europa League titles. Robert, that is how you think.

      The point Robert, that you keep not understanding and that I am making is that YES winning EUROS and have having great success at the EUROS consistently is great and prestigious for those Nations that do, but regardless the king of kings when it comes to measuring which nations are the best in soccer are the ones that qualify for the WC regularly and also the success in them overall.

      I have an Egyptian friend and he asked me about 10 years why do I think Egypt can't qualify for the World Cup, but does so good at African Cups of Nations regularly and win championships. AND I told him simply it is because the World Cup is a different animal and trying to qualifying for it is miles and miles harder than to qualify for any National Team Tournament anywhere on the planet. I told him pretty much the point I have been trying to instill in your mind Robert. Once I explained it to him, he understood right away and he said that I was right. You Robert are pathetic and a simple minded person.

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    10. Everyone would prefer to win the Euro than to be runner up of a World Cup. Nobody remembers a runner up. Ask any dutchmen the feeling of being 3 times runner up and to win an Euro. Croatia is bigger than Greece, it is not about only the cup, as I can obviously see that you are a Croatian. But first, respect others who dont have your opinion, you are not an animal. Second, respect Robert, he made some fantastic points that i support, it is his points, learn respect, third respect other countries conquest. I bet you would want to win an Euro. Finally, learn to be polite. You are being a spoiled child by cursing Robert just because him, and I too, dont have the same thinking that you.

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    11. Gabriel said it all!Please respect the others that have a different opinion from you. I'm another one that disagrees from you, but still respect your opinion, though... Of course I prefer to win a Euro than to be runner up in 5 WC... When in a final, you must win it! If you don't, you heart is in pain for one month! Also, in 50 years no one knows who was the finalist in 2018, but the winner of an Euro they will... The only thing I agree with you is that of course a WC is more important than a Euro! I'm portuguese, I would trade our euro for a WC, but never for being a finalist in a WC... By the way, if Portugal gets Slovakia, Scotland, Luxembourg, Malta and San Marino it won't qualify for the WC???? You say it they won't make it for sure even before you know the actual group... Don't understand it...

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    12. Anonymous, I think we are done here. Since you seem to be incapable of making a reasoned and respectful argument without resorting to insults, I am going to stop engaging with you. I suspect your issue with me which is causing you to be abusive is that I suggested Croatia might struggle in the upcoming WC quals, and so you have taken this ridiculous argument that EUROs and NL matches are irrelevant and only the WC really matters. I'm glad to see the neutrals agree with me, this is a crazy position. For the record, I think Croatia is a great footballing nation with a fantastic history that consistently achieves great things given their population, but it is a fact they did not do so well in recent games, so for me they are more at risk in the qualifiers. Anyway, please be respectful and not abusive in future. Cheers.

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    13. By the way, I am a Welsh fan and looking forward to the draw, hopefully fans will be allowed back into the stadiums for the qualifiers. I think we have a decent chance (maybe 40-50%) to qualify now we are pretty much in the play-offs because we won the Nations League, but so much depends on the draw. I think it's still going to be quite hard to qualify through the play-offs, so hopefully we get a 1st seed we can beat in the group and qualify automatically. Qualifying for a World Cup is harder now than EUROs, so it will be special if we can do it. I bet FIFA draws us with England though. :(

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    14. Mauro, yeah I agree, the draw is the most important factor in these things. I reckon Portugal will probably qualify, like Croatia, but if they get a group with Switzerland/Russia or Ukraine/Norway, could I see them potentially failing to make it? Maybe, Ukraine won the EURO group. But I think Portugal will qualify. Maybe when Ronaldo retires it will be difficult to replace him, but I see him going on til at least 38 so at least one more campaign if not two. With Ronaldo you will always score goals.

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    15. I also agree with you, Robert, but regardless of the draw tomorrow, the top seeds all have at least 75% of qualifying directly. I disagree with our friend anonymous, i think at least 9 out of the 10 top seeds will qualify by winning their group. Of course if Portugal gets Switzerland (for me, the hardest in pot 2), Russia and Bosnia, I can see a lot of problems to solve in such a group...If they get Slovakia, Scotland and Luxembourg, I can only see the sunshine in a cruise :) Lets see what luck brings tomorrow (I don´t think you´ll get England this time ;) ). Ronaldo at the moment, isn´t so decisive as it used to be some years ago. Portugal has a much better squad now compared to even some years ago. Yes he scores goals, but the best football Portugal has played in the last 2 years was without him in the squad (like vs Poland away and Croatia at home). But surely we will miss him, a player like him only occurs in every 50 years in our small country. I think when he retires, Portugal will play in a different tactics, maybe similar to Spain. One thing I now for sure: In overall, they will score less goals.

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    16. I would say either 8 or 9 will qualify directly. I think at least one of Croatia/Denmark/Germany/Portugal won't win their group. Of course we only have an hour to wait now to find out the draw. Excitement!

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    17. After that draw I am glad we have the play-offs pretty much in the bag by winning League B of UNL. Belgium and Czech Republic are going to be very hard. Belgium pretty much the best team in Europe now, hope they have the two worst games of their lives against us, but the Czechs will be hard to beat too. We are likely in the play-offs.

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    19. I agree, I don´t see a fantastic Belgium team not qualifying in the 1st place. I think Wales and The Czech Republic have secured a spot in the play-off´s: One as 2nd in the group, the other one via Nations League. Very balanced groups, definitely all the luck went to Germany. Portugal also can´t complain that much. It isn´t 100% sure that we´ll qualify, but very, very far, from the "Portugal won´t qualify for sure" refereed by anonymous. The hardest group for me is Group D (France, Ukraine, Finland and Bosnia) but France is France, so a big fight for the second place. Groups F and H the most open for me and where I more easily can see a non seeded winning the respective group. Again, all my opinions, I don´t have a crystal ball in my possession.;)

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    20. Portugal will be in the play-offs at least for sure, Rep. Ireland are not very good at the moment, can't score goals and look easier to beat than they used to. Serbia probably won't challenge too much to win the group either, too inconsistent so I see Portugal winning that group. Group F looks interesting, Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, hard to see who will win that.

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  24. Shall we try to keep things civilized here? It's all opinions here, nothing more, nothing less. Thank you.

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    1. I think I may have ruffled a few feathers. I have no axe to grind, didn't mean to offend anyone, and can't really understand why my post would trigger such a strong response.

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    2. My reply to you Robert is factual. Your analysis is basic and non logical based on speculation. That is why.

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    3. Your reply is factual? Why, do you know exactly how the results of the World Cup qualifiers will go? No, no-one does, so all predictions are speculation. My prediction that Croatia might POTENTIALLY struggle (which I guess is what has ruffled your feathers going by your other posts) is based on the EURO qualifying campaign where they lost to Hungary and finished 3 points ahead of Wales in a tight group where qualification went down to the last game. And to a lesser extent on the NL where they got 3 points. I have no bias against Croatia. You have to bear in mind they were World Cup finalists, but that was three years ago. I am not saying Croatia will not qualify. They will probably win their group. I am just saying they are one of the more LIKELY teams to find it difficult for the reasons I have stated.

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  25. Belgium, Wales and Czech Republic in 1 group means that there will be at least one of the top 7 NL group winners finishing outside the top 2 in their WCQ group.

    That is not good news for Hungary and more so the Nations League C and D group winners who will now most likely need to finish in the top 2 in qualifying.

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    1. Hungary will need to be in top 2 or support Austria to be top 2 of their group.

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    2. That are good news for European football. There is only 13 World Cup slots and it would be wasting of them if some team from League C or even D qualify via play-offs without being in their group top 2. UEFA don't want more results like: Iceland 0-2 Nigeria or Poland 1-2 Senegal while Italy and Netherlands staying at home and waiting for the next edition (4-year cycle means half of football generation). Yes, I remember that Iceland and Poland were/are in League A, I know that top-class title defender Germany also surprisingly lost 0-2 to Korea and were knocked out in the group stage and I remember that Netherlands missed also Euro 2016 and I know that we never will have all UEFA teams in WC knock-out stage, but 13 berths in World Cup (this time with Russia included in qualifying and not having a separate slot as host) is not so big ammount so I think considering any chances of League C team (unless they win their group or reach play-off in a standard way) is undesirable.

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  26. I think it can confidently be assumed that all top seeds will qualify directly. The vulnerable top seeds (Denmark, Croatia, Portugal, Germany) got easy groups, and the strong teams of Pot 2 (Poland, Switzerland, Sweden) landed on even stronger top seeds.

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