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Thursday, April 1, 2021

FIFA ranking: April 2021 final preview

Here is the final preview of the April 2021 ranking. FIFA will publish this ranking next Thursday April 8th. 

After the disqualification of Chad and the subsequent forfeit of their last two group matches in AFCON qualifying, I expect, conform the inclusion of other awarded matches, their awarded matches to be included in this ranking.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

FIFA ranking April 2021: preview results

Here are the scheduled matches counting for the FIFA April 2021 ranking with FIFA's Home Team Win Expectancy (We) in % and the points exchanged in case of Win, Draw or Loss of the home team. In cases where matches can go to PSO, also the points exchanged when the home team wins (PSO-W) of loses (PSO-L) the penalty shoot-out are given.

FIFA ranking: April 2021 probable results

Here are the probable results of all currently scheduled matches up to and including March 31st, used to calculate the April 2021 probable ranking. The results are generated using elo ratings.

Also the already played matches since February 15th, (probably) counting for the April ranking, are presented.

FIFA ranking April 2021: preview

Here are the minimum and maximum points for each team in the April 2021 ranking. FIFA will publish the ranking on April 8th.


Minimum and maximum points per team are determined with a small piece of software which calculates per match the minimum and maximum possible points for each participating team, given the minimum and maximum starting values of both teams before the match.

FIFA ranking: April 2021 probable ranking

The first FIFA international match window of the year is drawing near:

  • CAF plays match days 5 and 6 to conclude the qualification groups for the CAF Cup of Nations 2022 in Cameroon.
  • CONCACAF starts with their World cup qualification stage 1, a group stage with 6 groups of 5 teams where each team plays 2 home and 2 away matches against each group opponent. These group matches will be played in the March window and the first part of the extended June window. Some group matches will be played in centralized locations to be able to meet the Covid-19 requirements.
    In the second part of the June window the qualification stage 2 is scheduled where in three home-and-away play-offs the 6 group winners compete for a place in stage 3, the octagonal. Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Honduras have already qualified for this 8-team double round robin group stage, to start in September and played to a finish in March next year.
  • UEFA starts with their World cup qualification groups and plays the first three match days.
  • AFC had match days 7 and 8 of their world cup qualification second stage scheduled, but was forced given the current Covid-19 regulations in Asia to postpone these matches (bar only 3 exceptions) to the extended June window where they will play the last 4 group match days in centralized locations to be able to finish the second stage in that window.
  • CONMEBOL had match days 5 and 6 in their World cup qualification group scheduled, but they were also forced to postpone these rounds, given the current Covid-19 regulations in Europe where most of their top players earn their money. It is yet unknown when these matches will be rescheduled. They already need all available windows until March 2022 to be able to finish the group stage on time. Probably they will have two windows in the Autumn extended with an extra match day each.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

FIFA ranking: February 2021 final preview

Here is the final preview of the February 2021 ranking. FIFA will publish this ranking next week's Thursday February 18th.

The first final tournament since the CECAFA Cup in December 2019 was played this month in Cameroon, where Morocco won (again) the African Nations Championship. Although a title was at stake, the I-factor for the matches played in this tournament was only 5, so only few points were exchanged.

Furthermore, as usual in January, a handfull of friendlies were played. It remains to be seen which of these fiendlies will be included in the ranking as some teams (f.i. Serbia) played with obvious B-teams.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

FIFA ranking February 2021: preview results

Here are the scheduled matches counting for the FIFA February 2021 ranking with FIFA's Home Team Win Expectancy (We) in % and the points exchanged in case of Win, Draw or Loss of the home team. In cases where matches can go to PSO, also the points exchanged when the home team wins (PSO-W) of loses (PSO-L) the penalty shoot-out are given.

The 1 or 0 before each match indicates if the match is included (1) or not (0) according to my inclusion-method.

FIFA ranking February 2021: preview

Here are the minimum and maximum points for each team in the February 2021 ranking. FIFA will publish the ranking on February 18th.


Minimum and maximum points per team are determined with a small piece of software which calculates per match the minimum and maximum possible points for each participating team, given the minimum and maximum starting values of both teams before the match.

Note that only scheduled (and included) matches with both teams known at calculation time are incorporated in this analysis. 

FIFA ranking: February 2021 probable results

Here are the probable results of all currently scheduled matches up to and including February 14th, used to calculate the February 2021 probable ranking. The results are generated using elo ratings.

Also the already played matches since last December 7th, (probably) counting for the February ranking, are presented.

FIFA ranking: February 2021 probable ranking

As usual the February ranking does not include matches played in an official FIFA international match window. And this year only the African Nations Championship is scheduled from today in Cameroon. Not to be confused with the continental showpiece African Cup of Nations, for the 16 teams in this tournament only players playing in domestic African competitions can be selected. Especially the top dogs in African football with all their stars playing in other continents are severely weakened by this rule, so traditional powerhouses are not to be overestimated (if they could qualify for this tournament in the first place). The matches do count for the FIFA ranking though, but only as friendlies.


There are a few preparatory friendlies played for this tournament, but it is yet unclear if they will be included in the FIFA ranking or not. For now they are excluded.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

UEFA qualification World Cup 2022 simulations (January 2021)

The European teams will have a busy schedule this year. The qualification groups for the World Cup 2022 in 10 MD's will start in March and be played to a finish in November. There are 10 groups with the group winners qualifying directly for Qatar. The 10 group runners-up will compete with the two best UNL group winners, not qualified already, in 3 play-off paths of 4 teams for the final 3 UEFA berths. These single leg semi-final and final play-offs will be played in March 2022.

In October the UEFA Nations League 2021 Final Four will be played between the league A group winners Italy, Belgium, France and Spain.

And not to forget: this June the postponed EURO 2020 will be played, still with the same match schedule and in the same 12 venues, spread across Europe. Last November the last four participants (Hungary, Slovakia, Scotland and North Macedonia) came through the qualification finals.

AFC qualification World Cup 2022 simulations (January 2021)

Only a single match was played in the Asian qualification for the World Cup last year. The last four match days of the second round are rescheduled now for the coming March and June windows. After the Summer round three, consisting of 2 groups of 6 teams, will commence. The 12 qualified teams will be put in 6 pots of two. Which FIFA ranking (June or July) is used for seeding is yet unknown, because the publication schedule for 2021 is not yet published.

The AFC managed to keep the same qualification format. The matches for round three are now scheduled from September until March 2022. And the next step -where the Asian number 5 is determined between the two group numbers 3- is scheduled in June 2022 as a single match now. In that same June window the interconfederational play-offs (with the Asian number 5) are staged.

CONMEBOL qualification World Cup 2022 simulations (January 2021)

CONMEBOL started with their World Cup qualifiers. They played 4 MD's in October and November last year.

Here are the probabilities (in %) of the complete qualifying campaign for CONMEBOL teams, including the complete Copa America 2021 (now scheduled for this June) along the road -generated over 10.000 simulations- with all match results based on NT prediction formula's for goals scored in a match depending on elo win expectancy.

CONCACAF qualification World Cup 2022 simulations (January 2021)

Forced by the COVID-19 pandemic CONCACAF has adjusted their initially proposed qualification format for the World Cup to the following process:

  • a group stage with 6 groups of 5 teams. Each team plays 2 home matches and 2 away matches against the other group opponents this March and June.
  • the 6 group winners play (still in June) in 3 two-legged play-offs for a place in the octogonal. The pairing of these group winners in the play-offs is fixed: winner A plays F, winner B plays E and winner C plays D.
  • a final group stage with 8 teams in a double round-robin format (octogonal) from September to March 2022. The top 5 from the July 2020 ranking (Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Honduras) is automatically qualified for this stage.
  • the top 3 of the octogonal qualifies for Qatar; number 4 goes to the interconfederational play-offs in June 2022.

This crowded schedule can only be realised because the June window contains 4 MD's and the September, October, January and March windows will contain 3 MD's each.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Qualification AFCON 2021 simulations (January 2021)

Last November match days 3 and 4 of the group stage in qualifying for the African Cup of Nations 2021 were played. The AFCON 2021 will be played in Cameroon, but is already postponed to January 2022. The last two matchdays will be played next March. The top 2 from each of the 12 groups qualifies for the 24-team AFCON 2021. Cameroon as host plays the qualifiers but is of course already certain of qualification. From their group F only one highest ranked other team qualifies, besides Cameroon.


Subsequently from May until October this year the second round of World Cup qualifying for CAF-teams will be played in 10 groups of 4 teams. The draw for this group stage was already a year ago in Cairo, but still no official schedule of matches is published by CAF/FIFA.

The third qualification round to decide the 5 African representatives in Qatar is staged for November this year. It consists of 5 two-legged play-offs between the 10 group winners.