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Saturday, September 25, 2021

FIFA ranking: October 2021 probable ranking

The FIFA October international match window starts October 4th. All confederations except OFC are still in full swing qualifying mode for the World Cup next year in Qatar. 


CONMEBOL and CONCACAF have a resp. two and one day extension to be able to accommodate 3 match days. CONCACAF plays MDs 4-6 in the octogonal. In South America the postponed match day 5 from March is played, besides MDs 11 and 12.

A big question mark hangs above the suspended match Brazil - Argentina from September: where is the room in the match calendar to resume/replay this match ?

In Europe also the Nations League 2021 Finals will be played in Italy with the four group winners of league A: France, Italy, Belgium and Spain. 

CAF and AFC continue their qualification group stage with MDs 3 and 4.

FIFA ranking October 2021: preview results

Here are the scheduled matches counting for the FIFA October 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 October 2021: preview

Here are the minimum and maximum points for each team in the October 2021 ranking. FIFA will publish the ranking on October 21st.


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: October 2021 probable results

Here are the probable results of all 162 currently scheduled matches up to and including October 17th, used to calculate the October 2021 probable ranking. The results are generated using elo ratings.

Also the already played matches since September 13th, (probably) counting for the October ranking, are presented.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

World Cup qualification simulations (September 2021)

All confederations except OFC are now busy with their main group qualification stage.

  • UEFA finish their group stage in November. The 10 group winners qualify. The play-offs between the 10 group runners-up and the best 2 group winners from the Nations League 2020-2021 (finished third or lower in their group) for the remaining 3 berths are scheduled for March 2022, to be played as 3 knock-out paths with each path consisting of 2 single semi-finals and a single final.
  • CAF finish their group stage in November. The 10 group winners qualify for stage 3: 5 home-and-away play-offs, to be played in March 2022. The 5 winners of stage 3 qualify. In January 2022 the postponed African Cup of Nations 2021 will be played in Cameroon. The match schedule for this tournament is known and included in these simulations.
  • CONMEBOL finish their group stage in March. Top 4 qualifies, number 5 goes to the interconfederational play-offs, to be staged in the second week of the June 2022 window. The date for the draw of the pairing of confederations in these IPO's is yet unknown.
  • CONCACAF finish their group stage in March. Top 3 qualifies, number 4 goes to the interconfederational play-offs.
  • AFC finish their group stage in March. Numbers 1 and 2 of both groups qualify, numbers 3 of both groups play a single play-off in the first week of the June 2022 window to determine the AFC number 5, which goes to the interconfederational play-offs.
  • OFC's qualification format is still unknown. They will probably start (and finish) their qualification in the January 2022 window. Their final top dog goes to the interconfederational play-offs.

Friday, September 10, 2021

FIFA ranking: September 2021 final preview

FIFA will publish the September ranking next Thursday September 16th. This final preview contains 181 matches, out of 182 matches played since August 9th. 152 Matches were World Cup qualifiers, the rest were friendlies.


One team reaches a new high:

Kosovo (109 - 114 in October 2019)


Two teams climb to their highest ranking again:

England (3 in August 2012)

Senegal (20 in July 2019)


Two teams drop to a new low:

Togo (136 - 133 in April 2021)

Moldova (180 - 177 in November 2020)

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

FIFA ranking September 2021: preview

Here are the minimum and maximum points for each team in the September 2021 ranking. FIFA will publish the ranking on September 16th.

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 September 2021: preview results

Here are the scheduled matches counting for the FIFA September 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.


Normally the home team's gained points will be the away-team's lost points. Still, both are given because there are in FIFA's calculation approach cases when they will not be the same: PSO-matches and knock-out matches in final competitions.

FIFA ranking: September 2021 probable ranking

The FIFA September international match window starts next week. All confederations (well, except OFC) are now in full swing qualifying mode for the World Cup next year in Qatar. 

UEFA and CONCACAF have a one day extension to be able to accommodate 3 match days: MDs 4-6 in the UEFA groups and MDs 1-3 in the CONCACAF octogonal. 

CONMEBOL also has to play three match days to catch up their postponed March match days. They even need a two day extension for that. Recent news about the English Premier League clubs refusing to release their players from countries on the COVID-19 red list could, same as in March by the way, pose a threat for especially the South American qualifiers as players from all these countries need a 10-day quarantaine when returning to England. CONMEBOL doesn't have any room in the calendar to postpone their qualifiers any further though, so it's unsure what will happen here.

CAF starts their group stage with MDs 1 and 2.

AFC starts their final group stage with the first two match days. Also the first legs of the two stage 3 play-offs in the qualification of the Asian Cup of Nations 2023 are played, with the second legs played in the October window.

The few remaining countries not playing qualification might engage in friendlies, some in small friendly tournament form.

FIFA ranking: September 2021 probable results

Here are the probable results of all 182 currently scheduled matches up to and including September 9th, used to calculate the September 2021 probable ranking. The results are generated using elo ratings.

Also the already played matches since August 8th, (probably) counting for the September ranking, are presented.


The 1 or 0 before each match indicates if the match is included (1) or not (0) according to my inclusion-method. Also the Home Team Win Expectancy (We) according to elo is given for each match in %.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

CONCACAF qualification World Cup 2022 (August 2021)

The eight teams qualified for the Octogonal, the final CONCACAF qualification round for the World Cup 2022 in Qatar, are known. Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Honduras were automatically qualified for this round. El Salvador, Canada and Panama qualified from the second round play-offs in June.

Last week the Gold Cup 2021 finished, with the USA winning in extra time over Mexico. Semi finalists were Canada and invitee Qatar. So now all is set for the Octogonal, 14 match days to be played between next month and March next year. Numbers one to three qualify for Qatar, number 4 qualifies for an interconfederational play-off in June 2022 against a yet unknown opponent from Asia (number 5), South America (number 5) or OFC (number 1). No word yet from FIFA when the draw for the interconfederational play-offs will be staged.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

FIFA ranking: August 2021 final preview

FIFA will publish the August ranking on Thursday August 12th. This final preview contains 350 matches, out of 369 matches played since May 24th. 

Only the Gold Cup final between USA and Mexico to be played yet for this ranking.

Points for both teams will be:

USA

MEX

win USA

1647,76

(10th)

1658,29

(9th)

PSO-win USA

1637,76

(11th)

1658,29

(9th)

PSO-win MEX

1627,76

(13th)

1667,07

(8th)

win MEX

1626,54

(13th)

1677,07

(8th)

Elo predicts a PSO-win for the US of A tomorrow.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

AFC qualification World Cup 2022 (July 2021)

The draw for the Asian third qualification round for the World Cup 2022 in Qatar has been made some weeks ago. This is the final group stage with two groups of 6 teams. The ten group matches will be played between September and March next year.

Numbers one and two from each group qualify for Qatar. The two numbers three play a single-legged play-off in June  2022 to determine the Asian number five which will play an interconfederational play-off (also in June 2022) against an opponent from a yet unknown confederation (the CONCACAF 4th, the CONMEBOL 5th or the OFC 1st).

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

FIFA ranking: August 2021 probable ranking (II)

FIFA will publish the next ranking only on August 12th. This means that all matches played in the extended June window for World Cup qualifying in AFC, CONMEBOL and CONCACAF, together with the CONCACAF Nations League Finals and all friendlies, plus all matches from three complete continental final tournaments (EURO, Copa America and Gold Cup) all will count for this ranking.


Here is a second preview of the probable August 2021 ranking.

FIFA Ranking: August 2021 probable results (II)

Here are the probable results of all currently scheduled matches up to and including August 1st, used to calculate the August 2021 probable ranking. The results are generated using elo ratings.

Also the already played matches since May 24th, (probably) counting for the August ranking, are presented.


The 1 or 0 before each match indicates if the match is included (1) or not (0) according to my inclusion-method. Also the Home Team Win Expectancy (We) according to elo and according to FIFA is given for each match in %.

FIFA ranking: current ranking

FIFA will publish the next ranking only on August 12th. This means that all matches played in the extended June window for World Cup qualifying in AFC, CONMEBOL and CONCACAF, together with the CONCACAF Nations League Finals and all friendlies, plus all matches from three complete continental final tournaments (EURO, Copa America and Gold Cup) all will count for this ranking. In total this August ranking will include around 355 matches.

A lot of changes are to be expected. Here is the current ranking, after the round of 16 in the EURO 2021 and the group phase of the Copa America. Just as a reminder: teams can't lose points in knock-out matches of final tournaments.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

FIFA ranking: August 2021 probable ranking

FIFA will publish the next ranking only on August 12th. This means that all matches played in the extended June window for World Cup qualifying in AFC, CONMEBOL and CONCACAF, together with the CONCACAF Nations League Finals and all friendlies, plus all matches from three complete continental final tournaments (EURO, Copa America and Gold Cup) all will count for this ranking. Movements in the ranking should be guaranteed, one would think.


Here is the probable August 2021 ranking.

FIFA ranking: August 2021 probable results

Here are the probable results of all currently scheduled matches up to and including August 1st, used to calculate the August 2021 probable ranking. The results are generated using elo ratings.

Also the already played matches since May 24th, (probably) counting for the August ranking, are presented.


The 1 or 0 before each match indicates if the match is included (1) or not (0) according to my inclusion-method. Also the Home Team Win Expectancy (We) according to elo and according to FIFA is given for each match in %.

Monday, May 31, 2021

AFC qualification World Cup 2022 (May 2021)

The situation in the second round of AFC qualifying has changed somewhat with the withdrawal after 6 match days of North Korea and the decision of AFC/FIFA to annul their matches and disregard the matches against the group number 5 in all other groups when determining the group runners-up table. Remember that -besides the 8 group winners- the top 4 of the group runners-up qualify for the third and final qualification round (or top 5 if Qatar is a group winner or belongs to the top 4 group runners-up).


Furthermore 4 matches have already been played between the last simulations in January this year and today, in which Qatar and Saudi Arabia won and Japan already secured passage to the third round as group winner. These simulations were made today (June 5th), right before the Saudi Arabia - Yemen match.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

FIFA ranking: May 2021 final preview

Next Thursday May 27th FIFA publishes the May ranking. Since the March window no matches are played. Only for coming Sunday (the last day before the deadline of the May ranking) two matches are scheduled. Both are friendlies and it's not even certain they will count for the ranking.

It beats me why FIFA decided to publish a ranking while it could be easily foreseen that only a few friendlies could be included. In the months of April and May the domestic competitions finish in Europe and there simply is no room to play NT-football.

And then the contrast with the next ranking. For the next August ranking already 338 matches are scheduled, including three continental final tournaments, a bunch of World Cup qualifiers and plenty of (preparatory) friendlies.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

CONCACAF qualification World Cup 2022 simulations (May 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.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

UEFA qualification World Cup 2022 simulations (May 2021)

The first three match days in European qualification for the World Cup 2022 have been played last March. In this qualification 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, but Dublin and Bilbao are no longer venues because of the local strict COVID measures conflicting with the requirement of UEFA to play at least with some fans in the stands. Their matches are relocated to St. Petersburg (group matches Dublin), London (round of 16 Dublin) and Seville (group matches Bilbao).


Sunday, April 25, 2021

CAF qualification World Cup 2022 simulations (April 2021)

Africa's qualification process for the World Cup next year in Qatar is not too complicated but (as usual) with little margin for error:

  • first a play-off round to whittle the number of teams down to 40. These play-offs were already played in September 2019.
  • then a second round consisting of 10 groups of 4 teams, with two match days to be played in the June, September and October windows this year. The ten group winners progress to 
  • round three with five home-and-away play-offs to determine the 5 African participants in Qatar. These play-offs are to be played in November this year and the 10 teams in the draw will be seeded according to the FIFA October 2021 ranking.

Although the match schedule for the second qualifying round is still not officially confirmed, nor by FIFA, nor by CAF, the first two group matches are scheduled for the upcoming June window next month. Don't know why it's taking them this long to publish a simple match schedule, when the draw for this round was already more than a year ago...

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.