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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...


On wiki I found a match schedule but without source. Of course I'm curious myself what the always tightly contested African qualification could bring. So I decided to simulate this match schedule.


Here are the probabilities (in %) -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.


First the qualification groups. The teams are ordered by average position in the group.

 

group A

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Algeria

83,60

15,95

0,45

0,00

Burkina Faso

16,11

79,50

4,37

0,02

Niger

0,29

4,54

92,06

3,11

Djibouti

0,00

0,01

3,12

96,87

group B

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Tunisia

73,23

19,49

5,77

1,51

Zambia

18,63

43,39

25,20

12,78

Mauritania

4,67

20,09

35,34

39,90

Equatorial Guinea

3,47

17,03

33,69

45,81

group C

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Nigeria

87,53

10,49

1,66

0,32

Cape Verde Islands

9,18

52,03

25,99

12,80

Liberia

1,88

20,51

37,36

40,25

Central African Republic

1,41

16,97

34,99

46,63

group D

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Cote d'Ivoire

63,61

30,08

5,52

0,79

Cameroon

32,29

51,19

13,65

2,87

Malawi

3,41

13,68

51,91

31,00

Mozambique

0,69

5,05

28,92

65,34

group E

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Mali

58,34

26,43

11,35

3,88

Uganda

24,77

36,05

26,12

13,06

Kenya

12,78

25,09

35,35

26,78

Rwanda

4,11

12,43

27,18

56,28

group F

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Egypt

70,61

19,82

7,03

2,54

Gabon

15,55

35,77

28,35

20,33

Angola

7,36

23,05

33,23

36,36

Libya

6,48

21,36

31,39

40,77

group G

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Ghana

63,84

23,97

9,30

2,89

South Africa

22,26

38,26

25,55

13,93

Zimbabwe

9,91

24,34

36,46

29,29

Ethiopia

3,99

13,43

28,69

53,89

group H

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Senegal

95,21

4,30

0,45

0,04

Congo

2,19

41,07

33,32

23,42

Namibia

1,99

35,60

35,38

27,03

Togo

0,61

19,03

30,85

49,51

group I

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Morocco

83,08

12,86

3,34

0,72

Guinea

8,98

39,13

30,38

21,51

Sudan

4,74

26,95

34,35

33,96

Guinea-Bissau

3,20

21,06

31,93

43,81

group J

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Congo DR

41,03

30,88

18,74

9,35

Benin

37,33

31,54

20,71

10,42

Madagascar

15,60

23,86

33,29

27,25

Tanzania

6,04

13,72

27,26

52,98


The top dogs appear to win their groups easily. Group D could be exciting with two favourites in it. Groups E and J are without an outspoken favourite.


Then the qualification for the play-off round. The top 5 play-off participants are seeded (based on the October 2021 ranking), the other 5 are unseeded. Below you see the probabilities to qualify as seeded or unseeded, the probability to be seeded given that a team is a group winner and the total probability to qualify for the play-offs. Teams are ordered by this last column.


team

seeded

unseeded

%seeded

total

Senegal

95,21

0,00

100,00

95,21

Nigeria

87,43

0,10

99,89

87,53

Algeria

83,60

0,00

100,00

83,60

Morocco

82,52

0,56

99,33

83,08

Tunisia

73,23

0,00

100,00

73,23

Egypt

30,59

40,02

43,32

70,61

Ghana

17,50

46,34

27,41

63,84

Cote d'Ivoire

11,75

51,86

18,47

63,61

Mali

5,48

52,86

9,39

58,34

Congo DR

0,80

40,23

1,95

41,03

Benin

0,03

37,30

0,08

37,33

Cameroon

6,79

25,50

21,03

32,29

Uganda

0,01

24,76

0,04

24,77

South Africa

0,15

22,11

0,67

22,26

Zambia

0,03

18,60

0,16

18,63

Burkina Faso

4,51

11,60

28,00

16,11

Madagascar

0

15,60

0

15,60

Gabon

0,03

15,52

0,19

15,55

Kenya

0

12,78

0

12,78

Zimbabwe

0

9,91

0

9,91

Cape Verde Islands

0,15

9,03

1,63

9,18

Guinea

0,18

8,80

2,00

8,98

Angola

0

7,36

0

7,36

Libya

0

6,48

0

6,48

Tanzania

0

6,04

0

6,04

Sudan

0

4,74

0

4,74

Mauritania

0,01

4,66

0,21

4,67

Rwanda

0

4,11

0

4,11

Ethiopia

0

3,99

0

3,99

Equatorial Guinea

0

3,47

0

3,47

Malawi

0

3,41

0

3,41

Guinea-Bissau

0

3,20

0

3,20

Congo

0

2,19

0

2,19

Namibia

0

1,99

0

1,99

Liberia

0

1,88

0

1,88

Central African Republic

0

1,41

0

1,41

Mozambique

0

0,69

0

0,69

Togo

0

0,61

0

0,61

Niger

0

0,29

0

0,29

Djibouti

0

0

0

0


I've simulated the play-off round by determining the 5 seeds and 5 unseeds in each simulation and perform a random draw to generate the 5 play-off pairings. Also which team in each pairing plays home in the first leg is result of a random draw.

The probabilities to qualify for the World Cup (in square brackets the probability, given qualification for round 3):


team

qualify

Senegal

72,56

[76,21]

Algeria

65,60

[78,47]

Nigeria

62,07

[70,91]

Morocco

57,57

[69,29]

Tunisia

48,60

[66,37]

Egypt

33,93

[48,05]

Cote d'Ivoire

30,86

[48,51]

Ghana

28,22

[44,20]

Mali

20,56

[35,24]

Cameroon

12,63

[39,11]

Congo DR

10,43

[25,42]

Benin

8,59

[23,01]

Burkina Faso

7,44

[46,18]

South Africa

6,38

[28,66]

Uganda

5,70

[23,01]

Zambia

5,36

[28,77]

Gabon

3,43

[22,06]

Madagascar

2,43

[15,58]

Kenya

2,26

[17,68]

Cape Verde Islands

2,21

[24,07]

Guinea

2,18

[24,28]

Zimbabwe

2,09

[21,09]

Angola

1,25

[16,98]

Libya

1,08

[16,67]

Mauritania

0,93

[19,91]

Sudan

0,88

[18,57]

Tanzania

0,67

[11,09]

Ethiopia

0,59

[14,79]

Equatorial Guinea

0,54

[15,56]

Guinea-Bissau

0,53

[16,56]

Malawi

0,52

[15,25]

Rwanda

0,49

[11,92]

Congo

0,36

[16,44]

Namibia

0,35

[17,59]

Liberia

0,33

[17,55]

Central African Republic

0,19

[13,48]

Mozambique

0,10

[14,49]

Togo

0,07

[11,48]

Niger

0,02

[6,90]

Djibouti

0

[0,00]



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.

4 comments:

  1. Hi, thanks for these simulations.

    There's a source in the wiki to this page: https://www.cafonline.com/news-center/news/cameroon-2021-qualifiers-resume-november-qatar-2022-set-for-may-2021
    and there's a link to a pdf file at the end of the page: https://images.cafonline.com/image/upload/caf-prd/wfdidehl23grigmyi2xg.pdf

    So, the schedules in the wiki and the pdf are almost the same, with only a few days difference in start and ends of paired matchdays windows.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're welcome, but in what way is that a complete match schedule. It doesn't tell you who is playing against who on which date....
    And that's the kind of information I need as the order in which matches are played is relevant for the simulations.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Ed for the great simulations as usual. Can I conclude from these simulations that If Senegal, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Nigeria qualified on top of their groups , the percentage for them to be seeded ( top 5 out of 10) before the play offs are ranging between 100% and 99.33%. So If these 5 teams qualified to the play off round, Egypt chance to be seeded is 0.67% ?!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Fan, you're welcome.
    And no, you can only conclude that Egypt's chance to be seeded in the third round is a little over 30%.

    The results above show that IF one top 5 team qualifies for the third round, this team will be seeded in all or nearly all cases.
    But the results also say that the probability that all 5 top favourites qualify together for the third round, is only about 0,95*0,87*0,83*0,83*0,73 = 42%. So that leaves plenty of 'space' for the following teams (like Egypt, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire) to be seeded once in a while.

    ReplyDelete