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Saturday, October 8, 2022

FIFA World Cup 2022 simulations (October 2022)

In case you hadn't noticed, the World Cup in Qatar is to be played next month. The tournament was already 10 years ago assigned to a country without any football tradition. It is proven in the meantime that a large part of FIFA's Executive Committee, that would choose the hosts for the two upcoming tournaments in 2018 and 2022 in a closed voting session, was bribed with large amounts of money and other privileges (one only has to think about Platini's son and his sudden career moves). 


After the assignment there were a number of controversies around Qatar: 

  • the high temperatures in the Summer desert which wouldn't allow for football on any part of the day. It forced the tournament to be played in the Winter, resulting in all kinds of organisational and logistical challenges for football associations worldwide;
  • the country has a population of some 300.000 indigenous Qatari's next to an immigrant working force of about 2.3 million expatriates. The miserable circumstances for a large part of the immigrant workers that had to build stadiums and other World Cup infrastructure as a modern slave in dangerous working conditions are documented: more than 5.000 workers died during those building activities, whatever Infantino says to downplay those facts;
  • being the first Muslim country in the Arabic world to host the tournament, 'suddenly' it became clear that, although Qatar certainly is not as strict as for instance neighbor Saudi Arabia, it still is an Emirate country with the Muslim Sharia law as the basic source of legislation. Restrictions on civil liberties such as the freedoms of association, expression and the press are standard in those countries and Qatar's human rights record is generally poor. See for much more information about Qatar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qatar.


All in all a large part of the footballing community has serious reservations about the tournament, me included. It shouldn't have been assigned to such a country in the first place. But as it stands FIFA only highlights the advantages and the 'improving' effects of playing football there with 32 countries: blah blah blah. FIFA's contractual obligations wouldn't allow for anything like a re-assignment of the tournament. And... they will earn once again an enormous amount of money from this World Cup: $4.6 billion is the latest estimated revenue, including selling broadcasting rights for $2.6 billion alone. I expect that will mitigate the further damage to their image considerably. Now, I hear you think: was there anything undamaged left in FIFA's image, then ?

An international boycott of the tournament wasn't to be expected: the football associations just want to play football and try to be 'influential' there. I have my doubts if any of that will stick.


About the lacking footballing tradition: Qatar realized they had to develop something on that aspect, otherwise their participation would become a real disaster. They searched and found footballers from around the globe with a trace of Qatari blood in them (or sometimes not even a trace) and started to build a competitive national team. 

In 2012 they were down at around spot 100 in the FIFA ranking and they were still in that region when in January 2019 all of a sudden they became Asian champion in the United Arab Emirates by beating all their opposition, including Asian powerhouses Saudi Arabia, South Korea and in the final Japan. That made them leap to spot 55.

After that they sought opposition from other continents to become even stronger: in recent years they participated in continental championships in the Americas. In the Copa America 2019 they couldn't impress and ended last in the group with only 1 point, but in the Gold Cup 2021 they reached the semi finals unbeaten to only narrowly lose to the USA. They are on spot 50 in the ranking at the moment.


So, it won't have anything of a festive atmosphere but here we are: the most important football title is at stake. Let's take a detailed look at the chances of each participating country.

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 group results with teams ordered by average group position (in the last column):


group A

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

avg

Netherlands

67,41

22,25

8,11

2,23

1,45

Ecuador

16,91

35,17

29,34

18,58

2,50

Qatar

11,93

28,19

34,06

25,82

2,74

Senegal

3,75

14,39

28,49

53,37

3,31

group B

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

avg

England

43,56

27,11

17,67

11,66

1,97

Iran

20,85

25,53

27,60

26,02

2,59

USA

18,67

24,20

26,83

30,30

2,69

Wales

16,92

23,16

27,90

32,02

2,75

group C

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

avg

Argentina

85,79

11,56

2,40

0,25

1,17

Poland

6,82

39,34

35,95

17,89

2,649

Mexico

6,67

39,21

36,39

17,73

2,652

Saudi Arabia

0,72

9,89

25,26

64,13

3,53

group D

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

avg

France

51,30

35,32

10,26

3,12

1,65

Denmark

41,59

40,40

13,93

4,08

1,81

Australia

4,37

13,49

41,50

40,64

3,18

Tunisia

2,74

10,79

34,31

52,16

3,36

group E

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

avg

Spain

55,85

29,92

10,61

3,62

1,62

Germany

31,77

37,87

21,10

9,26

2,08

Japan

8,26

19,83

37,13

34,78

2,98

Costa Rica

4,12

12,38

31,16

52,34

3,32

group F

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

avg

Belgium

58,73

26,47

10,78

4,02

1,60

Croatia

27,39

37,95

21,74

12,92

2,20

Canada

7,32

18,57

34,48

39,63

3,06

Morocco

6,56

17,01

33,00

43,43

3,13

group G

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

avg

Brazil

78,12

16,67

4,68

0,53

1,28

Switzerland

12,61

44,06

36,24

7,09

2,38

Serbia

8,97

36,03

44,99

10,01

2,56

Cameroon

0,30

3,24

14,09

82,37

3,79

group H

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

avg

Portugal

55,70

31,47

11,89

0,94

1,58

Uruguay

34,14

41,21

21,59

3,06

1,94

Korea Republic

9,86

24,63

51,61

13,90

2,70

Ghana

0,30

2,69

14,91

82,10

3,79




Then the focus turns to the knock-out stage with the probabilities to qualify for each knock-out round. From the quarter finals onwards also the percentages are presented (in square brackets) to qualify for the round, given qualification for the previous knock-out round.


the round of 16:

Argentina

97,35

Brazil

94,79

Netherlands

89,66

Portugal

87,17

France

86,62

Spain

85,77

Belgium

85,20

Denmark

81,99

Uruguay

75,35

England

70,67

Germany

69,64

Croatia

65,34

Switzerland

56,67

Ecuador

52,08

Iran

46,38

Poland

46,16

Mexico

45,88

Serbia

45,00

USA

42,87

Qatar

40,12

Wales

40,08

Korea Republic

34,49

Japan

28,09

Canada

25,89

Morocco

23,57

Senegal

18,14

Australia

17,86

Costa Rica

16,50

Tunisia

13,53

Saudi Arabia

10,61

Cameroon

3,54

Ghana

2,99



the quarter finals:

Brazil

82,22

[86,74]

Argentina

80,96

[83,16]

Netherlands

72,35

[80,69]

Spain

60,64

[70,70]

Belgium

53,60

[62,91]

France

50,27

[58,04]

Portugal

44,71

[51,29]

Denmark

41,43

[50,53]

England

38,84

[54,96]

Germany

36,83

[52,89]

Uruguay

26,88

[35,67]

Croatia

26,74

[40,92]

Switzerland

23,96

[42,28]

Ecuador

23,04

[44,24]

Iran

17,98

[38,77]

Serbia

16,50

[36,67]

USA

15,59

[36,37]

Qatar

14,27

[35,57]

Wales

13,88

[34,63]

Poland

10,88

[23,57]

Mexico

10,51

[22,91]

Japan

8,44

[30,05]

Korea Republic

5,27

[15,28]

Canada

5,26

[20,32]

Morocco

4,64

[19,69]

Senegal

4,05

[22,33]

Costa Rica

3,85

[23,33]

Australia

2,89

[16,18]

Tunisia

1,95

[14,41]

Saudi Arabia

1,11

[10,46]

Cameroon

0,39

[11,02]

Ghana

0,07

[02,34]



the semi finals:

Brazil

65,00

[79,06]

Argentina

63,75

[78,74]

France

34,43

[68,49]

Netherlands

29,81

[41,20]

Belgium

29,50

[55,04]

Denmark

26,91

[64,95]

Spain

26,61

[43,88]

Portugal

24,18

[54,08]

England

13,78

[35,48]

Germany

12,89

[35,00]

Uruguay

11,11

[41,33]

Switzerland

9,82

[40,98]

Croatia

9,41

[35,19]

Serbia

6,33

[38,36]

Ecuador

5,54

[24,05]

USA

4,49

[28,80]

Mexico

4,23

[40,25]

Iran

4,21

[23,41]

Poland

4,13

[37,96]

Qatar

3,26

[22,85]

Wales

3,17

[22,84]

Japan

1,62

[19,19]

Korea Republic

1,24

[23,53]

Australia

0,94

[32,53]

Canada

0,90

[17,11]

Morocco

0,76

[16,38]

Tunisia

0,59

[30,26]

Senegal

0,57

[14,07]

Costa Rica

0,56

[14,55]

Saudi Arabia

0,19

[17,12]

Cameroon

0,05

[12,82]

Ghana

0,02

[28,57]



the final:

Brazil

44,40

[68,31]

Argentina

35,54

[55,75]

Belgium

18,87

[63,97]

France

15,82

[45,95]

Portugal

13,88

[57,40]

Spain

13,74

[51,63]

Netherlands

12,45

[41,76]

Denmark

11,18

[41,55]

Germany

5,55

[43,06]

Uruguay

5,01

[45,09]

England

4,52

[32,80]

Croatia

4,18

[44,42]

Switzerland

3,93

[40,02]

Serbia

2,36

[37,28]

USA

1,26

[28,06]

Ecuador

1,17

[21,12]

Iran

1,05

[24,94]

Mexico

0,94

[22,22]

Poland

0,89

[21,55]

Qatar

0,77

[23,62]

Wales

0,64

[20,19]

Japan

0,47

[29,01]

Korea Republic

0,35

[28,23]

Canada

0,32

[35,56]

Morocco

0,21

[27,63]

Australia

0,14

[14,89]

Costa Rica

0,14

[25,00]

Tunisia

0,12

[20,34]

Senegal

0,08

[14,04]

Saudi Arabia

0,02

[10,53]

Cameroon

0,00

[00,00]

Ghana

0,00

[00,00]



and the winner:

Brazil

32,90

[74,10]

Argentina

24,76

[69,67]

Spain

6,91

[50,29]

Belgium

6,79

[35,98]

Netherlands

6,49

[52,13]

France

4,88

[30,85]

Portugal

4,65

[33,50]

Denmark

3,09

[27,64]

Germany

2,10

[37,84]

Uruguay

1,35

[26,95]

Croatia

1,28

[30,62]

England

1,11

[24,56]

Switzerland

1,05

[26,72]

Serbia

0,62

[26,27]

USA

0,45

[35,71]

Iran

0,30

[28,57]

Ecuador

0,21

[17,95]

Qatar

0,21

[27,27]

Wales

0,17

[26,56]

Mexico

0,16

[17,02]

Poland

0,14

[15,73]

Japan

0,12

[25,53]

Canada

0,07

[21,88]

Korea Republic

0,05

[14,29]

Morocco

0,05

[23,81]

Australia

0,04

[28,57]

Costa Rica

0,02

[14,29]

Tunisia

0,02

[16,67]

Senegal

0,01

[12,50]

Saudi Arabia

0,00

[00,00]

Cameroon

0,00

[00,00]

Ghana

0,00

[00,00]



Then a closer look to the most probable match-ups in the different knock-out stages. A total of 440 different match-ups are generated in this simulation. Here are per match the 10 most probable match-ups presented. Also per knock-out stage a total overview of the 20 most probable match-ups.


Round of 16

A1-B2 (Dec 3 - Rayyan)

8F1

C1-D2 (Dec 3 - Rayyan)

8F2

Netherlands - England

18,15

Argentina - Denmark

34,69

Netherlands - Iran

17,30

Argentina - France

30,09

Netherlands - USA

16,36

Argentina - Australia

11,75

Netherlands - Wales

15,60

Argentina - Tunisia

9,26

Ecuador - England

4,52

Mexico - Denmark

2,73

Ecuador - Iran

4,43

Poland - Denmark

2,72

Ecuador - USA

4,25

Poland - France

2,58

Ecuador - Wales

3,71

Mexico - France

2,32

Qatar - England

3,26

Mexico - Australia

0,91

Qatar - Iran

2,94

Poland - Australia

0,77

D1-C2 (Dec 4 - Doha)

8F3

B1-A2 (Dec 4 - Khor)

8F4

France - Poland

20,59

England - Ecuador

15,25

France - Mexico

20,11

England - Qatar

12,44

Denmark - Mexico

16,39

England - Netherlands

9,72

Denmark - Poland

15,88

Iran - Ecuador

7,41

France - Argentina

5,61

USA - Ecuador

6,43

Denmark - Argentina

5,10

England - Senegal

6,15

France - Saudi Arabia

4,99

Wales - Ecuador

6,08

Denmark - Saudi Arabia

4,22

Iran - Qatar

5,89

Australia - Poland

1,84

USA - Qatar

5,21

Australia - Mexico

1,55

Wales - Qatar

4,65

E1-F2 (Dec 5 - Wakrah)

8F5

G1-H2 (Dec 5 - Doha)

8F6

Spain - Croatia

20,59

Brazil - Uruguay

32,33

Spain - Belgium

15,09

Brazil - Portugal

24,33

Germany - Croatia

12,39

Brazil - Korea Republic

19,24

Spain - Canada

10,69

Switzerland - Uruguay

5,19

Spain - Morocco

9,48

Switzerland - Portugal

4,09

Germany - Belgium

8,26

Serbia - Uruguay

3,58

Germany - Morocco

5,66

Switzerland - Korea Republic

3,06

Germany - Canada

5,46

Serbia - Portugal

2,99

Japan - Croatia

3,50

Brazil - Ghana

2,22

Japan - Belgium

2,03

Serbia - Korea Republic

2,21

F1-E2 (Dec 6 - Rayyan)

8F7

H1-G2 (Dec 6 - Lusail)

8F8

Belgium - Germany

22,17

Portugal - Switzerland

24,71

Belgium - Spain

17,87

Portugal - Serbia

20,02

Belgium - Japan

11,74

Uruguay - Switzerland

14,82

Croatia - Germany

10,62

Uruguay - Serbia

12,42

Croatia - Spain

7,84

Portugal - Brazil

9,26

Belgium - Costa Rica

6,95

Uruguay - Brazil

5,73

Croatia - Japan

5,36

Korea Republic - Switzerland

4,39

Croatia - Costa Rica

3,57

Korea Republic - Serbia

3,47

Canada - Germany

2,71

Portugal - Cameroon

1,71

Morocco - Germany

2,37

Korea Republic - Brazil

1,64

matchups total Round of 16

8F

Argentina - Denmark

39,79

Brazil - Uruguay

38,06

Argentina - France

35,70

Brazil - Portugal

33,59

Belgium - Spain

32,96

Belgium - Germany

30,43

Portugal - Switzerland

28,80

Croatia - Spain

28,43

England - Netherlands

27,87

France - Poland

23,17

Portugal - Serbia

23,01

Croatia - Germany

23,01

France - Mexico

22,43

Iran - Netherlands

21,91

Brazil - Korea Republic

20,88

Netherlands - USA

20,73

Switzerland - Uruguay

20,01

Ecuador - England

19,77

Netherlands - Wales

19,15

Denmark - Mexico

19,12

Quarter finals

E1/F2-G1/H2 (Dec 9 - Rayyan)

QF1

A1/B2-C1/D2 (Dec 9 - Lusail)

QF2

Spain - Brazil

31,29

Netherlands - Argentina

41,28

Germany - Brazil

15,99

Ecuador - Argentina

7,51

Croatia - Brazil

7,48

England - Argentina

7,14

Belgium - Brazil

6,85

Netherlands - France

5,77

Spain - Switzerland

3,98

Netherlands - Denmark

5,36

Spain - Portugal

3,48

Qatar - Argentina

4,37

Spain - Uruguay

2,93

Iran - Argentina

4,31

Japan - Brazil

2,76

USA - Argentina

3,77

Spain - Serbia

2,57

Wales - Argentina

3,41

Germany - Switzerland

1,96

Netherlands - Poland

1,50

F1/E2-H1/G2 (Dec 10 - Doha)

QF3

B1/A2-D1/C2 (Dec 10 - Khor)

QF4

Belgium - Portugal

16,30

England - France

11,49

Belgium - Uruguay

8,88

England - Denmark

9,59

Belgium - Switzerland

6,48

Netherlands - France

6,79

Croatia - Portugal

6,07

Iran - France

5,03

Belgium - Brazil

5,68

Ecuador - France

4,86

Spain - Portugal

5,65

Netherlands - Denmark

4,72

Germany - Portugal

5,35

USA - France

4,26

Belgium - Serbia

4,60

Ecuador - Denmark

3,89

Spain - Uruguay

3,11

Iran - Denmark

3,75

Croatia - Uruguay

3,04

Wales - France

3,63

matchups total quarter finals

QF

Argentina - Netherlands

42,52

Brazil - Spain

33,29

Brazil - Germany

17,88

Belgium - Portugal

17,00

France - Netherlands

12,56

Belgium - Brazil

12,53

England - France

12,33

Denmark - England

10,51

Denmark - Netherlands

10,08

Belgium - Uruguay

9,65

Argentina - England

9,57

Brazil - Croatia

9,43

Portugal - Spain

9,13

Argentina - Ecuador

8,45

Belgium - Switzerland

7,44

Germany - Portugal

6,92

Croatia - Portugal

6,91

Spain - Switzerland

6,36

Spain - Uruguay

6,04

Ecuador - France

6,00

Semi finals

A1/B2-C1/D2 - E1/F2-G1/H2 (Dec 13 - Lusail)

SF1

B1/A2-D1/C2 - F1/E2-H1/G2 (Dec 14 - Khor)

SF2

Argentina - Brazil

31,78

France - Belgium

8,09

Netherlands - Brazil

12,23

France - Portugal

5,95

Argentina - Spain

9,72

Denmark - Belgium

5,90

Netherlands - Spain

4,52

Denmark - Portugal

4,85

Argentina - Germany

4,07

England - Belgium

2,99

Denmark - Brazil

2,61

France - Brazil

2,72

France - Brazil

2,60

France - Uruguay

2,70

Argentina - Switzerland

2,31

France - Spain

2,64

Argentina - Portugal

1,99

England - Portugal

2,46

Argentina - Belgium

1,95

Denmark - Brazil

2,32

matchups total semi finals

SF

Argentina - Brazil

32,52

Brazil - Netherlands

12,86

Argentina - Spain

10,30

Belgium - France

8,26

France - Portugal

6,09

Belgium - Denmark

6,07

Brazil - France

5,32

Netherlands - Spain

5,19

Denmark - Portugal

4,99

Brazil - Denmark

4,93

Argentina - Germany

4,41

Argentina - Belgium

3,59

France - Spain

3,51

Argentina - Portugal

3,31

Belgium - England

3,06

France - Uruguay

2,84

Argentina - Switzerland

2,74

Denmark - Spain

2,70

England - Portugal

2,57

Belgium - Netherlands

2,47

3rd place Play-off

3rd place play-off (Dec 17 - Rayyan)

Argentina - France

4,60

Argentina - Denmark

3,47

Brazil - France

2,85

Argentina - England

2,13

Brazil - Denmark

2,12

France - Netherlands

2,08

Argentina - Belgium

2,03

Argentina - Portugal

2,03

Belgium - Brazil

1,93

Denmark - Netherlands

1,87

Final

final (Dec 18 - Lusail)

Belgium - Brazil

7,23

Brazil - France

5,81

Argentina - Belgium

5,65

Argentina - Brazil

5,24

Brazil - Portugal

5,19

Argentina - France

4,85

Argentina - Portugal

4,26

Brazil - Denmark

3,87

Argentina - Denmark

3,30

Brazil - Spain

3,24

Brazil - Netherlands

2,27

Argentina - Spain

2,24

Brazil - Uruguay

1,77

Brazil - Switzerland

1,74

Argentina - Netherlands

1,73

Brazil - England

1,62

Belgium - Netherlands

1,60

Belgium - Spain

1,58

Brazil - Croatia

1,46

Brazil - Germany

1,32



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.

18 comments:

  1. Nice job, thank you. I'm just really puzzled and curious about what happened to Senegal here? African Champions, really solid squad, long term coach, decent results. So why are they predicted to botton the group with Qatar and Ecuador?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, these simulations do not take into account anything you said :) It's not about titles won, the squad on the pitch or recent form but in essence it all comes down to elo-ratings differences of the opponents before each group match determining the elo win expectancy of each match. And that's the only number with which this simulation works.
    Of course the elo rating of a team reflects it's results in all kind of matches. In fact of all matches the team has ever played.

    On one hand it leaves those factors you mentioned (which are sometimes subjective and anyway hard to find before the match actually starts) out of consideration. On the other hand it supplies a fairly simple, mathematical method that still uses randomness each simulation, so you get all kinds of simulated results. You can see that in the fact that it's not the current elo-ranking I'm presenting for the WC-winner list.

    Current elo-ratings for the teams in group A are: Netherlands 2040, Ecuador 1840, Senegal 1687, Qatar 1650. Qatar as home playing team has an extra 100 points home field advantage added to their rating. That makes them a bit stronger (in elo-terms) than Senegal already, 1750 versus 1687.

    Static elo win expectancies before each of Senegal's group matches are:
    SEN-NED: 0,11 which corresponds with 10% win for SEN, 18% draw and 72% loss
    QAT-SEN: 0,59 which corresponds with 29% win for SEN, 27% draw and 44% loss
    ECU-SEN: 0,71 which corresponds with 22% win for SEN, 25% draw and 53% loss

    QAT-ECU: 0,37 which corresponds with 30% win for QAT, 26% draw and 44% loss
    NED-QAT: 0,16 which corresponds with 14% win for QAT, 20% draw and 66% loss

    So after 10000 simulations applying these kind of probability distributions, it will result in the group results presented above.
    If you want to read more about the used simulation methods and statistical background, please take a look here

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for the explanation! Of course I was aware that simulation cannot take into account subjective things like "Sadio Mane is rad", but I found it interesting, that any other result from this simulation looks very probable, but - at least to me - Senegal stands out here big time. But all in all - this looks like a very good model.

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    2. I agree. I think Senegal is much more dangerous for the Dutch than Qatar.
      Thanks for the kind words !

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    3. Thanks again for all the work, I am an Iranian-Canadian, and lucky enough, both of my teams are playing @ Doha WC2022. I guess now I will double my money on my bettings with the equations I just went through. Seems very solid.
      Can You also take it to the next level and predict Iran- England or even Iran-USA match?
      Sorry if I am looking at Your hard work as financial.

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    4. This is a great explanation Ed! In my own modeling I found the same surprising result, which led me to looking into Senegal's match history, and really they have struggled to consistently beat African opponents through qualifying, AFCON group stage, etc. Sure elo has *some* regionalization problems which may lower CAF teams ratings in general, but if you are a team that couldn't find wins against Malawi and Guinea in a major tournament, there are going to be questions. Hopefully when the bright lights are on Senegal shows out!!!

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    5. Elo indeed has a regional problem - since there are not many matches between teams from different confederations, it takes a long time for ELO to adjust to the actual average per confederation.
      If the difference are getting smaller (which is something worth testing), it means that Elo will indeed under-estimate CAF

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    6. Another contributing factor specifically in the case of Senegal is their performance at the COSAFA Cup in July. Here, they drew Eswatini 1-1 (advancing on penalties), lost to Zambia 4-3, and again drew Mozambique 1-1 (winning on penalties). For these they were severely punished in the Elo rankings, losing 67 ratings points.

      Now, these results are somewhat embarassing, but are mostly a results of Senegal not bringing most of their first-team players to this minor tournament. A reasonable human pundit would be quick to dismiss these results. However, the Elo ratings don't "know" that it wasn't the first team that performed poorly, and therefore Senegal's rating is much lower than it probably should be.

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    7. Btw, very valid points, dopeisland and NM, that you make here about the elo rating. But I have to work with the best ranking/rating system that's currently available, and that's still the elo ranking, even with all it's known drawbacks.

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  3. Although I can't think of any good reason why someone should bet, here are the (rounded) win/draw/loss probabilities for the group matches of Iran and Canada:

    ENG-IRN: We = 0,647. W/D/L probabilities for ENG: 50% - 25% - 25%
    WAL-IRN: We = 0,490. W/D/L probabilities for WAL: 36% - 26% - 38%
    IRN-USA: We = 0,523. W/D/L probabilities for IRN: 38% - 26% - 35%

    BEL-CAN: We = 0,813. W/D/L probabilities for BEL: 70% - 18% - 12%
    CRO-CAN: We = 0,742. W/D/L probabilities for CRO: 61% - 22% - 18%
    CAN-MAR: We = 0,526. W/D/L probabilities for CAN: 39% - 26% - 35%

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  4. Although I agree with most of what you mentioned in the introduction about Qatar and the Qatari team, I don’t see your point why not having the World Cup in a Muslim country. Part of your speech is an obvious hate speech and stereotype about Islam. If you mean by freedom the LGBT matter, then Islam and all religions is against that because it’s against the normal human nature. Other things like labor force rights has nothing to do with Islam. So please don’t mix. And I hope you review your introduction again.

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    1. I think Ed was actually pretty straightforward in his presentation of Qatar, it is, in fact, a Muslim emirate and has laws that are considered very socially regressive by the standard of the majority of the world. I hope you reconsider your comment that any LGBT+ folks are "against the normal human nature," as well. This blog is a place to discuss football rankings, models, prognostications, etc, and I assume Ed wouldn't want this to turn into a cultural sounding board, but it is uncontroversial that the majority of the world see Qatar as a place unfit in 2022 to be the center of the footballing world.

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  5. I don't hate. I only have great difficulty with a country that puts the death penalty on homosexuality, because it's not 'normal human nature'.
    Please be comforted, I have great difficulty with almost all religions because almost every religion thinks they can dictate what's normal and what's not :)

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  6. There is something very crooked here! The majority of the world has standards that you want to impose on Qatar (a "minority"), and the minority of the world is LBGT and you want to recognize them. So which is it???

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  7. I don't want to 'impose' anything on anyone or any country. That's the freedom that everybody has to live their own life. I am not trying to impose my rules and thoughts on others by force. I only express my opinion here. I just hope that somebody reads it and thinks "what if I was a homosexual, would I agree with being killed because I love another human being?".

    But boy, am I glad I live in a country where I don't get prosecuted for the blog-post or the opinion I wrote.

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  8. Ed- do you plan to enter your model predictions into the futbolmetrix model competition for the world cup? (The Sophisticated Prediction contest)

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  9. Nice suggestion, dopeisland (or should I say Alex ?). I've submitted the NT-ELO predictions.

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    1. Haha either one of course. I'm excited to see the outcome of some of these models. I added a small market-value correction to mine (elo correction) to see how it does. Admittedly with no testing of that against previous world cups...

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