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World Cup finals draw 13:28 - Nov 16 with 2640 viewsSuperfrans

Takes place on December 1.
Who do we fancy in the draw? One team from each pot.

Pot 1: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
Pot 2: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia
Pot 3: Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
Pot 4: Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia

For me, best draw would be: Russia, England, Iran, Australia.
Worst draw: Brazil, England, Iceland, Serbia.

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World Cup finals draw on 14:09 - Nov 17 with 250 viewsThe_Last_Baron

World Cup finals draw on 13:42 - Nov 16 by SpruceMoose

Using this...

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/nov/16/world-cup-finals-create-your-ow

I got...

Brazil, England, Senegal, Serbia.

England predicted to get Belgium in the knock outs, and losing to them. Belgium go on to win the tournament.


This Guardian thing is nonsense. I did it twice and twice they had Brazil failing to make the last 16.

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World Cup finals draw on 14:11 - Nov 17 with 243 viewsSpruceMoose

World Cup finals draw on 14:09 - Nov 17 by The_Last_Baron

This Guardian thing is nonsense. I did it twice and twice they had Brazil failing to make the last 16.


Agree. Just did it again, Brazil go out to South Korea... Hmmm. This thing is only slightly better at football predictions than J2 and Rommy.

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World Cup finals draw on 14:21 - Nov 17 with 231 viewsCaptainObvious

World Cup finals draw on 01:40 - Nov 17 by The_Last_Baron

Poland reached the last 8 of the Euros, Spain the last 16.

SInce then their records are pretty similar, apart from Poland losing badly in Denmark. Both topped their group with a fairly big points total..

There's a reason teams are near the top of the rankings and that's because they win most of their games.

Switzerland are 11th as they have had had excellent result over the past 4 years. Serbia close to 40th as they haven't.


I appreciate how they are ranked, I am suggesting it is too short-term. When Leicester won the league, that didn't make them the strongest ranked team for the next season with the bookmakers even though their record was the best over the previous 38 matches. Similarly Spain are still a stronger team than Poland and will continue to be so unless they continually fail at tournaments again or Poland start making finals.

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World Cup finals draw on 14:24 - Nov 17 with 230 viewsCaptainObvious

World Cup finals draw on 20:58 - Nov 16 by olimar

Your point on Friendlies is spot on- it completely warps the standings.

But even if you take into account current results, then the most relevant barometer of competitive games would be the qualification for this world cup, that has only just finished. And Spains record was better than Polands, over 10 games. In the qualification for the previous Euros, Spains record was far better than Polands, over 10 games.
In between the two, at Euro 2016, Poland went one game further in the tournament than Spain, where Spain lost to one of the tournaments strongest teams, Italy, whilst Poland went one round further by beating Switzerland on Pens.
Going further back than that, youre at the previous World Cup.

Its hard to see by what competitive metric Poland can be classed as a better side than Spain, to the degree that they get a higher seeding at a World Cup finals.

Which of course leaves friendly results, which is all about Fifa presumably attempting to ensure friendlies retain value, and therefore financial value.


i suspect friendlies are not going to be discounted any time soon as they are about to be rebadged (in Europe) as UEFA Nations Cup matches.

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World Cup finals draw on 19:41 - Nov 17 with 201 viewsdylanisabaddog

World Cup finals draw on 13:31 - Nov 16 by SpruceMoose

And why are Poland in Pot 1?


Because Poland took the trouble to find out how the ranking system worked and made sure not to lose any friendlies during the 12 months ending Oct 2017. And of course it helps if you lost to the eventual winner in the last 8 of Euro 2016 rather than losing to Iceland in the last 16. But mainly it's because the people who run the England team are stupid and the people who run the Polish team aren't.
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World Cup finals draw on 19:47 - Nov 17 with 191 viewsSpruceMoose

World Cup finals draw on 19:41 - Nov 17 by dylanisabaddog

Because Poland took the trouble to find out how the ranking system worked and made sure not to lose any friendlies during the 12 months ending Oct 2017. And of course it helps if you lost to the eventual winner in the last 8 of Euro 2016 rather than losing to Iceland in the last 16. But mainly it's because the people who run the England team are stupid and the people who run the Polish team aren't.


Well, I suppose time will tell whether it is smarter to massage your ranking, or to test yourself against tougher opposition, in the lead up to a World Cup.

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World Cup finals draw on 08:20 - Nov 18 with 163 viewsC_HealyIsAPleasure

World Cup finals draw on 17:00 - Nov 16 by CaptainObvious

Yes i do. I think Spain's record in the major tournaments in the last 10 years should count for more. Instead we have Poland above them despite less points in qualifying presumably because they went one round further in euro 2016. I believe international friendlies have some weight too which is pretty farcical. I think most people would agree Spain are a stronger side than Poland, and I think if the emphasis was tweaked away from current results, a more realistic set of seedings would emerge.


Agree that Spain should be ranked higher but the issue isn’t discounting matches from 4 years+ ago (which is the right thing to do IMO - they simply aren’t relevant today), but the way the friendliest are scored - notably where playing and winning certain games can actually cause your score to drop

There are also flaws whereby not playing competitive games causes the ranking to drop (see Brazil in the run up to the 2014 World Cup), although the impact is minor as hosts are always seeded anyway

All of that said - it’s difficult to come up with a better system for ranking teams that don’t actually play each other all that often - short of just having a panel/poll but that would invariably lead to the big nations being ranked too high regardless of actual form

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World Cup finals draw on 08:58 - Nov 18 with 156 viewsBackToRussia

World Cup finals draw on 08:20 - Nov 18 by C_HealyIsAPleasure

Agree that Spain should be ranked higher but the issue isn’t discounting matches from 4 years+ ago (which is the right thing to do IMO - they simply aren’t relevant today), but the way the friendliest are scored - notably where playing and winning certain games can actually cause your score to drop

There are also flaws whereby not playing competitive games causes the ranking to drop (see Brazil in the run up to the 2014 World Cup), although the impact is minor as hosts are always seeded anyway

All of that said - it’s difficult to come up with a better system for ranking teams that don’t actually play each other all that often - short of just having a panel/poll but that would invariably lead to the big nations being ranked too high regardless of actual form


Couldn't you just not rank and do everything unseeded.

Chaos reigns.

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World Cup finals draw on 11:55 - Nov 18 with 142 viewsC_HealyIsAPleasure

World Cup finals draw on 08:58 - Nov 18 by BackToRussia

Couldn't you just not rank and do everything unseeded.

Chaos reigns.


Yes and to be honest it's how I'd prefer it - my post was more based on the acceptance that rankings and seedings exist and that there isn't a much better way to do it

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World Cup finals draw on 12:16 - Nov 18 with 133 viewsdylanisabaddog

World Cup finals draw on 19:47 - Nov 17 by SpruceMoose

Well, I suppose time will tell whether it is smarter to massage your ranking, or to test yourself against tougher opposition, in the lead up to a World Cup.


Not a difficult decision. Poland has started to test itself against better sides but has done so since 1 November when the results became irrelevant for ranking purposes. The main reason that England played friendly games against better teams was to sell tickets at Wembley which is incredibly short sighted bearing in mind the effect on ranking and the limited benefits of playing friendlies against under strength teams.
In the long term, FIFA needs to look at the ranking system again but England can't really complain having lost to Iceland in the last 16 of the Euros. England may have had a good record in qualifying for the World Cup but that was the easiest qualifying group of all time.
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