October 2014 WGF Rankings Analysis

We’re going to try and post on a regular basis about how our rankings have changed from the prior month to the current month. As a reminder, you can download our entire rankings history under the Rankings menu above, or directly here. While the rankings do get updated after every match, it’s not practical to post every day’s rankings. The history is how the rankings look as of the first of every month.

The rankings have only been posted on the website for about a year and a half, but we initially started the project about 2 years ago. The October 2014 version kicks off our 3rd year of the rankings.

 

Top 10

  1. Germany
  2. Brazil
  3. France
  4. Argentina
  5. Chile
  6. Netherlands
  7. Uruguay
  8. Colombia
  9. Spain
  10. Ukraine

Uruguay and Ukraine are back into the Top 10 while Belgium and Portugal fall just outside. Good month for teams starting with U (and that includes Uganda too!). The Dutch fell a little thanks to their loss to Czech Republic. Despite losing to Slovakia, Ukraine had some matches fall outside the 18 month time frame that brought down their strength of schedule.

Brazil and Germany are very close at the moment for the top spot, while France climbs to their highest ever ranking. A draw at Serbia is actually a pretty impressive result, and they defeated Spain at home. Both of these results contributed to a #3 WGF Ranking. 5 UEFA teams and 5 CONMEBOL teams in the Top 10 is about what we’ve come to expect. Brazil is tied with the USA with 21 wins in the last 18 months. No other nation has more than 15 wins.

 

Highest Ever WGF Ranking

  • France (3)
  • Scotland (16)
  • Turkey (19)
  • Slovenia (26)
  • Slovakia (29)
  • Cameroon (33)
  • Tunisia (43)
  • Senegal (45)
  • Martinique (71)
  • Luxembourg (78)
  • Cyprus (92)
  • Suriname (94)
  • Kosovo (95)
  • Botswana (101)
  • Guadeloupe (106)
  • Niger (108)
  • Curacao (128)
  • St. Lucia (142)
  • Antigua and Barbuda (143)
  • Barbados (144)
  • Guam (161)
  • Macau (177)
  • Northern Mariana Islands (204)
  • Saint Martin (217)

 

There’s a lot to digest here, as a number of teams on this list did not play a game, but we’ll work our way through. 24 teams reached their highest ever ranking.

 

UEFA Teams

With EURO qualifying now underway, there will certainly be a good amount of movement within the rankings.

– As we indicated above, France reached their highest ever ranking in October at #3

– Scotland played very well at Germany in a tough defeat. They are a really good team. We currently rank them #10 in UEFA. They should be at EURO 2016.

– While Turkey did lose at Iceland, they also defeated Denmark on the road. Matches against Hungary and Andorra were wiped off of their record, which resulted in a SOS boost. #19 feels a little high. We’ll see.

– Despite a total of 0 points from 4 matches in 2014, Slovenia rose to their highest ever ranking. Their Home Advantage factor is 0.29, which is certainly boosting their ranking.

– Slovakia is in the same boat with a home advantage factor of 0.27. But they did beat our #10 team Ukraine on the road, so they at least earned their ranking increase. Ultimately they should rise above Slovenia.

– Luxembourg is proving to be a tough team. Not winning many games yet, but they’re starting to look tougher and tougher. Got a home draw v. Belarus to follow up their June draw at Italy. Congratulations.

– Cyprus got the shock result of the month winning at Bosnia. This team had never cracked our top 100, and now they sit at #92. Cyprus had a total of 0 points from 10 road matches in our database prior to the Bosnia match. Well done.

– Kosovo got a home defeat over Oman, which sent them rising upwards. No way to know if #95 is fair until we get a bigger sample size, but for the time being, they’re in the Top 100.

 

CAF Teams

Similarly to UEFA, with AFCON 2015 Qualifying in full form, CAF teams will be continually on the rise.

– Cameroon at #33 is their first time in the Top 40. Got a big win away to Congo DR and clowned the Ivory Coast at home 4-1. After their World Cup performance, it was good to see Cameroon turn it around. They should be fine to qualify for AFCON.

– The big result for Tunisia was a road win over a very tough Egypt squad. Tunisia jumped 18 places to #43. This is the first time they’ve been back in the Top 50 in almost 2 years. Also defeated Botswana.

– Senegal is into the Top 50 for the first time ever. They also got defeats over Egypt and Botswana and did so with a combined 4-0 score. It’s a huge jump, and Senegal could be back in Africa as a team to be reckoned with.

– Botswana lost to the two teams above, yet moved up to their highest ever position at #101. It was only an increase of 4 spots over the prior month, but it’s their highest ever. Their MOV went down, their SOS went up, and that combination resulted in an upward move. What a difficult qualifying group they have.

– Niger went flying up the rankings to #108 after being #140 in September.They only got a road draw at Mozambique, but they certainly benefited from past teams they have played doing very well. As a result, their SOS went up, which bumped Niger way up.

 

CONCACAF Teams

With the Caribbean Cup qualifying underway, a lot of smaller CONCACAF nations are making big moves.

– Martinique is up to #71, and this has been a long time coming. They’ve been hovering in the 70s and 80s for the past couple months, and they’ve asserted themselves as a legitimate CONCACAF threat. We currently rank them #7 in CONCACAF. Should they be eligible for WC Qualifying, there’s a chance they could get into the Hex.

– Suriname really didn’t do too well in qualifying, but their road draw at Martinique paid big dividends. They’re probably a little overrated at #94, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see them drop in future editions.

– Guadeloupe made a huge jump following a road draw at Trinidad. More importantly, they’ve finally played 3 matches in the past 18 months, so we’ve deemed their data credible.

– Curacao was the big rankings winner following a defeat of Grenada and two more draws. Curacao had never been out of the 190s, and now they’re all the way at #128. Well done.

– St. Lucia moved up 7 spots to #142 with wins over Dominica and Guyana, as well as a road draw at St. Kitts. St. Lucia now has a 7 match unbeaten streak in 2014. Also very impressive.

– Antigua and Barbuda picked up 3 home wins in qualifying to get to #143. They hadn’t played a match since 2012, so they’re certainly on the right track. Should move again, either up or down, after the 2nd round of qualifying in October.

– Barbados drew Suriname and lost a very tough match at Martinique. #144 is by far their highest ever ranking, having never cracked the Top 170. With 4 matches in our system in 2014, their results should remain credible for awhile.

– Saint Martin climbed due to Anguilla and BVI falling. Nothing much to see here.

 

AFC Teams

Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and Macau all rose to their highest ever rankings. These are all due to the 2013 AFC Challenge Cup Qualification matches coming off the books.

 

Lowest Ever WGF Ranking

  • Russia (30)
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina (31)
  • Ecuador (44)
  • Honduras (61)
  • Venezuela (64)
  • Libya (84)
  • Mali (97)
  • Bolivia (103)
  • New Zealand (114)
  • Iraq (122)
  • Georgia (126)
  • Equatorial Guinea (129)
  • Liberia (149)
  • Palestine (150)
  • Sao Tome e Principe (151)
  • Belize (155)
  • Saudi Arabia (158)
  • Syria (162)
  • Korea DPR (163)
  • Central African Republic (164)
  • Philippines (168)
  • Dominican Republic (169)
  • Zanzibar (171)
  • Singapore (173)
  • Guyana (186)
  • Maldives (191)
  • Papua New Guinea (193)
  • Chinese Taipei (195)
  • Turkmenistan (196)
  • Eritrea (203)
  • Laos (209)
  • Tahiti (216)
  • Anguilla (220)

 

With 33 teams reaching new lows, we’re not going to go team by team. But there are a few common themes.

– Teams had their 2013 AFC Challenge Cup Qualification results wiped off the books. As a result, a number of Asian teams dropped, which then resulted in the SOS of other Asian teams also dropping.

– The CONCACAF teams that bit it in Caribbean Cup Qualifying went way down in the rankings.

– You can’t lose at home to Cyprus.

– Venezuela’s Asian tour did not go anywhere nearly as well as planned.

– Mali has been in a rankings plummet since the start of 2013. They’re currently our #21 CAF team.

 

We hope you enjoyed our rankings analysis and look forward to providing insight on a more frequent basis. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @We_Global for the latest rankings, odds and projections. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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