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Rank Outsiders

September 15th, 2009 by · No Comments · Football, Statistics

WCO tends to go on a little about the CocaCola sponsored rankings but as they reflect the opinions of the sports global body they really do raise some questions. Most would have no argument about Brazil being rated the best in the world [as usual] but, what should be some sort of form guide going into the sports biggest event, makes interesting reading when compared to the table just prior to the last tournament in 2006.

The FIFA rankings for September 2009

  1. Brazil
  2. Spain
  3. Holland
  4. Italy
  5. Germany
  6. Russia
  7. England
  8. Argentina
  9. Croatia
  10. France

Holland hold third place in the rankings, as they did last time out, but are unlikely to reach the last four. Big movers are Portugal and the Czechs who both slip out of the top 10 and may not even qualify of the tournament this time. Mexico is the biggest mover, for 4 to 24, and may also struggle to qualify. USA slip to 11th place but at least have confirmed qualification for 2010.

WCO is a great believer in the power of the bookies. Comparing their top 10, by the odds they are setting, reveals a very, very different picture. Spain replaces Brazil on top spot, which is fair given their awesome form in Euro 2008 and since. Teams like England and Argentina, who have a chance in the competition, both rate better than FIFA suggests at 7-1 odds and, for the first time, an African team is in the top 10, at 44-1.

FIFA rate Ivory Coast at 22nd in the world behind Serbia, Austria and the Swiss. I can’t see any of them having a better tournament than Drogba, Yaya Toure, Keita, etc. Croatia, rated better than France by FIFA, are 66-1 with the bookies against 22-1 for France. These guys know what they are talking about.

The Bookies Top 10

  1. Spain
  2. Brazil
  3. England
  4. Argentina
  5. Germany
  6. Holland
  7. Italy
  8. France
  9. Russia
  10. Ivory Coast

The complex formulas by which the rankings are devised can be read in full on the FIFA website, if you can be bothered, and they are supposed to be driven by results. This fact only makes the published list all the more odd.

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