Friday, December 4, 2009

FIFA World Cup Draw - Average Group Rankings

Here are all of the Groups from the 2010 World Cup with November FIFA rankings and group average rankings. The toughest group by average rankings is Group H (Spain, Honduras, Chile, Switzerland) and the easiest group is Group F (Italy, Paraguay, Slovakia, New Zealand).

GROUP A (31.75)
South Africa (86)
Mexico (15)
Uruguay (19)
France (7)

GROUP B (23.50)
Argentina (8)
Nigeria (22)
Korea Republic (52)
Greece (12)

GROUP C (21.00)
England (9)
USA (14)
Algeria (28)
Slovenia (33)

GROUP D (21.00)
Germany (6)
Australia (21)
Ghana (37)
Serbia (20)

GROUP E (20.75)
Netherlands (3)
Japan (43)
Cameroon (11)
Denmark (26)

GROUP F (36.25)
Italy (4)
Paraguay (30)
New Zealand (77)
Slovakia (34)

GROUP G (26.50)
Brazil (1)
Korea DPR (84)
Cote d'Ivoire (16)
Portugal (5)

GROUP H (18.50)
Spain (1)
Honduras (38)
Chile (17)
Switzerland (18)


  1. Averaging all 4 teams in the group is not the best criteria for selecting the toughest group to qualify from.

    Rather it would be the average of the top 3 teams (since only 2 go through), in which case groups A, G and H stands out as very tough (in all 3 of these groups a top 20 team will go home after round 1).

    In terms of competitiveness in a group, it appears to by Group C, since the standard deviation between the rankings of the various teams will be the lowest (rankings closest together), although I belive in reality England and the USA should qualify in this group.

  2. I agree that averaging FIFA rankings together to judge a World Cup group is not the best criteria for deciding the standard of a group. However, I do think it provides an interesting look at the general level of the groups.

    I would have to debate that averaging the top 3 teams is better than averaging all 4. I agree with your reasoning, but not using all four teams leaves out the fact that a couple of groups have Korea DPR, New Zealand, etc. which should be easy wins. (no disrespect meant towards those natios)

    On the other hand,nations like Honduras, Japan, and Ghana are the lowest ranked teams in their group but will definitely not be considered an 'easy win' for anybody.

    With that in mind, the highest average ranked groups in general will have one 'easy win' for all the other teams (besides South Africa perhaps) and the lowest average groups will have a quality fourth team.

    Obviously anything can happen in sport, but that is my reasoning behind averaging all four teams.

    I appreciate the comment, thanks for reading.

  3. Also the host nation in this case is the lowest ranked team by far making the group appear weak on average. Historically the host nation receives a home field boost and is never an easy win for the visitors.

    Interesting list and an updated version with the current rankings would be nice,