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Banbury Cross

a pillow for lost thoughts...

Post details: Numbers to Czech

Numbers to Czech

Every Sunday we play soccer in a park with a bunch of Czech guys and whoever else happens to be there. Often we end up playing rough Turkish guys so I customarily spend the rest of the day licking my wounds. But today, we played against ourselves and so I decided to celebrate the lack of bruises by doing what mathematicians do best - calculating statistics.

The fresh FIFA rankings have just been released, the World Cup is knocking at the door - so here is a look at what upcoming matches will pitch the best teams (I list those whose combined rank is 30 or less):

07: Czech Rep. (2) - USA (5) in Group E
11: Mexico (4) - Portugal (7) in Group D
12: Netherlands (3) - Argentina (9) in Group C
15: Czech Rep. (2) - Italy (13) in Group E
18: USA (5) - Italy (13) in Group E
19: Brasil (1) - Japan (18) in Group F
24: Brasil (1) - Croatia (23) in Group F
26: Spain (5) - Tunisia (21) in Group H
26: England (10) - Sweden (16) in Group B
27: Mexico (4) - Iran (23) in Group D
30: Portugal (7) - Iran (23) in Group D

Clearly, the group E will be "the Group of Death". Three of the top 5 high profile matches will take place there. And if you have any doubts about its strength, just do the following calculation yourself (the first number is the combined rank of the whole group)

068: Group E (CZE/2, USA/5, ITA/13, GHA/48)
084: Group F (BRA/1, JAP/18, CRO/23, AUS/42)
088: Group C (NET/3, ARG/9, COT/32, SRB/44)
091: Group D (MEX/4, POR/7, IRN/23, ANG/57)
105: Group H (SPA/5, TUN/21, SAU/34, UKR/45)
106: Group B (ENG/10, SWE/16, PAR/33, TRI/47)
113: Group A (GER/19, COS/26, POL/29, ECU/39)
133: Group G (FRA/8, KOR/29, SWI/35, TOG/61)

It is worth noting that while Group E has the highest rank, the Group A is the most balanced (all teams separated by merely 20 points), so some serious drama can be expected there. Finally, while tinkering with the rankings, here are the teams from the top_20 that didn't make it to Germany: Nigeria (11), Denmark (11), Turkey (14), Cameroon (15), Egypt (17) and Greece (20).

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