Wednesday, October 14, 2009

UEFA - Final Matchday Preview

I meant to get this out sooner but yesterday had car trouble and today had to scramble to get a battery as the old one had died.

To be honest, tonight doesn't look to be very exciting in Europe. The way the schedules worked out, with one exception every important match is a team in contention playing a team that is eliminated, effectively if not mathematically. The only exception is Switzerland - Israel.

Here I will only discuss the groups that have something at stake.

Portugal - Malta
Sweden - Albania
Denmark - Hungary

Portugal are in the playoff with a win. If they somehow don't win then Sweden are in if they win. Hungary have a mathematical chance but would need to crush Denmark and have Malta crush Portugal. Portugal should have an easy win.

(correct!) PLM Probabilities:
1st: Denmark 100%
2nd: Portugal 95.88%, Sweden 4.12%

Switzerland - Israel
Greece - Luxembourg
Latvia - Moldova

Switzerland clinch the group with a result against Israel. Greece guarantee themselves at least a playoff with a win. Israel could still make the playoff with a win and a Greece draw or loss. Latvia are still technically in it but they would need to win, have Greece lose, have Isreal draw or lose and have their scoring margin and Luxembourg's over Greece add up to at least 7.

PLM Predictions:
1st: Switzerland 78.91%, Greece 21.09%
2nd: Greece 77.04%, Switzerland 21.09%, Israel 1.86%, Latvia 0.01% (1 out of 10,000 simulations)

San Marino - Slovenia
Poland - Slovakia
Czech Republic - Northern Ireland

Assuming Slovenia beat perhaps the worst national team in the world, Slovakia will need a win in Poland to secure the group, otherwise it's the playoff for the Slovaks. I don't expect motivation to be an issue for Poland because they are playing at home. The Czechs are in with a win if San Marino can pull off a miracle and get a point against Slovenia.

PLM Predictions:
1st: Slovenia 70.45%, Slovakia 29.55%
2nd: Slovakia 70.45%, Slovenia 25.66%, Czech Republic 3.89%

Andorra - Ukraine
Kazakhstan - Croatia

See Portugal and Sweden above. If Ukraine win then they are in the playoff, if Croatia win and Ukraine fail then Croatia go instead. Ukraine should win but stranger things have happened.

PLM Predictions:
1st: England 100%
2nd: Ukraine 91.48%, Croatia 8.52%

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