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Swiss-based data outfit predicts Super Eagles won’t survive group stage


Super Eagles celebrate victory against Argentina. AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV

Swiss-based football data company, CIES Football Observatory has conducted a study in which it tried to predict the likely winner of the 2018 World Cup based on its exclusive power index.

Twenty-three players were selected for each team participating in the World Cup based on their appearances during the qualifying campaign with the average sporting level of employer clubs and the average percentage of club matches played since July 2017 taken into account.

According to the results of the study, Spain are favourites to win their second World Cup with a power index of 100, followed by Brazil, France and Germany in that order.
The Super Eagles are ranked 22nd out of the 32 participating nations and have been tipped to finish third in Group D and crash out in the group stage.

Nigeria had 73 percent as their M per cent, that is percentage of domestic league matches played by the Super Eagles stars since July 2017.The club coefficient of employer clubs is 0.55 and they ended up with a power index of 36.

The CIES Group D teams power index are Argentina – 69, Croatia – 64, Nigeria – 36 and Iceland – 33.Meanwhile, world football governing body, FIFA will give the five African football federations participating in the World Cup a $2 million advance each on the prize money to pay player bonuses before the tournament in Russia.The Confederation of African Football (CAF) says the agreement for Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia will help ‘settle beforehand the question of bonuses.’

The 32 federations sending teams to the World Cup get $1.5m each from FIFA to prepare, plus at least $8m in prize money after the tournament. The winner gets $38m.Money disputes at previous World Cups ‘affected badly the image of African football, with a considerable impact on team performances,’ says CAF.

At the 2014 World Cup, Cameroun arrived late, Ghana’s government had to fly in $3 million cash to avert a strike and Nigeria players canceled a team practice.The Super Eagles yesterday moved up five places from 52nd to 47th position in the latest FIFA world ranking.

The ranking was published on the world football governing body’s official website.Nigeria’s friendly matches against Poland and Serbia played a key role in their rise. Gernot Rohr’s men beat Poland in Wraclow, before losing 2-0 to Serbia in London.

In Africa, the Super Eagles are now in the sixth position.Overall, world champions Germany remain number one, with Brazil in second, Belgium are third, Portugal are in fourth and Argentina fifth.Switzerland, France, Spain, Chile and Poland occupy the sixth, seventh, eight, ninth and 10th positions respectively.

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