Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Possible scenarios (get your calculators!)

Right, I know you are probably doing the same at home. Getting a calculator and doing the math to see what Argentina need to do in order to qualify for the next World Cup in the last two rounds of qualifiers.

Mundo Albiceleste is here to provide you with this service so you know what to expect, who to support and what needs to happen on Saturday for Argentina to stay alive in the race for South Africa 2010.

First things first. Argentina cannot qualify automatically or get eliminated on Saturday. No matter the combination of results, there is no way for Argentina to guarantee 4th place and there is no way to get into a position in which the 5th place will be out of our reach.

With that said, and knowing we need to wait until the very end (next Wednesday in Montevideo), there are a few scenarios that can guarantee Argentina of at least 5th place (and some others that can freak you out -trust me...they freaked me out first!-)

Here's what needs to happen for Argentina to at least make sure that we will face off with the 4th-placed team from CONCACAF and avoid the embarrassment of missing out of South Africa 2010 automatically.

The most important thing is, of course, to beat Perú. If that happens, Argentina will guarantee 5th spot if:

Uruguay lose in Ecuador.
Venezuela lose to Paraguay at home.
Colombia lose to Chile at home (a draw will also be good enough for Argentina to clinch 5th place)

With those results the table would looks like this, and the only thing to play for would be that sacred 4th place position that Ecuador and Argentina will fight for. (NOTE: we are not calculating goal-difference for our probable scenarios, but we are including them as they stand before this Saturday's matches so you have an idea of how good or bad we compare with our rivals):

Chile would qualify for 2010 and Uruguay, Venezuela and Colombia would all be eliminated.

Now, what if those other relevant three matches from Saturday end in draws and Argentina still win in their meeting with Perú:

This last table looks better on paper because we would be in 4th place and we can even reach those 28 points Chile have in the final round. But disaster could be waiting to happen. If Saturday leaves us with the table looking like this, then we could be eliminated (even from the playoffs) if we lose in Uruguay, provided Ecuador beat Chile away (or even with a draw in Santiago -depending on goal-difference).

If you ask me, I'd rather see Uruguay getting nothing from their trip to Ecuador (they got draws the last two times they've been to Quito and they even got a point from La Paz -2-2 draw after trailing 2-0 at half-time-) and Venezuela losing to Paraguay so we can at least rest assured that we won't crash out of the World Cup without the chance of booking our ticket with a playoff.

Now if you like playing with fire and think of the worst case scenario everytime Argentina play, the following table is the one you're looking forward to seeing. This, to us at Mundo Albiceleste, is the worst possible scenario from Saturday and ahead of the last round of qualifiers:

Right...what needs to happen for us to end in 8th place after only one round of matches?


Argentina lose at home to Perú
Uruguay win at Ecuador
Venezuela beat Paraguay at home
Colombia beat Chile at home

I know, it'd be terrible. We would still have chances to qualify in the last round. We would need to:

Beat Uruguay (there would be no other possible result from us if we want to qualify to South Africa)
Chile to beat Ecuador
Brasil to beat Venezuela
Paraguay to beat Colombia.

With that, we'd be back in 4th place and automatically qualified!

See how tricky all of this is?

You can go from 5th, to 8th and up to 4th in only 5 days.

Getting a draw would of course be a very bad result for Argentina and we would again depend on what happens with the rest of the teams.

We can get to the final round of qualifiers with every team in contention with the same difference between them if all the relevant matches end in draws. The table would look like this:

With that combination of results, a draw in Uruguay may give us the ticket to South Africa or may mean we miss out if Venezuela beat Brazil in Brazil.

One final scenario. What happens if we draw and all our chasers lose?

We would still have to travel to Uruguay, but this time a draw in Montevideo will keep Uruguay at bay and behind us and should probably be enough for Argentina to finish above Venezuela thanks to our better goal-difference -Venezuela would need to put 6 on Brazil in Brazil-.

So...there you have it. Numbers have never been my thing and right now I'm sick of these figures. I just need to see Argentina play the level of football we know we are capable of playing and then things will be OK.

There'll be time for us to calculate the numbers from the CONCACAF region (if needed) after next Wednesday.

Until then, make sure you have the tables above very handy so you know exactly where we stand in the race to South Africa.


Sebastian said...

I'm loving and I'm hating having to look at all those probable tables!

Hope all the readers enjoy them!

johnny said...

Great job ! Now we all have a reference place to go to figure it all out. Please update after Saturday ! Ha ha !

Anonymous said...

If we can not get a WIN vs PERU@ HOME, then no way in hell will get a win in Uruguay. But yeah, if you know any Chileans give them a call, so they can get a result at Colombia and beat Ecuador in Santiago.

This is how I see it, we win vs Peru. This pushes us to 25 point, I see a win or draw for Ecuador in Quito. I would rather have them win because this would kiss Uruguay goodbye if we manage to win(Which we WILL). Even though Argentina-Uruguay is a major derby, Uruguay will not have that much to play for unless if they want to make our lives a living hell. They would think if we can't go, we will do our best that you won't go. But I think they will be out of it, and our boys will be pumped up after a win. I think we will get a tie in Uruguay. I also see Chile beating Ecuador in Santiago.Bielsa will want his boys to go out with style before the WC. And who knows at that time, they may not even be qualified just yet. But a point will do it for them in Colombia in round 17. So even if Argentina gets a WIN and Tie, we will be in a great spot to automatically qualify. I just can not see Ecuador going to Chile and winning. Chileans have not looked so hot, but they will want to please their fans. So in Bielsa we trust! even if it is for another country!

But if we slip to 5th, I will be ok with it, because it looks like we may just end up playing Costa Rica. Not a easy task but I do not think they will be ready to walk into the depths of hell in Argentina, and playing in San Jose won't be so much of a burden, our boys play in some of the biggest clubs in the world. And we also face Brasil in Brasil. But lets just do our best and get 2 WINS so we can qualify straight in with a little help.

And Venz,Colombia. I do not think they will catch us. Venz has to play Paraguay then Brasil. The most I see them getting is 3 points. Colombia I do not worry so much.


Batigol9 said...

we need to beat peru and uruguay need to loose which is probbale,in this case Uruguay have nothing to play for in their last game...

Anonymous said...

except urugury really hate us and would like nothin better then to denie us the w.c

messidona19 said...

Only one way to qualify and one way only! 2 bloody wins! 6 points!
and we guarantee 5th place...

Anonymous said...

if argentina qualify for the play off next month and they still have a internatinal friendly with spain in november.

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