Sky Sports devise new algorithm to rival FIFA World Rankings
Last Updated: 14/06/18 7:43am
The FIFA World Rankings often spark debate, so Sky Sports devised a brand new algorithm which ranks England as the seventh best team in the world.
The World Cup kicks off on Thursday and reigning world champions Germany start their campaign atop the Sky Sports World Rankings, edging South American giants Brazil and Argentina.
Belgium and Euro 2016 champions Portugal all rank above England, but Gareth Southgate's side rank ahead of France and Italy - while Mexico are only the third non-European team to make the top 10.
The rankings factor results over the past 20 years with incremental weighting for recent results, home advantage, quality of opposition and tournament level.
The Netherlands retain a relatively high ranking at No 11 due to their third-place finish at the World Cup in Brazil four years ago - despite failing to qualify for Euro 2016 and this summer's tournament in Russia.
In terms of England's Group G, Belgium rank above Southgate's side, but opening opponents Tunisia are the lowest ranked side at the tournament in 78th - with Panama sitting fourth-lowest in 68th.
Nations flying higher than expected include Peru (12th), Switzerland (14th) and Costa Rica (17th), while Saudi Arabia (71st), Egypt (69th) and Australia (51st) appear to be punching above their weights - in addition to Tunisia and Panama.
If the rankings provide any indication of how this summer's tournament might pan out then Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Belgium are favourites, with Portugal, England, France and Mexico capable of reaching the latter rounds.
Check out where all 212 nations rank in the Sky Sports World Rankings below...
Comment below to get involved in the debate, but please adhere to our House Rules. If you wish to report any comment, simply click on the down arrow next to the offending comment and click 'Report'.