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Thread: Belgium V Republic of Ireland - Saturday, 18th June 2016 - Euro 2016 Group E

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Belgium V Republic of Ireland - Saturday, 18th June 2016 - Euro 2016 Group E

    Just gonna start a thread for the game on Saturday and keep the same title-format as the Sweden game thread.

    Kick-off is at 2PM and looks like Walters will miss out. He's "pretty doubtful", according to O'Neill.

    I was looking at the ranking of the third-placed teams at USA '94 (as it also had a 24-team format) and here's how that ended up:



    Of course, this tournament won't be identical, but it gives a good idea of what we might need, which is four points ideally, even if we're to progress from third position in the group. That means we really need to be winning one of the final two games. Two draws are unlikely to be enough for us. It's possible, as I see teams have qualified in third position from groups at earlier World Cups with three (or even two) draws, but it's rare and I wouldn't want to be counting on it. Four points would secure it really.

    It'll be interesting to see how Belgium approach this. They're under pressure now after the loss to Italy. Will they be out to prove a point in reaction or are they going to flop? Let's hope it's the latter. They're a team of great individuals, but that doesn't make a great team. I don't know a great deal about internal Belgian politics, but I've often wondered do they lack a sense of national cohesion, maybe related to the fact the team is made up of two distinct ethnic groups (the Walloons and the Flems) who've had their disagreements through history?

    Our record against Belgium in the past isn't great. We have to go back to a friendly in 1966 for our last victory. Since then, the record is 2 losses and 4 draws. Overall, our record is 4 wins, 5 losses and 5 draws. The three other victories were all between 1928 and 1930: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matche..._football_team

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    Mentalist. thischarmingman's Avatar
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    BBC pundits on Belgium not exploiting Italian high line and inability to defend long ball
    https://streamable.com/k85f

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    If Wes starts (he must) then I'd also pick Keane. Keane and Long will keep the defenders honest and we can mix aerial balls with balls to feet. See how it goes for 60 minutes. It's a risk as I'm not sure Keane has the legs at this level any more. Otherwise it'd be Murphy or McClean, probably Murphy.

    I'd also drop McCarthy. Either not brave enough to seek the ball or not match fit. Meyler or Quinn in instead. Quinn is busier, Meyler more of a keep-it-ticking-over type player. Quinn might be less similar to Whelan - who was great on Monday despite my criticism of his conservatism - which might just shade it, but my own conservatism (ok, my gut) thinks Meyler.

    I'm a bit torn on CB. I don't blame Clark for the goal but I think Duffy might be a good weapon and capable of negating Fellaini's aerial threat. I have to say I just haven't seen enough of Duffy to know how he copes with top flight attackers. At least Clark does it week in, week out, which probably shades it for me. He attacks set pieces well anyway.

    ----------Randolph----------
    Coleman-Clark-O'Shea-Brady
    --Meyler-Whelan-Hendrick
    ------------Wes---------
    --------Keane---Long--------

    Alternatively I'd consider Ward, moving Brady up and playing Hendrick in the middle. Nominally in a diamond but I expect we'll have less of the ball than we did on Monday.


    ----------Randolph----------
    Coleman-Clark-O'Shea-Ward
    --Hendrick-Whelan-Brady
    ------------Wes---------
    --------Keane---Long--------

    However, I think Hendrick and Brady's understanding on the left was a real highlight from Monday so I'd stick with that. We functioned pretty well on Monday with 2 key players under par*, Walters and McCarthy. Replacing them and nothing much else makes most sense.

    O'Neill said the players tired on Monday so McCarthy, McClean, Quinn and McGeady represent our best bench options, then Murphy. I presume Walters hasn't even got 20 minutes in him but let's see.

    * I always think the expression should be over par, at least if it's a direct golf analogy!
    Last edited by Stuttgart88; 15/06/2016 at 8:17 AM.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Worth noting that if (if!) we can beat Belgium, we'll be good odds to come second in the group I would say. That would give us a game against the Group F winners - either a Portugal side who struggled to open up, and ultimately couldn't beat, Iceland, or else Iceland or Hungary, as Austria look too far back already to win the group. Come third, and we're still looking at France or Spain in the last 16, if we even get through.

    Quite an incentive for a good result on Saturday.

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    Reserves dynamo kerry's Avatar
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    I'd be amazed if Quinn is capable of starting this game. I'm actually amazed he made the squad but I guess there were limited real options in Mid. He's just not got the control to keep ball against a team like Belgium.


    I'd also not drop mccarthy after one mediocre performance. however I would not rule out Mcclean starting ahead of him for tactical reasons - I think it depends on the condition of coleman. Hendrick has to start after his performance the other day. No one is doing for this team was Jeff is doing at the moment.

    Agree Keane with Long and Wes is an attractive idea.

    I'd go

    Randolph
    Coleman Clark O'Shea Brady
    Mccarthy Whelan Hendrick
    Hoolohan
    Keane Long

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyInvincible View Post
    I see teams have qualified in third position from groups at earlier World Cups with three (or even two) draws
    1994 was the first World Cup with three points for a win. So previous World Cups wouldn't be a great guide. Though Holland would still have qualified from the 1990 World Cup group, they'd have done so by one goal from Austria and Scotland, not one whole point.

    I think you're right that we need a win somewhere, especially as there's been few enough draws so far.
    Last edited by pineapple stu; 15/06/2016 at 10:27 AM.

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    Seasoned Pro ifk101's Avatar
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    I'd keep the changes to a minimum and bring Stephen Quinn in for Walters. Not Stephen Quinn's greatest fan but feel we need his energy and enthusiasm. Granted Belgium have a better collection of individuals than us but the team performance against Italy was questionable. The longer we can frustrate them, the more likely their individuals will try to do it on their own. I'm quite confident about the game.

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    1994 was the first World Cup with three points for a win. So previous World Cups wouldn't be a great guide. Though Holland would still have qualified from the 1990 World Cup group, they'd have done so by one goal from Austria and Scotland, not one whole point.
    Are you aware of any other 24-team tournaments besides USA '94 where three points were on offer for a group-stage win?

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    The Cheeto God Real ale Madrid's Avatar
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    2015 FIFA Womens World Cup! 3 points good enough there. Not sure its a great comparison.

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    Seasoned Pro shakermaker1982's Avatar
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    I think he might go for this

    Randolph

    Coleman Clark O'Shea Ward
    Whelan McCarthy
    Hendrick Hoolahan Brady
    Long

    Unless Long could take Walters role on RHS and Robbie goes up top? Doyle for Walters would have been a nice like for like...both work hard and good in the air.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyInvincible View Post
    Are you aware of any other 24-team tournaments besides USA '94 where three points were on offer for a group-stage win?
    The U-20s World Cup has it - so here's how it finished in 2015. Three points was enough to get through - and to not get through.

    In 2013, the bottom four teams all got three points. That was one with relatively few draws in the group stages (9 from 36 games - we're on 3 from 13 at the moment, which is almost identical), so I'd say the cut-off is likely to be three points, but some will get through and some won't.

    And with so few goals being scored - every match has ended either 1-0, 2-0, 1-1 or 2-1 - it could well come down to goals scored. Or even, though it's still unlikely, another tie-break.

    Four points should certainly be enough, and two points almost certainly won't be.

    Edit - the 2011 rankings are interesting - England the best third-placed team without scoring a single goal! Three 0-0s in the group stage, and then they lost 1-0 in the first knock-out round.
    Last edited by pineapple stu; 15/06/2016 at 3:10 PM.

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    Why is 3 0-0s almost certain to qualify?

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Is it?

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    I heard that before the tournament. Couldn't figure out why.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    OK, thought you picked it up from my post.

    I guess it's moot for now seeing as it can't happen here.

    I don't konw if it's almost certain to qualify - but 3 points is either one win and two losses (probably a minus goal difference) or three draws (better goal difference), so I guess three 0-0s isn't too bad.

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    First Team MeathDrog's Avatar
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    I said it when the squad is announced and unfortunately it's now definitely true. MON needed to bring another striker, or at the very least a different one than Daryl Murphy. With the absence of Walters, Kevin Doyle or David McGoldrick would be very useful right now. Doyle in particular would be a great straight swap for Walters in terms of his role in the team. Now it looks like we are going to have to shoehorn a player in and inevitably change the diamond that has worked so well for us so far.
    You've got no fans.

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    I have no issue with taking a risk on Walters. I do have an issue with not picking Doyle. Superior to Murphy.

    But hey, it is what it is and let's look forward.

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    Banned TheOneWhoKnocks's Avatar
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    What if we had 11 fully fit players instead of 10; what if we had a fully fit, fully functioning attacking trident when we were on top of a wide-open game? What if Walters was given/gave himself the time to be fully fit for the Belgium game? What if Doyle had been brought instead of Keane?

    Whelan and McCarthy on yellows already, Walters out of Belgium and doubtful for Italy, the introduction of Keane against Sweden boggling the mind as to Murphy's inclusion and McGeady looking ponderous as always in his cameo when Pilkington & Stokes had a sharper ends to the season and offered cover in more than one position.

    Was Walters a risk? The fact that he aggravated his existing condition in the first minute tells you he shouldn't have been considered for selection in the first place and it's hard to say it paid off when Sweden's defence were ragged and we didn't have the legs in the team to make the best use of Hoolahan or test them properly.

    Sterling though Hendrick's performance was - and similar to Gerrard & Lampard in their pomp.

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    Coach tetsujin1979's Avatar
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    Yawn. Change the record.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tetsujin1979 View Post
    Yawn. Change the record.
    A bit of a subtle insult there Tets. Remember to attack the post, not the poster.

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