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Thread: World Cup Tournament 2018

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    World Cup Tournament 2018

    It’s in Europe so historically you can probably discount the South American nations.

    It’s hard to see beyond the Big 3 of Germany, France and Spain. France currently has the best crop of players but mentally are they up to it?

    Spain unbeaten in a lot of games but tired legs must catch up with them.

    Germany ? Defend their title ?

    It’s interesting because there is no clear favourite. And Russia at home will be powerful. Best value bet on them at 50/1.

    The Germans came a cropper in Russia in 1941. Perhaps they might do a bit better this time with no Winter snow and blizzards to face.

    As a WW2 buff, I look with envy at England's venues. Volgograd aka Stalingrad. Kalingrad aka Koningsberg, the once capital of East Prussia. Nizhny Novgorod - ok, don't know much about this place. Huge amount of travel though for the supporters.
    Forget about the performance or entertainment. It's only the result that matters.

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    Youth Team ArFella's Avatar
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    Spain have just sacked their manager the day before the tournament kicks off... Madness! He was announced as new Real Madrid manager yesterday and apparently all negotiations were done without the Spanish FA knowing and they were informed the deal was done 5 minutes before Real Madrid's press release. Can't be good for Spain's preparations as they face Portugal on Friday, players reportedly wanted the manager to stay on but the President was so incensed he insisted on sacking him. Reports now that either the assistant takes charge or they possibly air drop Del Bosque into the team as a calming presence...

    I must admit I hadn't really gotten the same sense of excitement for this World Cup as all those that went before but this really has changed that now!
    Last edited by ArFella; 13/06/2018 at 10:45 AM.
    Mon the Town!

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    The Spanish situation is a mess, really bad form on all parties the way it has been handled. It will have to have an impact on their chances.

    I worked out a German win over Belgium in the final. Think Brazil aren't there yet, France will balls it up somewhere, Argentina don't have it in them to get all the way and Spain, well, things could fall apart there quickly. Who else is there you could count as realistic contenders? Uruguay, Columbia maybe? England should get to the 1/4 finals, Senegal are decent.

    Russia are terrible, and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Saudi Arabia get something tomorrow. They've tried ten different players at CB over the last few years, and some of their best players are crocked. Bar some officiating shenanigans that hosts tend to benefit from, I think they'll be pulling a South Africa.
    Last edited by NeverFeltBetter; 13/06/2018 at 10:49 AM.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Russia are absolute muck, can't see them getting beyond the second round.

    I'd go for Germany to win it again, they are probably the team with the fewest weaknesses. Spain will probably be affected by the manager situation.

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    Russia have never got out of the groups before. It looks like they've an easy draw, but they've to face Salah and Suarez. They tend to not travel well, so home advantage could be good for them, but...

    I fancy France; that squad is absurdly strong. I fear a good England performance more than usual. And with so many good teams not even qualified, a surprise semi-finalist could crop up. Though the last 8 last time was, Costa Rica aside, disappointingly predictable

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    Reckon Uruguay could be the surprisish Quarter Finalists this time around, they will most likely top their group and will then meet either Portugal or Spain. I would fancy them to take Portugal, but Spain even after their manager debacle I fear might be too strong for them. Time will tell.

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    I drew Saudi Arabia in our household draw so I'll be cheering 'Come on Galway!'

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Dzagoev off early holding his hamstring. Pretty devastating for the hosts if he is out.

    I'm also told that linesmen have been instructed to keep their flags down for tight offside calls, so VAR can do the necessaries if required.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Do they Saudis have the record for worst World Cup performance? 2002 with no points and 0-12 in terms of goals. El Salvador also got no points and 1-13 in goals. I've never seen a wall as scared as the one lined up for that fifth goal.
    They're well on course to beat that anyway.

    It's an immediate question posed to the 48 team World Cup, particularly the idea of giving Europe just two of the extra spots. 2026 will see lots of these games.

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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Saudis were brutal, countless times they turned a comfortable position into danger in their own half thanks to hopeless, aimless passing.

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    The AFC is the real weak link in FIFA now (leaving aside the OFC), though that weakness doesn't get anywhere near the same attention as Africa or North America used to get in their really low periods. South Korea in 2002 was an aberration, what kind of impact have they made since then? Japan and South Korea made it to the Last 16 in 2010, and that's it: all first round exits otherwise. Will 2018 be any different? Iran are the highest ranked Asian side but would need to finish ahead of Spain or Portugal, Japan seems overly-reliant on ageing squad members, South Korea apparently had a terrible qualifying campaign, Australia aren't really progressing and the Saudi's just demonstrated their own lack of quality and fitness at this level. An extra few AFC teams in will be easy fodder alright, as it stands.

    Despite the opposition allowing themselves to be overrun so easily, I think this will be a big result for Russia. Expectations were so low, but they hammered their first opposition, conceded no goals, and played better after Dzagoev went off. Just for self-confidence, morale, I think it will be a very big deal.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Who knew that Ray Houghton had such insight into the Zamalek players?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrufil View Post
    I drew Saudi Arabia in our household draw so I'll be cheering 'Come on Galway!'
    I run our office draw and always have money back for the team which concedes the most goals in the qualification stage - gives some interest to those who draw the Saudi Arabias of this world.
    Forget about the performance or entertainment. It's only the result that matters.

  14. #14
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    Can only presume Salah isn't fit if he didn't get any run today. Even 20 minutes might have changed things as it turned out. Instead, they now need to beat Russia (assuming everyone beats the Saudis). But will Salah be 100% for that one?

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Felt like the manager was satisfied playing for the draw and didn't want to risk Salah. Too late to change things when it went wrong. Presumably Salah will have to start the next game.

    Didn't think Uruguay were all that great, but they should top this group easily enough.

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    An early blip, but Spain looked much the better side for the majority of the half, you'd expect them to come back. De Gea the last keeper in the tournament I thought would pull something like that, its like he thought Ronaldo would go for the corner and didn't expect it to come straight at him.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Cracking game though; best of the tournament so far.

    Streets above the other games in standard, and that it's a local derby is helping too.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Also - 83 international goals for Ronaldo now. 1 more to draw level with Puskas as the second highest international scorer of all time (70 more caps, but it's a different game now). Given he's talked about playing till 40, and given Portugal wouldn't be the strongest team and could keep him till then, can he catch Ali Daei's record of 109?

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Great game. Incredible cool from Ronaldo for the free; the accusations of Portugal being a one man team will be back in force now. Draw a fair result, and Iran's win makes the next round of games in this group more interesting.

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    VAR - the end of debate on refereeing decisions.

    Well, maybe not.

    Goal-line technology worked perfectly by contrast

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