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Thread: 2018 World Cup Thread

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    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Default 2018 World Cup Thread

    How do we not have a World Cup thread yet? Russia beckons people ... well, not the US, but what can ya do?

    The tourney kicks off with Russia playing Saudi Arabia on June 14th in Moscow. Venues range from Luzhniki Stadium (Russia's national stadium) and Strtak Stadium in Moscow, to that dumb stadium Putin had built for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. They had to completely rebuild the seating areas for the Confed Cup last summer to get the building approved by the safety and health folks ... which no one bothered with ahead of the Olympics. Welcome to Russia ... bring a hard hat and maybe a safety harness, just is case. Another note of interest is that FIFA is battening down the hatches to prepare for what most security experts think might be a ton of violent fan behavior. Elements of the Russian right wing criminal communities agitated hard in the streets during the last two Euro Championships, causing all sorts of headaches. The English, Poles and of course any poor Ukrainians who get in the way are particular targets ... not that the English don't bring their issues with them. The Serbs and Croatians can be fun too. It bears watching. The Brazilian and Polish teams took the Russians up on the offer to set up their bases in Sochi, far from the bigger population bases. Im sure the Poles are looking for peace while the Brazilians are just looking to not be mobbed when they go out for a team jog.

    Here's the Groups ... which are refreshingly balanced. No groups of death to be found. Note that this is a down cycle for Africa, as really only Egypt looks remotely dangerous. Asia looks to have more balance than in Cups past but nobody really stands out from their group. Mexico should have the best shot of the CONCACAF contingent, but you know how they do in these things ... great or horrific. Sometimes in the same match. The European favorites are your usual suspects and the betting lines seem to like Germany and Spain of that bunch. I mean, fair enough. England, the second choice of a lot of US fans, actually look to have a cohesive team and a cohesive strategic setup this time around. Iceland looks to reprise their Cinderella act from the last Euros, but we all know that Cindy rarely shows up in the same dress two balls in a row. We'll see how all that goes, starting less than 2 weeks.

    Group A
    Russia
    Uruguay
    Egypt
    Saudi Arabia

    Group B
    Portugal
    Spain
    Morocco
    Iran

    Group C
    France
    Peru
    Australia
    Denmark

    Group D
    Argentina
    Iceland
    Coatia
    Nigeria

    Group E
    Brazil
    Switzerland
    Costa Rica
    Serbia

    Group F
    Germany
    Mexico
    Sweden
    So Korea

    Group G
    Belgium
    England
    Panama
    Tunisia

    Group H
    Poland
    Columbia
    Senegal
    Japan

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    The pre WC friendlies are upon us. Some results from yesterday:

    Ireland 2-1 US. The re-tooling continues with a young squad. Ireland gets the winner in the 90th minute.
    Austria 2-1 Germany. Neuer’s First match after a 9 month injury layoff
    Belgium 0–0 Portugal. Ronaldo wasn’t in the squad, Kompany left injured.
    Sweden 0-0 Denmark. Eriksen wasn’t in the squad.
    England 2-1 Nigeria
    Mexico 1-0 Scotland
    Iceland 2-3 Norway
    Last edited by andyt; 06-03-2018 at 10:45 AM.

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    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by andyt View Post
    Kompany left injured.
    Well, of course he did.

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    Just FWIW, here's the Vegas odds for the top group ... before the numbers get dumb. The Germans are what you'd call heavy betting favorites. Given that their roster is strong enough to leave LeRoy Sane at home ... yeah. I get that.

    Germany 7-2
    Brazil 4-1
    France 6-1
    Spain 6-1
    Argentina 6-1
    Belgium 10-1
    England 20-1
    Portugal 25-1
    Uruguay 30-1
    Colombia 40-1
    Russia 50-1
    Croatia 30-1
    Poland 40-1
    Mexico 50-1

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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    Spain’s odds are going to take a hit. The Spanish federation fired coach Julen Lopetegui after he accepted the coaching job at Real Madrid.

    http://www.espn.com/soccer/spain/sto...eal-madrid-job

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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    And in a vote that wasn’t close, North America will host the 2026 World Cup. The final vote was 134-65. Mexico is the first country to host 3 times. It will be the first World Cup with 48 teams. The US will host 60 of 80 matches including all matches from the quarterfinals on. The final will probably be played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Mexico and Canada will each host 10 matches.

    http://www.espn.com/soccer/fifa-worl...a-hosting-vote

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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by andyt View Post
    Spain’s odds are going to take a hit. The Spanish federation fired coach Julen Lopetegui after he accepted the coaching job at Real Madrid.

    http://www.espn.com/soccer/spain/sto...eal-madrid-job
    Here's the thing ... Couldn't Madrid have held off a couple of weeks on the announcement? I mean, jeez.

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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    Reminder ... we're under way TODAY with Russia taking on Saudi Arabia at 11:00 eastern. OK, it's a game you probably couldn't pay me to watch from start to finish, but hey ... World Cup!!

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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    Russia opens with a 5-0 win over the Saudis. Don't draw any big conclusions. The Saudis are horrible AND had a stupid game plan

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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffbear View Post
    Russia opens with a 5-0 win over the Saudis. Don't draw any big conclusions. The Saudis are horrible AND had a stupid game plan
    With the World Cup expanding to 48 teams in 2026, how bad are some of those matches going to be?

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    Quote Originally Posted by andyt View Post
    With the World Cup expanding to 48 teams in 2026, how bad are some of those matches going to be?
    You mean you're not looking forward to Canada opening that tournament with a scintillating matchup with Togo?

    Seriously. The 48 qualifiers thing is dumber than dumb. All you're going to do is add the 5th and 6th best teams from federations that only produce 2 or 3 good teams. Yeah, there's Europe and South America ... but that's TWO Federations. The rest are going to bring nothing but dreck. And we already get dreck from Asia and Oceana as it is. I mean, you know that Oceana will end up with a full slot in that format which will basically guarantee a qualification of New Zealand ... if Australia isn't relocated AGAIN to even things out a bit.

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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    So far today, Uruguay in the 89th minute to beat Egypt 1-0, overcoming a fine effort by the Egyptian keeper, and Iran same score over Morocco in the 95th minute on an own goal, after parking the bus all game. Dreadful WC football is back after having mostly skipped Brazil.

    Edit: 3-3 Spain-Portugal. That was an excellent game.
    Last edited by HNIM; 06-15-2018 at 03:57 PM.

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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    Spain and Portugal saved the day with a brilliantly entertaining game. 3-3 ... CR7 with the hattie, capped by a delightful bendy late free kick when Spain looked like they were squeezing all the toothpaste out of the tube. Diego Costa had a brace for Spain including a brutish 1 on 3 that he somehow turned into enough space for a right footed weed-eater. Nacho with a brilliant swinging volley looked to give Spain the edge after a great run to start the second frame, but Ronaldo happened late and the points were shared.

    That's why we watch folks. Even when club and country have let us down. Lovely football.

    Argentina and Iceland at 9AM highlights tomorrow's slate. That one's on big Fox.
    Last edited by jeffbear; 06-15-2018 at 04:10 PM.

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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    Denmark-Peru for me. Eriksen is an amazing international.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffbear View Post
    Spain and Portugal saved the day with a brilliantly entertaining game. 3-3 ... CR7 with the hattie, capped by a delightful bendy late free kick when Spain looked like they were squeezing all the toothpaste out of the tube. Diego Costa had a brace for Spain including a brutish 1 on 3 that he somehow turned into enough space for a right footed weed-eater. Nacho with a brilliant swinging volley looked to give Spain the edge after a great run to start the second frame, but Ronaldo happened late and the points were shared.

    That's why we watch folks. Even when club and country have let us down. Lovely football.

    Argentina and Iceland at 9AM highlights tomorrow's slate. That one's on big Fox.
    A howler from DeGea on Ronaldo’s 2nd and a badly mispositioned wall on the 3rd. But that and Nacho’s were highlight reel goals.

    France squeaks by Australia 2-1 on 2 technology goals. The first on a VAR awarded penalty, the second on goal line technology, although it clearly looked like a goal live.

    Argentina and Iceland tied at 1 at the half. Argentina has had about 75% possession but Iceland should be leading. Caballero looks shaky in goal and the back line doesn’t look cohesive. Aguero had a brilliant strike for his first ever WC goal. He only needs about an inch of space to get a shot off.

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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    Group D

    - 1
    - 1


    Full Time


    Messi missed a penalty kick.
    Last edited by BURG; 06-16-2018 at 11:26 AM.

  17. #17
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    I was not impressed by France this morning. Disorganized and disjointed for the most part. And the Aussies play with a lot of spirit but they're kind of crap, so France really need to get their mess together if they're going to do anything better than just get out of the group.

    Iceland did what they do. They packed two groups of four in tight in front of that keeper and make the other team break them down. They're patient, dedicated and passionate about defending and do not give a crap about the critics. Add Argentina to the pile of victims. They're in pretty good company after the last Euros. Messi is going to take big heat after blowing that penalty kick, but the result isn't his fault alone.

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    Saw this on Twitter. In Euro 2016, Iceland and Portugal drew 1-1. Ronaldo took 10 shots and had no goals. Messi has 11 shots today. Iceland held arguably the 2 best players in the world to 0 goals on 21 shots.

  19. #19
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    Yeah ... the defend like their lives depending on it and then use Gylffi to make you pay on set pieces and breaks. It's simple, but it works.

    Rounding out the first 4 game day of the tournament, Denmark won an unremarkable 1-0 game with Peru. Schmeichel was wonderful in net for Denmark but otherwise not a lot to remember about that one. Then Croatia just sliced Nigeria to pieces in a 2-0 win. Nigeria seemed increasingly disinterested as the game went along, but again ... this is NOT a good Super Eagles side. They have a lot of individual talent but are woefully disjointed. They looked just as bad or worse in the African Cup of Nations last year.

    The headliner on Sunday for me is Mexico vs Germany, although I'm sure Switzerland vs Brazil will generate interest. The Swiss are not the same old bland defense-first bunch that they usually roll out for the World Cup. They've got a lot of shake and bake in the lineup now. The third match is Costa Rica against Serbia. That one should be pretty technical ... aka boring.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    Andrés Cantor calling Ronaldo’s ridiculous free kick. He celebrated longer than Ronaldo did and blew through 3 replays.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/Francisco...119685/video/1

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