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World Cup Play-Offs (European)/International Friendlies Friday and Tuesday Thread

Hammersmith harrier
John Cregan
J.Benson II
monty junior
Dr Gregory House MD
Dolphin Ziggler
Good Golly I'm Olly
Nachos Jones
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World Cup Play-Offs (European)/International Friendlies Friday and Tuesday Thread - Page 8 Empty World Cup Play-Offs (European)/International Friendlies Friday and Tuesday Thread

Post by Duty281 Fri 15 Nov 2013, 2:05 pm

First topic message reminder :

European Play-Offs First Leg:

Iceland v Croatia (19:00)
Greece v Romania (19:45)
Portugal v Sweden (19:45)
Ukraine v France (19:45)

International Friendlies:

England v Chile (20:00)
Ireland v Latvia (19:45)
Scotland v USA (20:05)
Turkey v Northern Ireland (19:00)

Obviously the stand-out tie for the play-offs tonight is Portugal v Sweden, or Zlatan v Ronaldo if you prefer. That tie looks to be the most balanced of the four, with just one spot in the World Cup Finals up for grabs. Ukraine will remain hopeful of catching France off their guard, but France will start as strong favourites. Greece should seal their place over a potentially dangerous Romanian side. Lastly, Iceland will be aiming to spring one of the biggest surprises in World Football - by defeating Croatia. I imagine that, should Iceland get there, they will be the smallest nation to ever make the World Cup.

On the friendlies side, Ireland (under new management), Scotland, and Northern Ireland will start their building process to next autumn's Euro 2016 qualifiers.

For England, this is the first of five friendlies in preparation for the 2014 World Cup. Chile will provide a test, one that England should overcome, against an injury-hit and virus-hit home team. During qualification, Chile averaged the most possession amongst the South American teams - surpassing the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay - and an average of 3.4 goals per game were scored in matches involving Chile. High tempo, high pressure - that's the Chile way. England are suffering with the absences of Gerrard, Wilshere, Lambert and Walker. Nevertheless, I expect England to triumph 2-0.

Expected England team (the Times): Ruddy, Johnson, Jones, Smalling, Cole, Lampard (C), Cleverley, Milner, Lallana, Rodriguez, and Rooney.

Last edited by Duty281 on Mon 18 Nov 2013, 10:21 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Post by J.Benson II Wed 20 Nov 2013, 5:35 pm

John wrote:I do think everyone is coming round to how poor we are. J Low knew his B national team could beat our dysfunctional A side, even if they didn't play particularly well. Starting to think Suarez makes Sturridge look good, as all the foreign players do to our lads in the EPL. Everyone is so focused on Luis, opens up the room for Sturridge to exploit. Sturridge was woeful again for England, why does he have to perform a trick every time he gets the ball? Infuriating. Him & Rooney partnership is terrible. The Southampton boys will not make the WC side, didn't see anything of Lallana really last night, would have Welbeck on the left side without doubt. Cleverley should book a one way plane ticket to Antarctica. Walker is a terrible right back, enough said. Can't even pass or cross a ball properly. There's more stuff to analyse but I can't really be bothered. As for Brazil, I think we need the Switzerland group badly & some luck in pot 3/4 in order to qualify out the group.

As for the other games Ronaldo was sensational. Unbelievable player. Congrats to France for qualifying. DD Sorted the defence out, played Cabaye & Valbuena & with better service Benzema produced.
To be fair on Sturridge, he has done well for Liverpool even without Suarez in the team. However, I think the problem with him is that his goals often mask poor performances. He's a great goal-scorer no doubt, and this means he often will be considered to have had a good game even when he hasnt - simply because he was on the score sheet. Liverpool's game with Swansea was a good example. He was pretty frustrating to watch that night but because he scored, he was given an decent rating by the media outlets the following day.
I don't think Lallana should be scrapped so soon. Wellbeck has an engine and offers plenty of hustling but provides very little in terms of genuine quality but Lallana could.
Walker is not going to start over Johnson for sure.
I think England will get out of the groups as historically their record in doing so is good. Whatever happens after that is anyone's guess but I think we all agree that England would need plenty of good fortune in order to reach the latter stages of the WC.
And congrats to France. Always good to see the big teams competing at major tournaments.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Wed 20 Nov 2013, 7:54 pm

Hard to pick my England side right now.

Id play Smalling over Walker/Johnson at right back against better sides. I'd consider Lescott if he played regular football, I'd look at Jones again in centre defence too. Cole just over Baines I think, but maybe swapping that round against bad sides as Baines is a more potent weapon going forward.

Centre mid is hard. Not sure Gerrard and Carrick as a two are mobile enough. Id be tempted to play Rooney, Sturridge Welbeck as a three and add an extra midfielder. Id be tempted to play Gerrard, Wilshere and Barkley or Gerrard, Jones, Wilshere. Carrick is hard to fit in, arguably better than any other choice except Gerrard. Maybe Gerrard, Carrick, Wilshere.

Walcott could just pip Townsend for me but its not a bad problem to have.

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Post by The Fourth Lion Thu 21 Nov 2013, 8:33 am

I've held off posting on England vs Germany until now as I was so disappointed by England's performance.  I thought it best to step back and count to ten.

Never, in all my days, have I seen an England team fail to force the opposition's goalkeeper to make a single save in the entire game as happened on Tuesday night.  And against their 'B' team as well..!!  

There was some good approach play at times, although all too often England were, again, easily pressed into going backwards which simply gave the German defence all the time it needed to organise and settle.  Townsend looked pacey at times and did what we should do more of.... he ran at them.

Contrast this with the German team who attacked swiftly, with intelligent support running and accurate passing which simply by-passed the England midfield as an irrelevance

And it cannot be emphasised enough that most of those German players on Tuesday night won't even make the German world cup squad, let alone get a place in the starting XI.  This just goes to show how far England are behind.

I agree Benson's third paragraph.... that England will somehow contrive to get beyond the group stage, but probably in second place and then it is in the lap of the gods as to who we face in the Round of 16.  

I wouldn't be surprised if it was Germany.  Again.  That's our kind of luck.  And theirs.
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