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2022 FIFA World Cup

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Who will win the World Cup?

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Total Votes : 9
 
 
Poll closed

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Post by Duty281 Mon Nov 07, 2022 3:35 pm

The strangest World Cup of them all will begin in Qatar in just a couple of weeks. The first World Cup (and surely not the last!) to be held in Arabia; the first World Cup not to take place in May, June or July; only the second World Cup to be hosted in Asia; and the last World Cup to be played with the 32-team format, as from 2026 the tournament will expand to 48 teams.

Free-scoring Brazil are, as usual, the bookmakers' favourites for the World Cup. It's been quite a barren run for the five-time winners - 20 years since they last won the tournament, and they've only made it past the quarter-finals once in the last four iterations. They were runners-up in last year's Copa America, but have since gone on an unbeaten run which has seen them cruise through qualification.

Argentina, the Copa America champions, are installed as the second favourites, in what will surely be Messi's last chance of World Cup glory. The Argentines are on a very long unbeaten run, having not experienced defeat in any fixture for over three years. Will Messi finally emulate Maradona and lead his side to their first World Cup in 36 years? Uruguay and Ecuador are the only other South American entrants; Colombia and Chile have missed out.

Turning to Europe, France are defending their second World Cup crown - they will be hoping it will go better than their first defence when they were dispatched in the group stage in 2002. On paper they still retain a strong side; in reality they're on a poor run of form, having been knocked out of the last Euros in the Last 16, and some key players will miss the World Cup through injury.

Europe, of course, has a wide range of potential winners extending beyond France. England, with an array of exciting attacking talent, will try to end all those years of hurt and misery, having come so close last year to breaking the duck. But they have also struggled in recent times, with Southgate struggling to get the best out of his creative talents. Germany and Spain both won the World Cup in the last decade, and are hoping to bounce back from disappointments in 2018. Belgium's golden generation has one last chance to deliver, as does Ronaldo for Portugal. The Dutch and the Danes will remain optimistic, and Wales are in it for the first time since 1958.

Or, perchance, for the very first time a winner outside of Europe and South America? African champions Senegal are likely leading this charge, with Mane and Koulibaly at the heart of their side, although no African nation has ever made the semi-finals of this competition. The North Americans are well represented with all three host nations of 2026 - Canada, USA and Mexico - and Costa Rica  making an appearance, although you'll have to go back to 1930 for the last, and only, time a North American team made the semi-final stage.

Oceania have zero representation - unless you count Australia, but in footballing terms Australia are as Asian as Israel are European - and haven't done so since New Zealand's unbeaten run in 2010. The Asian continent hasn't done anything of note since South Korea in 2002, and their best hope this year probably comes from the South Koreans or Japanese, although hosts Qatar will be hoping to navigate themselves through a tricky group.

Um...come on, England?

Odds on the outright winners:

Odds on Golden Boot:

World Cup Schedule:

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Post by Duty281 Tue Nov 08, 2022 1:57 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/63554507

Blatter realises giving the tournament to Qatar was a mistake, just 12 years too late.

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Post by Duty281 Wed Nov 09, 2022 1:17 pm

Sounds like Sadio Mane will miss the World Cup through injury. Another blow for the tournament, already littered with lots of injuries, and a huge loss for Senegal.

England's squad named tomorrow. The Welsh squad named tonight.

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Post by Duty281 Wed Nov 09, 2022 9:00 pm

No surprises with the Welsh squad. Bale finally getting a chance at the World Cup.

With regards to England's squad, I feel very sorry for Reece James. Southgate is rumoured to be taking Walker and Phillips despite their fitness issues (don't think Phillips has played a full 90 all season), and took Maguire with his fitness problems to Euro 2020, but no such leeway is being granted to James. Southgate also rumoured to be favouring Wilson over Toney. Tomori also not likely to be in, but that's not a surprise because Southgate doesn't seem to rate him. Shaw is apparently going to be the only specialist left-back in the squad, so Trippier will have to be a back-up.

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Post by GSC Thu Nov 10, 2022 1:17 pm

Maybe if there were less questions over Maguire and Walker, Southgate may have changed it. But can only name so many players in the squad.

Cut the usual outrage about which in form players aren't picked over out of form regulars. Probably worse to be changing the squad a week before the tournament though
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Post by GSC Thu Nov 10, 2022 3:04 pm

Pickford, Pope, Ramsdale;

▫ Alexander Arnold, Coady, Dier, Maguire, Shaw, Stones, Trippier, White, Walker;

▫ Bellingham, Gallagher, Mount, Phillips, Henderson, Rice;

▫ Foden, Grealish, Kane, Maddison, Rashford, Saka, Sterling, Wilson.
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Post by Duty281 Thu Nov 10, 2022 3:28 pm

Squad named. Disappointed there's no Toney or Tomori. Dier.  picard

Imagine Southgate's preferred XI is:

-------------------Pickford
-Trippier-Walker-Maguire-Stones-Shaw
-----------Bellingham----Rice--------------
----------Foden--------------Sterling
---------------------Kane-----------------------

He might change to a back-four for some games and play an extra attacking midfielder - e.g. vs Iran - but for the big teams it'll be that shape and system, barring Southgate having an epiphany as a result of the last Germany game.

Not a lot of depth at left-back, but Coady/Dier/White can all plug the CB positions. Centre midfield looks a bit weak below the surface - Henderson's ability has dropped way off in recent seasons and Phillips is a question-mark in terms of fitness. Some decent options off the bench to fill the attacking midfield positions, but they won't be utilised much by Southgate. Very disappointed there's no Toney, instead favouring Wilson.

Not sure how far England will go. In theory they've got the creative and attacking talent to make a real go of this competition; in reality they've got a manager who straitjackets the creativity and is terrified of many teams.

Top the group - from there it'll likely be Senegal in the last 16. With Mane I thought this would be a problematic game for England; without him it becomes a lot more manageable. If England get to the QFs, it could be France, but with France's current form they may not top their group and that could mean a QF v Denmark/Poland/Mexico which would be typical Southgate!

Runners-up in the group - a likely game against the Dutch in the last 16, possibly then a QF v Argentina. Very tough route. Bit like 2010.

Out in the groups? - Shouldn't happen. It's a very weak group.

Depending on who England get, I think a QF or SF exit would be respectable. But we'll have to see how the draw pans out. To beat one of the top nations at this tournament, something Southgate hasn't yet done at the previous two major tournaments, would require luck or a bit more tactical bravery.

Be brave, Southgate. Seize the day and let England play.

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Post by GSC Thu Nov 10, 2022 3:40 pm

Think this tournament has come at a poor time for England honestly. A lot of injured/out of form players.not sure many of these are coming in firing. Quarters would be probably reasonable, past that would be a good result imo

Probably be Southgates last tournament regardless of how it goes, he's the right to lead England his way, but a fresh approach probably needed after this tournament.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu Nov 10, 2022 4:22 pm

Surprised Gallagher made it, but as ever mainly arguing over the minor places in the squad for these things, and if these folks are playing something has gone very wrong indeed.
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Post by dummy_half Thu Nov 10, 2022 4:53 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Surprised Gallagher made it, but as ever mainly arguing over the minor places in the squad for these things, and if these folks are playing something has gone very wrong indeed.

On paper, it's not a bad squad given what we have available. OK, you can argue over the likes of Gallagher, but he's really a 3rd string CM, or e.g. Dier ahead of Tomori or Smalling, but we know Southgate prefers defenders who are comfortable on the ball rather than out and out stoppers.

Negatives are the intangibles:
1 - Playing in Qatar, even in November, is going to be pretty warm which likely suits England less than it does some other countries. Also the broader question of how teams form will go with a WC mid season rather than in the summer.
2 - Form, injuries and a lack of game time for several of the players in the quad
3 - Whether Southgate is able to get the most out of the squad in terms of selection. We look overloaded with attacking midfield/ 10 / wing options who will all end up trying to do the same thing but lacking creativity elsewhere.

Really not sure what to expect - not sold on Brazil being all that great, and Argentina are a one man team and Messi isn't the player he was, but similarly the European teams don't jump out as being all that good either.

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Post by GSC Thu Nov 10, 2022 5:02 pm

Tend to think what gets overlooked is they're gonna be locked away in a group for up to a month or so. Squad harmony is pretty important (see the French multiple times), so I'd guess players like Gallagher who are in reality probably the 6th choice midfielder in a team that plays two, have to add something off the field. That and might as well bring someone who might gain from being there, rather than someone like JWP who is unlikely to play, or be a part of future squads
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Post by GSC Thu Nov 10, 2022 5:05 pm

dummy_half wrote:
Really not sure what to expect - not sold on Brazil being all that great, and Argentina are a one man team and Messi isn't the player he was, but similarly the European teams don't jump out as being all that good either.

To me it's a bit of a function of just how much football gets played now. If you're playing in a European competition and at a world cup you get basically no break, and after a while everyone kinda gets ground down to a similar level of mediocrity
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Post by Duty281 Thu Nov 10, 2022 5:11 pm

dummy_half wrote:Really not sure what to expect - not sold on Brazil being all that great, and Argentina are a one man team and Messi isn't the player he was, but similarly the European teams don't jump out as being all that good either.

I'm largely thinking the same. The only squad that jumps out to me is France, but they've lost twice to Denmark this year and only managed one win in four games at last year's Euros. I watched some of the Copa America last year and it was quite a poor standard.

It's a very open tournament.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu Nov 10, 2022 7:18 pm

Duty281 wrote:https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/63554507

Blatter realises giving the tournament to Qatar was a mistake, just 12 years too late.
Apparently FIFA committee members were impressed with the information contained in brown paper envelopes.  The decision was widely criticised at the time and Sepp Blatter was one of many giving a detailed justification for the decision.
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Post by Duty281 Fri Nov 11, 2022 5:27 pm

Duty281 wrote:Sounds like Sadio Mane will miss the World Cup through injury. Another blow for the tournament, already littered with lots of injuries, and a huge loss for Senegal.

Mane has been named in the Senegal squad, whether he'll be fit to play any games is another matter.

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Post by dummy_half Tue Nov 15, 2022 11:16 am

Really odd that we are 6 days away from the biggest sporting event of the year, with two home nation teams involved, and there seems to be no excitement for it...

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Post by Duty281 Tue Nov 15, 2022 1:18 pm

dummy_half wrote:Really odd that we are 6 days away from the biggest sporting event of the year, with two home nation teams involved, and there seems to be no excitement for it...

It's like holding Christmas in July. I think once the games start excitement will build, as it's the only top-level football happening for the next month.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue Nov 15, 2022 1:50 pm

Don't know about others but I have no interest in it. There doesn't seem to have been any build up to it. I have been following the Premier League and the Champions League and this seems to be another nuisance break for internationals - albeit a fairly long break.
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Post by dummy_half Tue Nov 15, 2022 3:53 pm

Duty281 wrote:
dummy_half wrote:Really odd that we are 6 days away from the biggest sporting event of the year, with two home nation teams involved, and there seems to be no excitement for it...

It's like holding Christmas in July. I think once the games start excitement will build, as it's the only top-level football happening for the next month.

Agree that the timing is an obvious part of the problem - we were watching PL games as late as Sunday, and with no international warm up games in the couple of weeks that normally are there between the end of the season and the start of the WC. I also think the tournament being in Qatar has had an impact, as the media coverage hs been much more negative than would normally be the case.

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Post by Duty281 Tue Nov 15, 2022 10:07 pm

I've run my (highly accurate, you can take 'em to the bank) predictions through a predictor and the below is what I've ended up with.

Group A: Netherlands and Senegal/Group B: England and Wales/Group C: Argentina and Mexico/Group D: Denmark and France/Group E: Germany and Spain/Group F: Belgium and Croatia/Group G: Brazil and Switzerland/Group H: Portugal and Uruguay.

Last 16: Netherlands/Wales; Argentina/France; Germany/Croatia; Brazil/Uruguay; England/Senegal; Denmark/Mexico; Belgium/Spain; Portugal/Switzerland
QFs: Netherlands/Argentina; Germany/Brazil; England/Denmark; Belgium/Portugal
SFs: Argentina/Brazil; England/Belgium
F: Brazil/Belgium

It's an open tournament, but I do fancy Brazil as the favourites. Rich amount of options in attack, some strong full-backs and tidy midfielders. Surprised I had Belgium going that far, but their half of the draw is quite soft if the groups pan out that way. I did put France in as second-placed behind Denmark, which does open it up a little for England, but I think they'll fall short against the first strong team they play, as usual. Senegal could be a tricky last 16 game for England if Mane is fit, as they're well placed to hit England on the break. Still think Senegal are the most likely team outside of Europe and South America to do something noteworthy, even with Mane's struggles.

As an aside, for UK posters (and possibly outside the UK, I'm not sure) - If you have an account on Bet365, they've got a free-to-play game where you run your predictions through a similar predictor and you win a million if you get everything right. And SkyBet are running the free-to-play Super 6 throughout the tournament - predict 6 scores right, win £100k.

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Post by alfie Wed Nov 16, 2022 6:25 am

For one reason or another I haven't see much football lately so am grateful to Duty for what looks like a fairly comprehensive preview...and complete with what will probably prove to include a few jinxes Smile

Seriously we know European tournaments usually tend to have European teams dominant - and the opposite for those in the Americas...wonder how this "different" location - and different timeslot - will affect that ? But a draw that ends up with two South American teams in one semi and two Europeans in the other doesn't seem too improbable.

Expect we will see at least some unexpected results (would be nice to see Wales , and Australia , exceed expectations) and I really have no idea who will actually win. Hope of course to see England surprise us by going all the way this time ; but if they can't I would love to see Belgium succeed.

Setting aside all the justified reservations about holding the event in this place , I hope we see some entertaining football over the next few weeks...

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Post by dummy_half Wed Nov 16, 2022 10:43 am

Duty281 wrote:I've run my (highly accurate, you can take 'em to the bank) predictions through a predictor and the below is what I've ended up with.

Group A: Netherlands and Senegal/Group B: England and Wales/Group C: Argentina and Mexico/Group D: Denmark and France/Group E: Germany and Spain/Group F: Belgium and Croatia/Group G: Brazil and Switzerland/Group H: Portugal and Uruguay.

Last 16: Netherlands/Wales; Argentina/France; Germany/Croatia; Brazil/Uruguay; England/Senegal; Denmark/Mexico; Belgium/Spain; Portugal/Switzerland
QFs: Netherlands/Argentina; Germany/Brazil; England/Denmark; Belgium/Portugal
SFs: Argentina/Brazil; England/Belgium
F: Brazil/Belgium

...

Doesn't look a bad set of predictions. If it pans out like that from the groups, Belgium v Spain and Argentina v France look the picks of the 2nd round ties. First two quarter finals could go either way, although I wonder if the heat will play a part and favour South American and south European teams over the northern Europeans.

France are the wild card in the draw - on paper a very decent team (even without Pogba, but have a history of being very hot or cold in tournament football. If they are a happy camp, they could go all the way, but if they get mardy (as has happened a few times before), then a relatively early exit beckons

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Post by GSC Wed Nov 16, 2022 11:19 am

It's interesting to me seeing the South American duo being so highly rated given recent European domination of the competition
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Post by Duty281 Wed Nov 16, 2022 7:39 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/63653384

Toney has been charged with 232 (!) betting breaches, which is perhaps why Southgate didn't pick him?

I've also noted that lots of international teams are playing friendlies, but this is something England (and others) have avoided. Just hope England are sharp enough in five days to beat Iran.

The Guardian's preview of the World Cup is a useful guide as well:

32 team guide
Every player profiled

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Post by Duty281 Fri Nov 18, 2022 12:48 pm

Duty281 wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Sounds like Sadio Mane will miss the World Cup through injury. Another blow for the tournament, already littered with lots of injuries, and a huge loss for Senegal.

Mane has been named in the Senegal squad, whether he'll be fit to play any games is another matter.

Mane out for good now, a real shame.

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Post by dummy_half Fri Nov 18, 2022 3:19 pm

BBC pundits predictions mostly going for Brazil, with a few for Argentina and France and one (admitting it was heart rather than head) going for England.
As noted before,the lack of excitement is noticeable.

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Post by Duty281 Fri Nov 18, 2022 6:17 pm

Yeah, most seem quite down on England's chances. If England end up playing one of the big nations and only having 30-40% of the ball, as has usually been the case under Southgate with three centre-backs, it's going to be a massive struggle chasing the ball in that Qatari heat.

But I wouldn't rule them out, there's so many potential winners for me - Brazil, Argentina, France, England, Spain, Germany and Belgium all have a realistic shot, I reckon. Anything outside of that group would be a surprise.

I still think the excitement levels will build as the tournament begins. Generally the worries about tournament hosts, and it is quite common to have concerns about tournament hosts although never to this extent, start to ease as the football starts. Quite a few of the games will be quite low-intensity with the heat situation, however.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat Nov 19, 2022 10:25 am

Infantino trying to defend the ills of Qatar's present by criticising the ills of Europe's past is shocking. We're far from perfect in the UK but we're thankfully far more progressive than the neanderthals running Qatar.

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Post by GSC Sat Nov 19, 2022 10:29 am

This world cup is a monument to the greed and naked lack of self awareness that controls everything around football
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Post by Duty281 Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:24 pm

“Today I feel Qatari,” he began. “Today I feel Arabic. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel [like] a migrant worker.”

The Swiss-born Infantino then compared his struggles growing up with red hair and freckles as a child of migrant workers as helping him understand what ordinary Qataris were going through.

“Of course I am not Qatari, I am not an Arab, I am not African, I am not gay, I am not disabled,” he added. “But I feel like it, because I know what it means to be discriminated [against], to be bullied, as a foreigner in a foreign country. As a child I was bullied – because I had red hair and freckles, plus I was Italian, so imagine.”


He actually went through this speech in his mind and thought it was a good idea.

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Post by GSC Sat Nov 19, 2022 3:24 pm

Being as absolutely generous as I possibly can be, hes not entirely wrong in some senses about the west. But when it's all wrapped in trying to deflect being paid off to put the world's biggest sporting competition in a regressive country wholly unsuited to hosting it, it's a bit harder to take.

It will take FIFA a long time to work off the stain of this world cup happening. If they're even interested in removing it
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Post by Duty281 Sat Nov 19, 2022 11:27 pm

Another blow for France, and the tournament, with Benzema being ruled out of the competition.

Qatar and Ecuador kick it all off tomorrow at 4. A suitably low-key opener, I feel. On paper this will be the easiest game both teams will get at the group stage, with Senegal and the Dutch to come, so you'd think both nations would be targeting a win here, rather than playing safe.

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Post by GSC Sun Nov 20, 2022 3:47 pm

Expecting a clean and not at all controversial referee performance for the opener
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Post by GSC Sun Nov 20, 2022 5:10 pm

3 minutes in and VAR already chalking off an Ecuador goal for some reason nobody can grasp
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Post by Duty281 Sun Nov 20, 2022 5:12 pm

I like Qatar's kit.

I think the offside came from one of the two players around the keeper, but how they worked it out I'm not sure. I said to the other half just before the game started - I wonder when the first VAR controversy will be? Well, there it is, five minutes in.

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Post by GSC Sun Nov 20, 2022 5:27 pm

Pretty much all Ecuador in the opening 20, Qatar's keeper looks a bit of a liability under the high ball
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Nov 20, 2022 5:31 pm

Duty281 wrote:I like Qatar's kit.

I think the offside came from one of the two players around the keeper, but how they worked it out I'm not sure. I said to the other half just before the game started - I wonder when the first VAR controversy will be? Well, there it is, five minutes in.

You know how to sweet talk em don't you Duty Very Happy
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Post by GSC Sun Nov 20, 2022 5:35 pm

Bullet header from Valencia. Not sure Ecuador are doing that much but Qatar look miles off the standard
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Post by Duty281 Sun Nov 20, 2022 5:37 pm

That was a great header. May not see one better all tournament.

Qatar are absolutely dreadful, yet they're Asian champions. Doesn't bode well for the rest of Asia, does it?

Ref's in the Christmas spirit with all these cards he's handing around.

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Post by GSC Sun Nov 20, 2022 5:44 pm

Highlight so far is the qatari singing section
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Post by GSC Sun Nov 20, 2022 5:54 pm

Qatar offer absolutely nothing but miss a sitter from the last touch of the half.
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Post by GSC Sun Nov 20, 2022 6:42 pm

Tough watch this. Ecuador are saving their energy for Senegal and Holland, Qatar are trying to do the basics
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Post by Duty281 Sun Nov 20, 2022 7:04 pm

Interesting opener.

Ecuador looked a good technical side, lots of width, full of confidence, and plenty of pace on the break which could pose a problem to Senegal and the Netherlands. Valencia dominated the Qatari backline in the first half. Can't really judge them on this display alone, but they'll be backing themselves to turn over Senegal and get to the last 16. They changed it down to first gear for the second half with the game safely won. I can see the logic in that - and I think we'll see quite a few games like that - but goal difference could prove to be pivotal, so they may end up regretting not pushing for three or four.

Qatar were dreadful. 11 strangers on the field, no cohesion, and struggled to put consecutive passes together at any kind of tempo. Really lazy forward up top as well (Ali) who seemed to spend the entire game offside. No hope of progression and will presumably lose all three games.

Stadium wasn't full from the off and by the end there was a mass exodus, that's not a good look for the World Cup. No footballing passion in Qatar whatsoever. Ref was also far too card-happy, I hope that's not a theme through the tournament.

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Post by Duty281 Sun Nov 20, 2022 7:28 pm

Tomorrow:

England v Iran - England's easiest game on paper at this group stage, so pressure on to deliver three points from the off. Southgate has won both his previous tournament openers, versus Tunisia and Croatia, so just needs to repeat the trick. Please don't play three-centre backs!

Senegal v Netherlands - Intriguing match-up, though Senegal are rocked by losing their talismanic forward Mane. From what I saw of Senegal at the African Nations Cup they're a well organised team with speed on the break, the Dutch will have to work hard to break them down. It's van Gaal's third time managing the Dutch and he's built a solid team around the rock that is Virgil van Dijk, albeit they may not have much quality up front. If there's a winner they'll be practically through to the last 16 already, with three points to come from the Qatar game!

Wales v USA - This should be another interesting game between the two sides predicted to be battling for second. Wales are on a bit of a roll having qualified for three of the last four major tournaments, and they held their nerve by coming through pressure games in the playoffs to get here. USA's qualification was also a close-run thing, coming in third behind Canada and Mexico and only making it on goal-difference. Both teams are coming in to Qatar on ropey form - Wales have lost five of their past seven, and the USA have won only two of their past seven. USA are also going in with the second-youngest squad of the tournament. Haven't seen much of the USA, but apparently they like to press high and play possession football, a contrast to previous USA teams at World Cups. If there isn't an early goal this should be a very tense and edgy affair.

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Post by Duty281 Sun Nov 20, 2022 7:32 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2022/nov/20/england-harry-kane-may-abandon-onelove-armband-booking-fear-world-cup-qatar-take-knee

Could be further farce.

England’s players will take the knee before the start of their game against Iran on Monday but Harry Kane must decide whether to support LGBTQ+ rights by wearing the “OneLove” rainbow captain’s armband amid fears that the gesture could earn an instant booking.

In the latest farcical development to grip the World Cup, a potential row is brewing after it was suggested that referees could be left with no option but to caution captains who wear the “OneLove” armband in Qatar. Fifa has asked that all captains wear a different armband on each match day, promoting social messages such as “Football unites the world”, “Share the meal” and “Bring the moves”.

The president of the German football federation (DFB), Bernd Neuendorf, has said Germany are prepared to be fined if Manuel Neuer wears the rainbow armband against Japan on Wednesday. However the DFB is concerned that Neuer could be booked.

Virgil van Dijk is worried about the consequences of wearing the armband when the Netherlands face Senegal on Monday. “I will wear the one love armband,” the Netherlands captain said. “Nothing changed from our point of view. If I will get a yellow card for wearing it then we would have to discuss it because I don’t like to play while being on a yellow.”

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Post by GSC Sun Nov 20, 2022 7:37 pm

FIFA has absolutely no shame so why not
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Post by Duty281 Sun Nov 20, 2022 11:56 pm

Leaked England team for tomorrow: Pickford; Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Bellingham, Mount; Sterling, Kane, Saka.

We'll see how accurate it turns out to be, the leaks from the Euros were spot on. The journalist in question saying it's a 4-3-3, not a 4-2-3-1, with Bellingham and Mount both playing in a more advanced role than Rice.

If true it's the right shape, and hopefully something that Southgate can maintain all the way through, but disappointing to see no Foden. How much impact the pace of Sterling and Saka will have, against an opposition likely to sit deep, remains to be seen. If Trent isn't starting in this one, with Walker ruled out, I don't think we'll see him all tournament barring an injury crisis.

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Post by alfie Mon Nov 21, 2022 7:35 am

Interesting "leaked team". So not three CBs , then ? My instinct likes this ; but given the concerns England seem to have had re their defence recently wasn't at all sure they would go this way. Will it be the same against the stronger teams later , I wonder ?

Really couldn't complain about the players named above (yeah I know Maguire is there from past tournament efforts , not current form , etc , etc - how that works we will have to watch and see) ; and many people wouldn't start Sterling (though I always would) : but I reckon it is a very handy looking opening set up . And with five subs allowed now and the heat factor the replacements should have plenty of opportunities as the game proceeds anyway.
Probably fair to say Southgate hasn't always got his subs right (though I do think some of his critics are guilty of just assuming their own preferred options would have been better : obviously never put to the test !) so I hope he is on the ball tonight.

Nice time zone fit for me , this one - bit less so the Wales game but can always avoid spoilers and stream... On with the show !

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon Nov 21, 2022 10:20 am

GSC wrote:FIFA has absolutely no shame so why not

Infantino needs to stop talking now. Should Iran a country that subjugates it's female population be permitted to participate? Absolutely not, political ideology is one thing but actively and aggressively denying rights to women is completely unacceptable, these countries should not be given an international sporting platform.

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Post by GSC Mon Nov 21, 2022 10:29 am

I disagree, he never should've started talking
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