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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
 
 
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Post by Duty281 Mon 7 Nov - 14:35

First topic message reminder :

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 mountain man Mon 21 Nov - 15:53

Ha! To think some moan about TMO in rugby. At least right decision (usually) reached there.
How was that a penalty for Iran but rugby tackle on Maguire not even reviewed?

utter farce.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 21 Nov - 15:58

Some thoughts:
Iran barely got a kick all game. Our composure with the ball was impressive.
Saka-Kane-Sterling looked a good strike force. Then again so did Rashford-Kane/Wilson-Grealish.
I think over time Foden will take over from Mount as the attacking central midfielder - technically so solid.
Bellingham will be a bit special when he grows up. I know the commentators made comparison with Robson, but he's a bit more languid, and has better technique with the ball at his feet - reminds me of some of the xlassic German midfielders like Schweinsteiger
Defence was a bit dozy at times, but I think that's inevitable with so little to do

It's funny how Southgate has a reputation for being ultra-defensive, yet every so often we have these games where we just batter what are supposed to be reasonable opponents - yes, I know the FIFA rankings are not necessarily that accurate, but a team int he top 20, regardless of which Federation it's from, should be half way decent.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 21 Nov - 16:09

mountain man wrote:Ha! To think some moan about TMO in rugby. At least right decision (usually) reached there.
How was that a penalty for Iran but rugby tackle on Maguire not even reviewed?

utter farce.

While the Iran penalty was a bit soft, technically it was a foul, so I've no real complaints about that one being given. The rugby tackle on Maguire though - the refs and FIFA have to make sure those are given, so that defenders have to defend the ball not the man. Surely one of the points of VAR is to allow the assistant to look at things a bit away from the ball that the ref can't watch.

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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 16:12

Great start to Holland Senegal
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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 16:50

Decent game, the Dutch have spurned quite a few good chances, not least De Jong but Senegal look lively
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Post by Duty281 Mon 21 Nov - 16:56

Yeah, it's been a good watch. England, should they get through, will probably be playing one of these teams.

Dutch are playing a lot deeper than I thought they would, leaving quite a gap between defence and midfield and vulnerable to a counter. Their wingbacks have been excellent and the crossing has been good. De Jong is finding so much space to influence the game - Senegal need to get someone to man mark him and use their greater physicality to their advantage. Haven't seen much of Gakpo, but Bergwijn's pace is troublesome. They should be ahead.

Senegal have worked hard to keep the Netherlands out, but chance creation has been at a premium. They're favouring a direct approach from their own half, but with the three towers the Dutch have it's quite fruitless. Their main danger has been Sarr down the left up against De Ligt. Dutch might consider pulling Dumfries back to help out with that.

Referee has been very strict on the set-pieces, which seems to indicate referees have been briefed to be stricter on shirt-pulling/grappling and the like. This makes Maguire's non penalty even more baffling!

Both teams would probably view this as a good point.

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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 17:02

Senegal of course are only 2 places higher than Iran in the world rankings
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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 17:22

I had completely forgotten all about Vincent jansson
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Post by Duty281 Mon 21 Nov - 17:23

Very surprised the Dutch are putting Depay on for this with his injury issues.

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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 17:26

Apparently FIFA were threatening suspensions rather than yellow cards for wearing the one love armbands
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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 17:34

Gueye should score. Smashed it straight at the keeper
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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 17:40

Apparently this game is over the stadium capacity. A lot of people came dressed as empty seats
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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 17:48

Holland finally ahead through Gakpo. Senegal 5 minutes to try and grab something
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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 17:59

That might be why Kepa starts for Chelsea
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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 18:03

Holland probably deserving winners on the strength of their first half. Turned into a real grind in the second half and Senegal had a chance before Holland took the lead
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Post by Duty281 Mon 21 Nov - 18:05

Solid win for the Dutch. De Jong providing the key pass for the opener, Senegal didn't shut him down, and Gakpo finished it with a perfectly-timed run. Mendy will be disappointed with both goals.

Pretty much means the Dutch are through to the last 16 with the Qatar game surely going to boost their points tally to 6. Kouyate off looks a huge loss for Senegal.

Think we saw why both teams aren't in with a realistic chance of winning the competition. Both solid and well-organised, yes, but lacking a lot of creativity and end product. Tough to beat (Senegal less so) but won't be scoring many.

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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 18:16

That Welsh defense looks...interesting. seems very much in the 2016 mold of Bale do something special
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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 18:49

Belgium have been told to remove the word love from the inside of the collar of their away shirt
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Post by Duty281 Mon 21 Nov - 18:56

Surprised the Welsh aren't starting Moore. The USA don't have the biggest centre-backs and I felt Moore's aerial presence could be a telling factor. Massive game for Ramsey, he needs to dominate the midfield and use his experience to cope with the (expected) USA press. James' pace could exploit a high American line.

USA's team is very interesting as there's a lot of young players in it and it'll be interesting to see how they cope with the pressure of World Cup football. They'll be expecting a lot from Pulisic, but he hasn't started much for Chelsea this season.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 21 Nov - 19:11

Yeah, Wales should have definitely started Moore. They're suffocated by the high USA press and have no outball as they're forced to go direct.

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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 19:18

To be seen how long the US can maintain this intensity but Wales very lucky to not be behind
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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 19:33

Been one way traffic so far. US look slick and well drilled, haven't quite worked an opening yet though
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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 19:38

And US deservedly lead. Been miles better so far
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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 19:51

Tend to agree with Duty. They need a way to bypass the us press because they just can't play out of their own half
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Post by Duty281 Mon 21 Nov - 19:56

USA coasting so far. Their midfield - Mckennie*, Adams and Musah - looks absolute top quality, especially Musah who has dictated a lot of the proceedings. I see Musah represented England up to U18 level, before declaring for the USA. Just think the one thing the USA are lacking is a proper striker, they're playing without a 9 pretty much, although Weah's finish was beautiful.

Wales not in it so far. Ramsey and Ampadu have been bested quite comfortably in the battle for the middle, and Bale and James have had nothing to work with. Changes need to be made now, none of this 'give it another ten minutes and we'll see' kinda thing. Get Moore on, get him to hold it up.

The one hope for Wales is that the USA's intensity has dipped since they've gone one ahead, and that's allowed Wales to get further up the field and into the game a little more - but only 34% possession in the first half, chasing the ball in that heat, could start to tell in the second half.

Looks like an exciting future for the USA with this young team, particularly as they're one of the hosts in 2026.

Another card-happy ref, also. He's been escalating a lot of the flashpoints in the game.

*Fortunate not to see red for his challenge.

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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 20:20

US have really dropped off and Wales getting good possession now
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Post by Duty281 Mon 21 Nov - 20:25

Type of game now where if Wales get the equaliser they'll be the more likelier of the two to get the winner.

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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 20:43

Wales haven't really done much but one dodgy challenge in the box and they're level
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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 21:02

Think if the US don't go through they'll rue this second half badly. Really dropped off and allowed Wales to get into some advanced positions. Credit to Wales for fighting back into though


Last edited by GSC on Mon 21 Nov - 21:43; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Duty281 Mon 21 Nov - 21:11

Draw's fair, I think. First draw of the World Cup. Wales did very little in the first, USA very little in the second.

Introduction of Moore gave Wales an outlet and got them up the field, allowing them to exert pressure on the Americans. This was helped by a considerable drop in the intensity of the USA side. May have been somewhat tactical, as they started to drop after Weah's goal, but also in part due to energy levels, with a number of USA players cramping up towards the end.

Equaliser was deserved. Moore should have scored just before that from the corner. USA became very predictable in the second half with everything going through Pulisic. Bale was a ball of energy, but lacked quality in possession. It reminded me a bit of England still bestowing faith on Rooney in 2014/16. Full credit to Neco Williams on the left flank for Wales who did absolutely everything for his country, did the work of two players and then some more. Ramsey got into the game far more as the USA dropped off and fused defence to attack.

Leaves the group fantastically balanced. You'd think both teams are favourite to beat Iran, but lose to England. GD might be key, although England rarely (never?) win all three games at a group stage.

Will be interested to see if the USA try to maintain this high-press against England. You'd think England's pace merchants would absolutely love to exploit the space in behind. Wonder also if the USA will start Wright, who offers a physical presence, at the expense of Sargent who did nothing. The midfield battle, with Bellingham up against Musah, could be good to watch. I reckon England are in a lot better condition than America as well.

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Post by GSC Mon 21 Nov - 21:16

10am game tomorrow, though it's Argentina Vs Saudi Arabia
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Post by RiscaGame Mon 21 Nov - 22:39

I didn’t want Moore starting tonight at first, because sometimes we long ball him too often and not get anybody on to his headers. Johnson for James next game too. If Allen gets fit, I wonder if we go 3 at the back again. Certainly shouldn’t against Iran anyway.

For Friday, I would be tempted to go

Hennessey
Roberts Mepham Davies Neco
Allen (if fit) Ampadu
Ramsey
Bale Moore Johnson

Thought Rodon looked the shakiest of the centre halves. Not a bad result, considering they out rank us. Wish Kieffer had actually scored that header though, as that’s usually his forte

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Post by Duty281 Mon 21 Nov - 22:56

Four games a day starts tomorrow, as GSC notes it's kicking off a bit earlier:

Argentina v Saudi - Would be one of the biggest upsets in WC history if Saudi Arabia beat Argentina. Saudi Arabia topped a group involving Japan and Australia, so perhaps they're not going to be complete pushovers, but Argentina should stroll to a comfortable victory.

Denmark v Tunisia - Anticipating a solid win for Denmark, who have recently beaten the French home and away, and are looking to build on a very good Euros campaign. Tunisia scraped past Equatorial Guinea and Mali to get here and apparently favour a 4-5-1 formation, aiming to be difficult to break down.

Mexico v Poland - Game of the day for me. With Argentina and Saudi locked in at 1st and 4th respectively (surely), this is the battle for second place and knockout qualification right here. Poland have star man Lewandowski and nothing else, except maybe Zielinski. The nothing else won out at the last Euros. Mexico are the most consistent team in the World Cup. At the last seven World Cups, going back to 1994, they've qualified for the last 16 every single time, and been knocked out in the last 16 every single time. Their wide players, particularly Lozano, will be key to the game.

France v Australia - Hmm, which France? The 2018 world champions and the ones on paper that look phenomenal - with Mbappe, Griezmann, Tchouameni, Rabiot - or the ones that had a disappointing Euros and have only won one of their last six? Either way, it should surely be too much for Australia, who got here via penalties via Peru and have declined steeply from the vintage that offered up Cahill and Viduka.

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Post by alfie Tue 22 Nov - 6:03

Caught up with all this ... thought Wales did well to get out of that one with a draw after being completely run rings around all through the first half. I mean they could easily have been three down by half time and it would have been easy to have lost heart - but they battled away and bossed the game later as the US boys seemed to tire from their earlier exertions. Was wondering if they were going to actually manufacture an equalizer so the penalty was welcome ; but agree they were fully deserving of a share of the points.
USA very lively early - and very attacking. Wonder if they will come out as boldly against England ? Given the way England have started the competition that could make for an exciting first half hour !

Dutch will be happy with their win ; Senegal doubtless disappointed after being very much in the game for much of it. Think they might fancy getting through anyway though Ecuador won't be a pushover...

Side note : not sure I am too fond of this new timekeeping system that results in something like ten minutes added on each half. Matches are long enough in these conditions anyway and even if some minutes are taken up with just standing around watching treatment etc all those extra minutes (likely to add up to hours , if today was typical , over the course of the competition !) are going to impact players by the time the final matches roll around. I get they want to give fans full value and cut down on time wasting ; but still...

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Post by eirebilly_01 Tue 22 Nov - 6:10

As I said yesterday before the games, Nederland should not be underestimated.
They are not a great team but are very solid.

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Post by alfie Tue 22 Nov - 6:26

Hi eirebilly : what convenient time zone has you up and around at this moment ?

Agree one should never underestimate the Dutch. Probably not likely to win the thing but won't be surprised to see them a difficult opponent for anyone on the knockout rounds. Took them a long time to score today but they got the job done and that is what counts - and with Qatar to come they have pretty well qualified already...

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Post by eirebilly_01 Tue 22 Nov - 6:32

Morning alfie, back out in Warsaw for my sins.

The Dutch will be incredibly hard to beat and will nick the odd goal which is why i have them as contenders. If De Jong has a good game, they can beat many teams.

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Post by GSC Tue 22 Nov - 8:40

Dutch remind me a bit of England in the past 2 tournaments. Solid first but trying to manufacture attacking output. England had Kane, the Dutch don't really have anyone prolific. Might need the likes of Van Dijk to pop up from set pieces
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Post by GSC Tue 22 Nov - 9:04

GSC wrote:Belgium have been told to remove the word love from the inside of the collar of their away shirt

And now the shirts will be changed because apparently "Love" is deeply offensive
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Post by dummy_half Tue 22 Nov - 9:38

Only saw the fist half and last couple of minutes of the USA v Wales game. Don't think England have much to fear from either if that's their level. I reckon the draw is probably better for Wales, as they will obviously be favourites to beat Iran while the US will be doing well to get anything out of the England game. If so, Wales will only need a draw against an already-through England to ensure progression.

As for England, the question really is whether that was a good performance against a fairly limited opponent, or a very good performance making a decent side look poor.

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Post by GSC Tue 22 Nov - 9:51

Iran might be awkward. Wales will probably have to pick a more attacking lineup as Iran are apparently a competent defensive lineup (not that we saw it). Reasonable chance this comes down to goal difference so want a heavy win on Friday ideally.
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Post by Duty281 Tue 22 Nov - 10:11

Softest penalty I've seen in my life, but a further indicator that refereeing will be strict at set-pieces.

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Post by eirebilly_01 Tue 22 Nov - 10:34

the people using VAR have raised their heads again here. VAR is ok but its the people that use it that seem a bit off to me.

Looked a goal to me.

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Post by mountain man Tue 22 Nov - 10:45

If England attack at pace against Wales they will cut them to pieces. Wales will run out of steam for sure, don't look fit enough or good enough.
USA be a tricky match, they played with real intensity first half but did drop off.

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Post by GSC Tue 22 Nov - 10:48

US backline is more suspect than ours honestly. Think if we play past their press unlike Wales theres not too much resistance.

Wales will be up for our game, but they look a bit limited and dependent on inspiration.
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Post by Duty281 Tue 22 Nov - 10:57

Curious high line from Saudi, I think it's surprised the Argentines as well. And it has worked for the most part, though certainly high risk. Argentina have looked very disjointed in the final third, but haven't had much to worry about at the other end.

VAR for the penalty was a nonsense. I expect teams attacking set-pieces to throw themselves to the floor at the slightest provocation if this is the line officials will take, where minimal contact equals a penalty. Equally, teams defending set-pieces will be more hesitant to defend in the usual hefty fashion and this could lead to more headed goals.

Bit of argy-bargy between Souness and Keane on ITV.

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Post by GSC Tue 22 Nov - 11:03

The Keane/Souness charm wears off pretty quickly
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Post by GSC Tue 22 Nov - 11:14

And we have a game
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Post by Duty281 Tue 22 Nov - 11:15

Excellent finish, rubbish from the centre-backs. There is a vulnerability if a team can run at that Argentine defence, but I didn't expect Saudi to be able to exploit it!

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Post by GSC Tue 22 Nov - 11:17

Upset klaxon

Saudi Arabia lead!
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