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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 07 Nov 2022, 2:35 pm

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 Duty281 Tue 22 Nov 2022, 7:11 pm

Oh my God. The World Cup is on acid.

I was baffled by the French standing off so much and they've been punished with a beautiful diagonal and perfectly timed cross.

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Post by GSC Tue 22 Nov 2022, 7:14 pm

Just 0 intensity from the French. Australia had started nicely
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Post by alfie Tue 22 Nov 2022, 7:17 pm

What a great strike ! Just the start Australia wanted ... And the French injury list growing as well...

Not too shocked they are taking it to the French early on. Might not have the same class but they don't lack for spirit. Way to go yet of course . But for now thumbsup

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Post by GSC Tue 22 Nov 2022, 7:23 pm

France have bundles of talent in the final third. But nobody behind them is putting in a shift so far. It's been weirdly comfortable for Australia so far
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Post by GSC Tue 22 Nov 2022, 7:24 pm

That wasn't far away 😳. Lloris might have had it covered though
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Post by GSC Tue 22 Nov 2022, 7:29 pm

Rabiot equalises with a fairly simple header. Might wake France up
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Post by alfie Tue 22 Nov 2022, 7:31 pm

Well that was coming , I guess. Had a wake up call but the French are starting to look more like the advertised version now...


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Post by GSC Tue 22 Nov 2022, 7:33 pm

And Giroud makes it 2-1 and normal service has indeed resumed
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Post by alfie Tue 22 Nov 2022, 7:33 pm

But that was bad defending...

Not going to get away with that against these fellows.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 22 Nov 2022, 7:40 pm

Didn't shut down the secondary cross for the equaliser. Might be able to get away with that v Vietnam, but not France. And then the French pressed up the field, forced the error, and the world is back to a semblance of normality.

On the bright side, Saudi were also a goal down at one point!

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Post by Duty281 Tue 22 Nov 2022, 7:49 pm

Ooh, Australia hit the post. But six minutes of stoppage time? Where from? It's getting ridiculous.

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Post by alfie Tue 22 Nov 2022, 7:49 pm

Looks a different game now. France look like scoring every time they go forward now.

Australia can't defend their way back into this. Have to upset them again with some bold attacking...and nearly did then !

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Post by alfie Tue 22 Nov 2022, 7:52 pm

Duty281 wrote:Ooh, Australia hit the post. But six minutes of stoppage time? Where from? It's getting ridiculous.

The New Order , it seems. Each half shall consist of 45 minutes ...no , make that 52-58. Maybe add on a bit more if one of the favoured teams is needing a late goal ?

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Post by alfie Tue 22 Nov 2022, 7:54 pm

Anyway 2-1 at halfway. Could be worse. Good game to watch .

Doesn't sound like I missed too much by getting sleep through the two earlier matches ?

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Post by alfie Tue 22 Nov 2022, 8:32 pm

France taking a real grip as the third goal goes in... This could get ugly for Australia now.

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Post by alfie Tue 22 Nov 2022, 8:38 pm

Yes ...maybe very ugly.

Can't do anything to stop Mbappe. Giroud doesn't miss those... 4-1.

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Post by GSC Tue 22 Nov 2022, 8:43 pm

Might be time to see what's on tomorrow. Not much sadly
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Post by GSC Tue 22 Nov 2022, 9:02 pm

Fair enough to Australia. Made France sweat for a spell but in the end that attacking talent got into gear
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Post by GSC Tue 22 Nov 2022, 9:06 pm

Argentina - Saudi Arabia aside it's been a mixture of one sided games, and mid tier nations playing not to lose so far. Doesn't really bode well for when another 16 teams turn up in 4 years time.
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Post by westisbest Tue 22 Nov 2022, 9:14 pm

Not a bad World Cup so far, from what I’ve seen.
Enjoyed the USA Wales game. Feel USA should have been a couple of goals up at half time, they will be disappointed.

They are lacking a top striker.

Great start from Australia tonight. Thought it would have been a bit closer.

Looking forward to Belgium v Canada tomorrow night. Interesting to see how David does.

Big shock already, what the tournament needs. Fancy Argentina to win their next 2 games though.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 22 Nov 2022, 9:17 pm

France got to add a bit of gloss in the end, but credit to Australia for a hard-working and resilient effort against the odds.

Still don't know what to make of France, we'll get a better idea from their next game. Have a greater ceiling of potential than any team, will they reach it?

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Post by Duty281 Tue 22 Nov 2022, 9:22 pm

GSC wrote:Argentina - Saudi Arabia aside it's been a mixture of one sided games, and mid tier nations playing not to lose so far. Doesn't really bode well for when another 16 teams turn up in 4 years time.

That and the god-awful structure for the next World Cup with groups of three and two teams going through, which is ripe for awfulness. There could be unfairness - e.g. a situation with France on 3 points, Tunisia on 1 and Oman on 1, and France play Tunisia last in a low-intensity 0-0 with neither team exerting themselves because they know a draw suits them. And there's 16 groups so it's bound to happen at least once - but there'll also be more mismatches and more teams playing defensive (as 2 points likely gets a team through).

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Post by Duty281 Tue 22 Nov 2022, 10:59 pm

Tomorrow then:

Morocco v Croatia - Croatia have been in decline since reaching the final in 2018, but Modric remains the beating heart of the side able to drive his team on to greater things. Morocco are a bit like Poland - they've got a couple of star names  (Hakimi and Ziyech) but the rest is a mystery. They stormed through qualifying without losing a game.

Germany v Japan - Japan always turn up at these World Cups, though they never seem to do much. Maybe this time? Qualifying was a breeze for them, narrowly finishing behind Saudi Arabia, and they've got a young squad built around a packed midfield. Packed to keep the Germans out tomorrow. The Germans, meanwhile, are quite miserable. Since reaching the Euro 2016 semi-finals, tournament football has been a continual disappointment, and prolonged disappointment is unthinkable. The seemingly ageless Neuer remains in goal, lots of physicality in defence with Rudiger and Sule, and creativity and pace exists through Havertz, Gnabry, Muller and Sane. Might just be lacking a quality 9? The Germans are in poor form coming into this.

Spain v Costa Rica - Spain in 2010 got many people to sleep. Spain in 2022 is quite different with an attack-minded formation, high tempo and the typical high press. Aiming to go a little better than last year where they fell in the semi-finals to Italy on penalties. Costa Rica got a new coach in 2021, he was very mad and has tried 77 players since coming in. Somewhere in the madness Costa Rica recovered from their slow qualifying start to bundle New Zealand out of the way and get here. They surprised everyone in 2014 by topping a group that contained Italy, England and Uruguay, and this is a similarly illustrious group they find themselves in.

Belgium v Canada - Oh Canada are here for the first time since 1986. They surprised many by surpassing the USA and Mexico in qualifying. Similar to the USA, Canada favour a high press, but they also like to strike on the counter and use the pace players to their advantage. Canada are built around the star that is Alphonso Davies, who likes to play in a much more advanced position for his country than his club, but they can win without him as he missed a lot of their qualifying games. And as a main striker they have the two-footed dribbling maestro that is Jonathan David. They might not make it to the last 16, however they'll be fun to watch while they are here. Belgium looks pretty usual, with KdB the creative and inspirational hub, in what is probably this generation's last chance of getting silverware for their country. I've tipped them for the final, somehow, so they better not let me down unless they play England!

Also tomorrow - Harry Kane is having a scan on his ankle. That does not sound good. At all. Tournament-ender or false alarm?

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Post by alfie Wed 23 Nov 2022, 7:26 am

Hopefully Kane isn't going to be a serious injury concern and they are just playing it safe. Probably can get away with him missing a group game (although he certainly contributed to some of the scoring against Iran even if he didn't bag any himself). Rest him for the US game maybe ?

Haven't seen anything on how Maguire pulled up after having to go off the other day. Thought he played quite well after all the (quite reasonable !) doubts coming in ; so would be ironic if he were now sidelined by injury. Though it would undoubtedly please much of the Internet Smile

France looked pretty good attacking. Maybe they are a bit loose in defence though ? Might get a better idea when they play stronger teams than Australia. As for the Aussies all is not yet lost . Will have to play well but with the other pair drawing it's a simple task: win one draw one and you're in (assuming France don't lose any) Not impossible...

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Post by alfie Wed 23 Nov 2022, 7:34 am

Duty281 wrote:
GSC wrote:Argentina - Saudi Arabia aside it's been a mixture of one sided games, and mid tier nations playing not to lose so far. Doesn't really bode well for when another 16 teams turn up in 4 years time.

That and the god-awful structure for the next World Cup with groups of three and two teams going through, which is ripe for awfulness. There could be unfairness - e.g. a situation with France on 3 points, Tunisia on 1 and Oman on 1, and France play Tunisia last in a low-intensity 0-0 with neither team exerting themselves because they know a draw suits them. And there's 16 groups so it's bound to happen at least once - but there'll also be more mismatches and more teams playing defensive (as 2 points likely gets a team through).

Yeah that 48 team business sounds crazy. Many of the qualifiers will be even more predictable than now (suppose FIFA will be glad USA will find it practically impossible to ever miss out !) and when we do get to the main event 16 teams will be only getting to play twice. And a last 32 knockout round ? Imagine , say , France and Brazil meeting at sudden death so early in the competition : the sort of thing that might be hard to avoid with this system. Seedings will be a bigger deal than ever. But TV networks will presumably be happy...

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Post by eirebilly_01 Wed 23 Nov 2022, 8:10 am

When the Poland Mexico game started, there was not a murmur to be heard in Warsaw. The noise that followed RL penalty miss was very loud.

I have to say that I thought that the Mexican fans were fantastic from what i could see on the TV.

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Post by westisbest Wed 23 Nov 2022, 9:23 am

Morocco v Croatia and Spain v Costa Rica, don’t have any interest in watching, probably end up being thee best two games so far Wink

Will aim to watch Germany v Japan, could be a good game.
Tonight’s game interests me. Belgium, auality side, will be looking to go far, can they?
Looking forward to see how Canada do. David seems a good player.
Larin, looks half decent to.

Hopefully a good game.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 23 Nov 2022, 9:58 am

France's full-back Hernandez ruled out of the tournament after sustaining an ACL injury last night. Injuries continue to tot up for the French.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 23 Nov 2022, 10:51 am

Another slow burner this game. Croatia have been very ponderous in possession, and slow on the press despite some previous Morocco errors in their own defensive third, but they have had a couple of good chances before the break, forcing the only save of the half from point-blank range. Morocco have been mainly happy to sit off, but they've moved the ball quickly when they have had it. Ziyech is finding quite a bit of space, and hit some nice long passes with no one getting on the end of them.

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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 11:50 am

Some of these teams that are playing not to lose are going to regret it when they go out on goal difference
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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 11:57 am

3 0-0 draws in 4 games after the big shock. Some of these teams need to be a bit braver. Win this game, beat Canada and it's pretty difficult not to qualify. Leaving it to chance isn't really much better imo
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Post by Duty281 Wed 23 Nov 2022, 11:59 am

It seems the Argentina-Saudi game didn't wake the World Cup up; instead it sent it to sleep. Three 0-0s in four games since that upset.

Croatia very much like Denmark, only with reduced ambition and incision. They were happy to settle. Strange they didn't go for it as it now increases the pressure on them to beat Canada. Suppose Morocco think it's a good point, they'll be content.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 23 Nov 2022, 12:53 pm

England are optimistic that captain Harry Kane has not suffered any significant damage to his ankle after the striker underwent a scan.

Manager Gareth Southgate must still decide whether or not to start Kane against the United States on Friday, but the news on his injury was treated as encouraging within the England camp.

There is optimism that Kane will not be ruled out of the World Cup or miss any large part of the tournament while the Football Association waited to provide any official confirmation of the scan result.


Promising...

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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 1:33 pm

Penalty to Germany and this might be a bit of a hammering
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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 1:53 pm

Germany are a tough watch. Lots of possession, not very much penetration. Musiala is their best player by a long way.

Japan have done ok, saved by VAR at the end of the half but some promising counters
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Post by Duty281 Wed 23 Nov 2022, 1:56 pm

It's a frustrating German team because they have so many creators, but they lack a Klose type to regularly finish the chances. That prevents them being leading contenders. If Kane or Lewandowski were German you'd have them right up there.

Anyway, Germany in control. Some lovely interchanges around the penalty area, Musiala is so very good. The Japanese steadily got deeper as the half wore on. They defended competently for the most part, but it was simply unforgivable that they gave Raum so much freedom in the box three times, the third of which led to the penalty.

Japan have had some flashes in attack - Maeda could have scored an Aussie-type goal early on if he just checked his run - but they're mainly struggling to get out of their half. Looks like it'll be another World Cup of nothing much from them, and we'll see them again in 2026.

Very bad error by the linesman just before HT, so we got to see a rare good use of VAR.

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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 2:30 pm

Japan getting a fair amount of joy here, Germany could use a second
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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 2:35 pm

Not sure how Japan didn't score there. Almost an open goal
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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 2:38 pm

And now they are level!
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Post by eirebilly_01 Wed 23 Nov 2022, 2:40 pm

Oh dear, this is all going a bit Pete Tong for Germany.

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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 2:41 pm

Japan have deserved an equaliser. Germany have been very mediocre in this second half. 10 minutes for either side to find a winner
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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 2:45 pm

JAPAN
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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 2:46 pm

What a touch and finish. Germany staring down the barrel of having to beat Spain
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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 2:50 pm

Nice to see replays of crowd reactions as Japan are in behind
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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 3:01 pm

Just when this world cup starts getting boring...

Germany get what they deserve for a flat performance with some pretty shocking defending. Now really up against it with Spain to come
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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Wed 23 Nov 2022, 3:03 pm

Spent a lot of time in Japan over the years and they are a lovely bunch of people. Respectful, dignified and courteous. Delighted for them.

Mind the windows Tino.
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Post by Galted Wed 23 Nov 2022, 3:05 pm

Mind the windows Tino. wrote:Spent a lot of time in Japan over the years and they are a lovely bunch of people. Respectful, dignified and courteous. Delighted for them.

And people still question bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
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Post by Duty281 Wed 23 Nov 2022, 3:07 pm

Wow, well done Japan! They have done something.

The second half started with a training ground intensity, yet soon launched into life. I don't know how Germany didn't make it 2-0. Gundogan hit the post, Musiala blazed over after an amazing run, and Gonda made four saves in a minute. Somehow remained 1-0.

Then Japan got up the other end. The first goal was well constructed, but the German defending for the second was a disgrace. It reminded me of Germany's first v England in 2010. A basic long ball, Sule way too deep playing the man onside, and Neuer's keeping at the near post was utterly amateur.

Japan's changes altered the game, particularly Tomiyasu at the start of the half which gave them a foothold in midfield, but also the introduction of Mitoma and Minamino. Germany's subs by contrast were baffling. Why take Musiala off early, and Gnabry right at the last knockings?

Germany hanging by a thread again. Lose to Spain and it's nearly all over. Japan also showed that Germany were vulnerable in the transition phase to a high press, making a number of errors in possession. A better pressing team, such as Spain, will be able to exploit that.

England score six. Germany and the Argies lose. Best World Cup ever.

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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 4:19 pm

Spain already ahead and pinging it around nicely
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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 4:23 pm

2-0 up now after 20, this one might actually be a hammering!
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