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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 dummy_half Wed 23 Nov 2022, 4:35 pm

3-0 after half an hour. Just a matter now of how many.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 23 Nov 2022, 4:35 pm

Difficult to know whether Costa Rica are dreadful, or if Spain are just that good. Leaning towards the former as some of their defensive positioning has been poor, but the second round of games will tell us more.

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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 4:51 pm

Should probably be 4 just before halftime.

Spain absolutely cruising. Probably start resting a few before the Germany game
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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 5:17 pm

Ferran doing his best Fernando impression
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Post by Duty281 Wed 23 Nov 2022, 5:55 pm

7! Biggest mismatch so far.

Looking forward to Spain v Germany on Sunday.

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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 6:02 pm

I get what we're trying to do with added time in this tournament.

But maybe we don't need 8 minutes more when it's 6-0
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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 6:03 pm

Anyway an absolute cruise for Spain who ripped apart a pretty tame Costa Rica. Shouldn't be underestimated after Germany and Argentina fell flat
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Post by Duty281 Wed 23 Nov 2022, 6:06 pm

18% possession and zero shots. Ouch. Even Qatar managed a shot or two (I think).

In qualifying Costa Rica finished 14 points ahead of Jamaica. And Jamaica would qualify for 2026 on that basis.

Oh well. Hope Canada take the game to Belgium.

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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 6:17 pm

Spain didn't concede a corner or take a goal kick. Has to be a first
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Post by westisbest Wed 23 Nov 2022, 7:14 pm

Thought he would miss that. Left foot. New where he was putting it.
Shame. Canada looking decent so far.

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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 7:24 pm

I feel like most of this Belgium team were in their golden generation 10 years ago.

Youd have to back yourself if you have plenty of pace and running in your team
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Post by westisbest Wed 23 Nov 2022, 7:45 pm

Hmm. Keeper maybe shoukd have done better.

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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 7:46 pm

Belgium have been awful but they lead just before halftime
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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 7:52 pm

Canada just have to keep going in the second half and they can win this. Belgium just look old
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Post by Duty281 Wed 23 Nov 2022, 7:58 pm

Canada are such a breath of fresh air. After some real turgid efforts from the likes of Denmark and Croatia, Canada are showing what football is - ambition, running, creativity, fearlessness and attack.

How they're not ahead is a mystery. Several good chances even aside from the penalty. Not just Davies, but David, Hoilett, Buchanan and Eustaquio taking the Belgians on. If there's one criticism it's that they're committing so many to attack that they don't have many in defence...and it's not exactly a strong defence. If Canada aren't disheartened by the goal, they'll score a couple in this next half.

Belgium have just looked a little shellshocked and unsure. But they're getting the space on the counter and they've got a good bench - Mertens and Trossard can stretch the Canadians further.

Officiating has been abysmal, unfortunately, the first game where I've seen that at this World Cup. Canada should have had three penalties. The first was somehow missed, fortunately rectified by VAR. The second was not given because, I assume, the linesman incorrectly flagged for offside, and VAR couldn't overturn something that was obvious due to play having been stopped. The third, well I don't know what was going off out there. Witsel clearly trod on the Canadian attacker's foot. And the referee initially declined to make a decision on that, hoping his assistant would bail him out. Out of his depth.

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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 8:25 pm

Belgium might be lucky to finish with 11, Meunier and Onana both flying into tackles on yellows
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Post by westisbest Wed 23 Nov 2022, 8:35 pm

Be gutted for Canada if they don’t get at least a point here.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 23 Nov 2022, 8:35 pm

Canada look spent, they need the bench.

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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 8:46 pm

Surprised VAR didn't look at that yellow.
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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 8:58 pm

Full credit to Canada, gave it everything, positive and brave performance, deserved at least a point. Every chance they can still qualify based on this.

Bright side for Belgium is they can reasonably expect more from their key players in this tournament. Probably the worst game I've seen De Bruyne play, Hazard was completely anonymous. Still, work to do, not entirely convinced by this formation, way too easy for Canada to isolate these CBs against pace
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Post by westisbest Wed 23 Nov 2022, 8:59 pm

Hard luck Canada, really gutted for them. A poor penalty and maybe the keeper could have done better with the goal, not the best finishing in front of goal.  

They did themselves proud. Hopefully they can turn things round and win the next two games.

Well done though. Great effort.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 23 Nov 2022, 9:05 pm

Painful for Canada. Took apart Belgium in open play with an exciting high-pressing system, but were let down by poor finishing and an atrocious referee. I hope Canada take good heart from this and try again v Croatia, a similarly aged side as Belgium. On another day Canada would bang in three in the first half and that would be that.

Relief for Belgium. They just about ground it out. Their game management was strange. In the last twenty minutes, with Canada exhausted, Belgium should have played narrow and pinged the ball around tiki-taka style to deprive Canada of territory and ball. Instead they were content to let Canada attack. Huge improvement required to make a serious run at this competition. De Bruyne was poor today and if that continues they won't get far.

Officiating was appalling and the referee way out of his depth. Two penalties missed and Meunier should have seen a second yellow. I don't understand why this referee is at the World Cup. In 2018 he faced allegations of corruption, and earlier this year, in the African Nations Cup, a game he refereed descended into utter farce when he blew for full-time after 85 minutes.

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Post by GSC Wed 23 Nov 2022, 9:47 pm

Apparently De Bruyne won man of the match so we can add giving that award to the responsibilities of the guy who counts attendances and working out added time
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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 12:13 am

Get to see the final eight teams yet to make their bow at this tournament tomorrow. Two interesting groups as they're both very open. Brazil, Cameroon, Serbia and Switzerland in one  - obviously Brazil should get through, they've not failed to get past the initial group stage since 1966, but who joins them is unclear. The other group is Uruguay, Portugal, Ghana and South Korea - I think any combination of teams progressing in that one is viable, albeit I can't see any of them making a serious go at the trophy. Tomorrow then:

Switzerland v Cameroon - This one doesn't jump off the page, admittedly. Switzerland made a rare QF at the last Euros when they took down France on penalties, before losing to Spain via the same method, and they eclipsed Italy in the World Cup qualifying, which ultimately led to Italy not being here. The team is led by Xhaka - so cards aplenty? - and has the reliable Sommer in goal, with the trickery of Shaqiri being key to their attack. Cameroon haven't made it past the group stage since their incredible run in 1990, and they only got to Qatar after an incredible 124th minute (away goals) winner got them past the more fancied-Algeria. Like quite a few nations they have one star name - in this instance Choupo-Moting of Bayern - and not much else except an insatiable drive and spirit, epitomised by Eto'o, currently head of the Cameroon FA, who wants his country to win the World Cup.

Uruguay v South Korea - Over 70 years since Uruguay last won the World Cup, hopes are high again in Montevideo. They've taken along five veterans with over 100 caps - Suarez, Godin, Cavani, Muslera and Caceres - but also have plenty of younger players, such as Pellistri, Nunez, Bentancur and Valverde. Qualification was comfortable enough, but they were the lowest scorers of the top four teams in South America, and notably conceded 22 goals along the way, a lot more than Brazil (5 conceded) and Argentina (8). They like to play four, four f**ing two, so that could be a throwback. South Korea breezed through qualification, though they finished beneath Iran. South Korea have qualified for every World Cup since 1986, a record few can boast, but they've only got out of the groups twice. Son is the key man, obviously. He fractured his eye socket in the build-up, and the entire nation was thrown into worry, like when Beckham broke his foot in 2002. Like Beckham in 2002, Son is in the squad and set to play. Whether he'll score a penalty and jump out of a tackle remains to be seen.

Portugal v Ghana - Since winning the Euros, somehow, in 2016, it's all gone south for Portugal. Remarkably, Pepe is still playing. So is Ronaldo, though his focus might be elsewhere for what is surely his last World Cup. Could be a tournament for Silva or Fernandes to instead take charge and lead Portugal's efforts. They finished behind Serbia in qualifying and had to go through the play-offs, the path becoming notably easier when Italy fell to North Macedonia. Ghana only just made it as well. They edged out South Africa in qualifying on 'goals scored', after the points, GD and H2H were all tied, and then the South Africans claimed match-fixing, which was dismissed by FIFA. Ghana then edged out Nigeria on away goals to get to Qatar. Hardly swashbuckling and their recent form is terrible, though they did nick a win in a friendly v Nicaragua recently. On paper they're a lot better than this, with Partey, Lamptey, Inaki Williams and Jordan Ayew all featuring in their best XI. But still a decline from the days of 2010.

Brazil v Serbia - Brazil arrive the joint latest to the World Cup, looking to make it six. They're the favourites and world number one. They cruised through qualifying, playing 17 games, scoring 40 goals, and not losing a single one. The only blip has been losing the 2021 Copa America final to their greatest rivals. Hopes are high and why not when you have Neymar, Richarlison, Raphinha, Jesus (Gabriel, not the Messiah), Antony, Vinicius, Rodrygo, Pedro and Martinelli to call upon? Serbia's attackers are a bit more limited and they're relying on Tadic to create much of the play, while trusting five at the back to keep Brazil out. Mitrovic and Vlahovic are the goalscorers, but both are not 100% fit. Another upset? Surely not.

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Post by alfie Thu 24 Nov 2022, 6:05 am

Some interesting games on Wednesday thumbsup Canada's showing suggests Croatia and Morocco with a point each might now be facing a much tougher task from here on than they expected ! In fact if Canada can bring that intensity again - and maybe find a way to finish - they could easily end up qualifying. Belgium will be feeling mainly relief I'd imagine ; but they aren't guaranteed to go through if they keep playing like that. Could easily imagine teams in this group ending up tied on 4 points and goal difference settling matters.

Hats off to Spain - that was impressive. But I reckon the German goose is all but cooked ; as Japan surely only have to turn up to beat the eleven traffic cones in Costa Rica colours - and there is surely no way Germany will get near Spain. I don't actually see Japan's win as a shock of the same order as the Saudi Special : Germany haven't been that hot for a while ; and Japan aren't rubbish. But certainly the Germans should have killed the game in the first half when they were dominant - and they had plenty of late opportunities for an equalizer. They are going to need some magic from somewhere...

First look at Brazil should be instructive ; and as Duty says , any of the other teams in these two groups start with a reasonable chance of progressing : so it might be some good contests tonight.

And happy to hear encouraging remarks about Kane...

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Post by eirebilly_01 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 7:38 am

I must say that i was extremely impressed with Canada yesterday. Really put Belgium under pressure. They certainly did their homework in realising that the aging backs for Belgium struggle when it is not set piece play and kept the ball at their feet.

If only they could have finished off 1 or 2 of their chances. I would put that more down to big stage nerves but the signs were there that they may cause an upset. Croatia certainly look beatable.

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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 9:13 am

Germany Spain be interesting. Germany definitely need to find some directness to their game, it was very possession for possessions sake, but they did have platforms to hurt Japan. Can't be as defensively slack though.

Spain overwhelmed Costa Rica but Costa Rica at times resembled a set of training cones. Germany will be much better prepared and drilled.
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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 10:03 am

This one has 0-0 written all over it...so I look forward to a 4-3 thriller!

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Post by eirebilly_01 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 10:08 am

I think there are goals in this one. Cameroon are very unpredictable but can score some sensational goals and Switzerland are very capable at the set piece.

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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 10:40 am

Gonna be very confusing for Stoke fans when Choupo-Moting wins the ballon d'or
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Post by eirebilly_01 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 10:45 am

Cameroon are incredibly lively. I hope they do not tire in the 2nd half. They must surely score one of these chances...

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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 10:53 am

Interesting half. Cameroon started out with ten behind the ball and content to let the Swiss dictate possession. But as the Cameroonian counter-attacks were threatening, Switzerland retreated and it's been Cameroon who have controlled the majority of the half and had the greater chances - although Akanji for Switzerland had the best one and he should have scored with a free header five yards out.

Swiss need to raise their tempo in possession. Cameroon need to play narrower as Choupo-Moting is lacking support.

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Post by eirebilly_01 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 11:13 am

Cameroon were still eating oranges I think.

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Post by eirebilly_01 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 11:48 am

I had hoped that Cameroon would not tire but they look gassed out there. Still a chance but I would say that there is more chance of Suisse going 2 up.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 11:59 am

Dismal effort from Cameroon. Once they went a goal down they had no means to open up the Swiss defence. No urgency, no intensity, no anything, and their manager hauled off the most likely player to get a goal.

Solid from the Swiss, though I'm not sure we learnt much.

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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 12:09 pm

Looked like they could've done something in the first half but faded badly in the second half. Swiss in great position to make the knockout rounds now
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Post by dummy_half Thu 24 Nov 2022, 12:19 pm

Duty281 wrote:Canada are such a breath of fresh air. After some real turgid efforts from the likes of Denmark and Croatia, Canada are showing what football is - ambition, running, creativity, fearlessness and attack.

How they're not ahead is a mystery. Several good chances even aside from the penalty. Not just Davies, but David, Hoilett, Buchanan and Eustaquio taking the Belgians on. If there's one criticism it's that they're committing so many to attack that they don't have many in defence...and it's not exactly a strong defence. If Canada aren't disheartened by the goal, they'll score a couple in this next half.

Belgium have just looked a little shellshocked and unsure. But they're getting the space on the counter and they've got a good bench - Mertens and Trossard can stretch the Canadians further.

Officiating has been abysmal, unfortunately, the first game where I've seen that at this World Cup. Canada should have had three penalties. The first was somehow missed, fortunately rectified by VAR. The second was not given because, I assume, the linesman incorrectly flagged for offside, and VAR couldn't overturn something that was obvious due to play having been stopped. The third, well I don't know what was going off out there. Witsel clearly trod on the Canadian attacker's foot. And the referee initially declined to make a decision on that, hoping his assistant would bail him out. Out of his depth.

That one was such a bad decision from the assistant ref - yes, the Canadian player was in what would have been an offside position, but the ball was in the possession of the Belgian player, who gave it away and then committed the foul by over-stretching to try to win the ball back. I did wonder if they could still use VAR, as it was clearly an officiating error, and neither player had stopped when the flag went up.


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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 12:47 pm

dummy_half wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Canada are such a breath of fresh air. After some real turgid efforts from the likes of Denmark and Croatia, Canada are showing what football is - ambition, running, creativity, fearlessness and attack.

How they're not ahead is a mystery. Several good chances even aside from the penalty. Not just Davies, but David, Hoilett, Buchanan and Eustaquio taking the Belgians on. If there's one criticism it's that they're committing so many to attack that they don't have many in defence...and it's not exactly a strong defence. If Canada aren't disheartened by the goal, they'll score a couple in this next half.

Belgium have just looked a little shellshocked and unsure. But they're getting the space on the counter and they've got a good bench - Mertens and Trossard can stretch the Canadians further.

Officiating has been abysmal, unfortunately, the first game where I've seen that at this World Cup. Canada should have had three penalties. The first was somehow missed, fortunately rectified by VAR. The second was not given because, I assume, the linesman incorrectly flagged for offside, and VAR couldn't overturn something that was obvious due to play having been stopped. The third, well I don't know what was going off out there. Witsel clearly trod on the Canadian attacker's foot. And the referee initially declined to make a decision on that, hoping his assistant would bail him out. Out of his depth.

That one was such a bad decision from the assistant ref - yes, the Canadian player was in what would have been an offside position, but the ball was in the possession of the Belgian player, who gave it away and then committed the foul by over-stretching to try to win the ball back. I did wonder if they could still use VAR, as it was clearly an officiating error, and neither player had stopped when the flag went up.


Yes, and even if it had been offside the linesman shouldn't have flagged straight away because it was in a goalscoring position and with VAR the protocol is to wait. But then I imagine some of these officials are quite inexperienced with VAR and don't use it in their domestic leagues.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 12:48 pm

Uruguay going 4-3-3 as they pick Pellistri, Suarez and Nunez. Attacking. Son starts for South Korea.

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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 1:15 pm

Terrific start, both teams going at this at pace
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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 1:24 pm

Not sure how Nunez didn't finish that
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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 1:35 pm

Now South Korea miss a sitter!
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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 1:51 pm

Uruguay basically playing with ten men as Suarez can barely move. Could they try and use Cavani instead? Uruguay are scared to press because they've got the slowest defence in world football and they're terrified of giving Son any room in behind. The result being South Korea having plenty of the ball and being unsure what to do with it. Still, both teams should have scored by now.

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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 1:52 pm

This has a Suarez **** house winner written all over it though
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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 2:00 pm

Hopefully Belgium play Uruguay, could probably fit an aircraft carrier between the two defensive lines
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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 2:01 pm

Canada could play in the middle and attack whichever end they like.

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Post by eirebilly_01 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 2:05 pm

This may sound petty and childish but i really do not want Brazil to win the World Cup. Purely because of my personal dislike for Neymar. Such a talented player but, for me, is everything bad about football.

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Post by dummy_half Thu 24 Nov 2022, 2:20 pm

eirebilly_01 wrote:This may sound petty and childish but i really do not want Brazil to win the World Cup. Purely because of my personal dislike for Neymar. Such a talented player but, for me, is everything bad about football.

agreed that Neymar is the absolute archetype of the modern cheating / play-acting footballer and has all the likability of an STD.
I also don't want Brazil to win because it will just act to inflate the mythology around them - yes the teams through Pele's era were great and entertaining, and the 82 team is probably the best (give or take Netherlands 74) to not win the WC, but more recently they've been largely pragmatic teams with one or two outstanding individuals and several who were over-hyped because they play in the yellow shirts.

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Post by eirebilly_01 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 2:23 pm

Its sad isn't it, as a kid growing up in the 70's and 80's, Brazil were the team that we all clambered to see on tv. Now I simply cannot stand them.


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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 2:28 pm

Cavani on for Suarez, was Forlan injured? 😉
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