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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 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 2:58 pm

Well that was tedious.

Uruguay looked worse than I thought they would be. Tactics were baffling - they spent about 25 minutes camped in Korea's half, and they've got two target men in Cavani and Nunez on the pitch, but they put about two crosses in in all that time. Korea were obviously happy to settle for a point.

Need Serbia or Ghana to liven up proceedings, or this day is a write-off.

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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 2:59 pm

South Korea edged it but nobody really did enough to win that imo. Bit of a rethink needed for Uruguay, they carry Suarez and Nunez spent most of the game camped out wide.
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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 5:33 pm

Somewhat generous penalty gets Ronaldo off the mark before Ayew taps in for the equaliser
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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 5:39 pm

Quickfire double from Felix and Leao and this ones over
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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 5:39 pm

Portugal fell into a slight trap after going one up, where they sat back and invited pressure from Ghana, but two lovely finishes have got them three points and in control of the group.

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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 5:47 pm

Not quite done as Ghana get a goal back from pretty much nothing
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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 5:47 pm

3-2! Why is he celebrating?! Get the ball and restart.

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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 5:48 pm

Doing the siu at 3-2 down is certainly a choice 😂
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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 5:59 pm

That would have been some ending if Williams didn't slip. Remember keepers: always check behind you.

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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 6:01 pm

Someone needs to check if the keeper had 3-3 😂

Portugal made it much harder than it needed to be but they got the job done in the end
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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 6:03 pm

That was a strange game. First half dull, but then five goals in 25 minutes in the second. Portugal look very rickety at the back and in possession of a lead, so I don't see them as contenders, although they have plenty of firepower.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 8:01 pm

Despite all the attacking talent, Brazil have joined the huff and puff merchants in only being able to carve out one decent chance in the first 45. Serbia playing quite a high line and have defended reasonably comfortably so far.

Brazil have an extraordinary bench to change things up.

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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 8:05 pm

Almost immediately Serbia avoid throwing away 45 minutes of hard work
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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 8:32 pm

Stunner from Richarlison puts it to bed
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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 8:33 pm

Gorgeous. Samba football honed on the beaches of Brazil.

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Post by GSC Thu 24 Nov 2022, 8:55 pm

Serbia made Brazil work for it, but a performance worthy of the favourites in the end.
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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Nov 2022, 9:01 pm

Yeah, very smooth second half by the Brazilians. They should cruise through this group with 9 points, though they may leave them undercooked for the knockout rounds.

England set to go unchanged for tomorrow v the USA.

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Post by dummy_half Fri 25 Nov 2022, 9:32 am

So everyone has played once, and first impressions of a few are:
Best performers - Spain, although Costa Rica made it easy for them to look good.

Also impressing: - England, Brazil (at least the lat 20 minutes that I saw), France

Teams past their best - Portugal, Belgium, Uruguay

Disappointments - Obviously Argentina and Germany

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Post by GSC Fri 25 Nov 2022, 9:33 am

Wales making just the 1 change, Moore in from the start. Surprised a bit, would've thought they'd want to be a bit more on the front foot with an eye on goal difference and with this game starting at midday under the sun.
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Post by GSC Fri 25 Nov 2022, 9:34 am

Think I'd have
Brazil
Spain (Serbia were a bit more competent than Costa Rica)
England/France (big wins but not wholly convinced yet)
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Post by Duty281 Fri 25 Nov 2022, 9:59 am

Think starting Moore makes sense as Iran were very weak against defending crosses v England. Amazing story for Kieffer Moore, 10 and a bit years ago he was a trialist for Truro playing in front of 150 people, now he's starting at a World Cup.

They've got something to build on after the second half v the USA, and this is must-win for Wales, otherwise they'd have to beat England in the final game which is far from ideal.

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Post by dummy_half Fri 25 Nov 2022, 10:02 am

I didn't see the first half of the Brazil game, but understood that they were far from impressive. Certainly looked very good once they'd taken the lead and the shackles were off.

With it only having been one game, we don't really know how good the opposition were - England's result looks better because of the performances of Japan and Saudi, suggesting Iran are actually a competent side, but we'll have a better understanding after today.
Similarly, were Costa Rica really that bad, or were Spain a bit special?

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Post by GSC Fri 25 Nov 2022, 10:05 am

I think it'll favour Brazil to have had to be patient and break down a well organised team, compared to Costa Rica who really were just a training exercise
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Post by dummy_half Fri 25 Nov 2022, 10:14 am

Duty281 wrote:Think starting Moore makes sense as Iran were very weak against defending crosses v England. Amazing story for Kieffer Moore, 10 and a bit years ago he was a trialist for Truro playing in front of 150 people, now he's starting at a World Cup.

They've got something to build on after the second half v the USA, and this is must-win for Wales, otherwise they'd have to beat England in the final game which is far from ideal.

Getting the draw was important, to not have the USA get ahead of them in the group. A win today, assuming the US get nothing out of the England game, and they've a very decent chance of qualifying, as they'll only need a draw against an already-qualified England. HOwever, if the England v US game is a draw, they might need to worry about goal difference as well.

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Post by GSC Fri 25 Nov 2022, 10:51 am

Another big second half needed from Wales. Probably put Allen on but they look wide open when Iran break
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Post by Duty281 Fri 25 Nov 2022, 10:56 am

Wales not looking good. In possession they're severely limited because Bale and Ramsey are off the pace and not in the game (especially Bale), and they seem to only have been picked based on reputation. Out of possession they look very brittle whenever Iran break on them. If it weren't for a lazy run then Iran would be ahead. They need to get better service to Moore, who had Wales' best chance. Would like to see Williams getting further forward on the left.

Another dismal officiating team for this game. How can you get someone who referees in Guatemala to officiate in a game of this magnitude?

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 25 Nov 2022, 11:24 am

Page has put us in the mud with his selection again. No pace. Over run by Iran in midfield. Should be 2-0 down.

Ref is poor.

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Post by GSC Fri 25 Nov 2022, 11:47 am

Hennessey should be off for that.
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Post by Duty281 Fri 25 Nov 2022, 11:49 am

This is the worst refereeing performance I've ever seen. Clearest red in football.

We're going to have over ten minutes of added time!

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Post by superflyweight Fri 25 Nov 2022, 11:58 am

Duty281 wrote:Wales not looking good. In possession they're severely limited because Bale and Ramsey are off the pace and not in the game (especially Bale), and they seem to only have been picked based on reputation. Out of possession they look very brittle whenever Iran break on them. If it weren't for a lazy run then Iran would be ahead. They need to get better service to Moore, who had Wales' best chance. Would like to see Williams getting further forward on the left.

Another dismal officiating team for this game. How can you get someone who referees in Guatemala to officiate in a game of this magnitude?

Ya daft racist.

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Post by GSC Fri 25 Nov 2022, 12:01 pm

Iran win it with a great strike in the final minute.
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Post by GSC Fri 25 Nov 2022, 12:03 pm

2-0 on the break and Wales are all but out
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Post by GSC Fri 25 Nov 2022, 12:10 pm

Wales pay the price for a setup that really just tried to play the best hits of 2016, but Bale and Ramsey just aren't near that level anymore.

Iran vastly improved but the difference between the space they had today and against England isn't comparable. Now in a decent position to qualify assuming the us don't beat england
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Post by dummy_half Fri 25 Nov 2022, 12:10 pm

Don't think many of us saw this coming after England totally controlled their game against Iran. Have to say as well though that the Iranian tactics were wrong against England, in sitting back and trying to defend then break, whereas they've worked much better against Wales - Wales still had over 60% possession, but Iran did much more when they had the ball (21 shots to 10, 6 v 3 on target).

Have to question the inclusion of Bale and Ramsey - neither match fit and sharp. You can't be having your best technical players not being up to speed.

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Post by Duty281 Fri 25 Nov 2022, 12:11 pm

More than deserved for Iran. I thought they might regret earlier poor finishing and an initial lack of ambition, but they got the job done eventually. They're right in contention now. If England beat the USA, a draw in their final game (also v the USA) will get the job done.

Wales were utterly abysmal. Bale and Ramsey atrocious. Picked on reputation not form and they're clearly yesterday's men. Overall, were always vulnerable to the Iranian counter and created practically nothing, they can have no complaints. Out unless they beat England and they need other results to go their way, plus they need GD in their favour. I think they can forget about it.

Referee, dear oh dear. An atrocious performance from him, and the linesmen, and hopefully his World Cup is over. How can you need VAR for the most obvious red?

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Post by dummy_half Fri 25 Nov 2022, 12:16 pm

Just what FIFA would have wanted - USA v Iran almost certainly for a qualification place into the last 16 Shocked

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Post by GSC Fri 25 Nov 2022, 12:16 pm

England just have to finish the job now. Beat the US and first place is virtually secure and Harry's ankles can have a rest
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Post by RiscaGame Fri 25 Nov 2022, 12:23 pm

Too many passengers in that team. Page really has killed us twice. He should've learnt Ramsey can't affect the game as a holding midfielder. There was too much pressure put on Ampadu there. Bale and Wilson also passengers. Too negative playing five at the back twice. We are too slow a team, as we can't counter attack and if we play with Moore and Bale up front, we should never have isolated them so much. Got what we deserved there, after a bale (Wink) out against USA.

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Post by Duty281 Fri 25 Nov 2022, 12:29 pm

Yeah, first place will be 99.99% sorted if England win tonight. Only way it doesn't happen after a win tonight is if England lose to Wales and Iran beat USA, plus Iran overturn the GD, which is currently +4 for England (and will increase if they win) and -2 for Iran.

Get the win and players that can have a rest can get one v Wales.

Will be interesting to see how USA approach the game this evening. A draw or a loss effectively counts the same, as it would still mean they'd have to beat Iran in the final game to get through, so they should be properly going for the win tonight.

Anyway on to Group A for the next two and we'll get a clearer idea of the shape of that group after today. We'll see if Qatar really are that bad, or if it was just opening night nerves.

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Post by dummy_half Fri 25 Nov 2022, 1:07 pm

And on to one of the least heralded matches of the tournament. Surely Senegal will prove to have a bit too much nous for Qatar?

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Post by dummy_half Fri 25 Nov 2022, 1:18 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Too many passengers in that team. Page really has killed us twice. He should've learnt Ramsey can't affect the game as a holding midfielder. There was too much pressure put on Ampadu there. Bale and Wilson also passengers. Too negative playing five at the back twice. We are too slow a team, as we can't counter attack and if we play with Moore and Bale up front, we should never have isolated them so much. Got what we deserved there, after a bale (Wink) out against USA.

Sadly, it looks like Wales are another team, along with Belgium and Argentina (possibly also Croatia) where the aging of players has caught up with them. At least this group have managed to reach a WC, unlike some previous decent Wales sides, in particular the Southall-Hughes-Rush era team, which had a handful of very decent players but never enough strength in the weaker positions.

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Post by mountain man Fri 25 Nov 2022, 1:20 pm

Iran thoroughly deserved win, better team by far. Definite red.
Bale utterly anonymous, was surprised he was interviewed as before then didn't realise he'd played.

Right, come on England beat USA and get through tonight.

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Post by GSC Fri 25 Nov 2022, 1:45 pm

Kinda get the sense the Wales campaign was more about giving Bale and Ramsey a send off rather than a proper tilt at qualification. System didn't seem to play to another strengths. Surely be better served introducing Bale for a 30 minute burst at this point in his career rather than trying to get him through 90 minutes
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Post by Duty281 Fri 25 Nov 2022, 1:57 pm

Senegal in complete control v Qatar, leading 1-0 at HT. Qatar had a shout for a penalty, thought it was a brilliant call from the referee to say no.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 25 Nov 2022, 2:05 pm

dummy_half wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:Too many passengers in that team. Page really has killed us twice. He should've learnt Ramsey can't affect the game as a holding midfielder. There was too much pressure put on Ampadu there. Bale and Wilson also passengers. Too negative playing five at the back twice. We are too slow a team, as we can't counter attack and if we play with Moore and Bale up front, we should never have isolated them so much. Got what we deserved there, after a bale (Wink) out against USA.

Sadly, it looks like Wales are another team, along with Belgium and Argentina (possibly also Croatia) where the aging of players has caught up with them. At least this group have managed to reach a WC, unlike some previous decent Wales sides, in particular the Southall-Hughes-Rush era team, which had a handful of very decent players but never enough strength in the weaker positions.

Football does throw up some surprises now and then; the early 90's Welsh team also had Ryan Giggs, Gary Speed, Kevin Ratcliffe, Eric Young, Barry Horne and Dean Saunders, i'd argue that side was a lot stronger than the current one.

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Post by Lowlandbrit Fri 25 Nov 2022, 2:38 pm

GSC wrote:Kinda get the sense the Wales campaign was more about giving Bale and Ramsey a send off rather than a proper tilt at qualification.
Not like they have that many other options to be fair.

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Post by GSC Fri 25 Nov 2022, 2:44 pm

Don't think Iran/USA were really that unbeatable. Wales were far too easy to play against in both games, playing a system that asked Bale and Ramsey to be the players they were years ago

Qatar do a goal!
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Post by GSC Fri 25 Nov 2022, 2:49 pm

Senegal could do with a couple more, would only need a draw against Ecuador if the Netherlands beat them later
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Post by Duty281 Fri 25 Nov 2022, 2:51 pm

Qatar scoring has to be the biggest shock for me so far!

Senegal put it back to a comfortable margin, 3-1.

If Netherlands beat Ecuador later, the Dutch will top the group and Ecuador/Senegal will effectively be a play-off for the last 16. If that happens Ecuador might regret coasting the second half v Qatar and not scoring more.

But I don't think it's set in stone that the Dutch will win, though it was difficult to gauge how good Ecuador were against Qatar, due to the ineptness of the hosts. The South Americans will have to work a lot harder to get past the Dutch defence.

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Post by Duty281 Fri 25 Nov 2022, 2:53 pm

I see there's a Qatari fire drill going on again.

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