World Cup: 2018 WC Qualifiers Part II

Discussion in 'Soccer' started by Bures Elbow, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. cgf

    cgf FireBednarsSuccessor

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    I'd split that first tier up between Germany/France and Brazil/Spain/Messi, and in that second tier a team like Senegal scares me more than England.
     
  2. maclean

    maclean Registered User

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    Bosnia has been to the World Cup all of once. Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, well, African teams always come in waves, often pulled by a few world-class players. 20 years ago it was teams like Cameroon and Nigeria that were shoe-ins. Ghana had a good run there but I'm afraid you're kind of giving your age away by thinking these past three World Cups are indicative of a permanent state. Probably going to see a lot more say Senegal in the next little while than those guys, though it really depends on a lot of factors, as stability is not really a hallmark of Africa (refer back to 'colonialism' ;) ).
     
  3. maclean

    maclean Registered User

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    Poland, eh? Bold. If Croatia has finally got a decent coach they could do some damage. They've always had no shortage of talent, just frequently have trouble bringing it together. Curious about Belgium, who have almost never impressed me despite being a dreamteam on paper and constantly being tagged the Dark Horse of the tournament.
     
  4. Snippit

    Snippit Registered User

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    I agree Germany/France are the definite front runners.

    England's disappointed so much that I feel like instead of being overrated like usual, they've started to get underrated. It's still a team with some good talent like /Kane/Alli/Walker/Sterling/Rashford.

    The lack of pressure being placed on them may actually help them.

    Senegal is a good team though, I saw a couple of their games and they looked dominant. Still will most likely to struggle to get out of the group stages unless they get into a friendly pot.
     
  5. Snippit

    Snippit Registered User

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    I also forgot about Mexico - I think they have enough talent to do some damage. Croatia also a good pick.

    Belgium isn't a dark horse at this point - the talent on that team is well known and established. They're just not a proven contender. Poland is a team that I consider a dark horse this year.
     
  6. maclean

    maclean Registered User

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    Senegal is the hipster pick of the season, they have to make it out of the group
     
  7. cgf

    cgf FireBednarsSuccessor

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    Poland have some great youths that are starting to break in and have been a very solid team behind Lewy for a while. If some more of those kids can impact the NT as early as Russia, then I can see them as an outside contender. With a striker like that it's a lot easier to go on a run, especially when you have a Glik organizing that backline and a midfield that could role out a diamond featuring Krychowiak, Zielinski, Linetty & Kapustka...which I wish they would do behind a Lewandowski-Milik front two.

    Belgium's problem has been coaching, and they still don't have it.

    Croatia are certainly curious now that the new coach has given them life. Their midfield is still overflowing with talent but that roster no longer has the holes it used to. If they come into the tourney in top form, who knows where their run could end?

    Speaking of Croatia have either Jedvaj or Caleta-Car started to get integrated into the NT? Cause Lovren-Vida is solid, but those two kids could bring their backline up to the class of their midfield or attack...plus they could play a beautiful 3-5-2 if one of those kids is integrated into the NT:

    Kramaric - Kalinic
    Perisic - Kovacic - Modric - Vrsaljko
    Rakitic
    Lovren - Vida - Jedvaj
    When you can roll out Mane, Balde & Sarr as your front three, you are gunna get hype...especially with Koulibaly organizing the backline and a legit midfield. Even if they just sat deep and countered they'd be dangerous.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  8. Deficient Mode

    Deficient Mode Registered User

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    Yeah I don't have a problem with Poland in the second tier of teams, albeit more toward the bottom of that tier. Their talent in the central part of the field is stellar with Lewy, Milik, Zielinski, Glik, Szczesny... just a few weak or questionable spots imo.
     
  9. cgf

    cgf FireBednarsSuccessor

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    I just don't see England as a contender...even a darkhorse one...with their midfield and CBs. With Sterling, Alli & Kane they should be able to score some goals on the counter & off set-pieces; but I can't see them controlling matches or keeping teams from scoring against them.

    And the hope that the lack of pressure could help them, will create enough pressure for them to wilt under it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  10. cgf

    cgf FireBednarsSuccessor

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    I understand why some german fans question the lineups I favor, but I look at it like this. Neuer is a must start, as is Boateng, as is Hummels, as is Kimmich, as is Kroos, as is Ilkay, as is Mesut, as is Sane, as is Werner, and since it's a WC, as is Müller. That leaves 1 spot up for grabs and that could go to a winger/wingback, a FB or a CB; depending on where Kimmich plays and whether we play a back 3 or four. The top options for those spots are Brandt for the wingback role, Plattenhart / Henrichs / Weiser for the FB spot, and Sule for the third CB spot (if it's not Kimmich). I love Sule, and like Henrichs/Weiser; but Brandt is easily the best option of that group in my eyes...especially given how much we dominate possession.
     
  11. HajdukSplit

    HajdukSplit Registered User

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    Problem with Jedvaj is he is always injured, missed the entire pre-season with Leverkusen and when fit who knows if he will start. However if he is healthy he will be included due to his versatility, he can play both CB and RB, with Leverkusen and the NT he usually plays as RB which I don't like because he provides little going forward.

    Caleta-Car has bounced between the U21s and senior NT; with Corluka out injured long term he has been getting more call-ups but hasn't played. Not sure what the status of Corluka is, but if he is out and Mitrovic doesn't play much with Bestikas, that opens a spot to Caleta-Car or most likely Filip Benkovic (Dinamo Zagreb) as a backup CB....I'm almost certain Benkovic will get the call to add to his value but he is already being scouted by top clubs. Croatia is pretty thin at CB in general, hence calling up Zoran Nizic (Hajduk) last few games (though that selection too I think is to help Hajduk increase his value of all things despite the relationship between HNS-Hajduk). They lost Jozo Simunovic who elected to play for BiH, I never rated him but apparently he is doing ok at Celtic
     
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  12. AstrophysicalJet

    AstrophysicalJet King Jordan

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    [​IMG]

    So these are the pots.

    What group would you most like, and least like for your team?

    For me the worst for Denmark would be:

    1Brazil
    2Spain
    3Denmark
    4Japan

    While he best would be:

    1Poland/Russia
    2Peru
    3Denmark
    4:KSA
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  13. Bon Esprit

    Bon Esprit Registered User

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    As a supporter of team Germany I'd hate to play Croatia and/ or Serbia. Both are tough as nails and I have alot of respect for them.
    No matter what for Germany every opponnent should be beatable. France, Spain and Brazil (plus Germany) are the teams to beat IMO.
     
  14. maclean

    maclean Registered User

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    Denmark and Serbia are going to be a nasty draw for somebody out of the lower pots. Serbia's inconsistent but they seem to often bring their A game against top opponents then end up dropping points to teams they should be able to rock
     
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  15. Creed Bratton

    Creed Bratton Registered User

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    That would be the strongest possible group in the tournament.
     
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  16. Creed Bratton

    Creed Bratton Registered User

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    And it wouldn't be possible since UEFA can only have two teams in the same group.
     
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  17. Big Poppa Puck

    Big Poppa Puck HF's Villain

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    So no:

    USA
    Italy
    Netherlands
    Chile
    Columbia
    Ghana
    Ivory Coast
    Cameroon

    among others.

    Wow. I think I might actually be interested in World Cup NIT aha.
     
  18. Havre

    Havre Registered User

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    I think the seeding reflects strength fairly well. Usually though in the tournament itself teams that can defend, and in some cases are forced to mostly defend, end up punching above their weight.

    Not familiar enough with pot 4 to say who might be the next Hungary or Iceland among those. In Pot 3 I expect Sweden to be well organized and hard working. Denmark I could see doing really well if they can stay compact. A bit like Wales in the Euros they also got some skill up front for solid counter attacking. Senegal remind me a bit of Uruguay 2010. Not sure if they can defend the way Uruguay did though.

    Looking at those teams I really don't get why they want to have even more teams in it though. Love when the odd underdog "overperform", but the drop in quality from the top to the bottom teams is already quite significant.
     
  19. AstrophysicalJet

    AstrophysicalJet King Jordan

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    Lolol,

    Totally forgot that :D

    Just switch Serbia with Japan :D
     
  20. AstrophysicalJet

    AstrophysicalJet King Jordan

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    Disagree completely,

    Think the rankings (Which reflect FIFA rankings) Are a joke.

    I see more than a few teams from Pot3 and 4 that could/should beat teams from pot 2 and even 1 or 2 from pot 1.

    I dont see the dropoff from pot 1 and 2 to pot 3 is big for a few of the teams. You have the big teams like, Brazil, Germany, Spain and France, and Argentina who are top teams. But after that, I find it pretty close.

    Most teams in pot 4, bar a few teams (Serbia for instance) are not that good.
    But Japan and Serbia could definitely give a few teams a run for their money.

    I feel a few teams are being overestimated (Like always) and good few are being underestimated.

    And I dont see Wales and Denmark being the same tier - I find that Denmark are the better team on paper, and in action tbh. - I know Denmark havent performed super in the last few years, but come on, this is getting ridiculous. (Neither has Holland, and people still rate them)

    They have a strong generation coming up, and have done really well under new Coach Hareide.

    Destroyed Poland in Copenhagen 4-0 in a very important match for both teams.
    Only lost 3-2 in Poland.

    Beat Armenia 4-1 recently.

    Destroyed Ireland 5-1 in Dublin.

    Have a few very good players already on the team.

    They suffered from a stale coach in the last few years with Morten Olsen staying way way way too long as a coach - and in his later years he couldnt maximize players. Even Eriksen says his style did not fit him.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  21. Creed Bratton

    Creed Bratton Registered User

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    Colombia is playing.
     
  22. Havre

    Havre Registered User

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    Not sure what part is it that you disagree with? I honestly have no idea what we "completely disagree" about.

    Never said Wales and Denmark are the same tier (even if Denmark should be more than happy if they could replicate Wales' effort from the Euros). I said I could see them becoming successful playing in a similar way stylistically. Eriksen playing the role of Ramsey (obviously Eriksen is a better player, but Ramsey was fantastic in the Euros) and a guy like Sisto doing some of the stuff Bale does/did for Wales (meaning someone that can run with the ball on the counter). Not sure how me saying I could see Denmark doing really well is getting ridiculous (or what is it that you are trying to say?).
     
  23. Savi

    Savi Registered User

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    On paper we should be among the favorites but truth is we're not. Not until we beat a big team in a meaningful game. The problems we had 4 years ago are the same problems we still have today. Going from Wilmots to Martinez has only been a marginal upgrade. Beating up on some weak teams only means that much, once we face decent teams we struggle. Bosnia managed to score 3 on us, so did Mexico last week. Actually Mexico totally dominated us in our own backyard. Only reason we didn't lose that game is because we've got such a ridiculous amount of talent up front that sometimes it doesn't matter how bad we play, we're a huge threat to score a goal any time we go forward.

    But watching us play, "it" just doesn't seem right. Tactically I mean. We kinda play a 3-4-3 formation but I'm still not sure how Martinez wants to see it exactly. The midfield is so unbalanced, even with world class players. It's almost like Martinez puts their names on a board in the dressing room and then sends them out there without any instructions on positioning, defensive assignments, offensive patterns, etc. You can see it during the game(s), there's lots of moments with players discussing amongst eachother after giving up a big goalscoring chance or failing to cover certain opponents. Last week after the game against Mexico, Kevin de Bruyne publically called out Martinez. He said something along the lines of, "we'll continue to get in trouble against good teams as long as we don't have a sound tactical plan - we depend too much on talent alone" after which Martinez replied "well, that's his opinion" :laugh:

    Our defence can also be a problem eventually, as it was during the EC against Wales. The starting trio of Alderweireld-Kompany-Vertonghen is excellent (mostly) - if they're fit. Vermaelen has always been good for the NT, even if he's not playing much club football. After that there's just no depth. Laurent Ciman, Christian Kabasele and Dedrick Boyata all got their chance last week and each of them were terrible. The Ciman-Boyata partnership against Mexico was almost comically bad. Hirving Lozano ran circles around them all night long. Nobody even knows why Ciman is still with the team, he's a 30-something playing in Canada :help: he must have something on Martinez. There's a couple of young guys who should make the WC squad, Leander Dendoncker from Anderlecht (but will make a big move in the summer) who can play at the back, and also Bjorn Engels who moved to Olympiakos in August and has had a bright start so far. Engels however wasn't called up last week and I fear that's a sign Martinez doesn't have him in his plans for the WC.

    This will probably be another WC where we make the knockout stages, maybe survive one round and then get outcoached by one of the big boys, after which Martinez will be fired and we hopefully, finally, get a real coach.
     
  24. tony d

    tony d HFBoards Sponsor Sponsor

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    Congrats to Peru, we now have our 32, there's a World Cup randomizer website that I have a link to with my randomization:

    2018 FIFA World Cup Final Draw Simulator - ULTRAZONE

    If that randomization actually happens here's my predictions:

    Group A: Spain, Costa Rica, Australia, Russia
    Group B: Belguim, Switzerland, Korea, Egypt
    Group C: Brazil, England, Sweden, Panama
    Group D: Germany, Colombia, Morocco, Iran
    Group E: Uruguay, Poland, Serbia, Senegal
    Group F: Argentina, Croatia, Nigeria, Iceland
    Group G: Portugal, Mexico, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia
    Group H: France, Denmark, Peru, Japan

    Playoffs:

    Spain over Switzerland
    Brazil over Colombia
    Uruguay over Croatia
    Portugal over Denmark
    Belguim over Costa Rica
    Germany over England
    Argentina over Poland
    France over Mexico

    Brazil over Spain
    Portugal over Uruguay
    Germany over Belguim
    France over Argentina

    Brazil over Portugal
    Germany over France

    Brazil over Germany
     
  25. AstrophysicalJet

    AstrophysicalJet King Jordan

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    Sorry if I misunderstood what you meant. Just heard it before:)

    Well we disagree that the rankings reflect well the teams strength:)
     

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