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View Poll Results: Who do you think will win the world cup ?
Russia 5 2.65%
Germany 46 24.34%
Argentina 18 9.52%
Australia 0 0%
Belgium 21 11.11%
Brazil 30 15.87%
Colombia 0 0%
Costa Rica 1 0.53%
Croatia 8 4.23%
Denmark 0 0%
Egypt 0 0%
England 9 4.76%
France 29 15.34%
Iceland 0 0%
Iran 0 0%
Japan 0 0%
Mexico 2 1.06%
Morocco 0 0%
Nigeria 0 0%
Panama 0 0%
Peru 1 0.53%
Poland 1 0.53%
Portugal 7 3.70%
Saudi Arabia 1 0.53%
Senegal 0 0%
Serbia 0 0%
South Korea 0 0%
Spain 7 3.70%
Sweden 0 0%
Switzerland 0 0%
Tunisia 0 0%
Uruguay 3 1.59%
Voters: 189. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 30th June 2018, 13:12   #196
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Default Re: The Football World Cup Thread - Russia, 2018

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Originally Posted by tortoiseNhare View Post
Pre-tournament favourites France meets Argentina today in the first knockout match of WC18. France is yet to click as a cohesive unit but I hope they will peak at just the right moment. I had voted for France and mentioned Belgium as a dark horse. But dark horse is a misnomer in the sense that Belgium seems to be even more fancied to lift the cup. These two teams are drawn to meet in the semifinal however.
I more or less did the same. I voted for France to lift the cup, but I feel that it could be Belgium this time!
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Old 30th June 2018, 14:55   #197
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Default Re: The Football World Cup Thread - Russia, 2018

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Yesterday was probably England's true level. There's the argument that it was essentially their B-Team, but so was Belgium's so those cancel out.

I stand by my previous position. England aren't great from open play, and good sides won't concede too many set pieces in crucial areas.

Cahill isn't a world class centre-back and will get caught out against world-class opposition. Sterling is struggling up front and neither Vardy nor Rashford look like they're a huge improvement on yesterday's evidence. If Alli isn't match fit for the next game, England are in trouble.
England historically have been like that, haven't they? They always flatter to deceive at big tourneys and this edition could be no different. Probably, the only difference this time is there is no expectation with such a young, inexperienced squad. Anything after round of 16 can be considered a success.

The biggest positive for England is the pace in the team. Their forwards and midfielders are coached by their respective clubs to play high pressing and swift attacking play. If you noticed, the Panama rout had phases of play where they showcased bursts of pace and their counter attacks were deadly. Also like you said, their dead ball game (be it corners or FK's) is very good. Well, that was against Panama, not Brazil or Germany. And there exactly lies the answer. Whether they can prove themselves against superior opposition remains a question.

Last edited by strawhat : 30th June 2018 at 14:57.
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Old 30th June 2018, 16:53   #198
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Default Re: The Football World Cup Thread - Russia, 2018

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...Whether they can prove themselves against superior opposition remains a question.
A high-press works very well when executed correctly, but it needs both pace and discipline to track back, esp. the back 4 and the holding midfielder. England are pacy going forward, but don't have world-class midfielders to hold up play when they lose the ball, and the aging and sometimes rash Cahill could be a big liability against another side that has a playmaker who can play a quick, incisive pass. Pickford doesn't seem entirely convincing in goal either.

Coutinho, Rakitic, Modric, Eriksen, even the aging Iniesta (to name a few examples off the top of my head) could catch them out with a well-placed & weighted through pass, and England neither have the legs nor technical ability to counter that for an entire game.

England need to invest in technical development at junior levels, and have more junior players playing in foreign leagues to develop better. Relying on natural ability alone isn't enough at the top, and it shows every tournament.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 30th June 2018 at 16:54.
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Old 30th June 2018, 17:15   #199
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Default Re: The Football World Cup Thread - Russia, 2018

Today's matches, any predictions or analysis? Who will triumph, Messi or Ronaldo or both?

Are we lucky enough to see the greatest of our times pit against each other? Does history suggest otherwise?
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Old 30th June 2018, 19:44   #200
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Default Re: The Football World Cup Thread - Russia, 2018

What an unwanted foul in the first 14 minutes by Argentina. They look completely strung out for now and pretty slow too. Today's luck might just be with France who seem to be the underdogs
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Old 30th June 2018, 19:51   #201
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Mbappe running riot! Earned a penalty and another foul just outside the area, in under 10 minutes. Argentina need to reboot quickly or this can get away from them.

Edit: Mbappe and Pogba linking up well. Argentina wasting whatever little they've created so far with bad touches around the France box.

Edit 2: First defensive lapse from France, and what a hit by Di Maria to capitalise! Left in acres of space, shocking defending.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 30th June 2018 at 20:13.
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Old 30th June 2018, 20:51   #202
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Commentators were going wild over Di Maria scoring a goal of the tournament candidate. It may not even be the best of the game!

Fabulous response from France, and a goal of a lifetime for the young Frenchman Pavard. Take a bow lad, that one came from the back of the top drawer.

Two more, and today looks like when France finally move their pedigree from paper to pitch.

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Old 30th June 2018, 21:06   #203
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Default Re: The Football World Cup Thread - Russia, 2018

Wow... amazing first match of Round of 16 - France Vs Argentina.

Argentina have probably played their best game of this world cup but the French have just upped the ante and responded very well to lead 4-2, doesn't look like Argentina can bounce back with just under 13 minutes left.

Edit:it's France moving to the last 8 stage and all over for Argentina in this edition.

Last edited by NPV : 30th June 2018 at 21:26.
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Old 30th June 2018, 21:11   #204
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De Maria goal was just a wrong foot in the path of a ball maybe going away. Nothing to talk about. But the goals from Mbappe was such a poetic murder of Argentina. Their defence looks to be undone. Their midfielders not creating any play. Why is Augero coming in so late. Where is Dybala and for all the disaster where is Higuain. Looks like Sampaoli will just get into the pitch and play instead of them !!!
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Old 30th June 2018, 22:06   #205
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Default Re: The Football World Cup Thread - Russia, 2018

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Fabulous response from France, and a goal of a lifetime for the young Frenchman Pavard. Take a bow lad, that one came from the back of the top drawer.
Wasn't it a carbon copy of Nacho's against Portugal?

Argentina out and I'd say good riddance (apologies to their fans) they were very poor whole tournament. Their midfield and defence are a joke and goalkeeper a big joker. It needs major rebuilding. Its a shame a talent like Dybala could not play. I guess the coach Sampaoli will get fired, maybe today itself. I read he has a long term deal and will cost them 15m to leave, but their football federation is almost bankrupt!! Big trouble ahead for the football crazy nation.

Great game by the French though. That guy Mbappe can play, and how he can. What a player. He can take over from Ronaldo and Messi one day and that day doesn't look far off. The French have a strong claim to the cup now.
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Old 30th June 2018, 22:14   #206
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Default Re: The Football World Cup Thread - Russia, 2018

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Wasn't it a carbon copy of Nacho's against Portugal?

Argentina out and I'd say good riddance (apologies to their fans) they were very poor whole tournament. Their midfield and defence are a joke and goalkeeper a big joker. It needs major rebuilding. Its a shame a talent like Dybala could not play. I guess the coach Sampaoli will get fired, maybe today itself. I read he has a long term deal and will cost them 15m to leave, but their football federation is almost bankrupt!! Big trouble ahead for the football crazy nation.

Great game by the French though. That guy Mbappe can play, and how he can. What a player. He can take over from Ronaldo and Messi one day and that day doesn't look far off. The French have a strong claim to the cup now.
Agree with everything except that French have a strong claim to the cup. They were lucky they had a bad team like Argentina to play. They were just marginally better and if they wanna go all the way their defense needs major work around.
I wanted Argentina to win and then Portugal tonight cos my favorite 2 players play for them. But, Argentina just didn't deserve to win. Below par in everything. That penalty in first few minutes was simply ridiculous. All in all good for the tournament they are out.
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Old 30th June 2018, 22:16   #207
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Default Re: The Football World Cup Thread - Russia, 2018

Is this the end for Messi? We might probably not see him for the next world cup!

I predict a France vs Belgium semifinals, with Belgium going into the finals! On the other side of the qualifiers, except England & Spain all others are just underdogs! The left hand side of the qualifiers have really competing teams like Portugal, Brazil, Uruguay, France! If one team from one of these make it to the finals, they are going to win it for sure!

The one that is coming up - Portugal vs Uruguay sounds like a game to watch!

Last edited by joe1980 : 30th June 2018 at 22:23.
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Old 30th June 2018, 22:28   #208
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Is this the end for Messi? We might probably not see him for the next world cup!

The one that is coming up - Portugal vs Uruguay sounds like a game to watch!
In all probability yeah, this might be the last world cup for Messi and his dream of winning one will remain a dream. Sad.

Can't predict a winner for night's match. Too close to call. Hoping for a Portugal win
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Old 30th June 2018, 22:38   #209
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Agree with everything except that French have a strong claim to the cup. They were lucky they had a bad team like Argentina to play. They were just marginally better and if they wanna go all the way their defense needs major work around.
Well I think France is one of two sides that have world class players all over the pitch, from goalkeeper to defenders to midfield to attacking players. The other team is Belgium of course. They have such an amazing wealth of talent at their disposal, even a player like Dembele, the third costliest player in the history of the game, was only on bench. They have almost equally good players in reserves for every player. I think they can go long in the tournament and if not the champions, then the team that will beat them will be the champion.

Belgium is another team with quality all over the pitch. And they seem to be coming in the groove at the right time. It's a scary team for even the best.
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Old 30th June 2018, 23:12   #210
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Default Re: The Football World Cup Thread - Russia, 2018

So sad for Messi, one of the greatest players of our times. He already knew, coming to the tournament, that he does not have enough supporting players and he was half defeated even from the start.

The very basic building block of a team is the goal keeper, and Argentina never seemed to have great goal keepers, even Romero is/was patchy. Then comes defenders. If you are to receive goals, even the best of attackers are pressurised immediately. Argentina just have a good attack, but Messi is no Maradona or even Ronaldo to chug the rest of the team along.
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