2018 FIFA World Cup XXI

I know it's a long shot, but I want a real shock winner this time. Netherlands not in, neither Italy. I hope Germany, Spain, France, Brazil and Argentina don't win. I want a brand new winner. Maybe Belgium? Maybe underdogs from S. America or Africa? Maybe Croatia can have another dream run as they did back in 1998 (were unlucky to lose to France in the semi that year)? It would be cool to see Iceland repeat their heroics of two years ago at the Euros. What about England? I know they are among the possible champions and they are one of the big nations at the WC, but they are sort of the 'lovable losers' of international football. Haven't won a WC since 1966 (on home soil) and that was also the last time they were in the final. Last time they made the semis was 1990. They may be due, but don't think they have the mentality and the tough British media will be on them like hyenas.
 
Pains me to say it as an Englishman, but I think Germany will do well once again. Their squad is stacked and they have the right mix of valuable experience and talented youngsters. 5/1 is a very fair price.

Hopefully England will get out of their group, Belgium will be tough but they've got no excuses against Panama and Tunisia. A potential QF against Brazil is on the cards, and that is likely to be the end of the road.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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BullsFan22 said:
I know it's a long shot, but I want a real shock winner this time. Netherlands not in, neither Italy. I hope Germany, Spain, France, Brazil and Argentina don't win. I want a brand new winner. Maybe Belgium? Maybe underdogs from S. America or Africa? Maybe Croatia can have another dream run as they did back in 1998 (were unlucky to lose to France in the semi that year)? It would be cool to see Iceland repeat their heroics of two years ago at the Euros. What about England? I know they are among the possible champions and they are one of the big nations at the WC, but they are sort of the 'lovable losers' of international football. Haven't won a WC since 1966 (on home soil) and that was also the last time they were in the final. Last time they made the semis was 1990. They may be due, but don't think they have the mentality and the tough British media will be on them like hyenas.
A new winner would be nice. I have no feelings for Belgium for some reasons, but I really like Croatia and I haven't lost faith in Columbia. The thing is though that amongst the teams that could be new winners, I have trouble to imagine them not falling to the sword of one of the old ones in the later stages.

You are the first person though who discribes England as 'lovable losers' I know. Is that a common theme somewhere?
In a way I maybe felt this way the last Euros about them, before that it was pretty much the other way around. It wasn't only the press blowing their quality out of proportions. Even though they are pretty good at it.


Meanwhile in other news Jogi Löw isn't taking Leroy Sané to the World Cup.
 
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Pricey_sky said:
Pains me to say it as an Englishman, but I think Germany will do well once again. Their squad is stacked and they have the right mix of valuable experience and talented youngsters. 5/1 is a very fair price.

Hopefully England will get out of their group, Belgium will be tough but they've got no excuses against Panama and Tunisia. A potential QF against Brazil is on the cards, and that is likely to be the end of the road.
Tunisia will be hard to break down for England, or any team. They've drawn against Portugal and have beaten Costa Rica (remember them?) and Egypt in the last year. Belgium otoh have brilliant players but a terrible collective, partly due to martinez, so England have a chance imo.
 
England and Belgium wouldn't be underdog winners. They would be winners who have a lot of talent, would usually be seen as favorites and only aren't because of bad coaching. An underdog is someone who plays better than it would be expected looking at their players and not someone who finally plays as well as they should have for years. Colombia winning would be an underdog
 
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Brullnux said:
shalgo said:
For the first time since 1982, I will not be watching any of the World Cup.
Russia? Or a USA/Italy/Netherlands fan?

The world cup has been held in worse places.
Because of the host country; can't think of a worse host in the time I have been watching the World Cup. I will also be avoiding 2022.
 
Dec 30, 2009
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Really looking forward to this. Maybe in my dreams Scotland will make it again sometime!! Anyhoo, Uruguay the team to look out for as an outsider. Difficult to see beyond the usual big four of Germany, France, Spain and Brazil for the win. But I hope Belgium gel. England should get through their group and then likely face either Poland or Colombia. 50/50 on either of them. No way England go any further, just not good enough. ps my money is already on France:)
 
Four days!

One thing which I'm very interested to see at this world cup as a neutral is how England's 3-3-2-2 works out against better sides. It offers decent defensive cover (five at the back) and good attacking ones but to my eye needs the second coming of Mathaus or Viera in midfield to avoid it being completely overrun. The 3-5-2, which is essentially what this is, usually has at least two classic midfielders, maybe even three, at least under Conte's successful control. Here, there's two naturally attacking midfielders. Which means that in an attack in which the wing backs are creating the width, there's only Dier for cover in the centre of the park if the ball gets turned over. Which is surely a recipe for disaster? We'll see.
 
I'm loving the WC already. Plenty of drama going on in 2 superpowers, Germany and Spain.

Oh and in Belgium everyone is suddenly hyped again for a world title after the Costa Rica beating. Opportunism is really funny in sports.
 
Wow!
https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/44467548
Spain have sacked head coach Julen Lopetegui after he was named the new Real Madrid boss, two days before their opening World Cup match with Portugal.

Real Madrid announced on Tuesday that Lopetegui would succeed Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu on a three-year deal.

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) said it had dismissed the 51-year-old because the negotiation occurred "without any information to the RFEF".

Spain sporting director Fernando Hierro will take charge for the World Cup.

The former Real Madrid and Bolton Wanderers defender is in his second spell as sporting director, having returned to the role in November 2017, six years after leaving the position.
 
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masking_agent said:
Brullnux said:
masking_agent said:
is there any "go to" site for live streams yet ?
Where are you from? In Europe most the world cup will be free to watch. Otherwise TF1 is watchable via a vpn, and I think ITV might be too.
Canada
Yeah then vpn through uk and watch BBC/ITV depending on the match. I think they alternate but they broadcast them all. It should work.

Edit: although, apparently the bbc has banned vpn users (from some vpn providers) from watching iplayer :/
 
Mar 14, 2015
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Great game and some very good goals scored.Russia looking better than at the last WC.Hopefully they manage to qualify from this group.
 
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