The Real Football Thread

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A recap of all Qatari issues, reports of match rigging, confronting accreditation from Danish TV, gee who could’ve predicted this:rolleyes:

On the sporting side of the World Cup, I wished I had hopes for the USA to get past the round of 16 but I say I can’t, so Argentina will beat Brazil in the final 2-1.
Fifa boss Infantino firmly supporting the decision to have Qatar host the World Cup, not sure he has much choice because that wouldn't be profitable for anyone. https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/63687412

Because of all the restrictions we Westerners aren't accustomed to I think this will be a very "interesting" Cup. My people (the Czechs) didn't qualify, so being I occasionally catch parts of Bundesliga matches I guess I'll be rooting for Germany. And England (god help them, it's been a while :tearsofjoy:), I also catch parts of Premier League matches here and there. Overall I have no idea who has a realistic chance of winning though.
 
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Yes, Ecuador! (For Grapes reasons we aren't allowed to discuss here I'll just say there isn't a single bone in my body that wishes for Qatar to win even just one match.)

US v. Wales tomorrow should be interesting. Don't know much about the Wales team but think the US will win.
 
Yesterday Argentina got beaten by Saudi Arabia and Denmark were held by Tunisia, today Germany got its collective rear end handed to them by Japan. Quite a lot of major upsets already.

Argentinas loss has clearly been the biggest shock of those, but a draw between Mexico and Poland means they still have a very decent chance to even win their group. Their next game is with the Mexicans who have been quite uncomfortable opponents for them in some past tournaments, although Mexico weren't particularily impressive yesterday themselves.
 
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Yesterday Argentina got beaten by Saudi Arabia and Denmark were held by Tunisia, today Germany got its collective rear end handed to them by Japan. Quite a lot of major upsets already.

Argentinas loss has clearly been the biggest shock of those, but a draw between Mexico and Poland means they still have a very decent chance to even win their group. Their next game is with the Mexicans who have been quite uncomfortable opponents for them in some past tournaments, although Mexico weren't particularily impressive yesterday themselves.
Mexico is always a bit of a wildcard, they can make lots of people look bad when it's not up to them to make the game.
I've only seen some highlights, but Argentina looked really bad and out of ideas against a defence that had their back 4 that advanced. Yes there was a decent amount of harsh fouls involved, but the really looked out of ideas, on paper they should have been able to feed a fast striker a ton of balls against that style of defence.

Overall the level of interest seems to be a lot lower here in interest. Maybe a bit because of the stuff surrounding the WC, but also because it's just the wrong time of the year with the approaching winter. No big public viewing or having a few drinks with friends in a Biergarten right now.
 
Mexico is always a bit of a wildcard, they can make lots of people look bad when it's not up to them to make the game.
I've only seen some highlights, but Argentina looked really bad and out of ideas against a defence that had their back 4 that advanced. Yes there was a decent amount of harsh fouls involved, but the really looked out of ideas, on paper they should have been able to feed a fast striker a ton of balls against that style of defence.

Overall the level of interest seems to be a lot lower here in interest. Maybe a bit because of the stuff surrounding the WC, but also because it's just the wrong time of the year with the approaching winter. No big public viewing or having a few drinks with friends in a Biergarten right now.
I saw that game only in patches, but it looked like the biggest issue for Argentina was the timing of runs and passes. Three off-side goals tell their own story. They only looked out of ideas in the later part of the second half when nothing had worked out, supposedly weaker opponent had wind in their sails and anxiety grew. They were caught off-guard with the way Saudis came out after half-time, maybe having it too easy in the first half, let their concentration drop as a consequence and paid the price. The Saudis really played out of their skins in that second half, but 8 out of 10 times games like that are dead and buried after the first one.

For now I consider this a freak result and have a difficult time seeing Saudis take many points from their next games. Mexico and Poland now know what to expect from them, have individually better players and have had additional time to train together. One thing Argentina cannot afford in the next game is letting Mexico take the lead - if that happens, psychological aspects may make it too hard for them to come back. I may of course turn out to be completely wrong, but only time will tell.
 
Tunisia side is pretty underrated. They have some good players and have been recovering for a few years. They won't do anything better than round of 16 at best, but they can push a lot of teams on their day and them holding Denmark is less of a shock to me than Saudi Arabia beating Argentina, maybe even less than Japan beating Germany, although Japan are a bit more respected nowadays after their last few tournaments.
 
Valverde and Betancur starting for Uruguay!!
Betancur starting anything anywhere would be a major miracle, has he been heard from since, according to wiki, he's been taking a break from cycling since April of last year?

Back to the WC - I'm playing catchup and still have to watch some replays, particularly the Germany - Japan and Saudi Arabia - Argentina matches. The Japanese do not shock me too much but Argentina losing to the Saudis is definitely a headscratcher.
 
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