World Cup 2018 thread. (Original Thread)

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Lumpy Talbot

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Opening game Russia against Saudi Arabia on Thursday 14th June in Moscow after a tedious and self-referential opening ceremony with lots of elderly fat men in suits in the VIP boxes. There are 8 groups of four nations. To get going I'll lay out the groups and my predictions where I can for the group stages.

Group A

Russia
Saudi Arabia
Egypt
Uruguay

Hard to see anything other than Russia and Uruguay emerging here but Egypt may shock one of them on their day. However I think it will be a tedious group.

Group B

Portugal
Spain
Morocco
Iran

Should be Spain and Portugal emerging although Morocco are the wild card and have it in them to produce a shock result. Iran don't.

Group C

France
Australia
Peru
Denmark

Australia have the ability to ruin the hopes of at least two other teams in this group but would need to put in great team performances. It should be France and Denmark to go through but there is room on the bus home for a quietened big gun of the game.

Group D

Argentina
Croatia
Iceland
Nigeria

Possibly the most unpredictable group. Argentina should go through but are just as likely to get caught in a hot-tub the night before with some girls, Nigeria versus Croatia could be a wild game and Iceland may well have had their moment in the sun recently but would need to replicate the shield wall in this group to progress.

Group E

Brazil
Switzerland
Costa Rica
Serbia

Brazil obvious front-runners to go through, Switzerland everyone's favourite to go home as they are incredibly boring. Costa Rica and Serbia aren't boring but may well fall into a stupor playing Switzerland and one of them may slip up. It would be okay to see Brazil and Costa Rica through as at least they are likely to remember the goal at the other end of the pitch.


Group F

Germany
Mexico
Sweden
South Korea

Jeez. This is hard. Germany and either Mexico or Sweden to go through, but probably Sweden on headed goals against Mexico and South Korea. South Korea will be high tempo buzzing about but not much of an end product unless there is a secret breeding camp for rising salmon in the penalty box five miles south of Seoul about to be sprung on the world.

Group G

Belgium
Panama
Tunisia
England

Belgium one of the best teams in the world on paper. Unfortunately for Belgium association football is actually played on grass. This enigma wrapped inside a conundrum is as yet unresolved by Belgian coaches. If they do figure it out Belgium could top this group and odds drop dramatically but they are just as likely to huff and puff. England also a conundrum but psychologically need to get their players over the fear of being labelled as the fall-guy by the tabloids back home. England playing freely and to the strengths of their game at home would be challenging but as is so often the case the build-up paralyses any chance of natural expression and the phrase 'there is no easy game at this level' is seldom far away. Should be Belgium and England going through but both teams have an achilles heel often referred to as 'the opposition'.

Group H

Poland
Senegal
Colombia
Japan

No-one other than their fans actually cares.

Other than that the cameramen will try to get us glimpses of pretty girls (probably very blond) in the crowd but not enough to annoy the politically correct. There will be sh1tloads of analysis pre, mid, and post games which at least gives employment to retired players in a sort of Royal Hospital way without the natty uniforms. There will be terrible suits, someone will go home in disgrace, outrage over refereeing decisions and the Russian hosts won't be able to resist spying on everyone.

Germany will probably win it. Selah. The hog is in the tunnel alongside the many, many officials.

The match schedules
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/world-cup/schedule/group-stage

Current odds as at 20th May for top scorer competition... https://www.oddschecker.com/football/world-cup/top-goalscorer
 
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Niall996

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Way too many countries and gutless corrupt FIFA regime continuing to allow rogue nations participate.
 

General Urko

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I wonder how Denmark will do, I suspect they will be on the first plane back and Serbia as well, even though both groups are not insurmountable!
For once, Engerland seem to have realistic expectations and will probably make the QFs!
Again a country from the elite small group that have already won it, will win it!
 

General Urko

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Way too many countries and gutless corrupt FIFA regime continuing to allow rogue nations participate.
A 24 team Euro'16 which was a proposal originally made by The FAI and SFA did in no way detract from the quality of it, only one team was superfluous to requirements and that was Engerland!
 

Niall996

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A 24 team Euro'16 which was a proposal originally made by The FAI and SFA did in no way detract from the quality of it, only one team was superfluous to requirements and that was Engerland!
At least half the teams haven't a hope in hell of even getting out of their groups. They shouldn't be there. Pointless waste of everyone's time. The qualifiers are there to weed out the rubbish,
 

Northsideman

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Luis Saurez 25-1 with Ladbrokes to be top scorer and in a group where he could run amok is a tempting bet.

I am on but tempted to take some more.
 

Northsideman

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At least half the teams haven't a hope in hell of even getting out of their groups. They shouldn't be there. Pointless waste of everyone's time. The qualifiers are there to weed out the rubbish,
And please the sponsors and pay the crazy money to run the gig.
 

General Urko

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At least half the teams haven't a hope in hell of even getting out of their groups. They shouldn't be there. Pointless waste of everyone's time. The qualifiers are there to weed out the rubbish,
There has actually been quite a levelling off in standards in international football and expect a few surprises in these groups wrt to whom makes it to the knockout stages! Last time out Costa Rica knocked Engerland and Italy out!
And of course in The Last Euros, Iceland dumped Engerland out and that wasn't as much a surprise as the English Medya thought!
 

General Urko

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Lumpy, ya Jammy Git ya, starting a juicy thread like this one!:rolleyes:
 

General Urko

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Luis Saurez 25-1 with Ladbrokes to be top scorer and in a group where he could run amok is a tempting bet.

I am on but tempted to take some more.
Wot about Mo?
 

Northsideman

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Odds that high because the chomper might not last the distance?
Perhaps but this time he ain't looking for a way out if Liverpool so less likely to pull a stunt, he's in a group of ************************e, Russia are a joke.

BTW shouldn't you be on the way to Sunday Worship not posting about the devils work of gambling?
 

Niall996

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There has actually been quite a levelling off in standards in international football and expect a few surprises in these groups wrt to whom makes it to the knockout stages! Last time out Costa Rica knocked Engerland and Italy out!
And of course in The Last Euros, Iceland dumped Engerland out and that wasn't as much a surprise as the English Medya thought!
Hope so.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Luis Saurez 25-1 with Ladbrokes to be top scorer and in a group where he could run amok is a tempting bet.

I am on but tempted to take some more.
Good call on the competition for top scorer to be more interesting than the World Cup itself. Oddschecker market on top scorers added to the OP.
 

Cruimh

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Perhaps but this time he ain't looking for a way out if Liverpool so less likely to pull a stunt, he's in a group of ************************e, Russia are a joke.

BTW shouldn't you be on the way to Sunday Worship not posting about the devils work of gambling?
Living is worship 24/7

Suarez would be a fair bet for Diver of the tournament ....
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Suarez is one of those undoubtedly talented players it is almost impossible to like alright. He'll probably go down in the tunnel before actually reaching the pitch.
 
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