World Cup 2018

Anything you want to talk about.

Re: World Cup 2018

Postby Jegpeg » 02 Dec 2017, 19:25

buckielugger wrote:Russia got a VERY easy group, by far the weakest of them all.
Russia themselves are currently the lowest FIFA ranked country of the final 32 yet were made top seeds...hmmm
2nd weakest are the Saudis...
Group B most interesting with a triple local derby of Spain, Portugal AND Morocco!!!

For me, i shall have to be cheering the Belgians on... ;)


The way the rankings work the hosts are always artificially low at the start of a world cup.
The are based on your average "points" per game, you get 0 points for a loss and 3 times as many points for a win as a draw, you also get more points for beating a high ranked team (beating the No 1 ranked team scores twice as many points as the 101 ranks team, there is also a small adjustment for continental conference) .

The problem comes is that you get 2.5 times as many points for a qualifier than a friendly, if you don't play any qualifiers you get a lot less ranking points. In 2015 Russia were ranked 24 in the world and there results since then have been OK they have just been clobbered in the rankings because they were all friendlies (apart from a couple of confederations cup games)

Having said that while Russia are not the worst team in the competition they are not as good as any of the other top seeds, the teams playing against them also have to deal with home advantage, which might put them on a par with Poland.

I think there has been a great deal of levelling off between nations, as scouts from the top clubs go anywhere in the world so players from anywhere can play in a top European league. It is interesting that Sweden knocked out both the Netherlands and Italy and the results show they are very similar in quality but the Swedes have a lot less financial draw than Italy or even the Dutch.

Before the draw one commentator was coming up with a "group of death" for England his logic of picking Brazil over Germany was that if we were in the same group as Germany we would avoid a European team in Pot 3, it is very out of date thinking that European teams (outside the top 3 or 4 that are in the top group of seeds) are better than the rest of the world. In the last two world cups only 6 of 13 European teams qualified for the knock out stages.

I am not a betting man but if I was I would probably be looking at Germany (best team at the moment and European teams always seem to do better in Europe) or Belgium who seem to have pretty good odds at around 12/1. I also think the difference between countries is small enough that 750/1 on Iran or Tunisia are very good odds.
Jegpeg
 
Posts: 1121
Joined: 08 Dec 2009, 20:56
Location: Scotland
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1090)
All-game rating: (1378)
Timezone: GMT

Re: World Cup 2018

Postby sjg11 » 02 Dec 2017, 20:27

1. Not sure Russia actually did get an easy group. Egypt and Uruguay were tricky teams from Pots 2 and 3 while even the Saudis were not the weakest team in Pot 4. Like replace Russia with Brazil and Brazil, Uruguay, Egypt and Saudi starts to look substantially trickier. Particularly when one of the Iberians is likely lurking in the last 16
2. Jegpeg raises a good point that European sides are not as dominant as they were in, for example, 1998. But they are still the strongest confederation and in a European World Cup I expect to see plenty of Euro teams in the last 16 and probably another Euro winner. That having been said I do feel that good teams like Japan, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Senegal, South Korea, Aussies and Peru are being written off too quickly. All good sides who have a decent shot at a last 16 place. Certainly in roughly the same bracket as solid Euro sides like Serbia or Denmark.
3. I wouldn't bet on Iran or Tunisia. Iran have to get past Portugal and Spain while Tunisia have to get past England and Belgium, both teams seem like a waste of a fiver. If you're going for one of the weaker sides to do something sensational maybe something like Saudi or Australia to maybe sneak out of the group stage might be a better bet...
4. Also don't agree with general sentiment that Germany are favourites. I think they're weaker than they were 4 years ago, yes they were good in qualifying but their group was weak, as shown by the fact that Northern Ireland comfortably finished second in the group. I think there are 6 teams that really stand out as potential winners to me (Spain, Belgium, France, Germany, Brazil, Argentina). Of that lot, Belgium have an incredible first XI but if one of Kompany/Vertonghen/Alderweireld gets injured I really start to worry about their defence. Argentina are the other slightly swingy side for me, so many question marks over them but if they click they'll launch a serious challenge. That having been said, if they don't click and continue being as poor as they were in qualifying, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria could easily knock them out in the group stages.
5. England... I'll be angry if we don't reach the quarter-finals looking at our draw and I'll be over the moon if we get past the quarters. Logic suggests a heroic quarter-final defeat to Brazil and Germany will follow. Wouldn't be too upset about that. We definitely look stronger than we did in 2014 but still a long way off being good enough to actually compete for the title.
6. Hope that Sweden show that knocking out Italy and Holland was no fluke and don't revert to the dull side that emerged in 2016 which proceeded to do nothing memorable all tournament. If they and Mexico click... things could tricky for Germany, particularly with a solid Korean side in that group too.
One of the people in charge of the Mafia forum.
Telleo wrote:The mafia forum, to them,
Sir SJG's known as a gem,
He writes a good game,
and runs it the same,
Oh what a perfect GM!

Come on Arsenal!
User avatar
sjg11
 
Posts: 15288
Joined: 24 Dec 2010, 15:30
Class: Diplomat
Standard rating: (886)
All-game rating: (882)
Timezone: GMT

Re: World Cup 2018

Postby Jegpeg » 03 Dec 2017, 01:20

Groups can easily be turned upside down.

In the last world cup Costa Rica were give no chance in a group of England Italy and Uruguay but they didn't just qualify but won the group. Spain also went out to Chile, seen as one of if not the weakest South American team. In 2010, France who were runners up in Germany came bottom of their group, as did Italy.

Given that England have gone out to Costa Rica and Iceland in the last two tournaments I can easily see Tunisia knocking them out this summer. I picked Iran because they had the most comfortable Qualifying of any team in Asia but I also think Portugal are somewhat overated, they won the 2016 Euros but only finished third in their group behind the might of Hungary and Iceland if anything happens to Ronaldo. Australia and Saudi Arabia might be more likely to get out the group but I think they are less likely to get though the knock-out stages that Iran or Tunisia.

I still reckon Germany are the strongest team, in qualifying you can only beat the other teams in front of you and won the Confederations cup. Behind them I would put France, Brazil, Spain and Belgium (in no particular order), Argentina have been very poor recently and while they could suddenly fire up to world beaters I think is is less likely than the teams mentioned.

As far as England are concerned (to a certain extent this is true of anyone but particularly England) anything can happen, if we repeat our abject performances in Euro 16 and Brazil 2014 we will be out in the group stage, but we are also capable of beating the best in the world on our day so could win the whole thing.
Jegpeg
 
Posts: 1121
Joined: 08 Dec 2009, 20:56
Location: Scotland
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1090)
All-game rating: (1378)
Timezone: GMT

Re: World Cup 2018

Postby sjg11 » 03 Dec 2017, 16:42

Jegpeg wrote:Groups can easily be turned upside down.

In the last world cup Costa Rica were give no chance in a group of England Italy and Uruguay but they didn't just qualify but won the group. Spain also went out to Chile, seen as one of if not the weakest South American team. In 2010, France who were runners up in Germany came bottom of their group, as did Italy.

1. Of course shocks happen. But I'd be very disappointed if England were knocked out by Panama or Tunisia in the group stages,
2. As for your examples, I remember viewing Chile as a dangerous dark horse before 2014 because of the way they slaughtered England a few months before the draw? But yes I did expect Holland and Spain to progress from that group. I mean, Spain were two-time European and the reigning World champions.
3. To be fair France in 2010 was more down to their manager being a lunatic and them spending the entire tournament fighting each other. Slightly unusual situation.
4. The Italy example is a very good one however, they weren't even in a difficult group.
Given that England have gone out to Costa Rica and Iceland in the last two tournaments I can easily see Tunisia knocking them out this summer. I picked Iran because they had the most comfortable Qualifying of any team in Asia but I also think Portugal are somewhat overated, they won the 2016 Euros but only finished third in their group behind the might of Hungary and Iceland if anything happens to Ronaldo. Australia and Saudi Arabia might be more likely to get out the group but I think they are less likely to get though the knock-out stages that Iran or Tunisia.

I'd still be livid if we were knocked out by Tunisia. They're the weakest African side. We should be beating them (and Panama for that matter). If we can't beat Tunisia or Panama then we have no business at the World Cup.

As for Iran, they'll be well organised defensively but I don't think they have the quality in the final third to pull off a shock. Portugal are a little bit overrated and them winning the Euros was a travesty but they still have more quality than Iran. That being said, it wouldn't be the biggest shock I've ever seen if Morocco dumped them out, Morocco are a good side who can't be underestimated.
I still reckon Germany are the strongest team, in qualifying you can only beat the other teams in front of you and won the Confederations cup. Behind them I would put France, Brazil, Spain and Belgium (in no particular order), Argentina have been very poor recently and while they could suddenly fire up to world beaters I think is is less likely than the teams mentioned.

But looking at the other contenders:
Argentina and Brazil had to survive in South America (Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, trips to places like Ecuador, decent Peru side)
Spain had to deal with Italy
France had to deal with Holland and Sweden
Belgium had to deal with Greece and Bosnia

My point is that of all the main contenders Germany are the ones who had the easiest path, all the games listed above were tougher than anything Germany went through in qualifying. Personally I think all of the contenders bar Argentina are more likely champions... debatable on Belgium as Belgium are a side who need good luck with injuries so it's difficult to come to a fair judgment on them until we get closer to the tournament.

As for Confederations Cup, it's a good thing to win but they didn't look that impressive in the games I watched to be honest. I actually thought that Chile were the better side in the final and they finished beneath both Brazil and Argentina in qualifying.

Argentina- I agree with you on that. I just rate Sampaoli as a manager and I can't discount a team with the firepower Argentina possess. I still view them as a contender albeit one that needs to get their act together quickly.
As far as England are concerned (to a certain extent this is true of anyone but particularly England) anything can happen, if we repeat our abject performances in Euro 16 and Brazil 2014 we will be out in the group stage, but we are also capable of beating the best in the world on our day so could win the whole thing.

I think we agree largely although we disagree slightly on how likely it is that England get knocked out in the groups. I would be very surprised and disappointed if we didn't reach the last 16. Even then I'd be very unhappy with a defeat to any side in Group H.
One of the people in charge of the Mafia forum.
Telleo wrote:The mafia forum, to them,
Sir SJG's known as a gem,
He writes a good game,
and runs it the same,
Oh what a perfect GM!

Come on Arsenal!
User avatar
sjg11
 
Posts: 15288
Joined: 24 Dec 2010, 15:30
Class: Diplomat
Standard rating: (886)
All-game rating: (882)
Timezone: GMT

Previous

Return to Off-topic

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests