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World Cup 2018

Lord Camomile

Lemonade socialist
Lots to talk about between now and the start of the tournament on 14 June, not least whether people will actually be engaging with it or boycotting because of various issues with the host.

However, before then the draw for the group stages is today, 3pm

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Lots of permutations for groups of death or... I dunno, what do we call the opposite of the group of death?
 

S☼I

don't wait to be kind
I expect for England it'll be somewhere between a group of death (i.e. Brazil, Sweden/Egypt, Nigeria) or a soft play area (Russia, Iran, Panama)

Gonna do a predict and say Argentina, Costa Rica, Japan (though wouldn't be at all surprised if Iceland came up, lol)
 

S☼I

don't wait to be kind
Ultimate Group of Death, of course, wouldn't involve England at all.

Brazil, Spain, Egypt, Serbia would be nasty
 

Lord Camomile

Lemonade socialist
Ultimate Group of Death, of course, wouldn't involve England at all.

Brazil, Spain, Egypt, Serbia would be nasty
I saw some suggesting Sweden and Japan are also potential dangers in pots 3 and 4 respectively.

Not sure anyone's too concerned about England :hmm:
 

S☼I

don't wait to be kind
I saw some suggesting Sweden and Japan are also potential dangers in pots 3 and 4 respectively.
If King Zlatan comes out of retirement then Sweden will be horrible. I mean they're always hard to beat, like Burnley, but with him they're much better. Japan - don't know much about them really. Couldn't name a player. Does Honda still play for them? Seem to remember he was a bit tasty once upon a time. (Good engine, etc.)
 

littlebabyjesus

one of Maxwell's demons
I don't see anything scary in pots 3 and 4. I see England getting through the group stages. The problems start then.
 

S☼I

don't wait to be kind
I don't see anything scary in pots 3 and 4. I see England getting through the group stages. The problems start then.
England are toss, though. I can see us losing to, say, Argentina (who win all their games), and then drawing with Egypt who go on to beat Serbia while we draw with them, sending us out.
 

littlebabyjesus

one of Maxwell's demons
Egypt by all accounts are pretty solid in defence and have the Premiership's form striker in Salah as their capt.
They're an interesting one because, given how well they've done in the Africa Cup of Nations over the years and how much their club teams dominate African Champions Leagues, they've massively underperformed at World Cups. Maybe this will be their year.
 

S☼I

don't wait to be kind
They're an interesting one because, given how well they've done in the Africa Cup of Nations over the years and how much their club teams dominate African Champions Leagues, they've massively underperformed at World Cups. Maybe this will be their year.
Last 8 would represent a big success, do you think?
 

littlebabyjesus

one of Maxwell's demons
Last 8 would represent a big success, do you think?
Yes. It would equal the best for an African nation. Doesn't look like a strong African contingent this time around. Cameroon and Ivory Coast missing. Also a shame Chile aren't there, imo. I really enjoyed them last time. Two continental champions missing.
 

S☼I

don't wait to be kind
So who's going to win the thing, then? Obviously Germany and Brazil will be there or thereabouts - Germany because they're doing the same as always, Brazil because they won't make the same mistake as last time.

I'd love Argentina to win it just so people will shut up about Messi not being the greatest player ever. A forward line of Messi, Aguero and Di Maria is as good as anything in the world. Rest of the team looks a bit unexciting, though.
Spain are good again and have genuine world class talent in Ramos, Pique, Isco and Morata. Nobody will want to play them.
I have a sneaking suspicion France will go very close. Their strength in depth is huge and if they field a side with Pogba, Kante, Griezmann, M'Bappe and Dembele they're going to be leathering a lot of teams.
 

not-bono-ever

They are ringing the bells now but soon...
someone on the telly was suggesting that Ingerland could travel between their matches by sleeper train if they were thousands of km apart. sound perfect . lolz.
 

littlebabyjesus

one of Maxwell's demons
By having a reasonable group, and then carefully not playing friendlies, those money raising games against minnows, and one's against the top teams (if you dont win them) screw your co-efficient.
The points system is bonkers. You get zero points for a defeat, regardless of who it was against, then you get wildly differing points for a draw/win depending on the strength of the opposition. Play loads of minnows and beat them, and you get few points. Play loads of top teams and lose most matches but win a few, and you can get more points. If you only play minnows, you're buggered even if you win all of them, as it's your average points per game that counts. You can actually play a game against a low-ranked team and have it reduce your ranking regardless of the result.
 

littlebabyjesus

one of Maxwell's demons
So who's going to win the thing, then? Obviously Germany and Brazil will be there or thereabouts - Germany because they're doing the same as always, Brazil because they won't make the same mistake as last time.

I'd love Argentina to win it just so people will shut up about Messi not being the greatest player ever. A forward line of Messi, Aguero and Di Maria is as good as anything in the world. Rest of the team looks a bit unexciting, though.
Spain are good again and have genuine world class talent in Ramos, Pique, Isco and Morata. Nobody will want to play them.
I have a sneaking suspicion France will go very close. Their strength in depth is huge and if they field a side with Pogba, Kante, Griezmann, M'Bappe and Dembele they're going to be leathering a lot of teams.
France are a good call. Should have won the Euros really. Annoying that a country that doesn't even really care about football that much keeps producing such great teams.
 

belboid

TUC Off Your Knees
The points system is bonkers. You get zero points for a defeat, regardless of who it was against, then you get wildly differing points for a draw/win depending on the strength of the opposition. Play loads of minnows and beat them, and you get few points. Play loads of top teams and lose most matches but win a few, and you can get more points. If you only play minnows, you're buggered even if you win all of them, as it's your average points per game that counts. You can actually play a game against a low-ranked team and have it reduce your ranking regardless of the result.
Yup, that's what did England in 2014, iirr (maybe 2010). Kept out of Pot1 by Switzerland, who avoided friendlies, by playing someone like Thailand as a last minute money raiser, won easily, but still dropped points overall and thus below the Swiss.
 

Supine

Rough Like Badger
Southgate and a plucky group of younger players will get to the final where they beat Germany 8:0. They'll all be heroes for life :thumbs:
 
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