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It looks like this:

Some good games and some not so interesting ones.

R16_Copa_28062018.jpg

France vs Brazil and Spain vs England in the semis, I suppose.

Europe: 10 teams (10/14)
South America: 4 teams (4/5)
Asia: 1 team (1/5)
CONCACAF: 1 team (1/3)
Africa: 0 teams (0/5)

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Uruguay - Portugal to have 40-35% possesion distribution. :D Less than 2 goals.

France - Argentina - GOAT level performance from Messi or France wins easily, even though they haven't impressed.

Brazil - Mexico - Can't look past Brazil, although I don't expect it to be easy.

Belgium - Japan - Battering.

Spain - Russia - Routine win for Spain.

Croatia - Denmark - Same.

Sweden - Switzerland - Hard to say, one goal to decide it, probably.

Colombia - England - Could be the most entertaining game, no clue, honestly.

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looking at that England getting to the Semis, if spain has a royal mess up, England can get to the final

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10 minutes ago, PMLF said:

France vs Brazil and Spain vs England in the semis, I suppose.

Despite the above, it will be funny if England lose to Colombia while Belgium advance to the quarterfinals or beyond.

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If Colombia play anything like they did when I watched them against Poland, we are in trouble. Big trouble.

Quintero and especially Rodriguez and Cuadrado were fantastic that day behind Radamel Falcao. Their two deeper midfielders are one to watch out for too, aswell as Davinson Sanchez and Yerry Mina on set pieces.

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1 minute ago, scott MUFC said:

looking at that England getting to the Semis, if spain has a royal mess up, England can get to the final

So, if for example Croatia beats Spain it would be easier for England in the semis?

Nothing I hate more than this kind of reasoning.

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9 minutes ago, av3ry said:

If Colombia play anything like they did when I watched them against Poland, we are in trouble. Big trouble.

Quintero and especially Rodriguez and Cuadrado were fantastic that day behind Radamel Falcao. Their two deeper midfielders are one to watch out for too, aswell as Davinson Sanchez and Yerry Mina on set pieces.

Cuadrado will dance around Young. Rose should play.

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11 minutes ago, GunmaN1905 said:

So, if for example Croatia beats Spain it would be easier for England in the semis?

Nothing I hate more than this kind of reasoning.

It's a bit illogical in situations like the one you described, but people generally fear big name teams more than not so big name teams.

It's why for instance Mexico looks an easier opponent for Brazil than Germany would.

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It really is anybodies. You could look at that 100 times and choose a different outcome every time. There is not one team there that you would say is nailed on to win their next game.

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11 minutes ago, toon_84 said:

It really is anybodies. You could look at that 100 times and choose a different outcome every time. There is not one team there that you would say is nailed on to win their next game.

Definitely this which makes this WC most interesting. 

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10 European teams in the L16.

What is the record number of European teams in the history of WC KOs? 

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1 minute ago, JDownie said:

10 European teams in the L16.

What is the record number of European teams in the history of WC KOs? 

12 in the first round of the 1938 World Cup, I suppose.

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Belgium v Croatia final.

Belgium beat Uruguay, Croatia beat England, England beat Uruguay, Belgium beat Croatia. 

Maybe the stuff of dreams but I think France could replace Uruguay and Spain in place of Croatia seems more likely. Not impossible though. Uruguay are sturdy and Croatia are fantastic. 

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2 minutes ago, JDownie said:

10 European teams in the L16.

What is the record number of European teams in the history of WC KOs? 

Depends how you define it. The early world cups were heavily weighted towards European sides and obviously they were straight KO.

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1 minute ago, PMLF said:

12 in the first round of the 1938 World Cup, I suppose.

Aha, not counting the outdated straight KOs then :D

10/16 just seems unusually high but maybe it's always like this I have a terrible memory. 

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Just now, ginnybob said:

Depends how you define it. The early world cups were heavily weighted towards European sides and obviously they were straight KO.

Yes, 1934 and 1938 had 12 European teams each.

In 1934 all 8 quarterfinalists were European.

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2 minutes ago, PMLF said:

12 in the first round of the 1938 World Cup, I suppose.

13 if you include Austria who dropped out due to the Anschluss.

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1 minute ago, JDownie said:

Aha, not counting the outdated straight KOs then :D

10/16 just seems unusually high but maybe it's always like this I have a terrible memory. 

2018 - 10
2014 - 6
2010 - 6
2006 - 10
2002 - 9

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2 minutes ago, PMLF said:

2018 - 10
2014 - 6
2010 - 6
2006 - 10
2002 - 9

So it is quite high compared to recent tournaments but historically not a big change. 

Thanks :thup:

E: Just realised that it probably relates to the continent. European hosts in 06 and 18. South African and South American hosts in 10 and 16, favours the South American teams more I guess. Korea/Japan not as warm climate wise as them, so would suit the Europeans again. 

Be interesting to see this in 22, I imagine the European teams will do terribly. 

Edited by JDownie

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12 minutes ago, JDownie said:

Belgium v Croatia final.

Belgium beat Uruguay, Croatia beat England, England beat Uruguay, Belgium beat Croatia. 

Maybe the stuff of dreams but I think France could replace Uruguay and Spain in place of Croatia seems more likely. Not impossible though. Uruguay are sturdy and Croatia are fantastic.  

From the look of things so far, being defensively sound with good counter-attacks is a lot better option than playing a offensive football.
Both Belgium and England's back 5 looks very suspicious. In both player selection and their performance level.

France is playing as if present day Mourinho is managing them, but they're really solid at the back. One moment of brilliance from someone up front and you're done.
I'd also put Brazil in that category, really similar teams, imo. Brazil has a better ofensive gameplan, but they've been poor executing it so far. France just looks clueless in offense.

Spain has looked really shaky and their performances in both 2014 and 2016 were subpar. Battered in groups in 2014 and lost against Croatia and Italy in 2016. I don't see why people put them as clear favorites on their end of the draw.
Costa will be the key for their success.

Uruguay and Portugal are also really similar, but I think Uruguay is a better team. Portugal's defense is old and noone outside of Ronaldo performed. Uruguay's CB pairing is probably the best in the world and they have two class strikers.

Croatia has impressed so far, but the biggest issue will probably be a lot of players being mental midgets. There's a few of them get rattled easily.
Biggest upside is stacked midfield and that offensive trio with incredible physical power. All of them can run and press for days and if the opposition's defense is shaky it will certainly be punished, like it was against Argentina.

From other teams, Mexico and Colombia have that typical South American (even though Mexico is from Central America, still hispanic) crazy game in them.

Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark are really solid defensively, but lack quality upfront. They can surprise anyone if some things go their way.

Argentina is terrible and unless Messi produces some of the best performances of all time, they should already start packing.

Japan will get battered.

Edited by GunmaN1905

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Haven't read all of that but I don't see how Belgium are dodgy defensively? Conceded what, 2 goals? Got 2 clean sheets too... think they're about the 3rd best defence so far. 

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Just now, JDownie said:

Haven't read all of that but I don't see how Belgium are dodgy defensively? Conceded what, 2 goals? Got 2 clean sheets too... think they're about the 3rd best defence so far. 

They were dubious at best against Tunisia defensively.

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South America:

2018 - 4
2014 - 5
2010 - 5
2006 - 3
2002 - 2 

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Just now, JDownie said:

Haven't read all of that but I don't see how Belgium are dodgy defensively? Conceded what, 2 goals? Got 2 clean sheets too... think they're about the 3rd best defence so far.  

They played against bloody Panama and Tunisia.

Carrasco on the LWB and Boyata as central CB?
How will that fare against Brazil?

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1 minute ago, GunmaN1905 said:

They played against bloody Panama and Tunisia.

Carrasco on the LWB and Boyata as central CB?
How will that fare against Brazil?

They also played against 8 goals in 2 games England and kept a clean sheet. 

You can spin and twist everything clearly. But two clean sheets is good and they have quality personnel too. Not like England who have Walker, Cahill or Jones as one of their 3 CBs ffs :D

e: and given the way Brazil play, I don't think they'll do much against Belgium. They are toothless in attack. 

Edited by JDownie

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Just now, JDownie said:

They also played against 8 goals in 2 games England and kept a clean sheet. 

 

There was clearly a difference in sides there though.

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1 minute ago, JDownie said:

They also played against 8 goals in 2 games England and kept a clean sheet. 

You can spin and twist everything clearly. But two clean sheets is good and they have quality personnel too. Not like England who have Walker, Cahill or Jones as one of their 3 CBs ffs :D

e: and given the way Brazil play, I don't think they'll do much against Belgium. They are toothless in attack. 

Belgium will be tough, I agree, but a team like Belgium will probably attack more than Brazil's previous opponents and expose themselves more. If there is one thing Brazilians do well is counterattack.

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Just now, PMLF said:

Belgium will be tough, I agree, but a team like Belgium will probably attack more than Brazil's previous opponents and expose themselves more. If there is one thing Brazilians do well is counterattack.

Good post. 

I'm aware I'm biased as I've not tried to hide my Belgian bandwagon boarding, but i think with Big Rom and Mertens and Hazard they can outscore anyone. 

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4 minutes ago, JDownie said:

They also played against 8 goals in 2 games England and kept a clean sheet. 

You can spin and twist everything clearly. But two clean sheets is good and they have quality personnel too. Not like England who have Walker, Cahill or Jones as one of their 3 CBs ffs :D

I put England in the same basket with Belgium, defense wise.

Sorry, but I don't see Carrasco and Boyata as quality defensive personnel for a WC contender.

Even Alderwiereld or Verthongen aren't some top class defenders when it comes to defensive duties only.

Healthy Kompany would help immensely. As would Nainggolan with physical presence in midfield, but that's another story.

Just now, JDownie said:

I'm aware I'm biased as I've not tried to hide my Belgian bandwagon boarding, but i think with Big Rom and Mertens and Hazard they can outscore anyone.  

Mertens is a big-game bottler.
Higuain-level bottler.

I can appreciate them wanting to play so offensively, but history has taught us that such teams never do well in World Cups. At least not in modern days.

Edited by GunmaN1905

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Just now, GunmaN1905 said:

I put England in the same basket with Belgium, defense wise.

Sorry, but I don't see Carrasco and Boyata as quality defensive personnel for a WC contender.

Even Alderwiereld or Verthongen aren't some top class defenders when it comes to defensive duties only.

Healthy Kompany would help immensely. As would Nainggolan with physical presence in midfield, but that's another story.

They have Elbows McGhee aka Marouane Fellaini, best in tut world :D

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1 minute ago, JDownie said:

They have Elbows McGhee aka Marouane Fellaini, best in tut world :D

I meant as in pressing. I think De Bruyne will burn out having to cover so much space. Witsel isn't exactly in his prime, either. Hazard, Mertens and Lukaku aren't known for their defensive contribution.

Nainggolan in Mertens position would be perfect.

Edited by GunmaN1905

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3 minutes ago, GunmaN1905 said:

I meant as in pressing. I think De Bruyne will burn out having to cover so much space. Witsel isn't exactly in his prime, either. Hazard, Mertens and Lukaku aren't known for their defensive contribution.

Nainggolan in Mertens position would be perfect.

I know, I was only joking. 

Kevin De Bruyne doesn't tire. The guy is made of Valyrian Steel. Not joking. :D

If Nainggolan came in I think it would be in place of Witsel - breaking up that attacking trio would be silly imo. 

 

Interesting to note the only 3 teams with a 100% record - Uruguay, Croatia, Belgium. 

I think Uruguay represent South America's best hope tbh. Argentina, Colombia should be gone next round. Brazil in the QFs. Uruguay could win it with their defence, they remind me of Italy in 06. 

also, Uruguay have the best defensive record with them yet to concede. Belgium have the best GD  (7) with Croatia next (6). 

Edited by JDownie

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27 minutes ago, Citizen Kane said:

Croatia FTW please. 

yeah, I'd love Croatia to win it as well

feel that if the Yugoslav states weren't broken up by war, they'd have won a major football championship by now with the amount of talent they've possessed over the years in the individual teams

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3 minutes ago, TM said:

yeah, I'd love Croatia to win it as well

feel that if the Yugoslav states weren't broken up by war, they'd have won a major football championship by now with the amount of talent they've possessed over the years in the individual teams

Indeed, always loved Yugoslavia back in the day, so much talent.
If they weren't broken up they would have won a major tournament by now, no doubt in my mind.

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2 minutes ago, TM said:

yeah, I'd love Croatia to win it as well

feel that if the Yugoslav states weren't broken up by war, they'd have won a major football championship by now with the amount of talent they've possessed over the years in the individual teams

If you just put the names on paper, Yugoslavia would probably be one of the biggest forces in every major sport.
But lack of talent was never the problem in any team or any sport. It was the mentality and view on things.

Even though Croatia has obviously had best football teams for 20 years now, one of the reason for better results compared to other teams is that Croatian mentality is a lot less Balkanic than in for example Serbia.
But still, our mentality has always been a major reason for the downfall. 2016, 2014, 2008, 2006, 2002. I blame all those eliminations on typical we got this mentality. Good performances against Italy, Brazil, Germany, Spain and then bottling it against teams you're suppoed to win against.

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4 minutes ago, GunmaN1905 said:

If you just put the names on paper, Yugoslavia would probably be one of the biggest forces in every major sport.
But lack of talent was never the problem in any team or any sport. It was the mentality and view on things.

Even though Croatia has obviously had best football teams for 20 years now, one of the reason for better results compared to other teams is that Croatian mentality is a lot less Balkanic than in for example Serbia.
But still, our mentality has always been a major reason for the downfall. 2016, 2014, 2008, 2006, 2002. I blame all those eliminations on typical we got this mentality. Good performances against Italy, Brazil, Germany, Spain and then bottling it against teams you're suppoed to win against.

Were there any rivalries between the nationalities during the commie period? I mean in football, did it affect performances, etc?

I read recently that the 1930 team (when Yugoslavia was still a kingdom), only Serbian players played the WC as the Croatians refused to play for the Yugoslav NT.

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5 minutes ago, PMLF said:

Were there any rivalries between the nationalities during the commie period? I mean in football, did it affect performances, etc?

I read recently that the 1930 team (when Yugoslavia was still a kingdom), only Serbian players played the WC as the Croatians refused to play for the Yugoslav NT.

Well for one, players from Red Star and Partizan were heavily favored over players from other countries. Everything was incredibly corrupt and favored towards those two clubs. Politicians basically fielded the team on some occasions.

That's the main reason.

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Just now, GunmaN1905 said:

Well for one, players from Red Star and Partizan were heavily favored over players from other countries. Everything was incredibly corrupt and favored towards those two clubs. Politicians basically fielded the team on some occasions.

That's the main reason.

That's a shame, I suppose it explains in part why Yugoslavia missed so many WCs.

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France 1-0 Argentina, bore-draw until Griezmann breaks the deadlock

Uruguay 0-0 Portugal, Portugal on pens, don't bother watching, won't be pretty

Spain 3-0 Russia, still question marks over the quality of chances Spain create despite scoring 3

Croatia 1-0 Denmark, Denmark aren't here to play

Brazil 2-1 Mexico, Mexico will be better but not good enough

Belgium 2-0 Japan, comfortable but never close to a thumping

Sweden 0-0 Switzerland, cancel each other out so pens, Ice-cold Swedes prevail

Colombia 1-2 England, pundits commend England's resilience for the come from behind win

Edited by D_LO_

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Pretty much all the matches I didn't want to happen and it's all the wrong way around.

I guess Portugal are more likely to 'get the job done', but I dreamed of Mother Russia tearing them apart.

While Ramos and Pique sorted out Suarez and they roll around and annoy each other for 120 minutes, making the tired/depleted winners easier to beat in the QFs.

I would've liked to have seen England v Japan just for something different.

I would've taken the slight chance Denmark (or Nigeria) deal with Argentina before they face a big side rather than the far more likely chance of France doing it earlier. But really I wanted to see more Iceland.

Would've been nice for Mexico to have a better chance of ending their second round curse without possibly sacrificing seeing Brazil turn on the style.

Though other than Germany and Japan, there haven't been any real surprises regarding the final group standings, but that hasn't meant it hasn't been full of surprises, drama and entertainment still.

Edited by git2thachoppa

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7 hours ago, JDownie said:

They also played against 8 goals in 2 games England and kept a clean sheet. 

You can spin and twist everything clearly. But two clean sheets is good and they have quality personnel too. Not like England who have Walker, Cahill or Jones as one of their 3 CBs ffs :D

e: and given the way Brazil play, I don't think they'll do much against Belgium. They are toothless in attack. 

As a Belgian myself we all know our defense is our weak spot. It all depends on the fitness of vermaelen en kompany in this tournament. But those 2 haven't been fit for longer then 2 months in years (bit exaggerated but you know). And thats hoping we don't get any more injuries there or yellow/red bans. Cause we don't have replacements.

Like said before, it will all have to come from our world class midfield/striker team. Just score a goal more then the opponent and that will be our tactic. :D 

Edited by DarkSleeper

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46 minutes ago, DarkSleeper said:

As a Belgian myself we all know our defense is our weak spot. It all depends on the fitness of vermaelen en kompany in this tournament. But those 2 haven't been fit for longer then 2 months in years (bit exaggerated but you know). And thats hoping we don't get any more injuries there or yellow/red bans. Cause we don't have replacements.

Like said before, it will all have to come from our world class midfield/striker team. Just score a goal more then the opponent and that will be our tactic. :D 

I don't disagree with anything you've said tbh - I just don't think Belgium are weak defensively. With Courtois in goal you have a world class last resort, too. 

It's definitely going to be a case of outscoring the opponents should the defence not be good enough, but I don't think there's many teams who can trouble Belgium defensively.

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8 hours ago, GunmaN1905 said:

But still, our mentality has always been a major reason for the downfall. 2016, 2014, 2008, 2006, 2002. I blame all those eliminations on typical we got this mentality. Good performances against Italy, Brazil, Germany, Spain and then bottling it against teams you're suppoed to win against.

Like Denmark, for example? :D 

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9 hours ago, JDownie said:

Haven't read all of that but I don't see how Belgium are dodgy defensively? Conceded what, 2 goals? Got 2 clean sheets too... think they're about the 3rd best defence so far. 

They've played 2 incompetent sides and a England 2nd string, so basically a free ride. Really don't think you can take a great deal from that, especially when you look at their defensive performances before the WC.

It's not they have bad players in those positions, it's more about how they are deployed by Roberto Martinez who as we all know is not the bastion of defensive solidity.  You can have the best defenders in the world but if they are asked to play in a super open system and play out of position then you are going to give up chances.

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Uruguay - Portugal 2-0

Even though Portugal has Ronaldo, Uruguay has a better team and better players in the areas where it matters. Godin and Gimenez are familiar with playing against Ronaldo where Cavani and Suarez are too good to not score against Jose Fonte and a 35-year old Pepe. Portugal might have the better midfield, but this game will be decided in other areas on the pitch. 

France - Argentina 1-2

France is the favourite and will need to make the play and that is not something they are good at. Just like Argentina, France needs spaces to be able to get their game going, in this match most of the spaces will be there for Argentina on the break. With having qualified for the KO stages I also feel the Argentinians will feel relieved in some way what could benefit their game. 

Brazil - Mexico 2-0

Brazil wins this with quite some ease, although they have to be careful for Mexico's counter I'm sure they will be able to manage that. 

Belgium - Japan 3-0

This should be a relatively easy one for Belgium

Spain - Russia 4-0

Same for Spain

Croatia - Denmark 1-1 

Croatia will have some difficulties with Denmark I think. Denmark is not an easy team to break down and Croatia is known for having their ''off-days'' during bigger tournaments. Although I see the quality in their team I am not at all convinced yet by Croatia. I have the feeling there will be this typical match where things don't go their way, they have possession but can't find the goal where the opponent will lure on the counter. 

Sweden - Switzerland 1-0

Teams that are comparable, but I expect Sweden to win as Switzerland will probably make the play. Sweden is perhaps the most difficult team to play against as they are more or less unbeatable through the air. The only way you can beat them in general in by a quick passing game that pulls their players out of position and creates gaps. I'm not sure Switzerland is able to do this. 

Colombia - England 1-2

I have given England the benefit of the doubt here, but to be honest I'm not at all convinced by their play. I think they have the qualities to beat Colombia, but I'm unsure if they will deliver. For me the most important questions concerning this match are: will James play? And will England be able to keep their nerves? If the answer on the last question is no, it will be the last match for England this tournament. 

Edited by Cedrik

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25 minutes ago, Cedrik said:

Cavani and Suarez are too good to not score against Jose Fonte and a 35-year old Pepe.

I don't know about that. They only managed 1 between them against the Saudis, and that was gifted to Suarez because of diabolical goalkeeping.

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Correct, but I'm not sure how serious they took that match. I had they feeling they played with as little effort as possible.

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6 hours ago, Constantine said:

Like Denmark, for example? :D 

Like losing against Ecuador after defeating Italy.
Not winning against Japan or Australia after playing a great game against Brazil.
Losing to Turkey after having 9 points in the group.
Getting battered by Mexico after losing against Brazil because of referees and trashing Cameroon.
Losing against Portugal in 120th minute after heavily rotated team defeated Spain.

So yeah, losing against Denmark isn't too far fetched.

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