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Thread: WC 2018 - Russia

  1. #61
    exeweb.com admin Hants_red's Avatar
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    Re: WC 2018 - Russia

    We can't end up in the same group as Iceland, can we?

  2. #62
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    Re: WC 2018 - Russia

    I guess it will depend on the FIFA rankings at the time the pots are divided - Russia will be in Pot 1 (as hosts) but the other 7 Pot 1 teams would be based purely on FIFA ranking (e.g. the 7 highest FIFA ranked teams at the time of the draw will go into Pot 1; the next 8 would be Pot 2; etc.)

    Currently England are ranked 15th in the world. In almost every other circumstance, FIFA rankings are irrelevant. In this context though, the difference between being a Pot 1 team and a Pot 2 team could be the difference between qualifying for the round of 16, and not qualifying.

    For reference, the potential Pot 1 teams would be as follows (the ones in brackets are not yet qualified, but could do so depending on results tonight or in playoffs)

    Germany, Brazil, (Portugal), (Argentina), Belgium, Poland, (Switzerland), France

    So if England end up in Pot 2, we could potentially be drawn in a group with any of those - by my assessment, I would say that's a 6/8 chance of getting a tough team in that group (not that Poland or Switzerland are not tough teams, but the others are all a cut above.)

    Potential Pot 2 teams based on current rankings would be

    (Chile), (Colombia), Spain, (Peru), Mexico, ENGLAND, (Uruguay), Italy

    So if England end up in Pot 1, I judge that to be instead a 4/8 chance of a tough team (Assuming we replace France from the above list).

    The probability therefore suggests that we have a better chance of a "less difficult" draw if we are in Pot 1. Others might question the wisdom of upcoming friendlies against Brazil and Germany in that context.

    (To answer the Iceland question - it does depend on other qualifiers, not least the outcome of the Australia v Syria qualifier currently in extra time as I type - but they would almost definitely be Pot 3 or Pot 4 and therefore yes, very possible that England will be drawn against them. The only way we could not be drawn against them would be if both England and Iceland were in the same Pot (which would need an awful lot of big sides to not make the cut in order for Iceland to be a Pot 2 team.)
    Last edited by Terryhall; 10 October 2017 at 11:25.

  3. #63

    Re: WC 2018 - Russia

    Missed this one, thought the draw was today but I'm a week behind

    2018 World Cup play-off draw

    Northern Ireland v Switzerland

    Croatia v Greece

    Denmark v Republic of Ireland

    Sweden v Italy

    First legs to be played between November 9 and 11. Second legs to be played between November 12 and 14.

  4. #64

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    Re: WC 2018 - Russia

    I'd have put Greece up as the weakest team to be faced by either Ireland although they both have to be happy with the draws surely? I'd have thought Italy and Croatia were must avoids along with possibly Sweden. Denmark aren't a good team, they've let me down on bets so many times against much inferior opposition at home especially in the past few years which sticks in my mind. Switzerland are awkward but then again so are Northern Ireland. Tough one to call that one but of the two i'd fancy the Republic to go through.

  5. #65
    Terryhall's Avatar
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    Re: WC 2018 - Russia

    When the draw was made, the mood in the Swiss media was that man-for-man, Switzerland has the better players, but when you look at N.Ireland as a team, they are solid, had a strong qualifying campaign, and did very well at Euro 2016. It's going to be very close to call. I might try to get to the second leg depending where it is held. Wouldn't like to pick a winner, but I'm hoping for Switzerland to qualify.

  6. #66

    Re: WC 2018 - Russia

    Quote Originally Posted by Terryhall View Post
    When the draw was made, the mood in the Swiss media was that man-for-man, Switzerland has the better players, but when you look at N.Ireland as a team, they are solid, had a strong qualifying campaign, and did very well at Euro 2016. It's going to be very close to call. I might try to get to the second leg depending where it is held. Wouldn't like to pick a winner, but I'm hoping for Switzerland to qualify.
    Nailing your colours to the alpenhorn eh Terry !

  7. #67

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    Re: WC 2018 - Russia

    Obviously i can understand the disappointment felt by Northern Ireland in losing out to the Swiss via a penalty that wasn't however Northern Ireland had 180 plus minutes over two legs to ensure they got the job done and they failed. They failed to score a single goal over two legs to a side that aren't too much better than they are and at least it was the Swiss who tried to win both ties instead of trying to get through by keeping it 0-0 then hopefully going through on pens which seemed to be the gameplan of NI.

    So whilst the penalty that took the Swiss through shouldn't have been given, overall they were the side looking to win both games and deservedly went through IMO.

    Although i'm not particularly looking forward to watching ANY of the Swiss games in Russia because they are truly woeful.

  8. #68
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    Re: WC 2018 - Russia

    Quote Originally Posted by Colesman Ballz View Post
    Nailing your colours to the alpenhorn eh Terry !
    The small red book I have at home would definitely say so, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Legohead View Post
    Obviously i can understand the disappointment felt by Northern Ireland in losing out to the Swiss via a penalty that wasn't however Northern Ireland had 180 plus minutes over two legs to ensure they got the job done and they failed. They failed to score a single goal over two legs to a side that aren't too much better than they are and at least it was the Swiss who tried to win both ties instead of trying to get through by keeping it 0-0 then hopefully going through on pens which seemed to be the gameplan of NI.

    So whilst the penalty that took the Swiss through shouldn't have been given, overall they were the side looking to win both games and deservedly went through IMO.

    Although i'm not particularly looking forward to watching ANY of the Swiss games in Russia because they are truly woeful.
    We were awful in both games against Northern Ireland, but try to find a re-run of the 2-0 win against Portugal that kicked off this qualification campaign, or the recent win over Hungary in the second to last group game. When it clicks, it's definitely good to watch (but those two playoff games were both eye-bleedingly awful.)

  9. #69

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    Re: WC 2018 - Russia

    I've seen the Swiss play some good stuff in the past but this is by far the weakest set of Swiss players i've seen for quite a while. On chances created, especially in the second leg, the Swiss should have been out of sight and i'd always favour the side who looks to try and attack and win the game which NI didn't apart from the last 10 minutes when they knew they needed a goal with time running out.

    I had more sympathy for the Republic when they went out to France a few years ago in the play offs due to Henry's handball but that was because France clearly had a hugely superior squad and it would have been impossible for the Republic to take the game to France and compete like that. Northern Ireland and Switzerland though, no big difference in class and quality other than a few individuals like Lichtsteiner and Shaqiri.

  10. #70
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    Re: WC 2018 - Russia

    I would note that injuries have taken their toll on the squad - Behrami out injured (although Zakaria was excellent in his absence), Djourou out injured (same again, Akanji was tremendous considering those two playoff games were his 2nd and 3rd caps), but more significantly Josep Drmic is a long term injury (and Seferovic was terrible in his absence missing 3 clear cut chances yesterday) and the real attacking talisman of the side Breel Embolo was out for a year and has struggled to get back into the Schalke side since his return from injury (and has therefore only made it only for the dying minutes of recent games, and has looked well off the pace when he came on).

    Incidentally Lichtsteiner and Shaqiri link up very well down the right hand side but show two of the things I dislike most about football. Firstly they are boringly predicable - Lichtsteiner will always overlap, Shaqiri will always play it around the full back, Lichtsteiner will always fake the cross and lay it back to Shaqiri, who will always cut inside on his left foot to shoot / cross. Every. Single. Time. Secondly, they are each demonstrably not Proper Chaps, lots of niggly fouls on the opposition coupled with dropping to the floor under the faintest contact with righteous indignation should the referee decide against awarding a free kick in their favour. I guess that is what it takes to play for Juventus / Bayern (and to a lesser degree, Stoke).

    I'm hopeful of more exciting performances in Russia with Behrami, Drmic and Embolo back in the side, and with Akanji and Zakaria establishing themselves in Petkovic's thinking with strong performances in both playoff games. But then again I'm also hopeful that Alli, Sterling, Loftus-Cheek and Walker / Rose as wing-backs could lead to some good English performances, so that shows what I know.

    Won't be watching the match but the big one IMO is the Italy v Sweden game tonight, do we get a World Cup without Buffon or without Zlatan?

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