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2018 FIFA World Cup Megathread

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

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World Cup?

Great World Cup!
24
53%
Good World Cup!
11
24%
Meh
4
9%
Bad World Cup!
0
No votes
Awful World Cup!
6
13%
 
Total votes : 45

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Nazis in Space
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Postby Nazis in Space » Sun May 20, 2018 7:43 am

Painisia wrote:What are Argentina`s chances in this World Cup?

Given their performance during qualification, and their issues with constantly switching coaches, I wouldn't rule out Messi's lose-the-final curse being broken.

By way of going out in the group stage.

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Neu Leonstein
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Postby Neu Leonstein » Sun May 20, 2018 7:44 am

Painisia wrote:What are Argentina`s chances in this World Cup?

3%. :p
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Nazis in Space
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Postby Nazis in Space » Sun May 20, 2018 7:47 am

Neu Leonstein wrote:
Painisia wrote:What are Argentina`s chances in this World Cup?

3%. :p

Below the unqualified average of 3.125%?

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Neu Leonstein
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Postby Neu Leonstein » Sun May 20, 2018 7:58 am

Nazis in Space wrote:Below the unqualified average of 3.125%?

Well, yeah. I suppose it's not unqualified - it's adjusting for the relative strength of the team and the tournament structure. Anyway, I was being facetious, I don't mean to present my simulations as producing actually realistic probabilities.
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North Prarie
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Postby North Prarie » Sun May 20, 2018 8:00 am

Right as the MLS is becoming more and more popular, we get beat by Trinidad and Tobago and don't qualify for the world cup.
But GO MLS! THE MOST UNDERRATED LEAGUE IN THE WORLD!
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My predictions:
Group A - Uruguay 1, Egypt 2
Group B - Spain 1, Portugal 2
Group C - France 1, Denmark 2
Group D - Croatia 1, Argentina 2 (Don't doubt the Croats!)
Group E - Brazil 1, Switzerland 2
Group F - Germany 1, Sweden 2
Group G - England 1, Belgium 2
Group H - Poland 1, Colombia 2
And the bracket-
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(France will finish 3, beat Croatia.)
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Postby Idzequitch » Sun May 20, 2018 9:01 am

Nazis in Space wrote:
Neu Leonstein wrote:3%. :p

Below the unqualified average of 3.125%?

Wait. Unqualified teams have a chance still? Then don't count the USA out!!! :P

Just kidding. When it comes to soccer/football, always count the Americans out.
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Postby Bombadil » Sun May 20, 2018 3:17 pm

Neu Leonstein wrote:
Bombadil wrote:
EDIT: That may very well not be your bias but a degree of historical bias if you're running all WC numbers.

Assuming that I didn't mess up the code somewhere, there are a couple of things going on. The first is the ELO scores. I didn't use FIFA ones, both because I think they're bad and because the draw was based on them, so using them to analyse the draw would be a bit recursive. France has a 1984, which is pretty high, but a bit below the top-ranks like Brazil (2131) and Germany (2092). Plus, there are a few teams with similar scores to France in that follow-up pack.

The second issue is that France doesn't have an easy draw. Assuming that they top the group, their next opponent is the runner-up of group D, which is probably Croatia (1853). Then it'll be a choice of Spain, Portugal or Uruguay. And after that Brazil and Germany.

They can win all those matches, but the problem is that to win them all in a row often enough to show up as a significant proportion of total tournament victories they need a number of positive net shocks to happen in a row. It just so happened that when I ran my simulations, they didn't get those very often. Again, assuming that everything worked as intended. I worked through a couple of loops step by step to try and make sure the logic works as it's supposed to, but there are no guarantees. I'm still learning.

Anyway, for what it's worth, I agree with you. France is probably a better chance than the ELO scores give it credit for, and I think Brazil is a substantially smaller chance than the ELO scores imply. But I kept my own views out of this as much as possible.


Ah.. ok.. I don't think there's anything wrong with your math here - but I do think there's an issue with the ranking. As far as I can tell you've used ELO and then to some degree mapped to WC ranking?

The issue is that the South Americans seem very high on ELO and I suspect it's possibly the nature of their qualifying campaign. They seem to have the greatest variance in ELO rankings (Colombia jump 17, Peru drop 21) though for the life of me I can't see how Brazil dropped five and Argentina only one.. I guess friendlies.. Brazil drew with England recently..but it's y-o-y rankings.. still when you adjusted Argentina shoots up in the rankings on your system, which kind of belies their poor qualifying campaign and poor team sans Messi.

I wonder if you can download (not 'you' per se) first team FIFA player rankings on Playstation and rank accordingly.. and then enter the same random shock.

I say 'I wonder' because I don't think the effort of running it is particularly worth it and, to your point, the interest in this is post-tournament and seeing who out-performed or not. Like you say I'm not sure you can easily quantify randomness in football.
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Postby Fartsniffage » Sun May 20, 2018 3:21 pm

Bombadil wrote:
Neu Leonstein wrote:Assuming that I didn't mess up the code somewhere, there are a couple of things going on. The first is the ELO scores. I didn't use FIFA ones, both because I think they're bad and because the draw was based on them, so using them to analyse the draw would be a bit recursive. France has a 1984, which is pretty high, but a bit below the top-ranks like Brazil (2131) and Germany (2092). Plus, there are a few teams with similar scores to France in that follow-up pack.

The second issue is that France doesn't have an easy draw. Assuming that they top the group, their next opponent is the runner-up of group D, which is probably Croatia (1853). Then it'll be a choice of Spain, Portugal or Uruguay. And after that Brazil and Germany.

They can win all those matches, but the problem is that to win them all in a row often enough to show up as a significant proportion of total tournament victories they need a number of positive net shocks to happen in a row. It just so happened that when I ran my simulations, they didn't get those very often. Again, assuming that everything worked as intended. I worked through a couple of loops step by step to try and make sure the logic works as it's supposed to, but there are no guarantees. I'm still learning.

Anyway, for what it's worth, I agree with you. France is probably a better chance than the ELO scores give it credit for, and I think Brazil is a substantially smaller chance than the ELO scores imply. But I kept my own views out of this as much as possible.


Ah.. ok.. I don't think there's anything wrong with your math here - but I do think there's an issue with the ranking. As far as I can tell you've used ELO and then to some degree mapped to WC ranking?

The issue is that the South Americans seem very high on ELO and I suspect it's possibly the nature of their qualifying campaign. They seem to have the greatest variance in ELO rankings (Colombia jump 17, Peru drop 21) though for the life of me I can't see how Brazil dropped five and Argentina only one.. I guess friendlies.. Brazil drew with England recently..but it's y-o-y rankings.. still when you adjusted Argentina shoots up in the rankings on your system, which kind of belies their poor qualifying campaign and poor team sans Messi.

I wonder if you can download (not 'you' per se) first team FIFA player rankings on Playstation and rank accordingly.. and then enter the same random shock.

I say 'I wonder' because I don't think the effort of running it is particularly worth it and, to your point, the interest in this is post-tournament and seeing who out-performed or not. Like you say I'm not sure you can easily quantify randomness in football.


England are going to win. His numbers said so, just deal with it.

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Bombadil
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Postby Bombadil » Sun May 20, 2018 3:26 pm

Fartsniffage wrote:
Bombadil wrote:
Ah.. ok.. I don't think there's anything wrong with your math here - but I do think there's an issue with the ranking. As far as I can tell you've used ELO and then to some degree mapped to WC ranking?

The issue is that the South Americans seem very high on ELO and I suspect it's possibly the nature of their qualifying campaign. They seem to have the greatest variance in ELO rankings (Colombia jump 17, Peru drop 21) though for the life of me I can't see how Brazil dropped five and Argentina only one.. I guess friendlies.. Brazil drew with England recently..but it's y-o-y rankings.. still when you adjusted Argentina shoots up in the rankings on your system, which kind of belies their poor qualifying campaign and poor team sans Messi.

I wonder if you can download (not 'you' per se) first team FIFA player rankings on Playstation and rank accordingly.. and then enter the same random shock.

I say 'I wonder' because I don't think the effort of running it is particularly worth it and, to your point, the interest in this is post-tournament and seeing who out-performed or not. Like you say I'm not sure you can easily quantify randomness in football.


England are going to win. His numbers said so, just deal with it.


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Fartsniffage
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Postby Fartsniffage » Sun May 20, 2018 3:40 pm

Bombadil wrote:
Fartsniffage wrote:
England are going to win. His numbers said so, just deal with it.


“Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

..said no English football supporter ever..


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To serve your turn long after they are gone,
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....if the nerve agent lime in the pitch lines doesn't get us, the fact we're crap will. :(
Last edited by Fartsniffage on Sun May 20, 2018 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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The Derpy Democratic Republic Of Herp
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Postby The Derpy Democratic Republic Of Herp » Sun May 20, 2018 6:30 pm

So last world cup I was at a fast food place or some such and the guys in there where rooting for Germany. So having family that are Germans I rooted for Germany.

I got my late papa to root for Germany too.

He loved the beautiful game so I guess I'm watching and rooting for Germany this year too.

I miss you Papa.
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Banija
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Postby Banija » Mon May 21, 2018 9:36 am

I'll do group predictions too, alongside Arch! Because why not?

Group A:

Uruguay
Egypt

Russia
Saudi Arabia

It's pretty obviously clear that Uruguay is going to win this group. IN terms of the rest of the group... Russia's team is pretty much a disaster, and even with God clearly smiling upon them at the group draw, I can't imagine Russia gets out of this one. Egypt has Mo Salah... And where the other three teams are relatively equally matched, even with Russia's home field advantage, I think Mo Salah does enough to get Egypt a spot in the knockout stages. Egypt is a team that usually does well at major tournaments, having quite a few AFCON titles under its belt. I understand the World Cup is a different beast, but I think Egypt are favorites for second.


Group B:

Portugal
Spain

Morocco
Iran

I think Portugal can pull off a upset win over Spain. They were really impressive in qualifying- and, of course, are the defending Europeans champs. And in a close, tight game, they of course have the best player in the world..... Ronaldo [strike]runs away from screaming Messi fans[strike]. But yea, there's really no chance the Iberians don't go 1 and 2. I think it's interesting considering the geographic proximity of the three Mediterrenean nations... Should make for some entertaining soccer to watch.

Group C:

France
Peru

Denmark
Australia

I legitimately think France will go out to win this tournament. They have incredible squad depth, and there is too much firepower across the squad for them to be eliminated early in the tournament, especially at this stage. I think that Peru will pull second- they're an incredible story, and you can never underestimate a team that gets out of the gauntlet that is CONMEBOL qualifying.


Group D:

Argentina
Nigeria

Croatia
Iceland

You really can't pick against Argentina to not win this group, am I right? Unless Lionel Messi gets hurt at some point(which will take Argentina from first to last on this list, considering their performances without him in qualifying), there is too much talent there for them to not get first. I like Nigeria in this group as well- they've been playing extremely well lately, and, of course, beat Argentina 4-2 in Russia this past November. You've gotta love Iceland, they'll be a team I'm rooting for in this tourney without the Stars and Stripes there, but yea.

Group E:

Brazil
Costa Rica

Switzerland
Serbia

You can't doubt Brasil, can you? They're too strong, playing too well, to not get first. I've no idea how Neymar's doing right now- they may not need him necessarily in group play, but they aren't winning this tourney without Neymar. I think they could get to the final as well as the French. I am picking Costa Rica to get out of this group. Costa Rica is one of those nations that, surprisingly, has a really strong squad- they did beat Italy and Uruguay in South America last time around. I think they can surprise again- enough talent there to scrape second place in this group.


Group F:

Germany
Mexico

Sweden
South Korea

You can't doubt the Germans, can you? They'll get through easily to the knockout stages. In terms of second place, I think that Mexico has to be favored. They've gotten out of the group in the last seven World Cups, and they have one of their strongest squads in recent years, romping through World Cup Qualifying. I think they'll be able to get past Sweden, and sweep aside South Korea, en route to most likely losing in the Round of 16 for the 8th straight World Cup, to Brazil.


Group G:

Belgium
England

Panama
Tunisia

Belgium has a lot of firepower, and I think are a fairly safe pick for first place. England has a major developmental problem that has no real solution- I think they are the only squad in the entire tournament that has their entire squad playing in the same league, their own domestic league. This is a problem for a multitude of reasons- mostly because they don't get the kind of exposure to different styles of play, and such, that isn't brought home. It's an unsolveable problem, of course, because the league at home is also the one that pays the most- why would players go abroad to take a pay cut? But until you get English players starting to venture outside the country, they'll be in a consistent cycle of underperforming. I don't like their squad, but Tunisia doesn't have their best player, and Panama frankly shouldn't be there- so England will find its way to the knockout stages, where they'll likely lose there.


Group H:

Colombia
Poland

Senegal
Japan

I like the Polish side, but I like the Colombians even more. I think they have more to bring to the table, and will be able to eke out a victory in this group. Poland will get a close second, while Senegal and Japan will be fighting for scraps. Japan only recently got a new manager, which means their own World Cup prospects are probably dim, and I will admit- I know absolutely nothing about Senegal's side, though I do know about their run in 2002.
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Northwest Kalactin
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Postby Northwest Kalactin » Mon May 21, 2018 9:39 am

You know who will win Iceland
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Banija
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Postby Banija » Mon May 21, 2018 9:42 am

North Prarie wrote:Right as the MLS is becoming more and more popular, we get beat by Trinidad and Tobago and don't qualify for the world cup.
But GO MLS! THE MOST UNDERRATED LEAGUE IN THE WORLD!
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My predictions:
Group A - Uruguay 1, Egypt 2
Group B - Spain 1, Portugal 2
Group C - France 1, Denmark 2
Group D - Croatia 1, Argentina 2 (Don't doubt the Croats!)
Group E - Brazil 1, Switzerland 2
Group F - Germany 1, Sweden 2
Group G - England 1, Belgium 2
Group H - Poland 1, Colombia 2
And the bracket-
(Image)
(France will finish 3, beat Croatia.)


To comment on your MLS comment- The MLS got ripped for not qualifying, but it has to go without saying that the MLS has made CONCACAF a much better, and much stronger region... More of the Panama and Costa Rica players that were called up play in the MLS than in any other league... Including their own domestic leagues. Which, of course, makes our task more difficult.

There's no excuse for us not getting a measly point away to Trinidad & Tobago's B team, but yea... I don't think it's generally fair to rip on MLS' strengths as a league because of this.

That said, what we can rip on them for is their lack of youth development... The lack of development in USMNT of young players is utterly embarrassing.
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Neu Leonstein
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Postby Neu Leonstein » Mon May 21, 2018 10:17 am

Bombadil wrote:Ah.. ok.. I don't think there's anything wrong with your math here - but I do think there's an issue with the ranking. As far as I can tell you've used ELO and then to some degree mapped to WC ranking?

I've taken ELO, and then set up a pretend tournament. Basically, within each group, the teams are ranked by (shocked) ELO, and the two highest move on. Then a new shock is calculated and added to the original ELO, and the teams that face each other based on the tournament schedule and who got what position in the group stage are again ranked, and the higher one moves on. Then new shock, etc etc. So it simulates through the whole tournament that way.

At the end you can rank all the teams based on far they got in the tournament. And if you compare that ranking to the basic ranking based on ELO alone, you get an idea of the impact of the tournament structure and draw.

The issue is that the South Americans seem very high on ELO and I suspect it's possibly the nature of their qualifying campaign. They seem to have the greatest variance in ELO rankings (Colombia jump 17, Peru drop 21) though for the life of me I can't see how Brazil dropped five and Argentina only one.. I guess friendlies.. Brazil drew with England recently..but it's y-o-y rankings.. still when you adjusted Argentina shoots up in the rankings on your system, which kind of belies their poor qualifying campaign and poor team sans Messi.

Yeah, agreed. Though I still think the ELO may be the best easily-available single number statistic out there... would be happy to try out others if there are any.

I wonder if you can download (not 'you' per se) first team FIFA player rankings on Playstation and rank accordingly.. and then enter the same random shock.

I say 'I wonder' because I don't think the effort of running it is particularly worth it and, to your point, the interest in this is post-tournament and seeing who out-performed or not. Like you say I'm not sure you can easily quantify randomness in football.

That might be one option, if you just add all the player rankings to a single score. But I think when you start thinking of particular players, the next step would be to take it to the professional level and try to simulate whole matches. Feasible, but well beyond my current skill set or spare time...

Probably the easiest improvement to my model would be to just increase the standard deviation of the shock once you enter the knock-out stages. I think over the three matches in the group stage, the ELO score actually does do quite well in predicting performance, and the outputs are pretty uncontroversial, I think. When you get into the knock-outs, there's a lot more that can happen on the day and that could be easily quantified by just increasing the sizes of the shocks. With zero mean you'd still end up with the highest-ELO teams winning more than others, but the win percentages of all other teams would increase somewhat.

Fartsniffage wrote:England are going to win. His numbers said so, just deal with it.

Well... actually, they say England loses to Brazil in the quarterfinals, after beating Poland in the R16. ;)
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The Derpy Democratic Republic Of Herp
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Postby The Derpy Democratic Republic Of Herp » Mon May 21, 2018 10:18 am

Both of my posts got ignored. :(
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Postby Fartsniffage » Mon May 21, 2018 11:40 am

Neu Leonstein wrote:Well... actually, they say England loses to Brazil in the quarterfinals, after beating Poland in the R16. ;)


Nope, I checked twice. England to win and then all future world cups cancelled in recognition that if England can win it then it's a pointless tournament anyway.

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Postby The Archregimancy » Mon May 21, 2018 2:35 pm

The Derpy Democratic Republic Of Herp wrote:Both of my posts got ignored. :(


I found your second post, about watching the World Cup with your Papa, quite moving.

It reminded me of watching England's 4-1 loss to Germany in 2010 with my grandfather and father. It was the only time I had ever watched a football match with both of them before my grandfather died, and remains a powerful World Cup memory for me.

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The Derpy Democratic Republic Of Herp
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Postby The Derpy Democratic Republic Of Herp » Mon May 21, 2018 3:14 pm

The Archregimancy wrote:
The Derpy Democratic Republic Of Herp wrote:Both of my posts got ignored. :(


I found your second post, about watching the World Cup with your Papa, quite moving.

It reminded me of watching England's 4-1 loss to Germany in 2010 with my grandfather and father. It was the only time I had ever watched a football match with both of them before my grandfather died, and remains a powerful World Cup memory for me.

Thank you :hug:

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather.
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Bombadil
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Posts: 10732
Founded: Oct 13, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Bombadil » Mon May 21, 2018 6:33 pm

The Archregimancy wrote:
The Derpy Democratic Republic Of Herp wrote:Both of my posts got ignored. :(


I found your second post, about watching the World Cup with your Papa, quite moving.

It reminded me of watching England's 4-1 loss to Germany in 2010 with my grandfather and father. It was the only time I had ever watched a football match with both of them before my grandfather died, and remains a powerful World Cup memory for me.


That.. match.. I remember it well, I was somewhere in the hills outside San Francisco in a small town that had.. a German themed bar.. what the hell.. and then add the Lampard non-goal and the fact it was something like 7am in the morning..

..bad day.
Eldest, that's what I am...Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn...he knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless — before the Dark Lord came from Outside..

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Nazis in Space
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Posts: 11617
Founded: Aug 24, 2010
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Nazis in Space » Tue May 22, 2018 2:06 am

For the record, I fully agree that Lampard's shot crossed the line, much like Hurst's didn't.

I'd be totally fine with switching the two around, and seeing how the matches would've developed from there.
Last edited by Nazis in Space on Tue May 22, 2018 2:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Starblaydia
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Founded: Apr 05, 2004
Father Knows Best State

Postby Starblaydia » Tue May 22, 2018 2:18 am

The BBC's World Cup intro gave me PTSD - Maradona's super goal (not the cheating one) Gaza's tears, Lampard's disallowed goal and the Icelandic celebration, leading up to Messi and Ronaldo clashing for the title...

Are the BBC trying to tell us what to expect in the next month?
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The Archregimancy
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 23272
Founded: Aug 01, 2005
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Archregimancy » Tue May 22, 2018 8:30 am

Bombadil wrote:
The Archregimancy wrote:
I found your second post, about watching the World Cup with your Papa, quite moving.

It reminded me of watching England's 4-1 loss to Germany in 2010 with my grandfather and father. It was the only time I had ever watched a football match with both of them before my grandfather died, and remains a powerful World Cup memory for me.


That.. match.. I remember it well, I was somewhere in the hills outside San Francisco in a small town that had.. a German themed bar.. what the hell.. and then add the Lampard non-goal and the fact it was something like 7am in the morning..


The Lampard non-goal wouldn't have made the slightest bit of difference to the final outcome of that match. England were comprehensively outplayed and fully deserved to be beaten badly, something which outrage over the disallowed goal tends to obscure. That one decision may have been incorrect one, but I don't think there's any serious arguing with the result.


Nazis in Space wrote:I'd be totally fine with switching the two around, and seeing how the matches would've developed from there.


While it's impossible to know for certain (that's why we have discussion threads, after all), I think both matches would likely have ended up with the same final result, regardless - though with different goals for and against, of course. 4-2 in 2010 would have flattered England, mind; 3-2 in 1966 would likely have been a fair reflection of the match.
Last edited by The Archregimancy on Tue May 22, 2018 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ascysia
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Posts: 176
Founded: Mar 25, 2018
Ex-Nation

Postby Ascysia » Tue May 22, 2018 8:38 am

I was rooting for Ireland so now my goal is to see Denmark knocked out. FUCK CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN.

Group A:

Russia
Uruguay

Egypt
Saudi Arabia

Group B:

Spain
Portugal

Morocco
Iran

Group C:

France
Denmark

Australia
Peru

Group D:

Argentina
Croatia

Nigeria
Iceland

Group E:

Brazil
Costa Rica

Switzerland
Serbia

Group F:

Germany
Mexico

Sweden
South Korea

Group G:

Belgium
England

Tunisia
Panama

Group H:

Poland
Colombia

Japan
Senegal
Neoconservative

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Idzequitch
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Posts: 15478
Founded: Apr 22, 2014
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Idzequitch » Tue May 22, 2018 10:12 am

I had the opportunity to watch precious little qualifying, but why not open myself to mockery? Here goes nothing:

Group A:
Uruguay
Egypt

Russia
Saudi Arabia

Uruguay is a no-brainer on top of this group, and Egypt takes second by virtue of Salah's performance.

Group B:
Portugal
Spain

Morocco
Iran

There's almost no contest as to who is advancing from this group. I think Portugal and Spain will play to a draw, with Portugal nabbing the top of the group via goal differential (that is the tie-breaker, right?)

Group C:
France
Peru

Denmark
Australia

France should comfortably win this group, and Australia is almost irrelevant. I have difficulty eliminating the Danes here, but I like picking upsets (and I consider this an upset despite FIFA rankings) and this one feels right, so I'm choosing Peru to advance.

Group D:
Argentina
Croatia

Nigeria
Iceland

I don't think Argentina will be very strong in this tournament, but they've got what it takes to top this group. I'm half tempted to pick Nigeria over Croatia, but I have to give the edge to the European side here.

Group E:
Brazil
Switzerland

Costa Rica
Serbia

Really tough draw for Costa Rica. In another group I think they'd have a decent chance to move forward. I think getting past the Brazilians and the Swiss is too tall an order for them.

Group F:
Germany
Mexico

Sweden
South Korea

I don't think any of these teams can be disregarded. Germany is the clear favorite, but second place seems up for grabs. Ultimately, I think my North American bias is the real reason I'm choosing Mexico here. Cheers to losing to Brazil yet again.

Group G:
Belgium
England

Tunisia
Panama

Panama is going nowhere, and I don't love Tunisia's chances either. Belgium and England are the easy picks here, and as much as I like upsets, It seems unwise to choose too many.

Group H:

Poland
Senegal

Colombia
Japan

Speaking of upsets, I gotta choose a crazy one, so how about Senegal beating Colombia and advancing? A stupid pick? Probably. But someone is probably going to advance that we don't expect, so why not throw it back to 2002, and put Senegal through? Poland still wins the group.
Last edited by Idzequitch on Tue May 22, 2018 10:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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