2018 World Cup Qualifying

Discussion in 'Soccer' started by Jack Lambert, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    I was actually thinking about posting on this. For how much blacks are supposedly superior athletes, they can't even get the majority of qualifying slots for their own continent!! They'll have to rely on France to carry the torch for the continent.
     
  2. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    I forgot to post on the nations that qualified from South America. The two teams to root for are mostly-white Argentina and mostly white Uruguay. Brazil doesn't have a white starter this year, and they only have 3-4 whites total. Their team is comprised entirely of blacks, mestizos, Amerindians and everything in between. The only majority black team that made it was Colombia, who will like likely feature around 6 blacks, with the remaining five divided into 3 whites (attacking midfield James Rodriguez, keeper David Ospina, and FB Santiago Arias) and 2 mestizos. Peru is the 5th placed team, with an easy playoff against New Zealand to reach Russia. They've got one white starter, and the rest of the team is a mix of blacks, mestizos, and Amerindians. Needless to say, I hope New Zealand wins, but I'm not counting on it.
     
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  3. Matra2

    Matra2 Master

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    Playoffs set:

    Northern Ireland v Switzerland
    The somewhat Swiss team will be favourites but they were really lame in their last match. It's possible that because they just needed a draw in that match against Portugal that Switzerland were caught in two minds between defending and getting a goal and just couldn't adjust. Maybe they're better than they looked but if NI get a good result at Windsor Park they could "park the bus" in the 2nd leg and scrape out an ugly win.

    Croatia v Greece
    Croatia should win this one.

    Denmark v Rep. of Ireland
    I don't recall seeing any Danish matches but they're probably not as bad as Ireland who have had a weak side this entire decade.

    Sweden v Italy
    This is the most interesting match. OK, it is the only interesting match from a neutral perspective. The Italians are favourites but Sweden were the non-seeded team Italy would've preferred not to get - the others being the two Irelands and Greece. Playing at home in the first leg is probably good for Sweden.
     
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  4. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    Pretty good playoff seeds! I'm probably going to cheer for Northern Ireland, Croatia, Denmark, and Italy.

    In terms of the quality, I can see the Switzerland/Northern Ireland tie being really boring. Something like a 1-0 or a 2-1 result over two matches. Denmark and Ireland I could see having some goals, especially with Christian Ericksen in the Danish midfield. Like you said Matra, Croatia should beat Greece, but they've been constant underachievers. Either way, the Greeks will be bunkering down, so don't expect many goals. I'm hoping Italy beats Sweden, but the Italians have looked very unimpressive lately. Their manager, who's been under fire for questionable choice of tactics, will have to do something right against Sweden. If the side that barely beat Macedonia comes to play, the Swedes will be in the World Cup.

    From a caste perspective, all-white Italy is the team to cheer for, but if Sweden starts an all-white XI again, it wouldn't be too bad should the Italians' bad run continue. I'll be cheering for Italy, as Buffon is one of my favorite players. Northern Ireland (1 black out of 23) is a much better choice than the not-so Swiss team. Denmark and Ireland are a horse apiece with 2 non-whites per side. I'm going for Denmark because of Christian Ericksen, who will be nice to have as another high-profile white player in the World Cup. In the Crotia/Greece clash of all-white teams, I'm going with Croatia; even though their national side is known for underachieving, I'm hoping their star power will eventually make a winning side. Plus, the Greek brand of football is pretty bland and boring.
     
  5. Matra2

    Matra2 Master

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    Croatia usually wait to the actual tournament (Euro, World Cup) itself before they underachieve! Greece have a history of, as you say, bunkering down, and it's certainly worked for them a few times but I still expect Croatia to go through.

    I'm also hoping Denmark beat Ireland. (As an aside, I thought Christian Ericksen was poor today against Real Madrid despite his team playing quite well).

    I neglected to mention the USA's stunning failure. This has to be the biggest disappointment for US Soccer in my life time. The Gold Cup is a joke and even a Copa America invitation - I don't know how that works - will get little publicity in the US, so it means at least 8 years between high profile tournaments. That has to hurt the popularity and/or recruiting of youngsters into the sport. Maybe it'll be just a bump in the road like USMNT's poor performance in 2006 after doing so well in 2002 but to me - an outside observer - this looks more serious. Anyway, let's say :wave: to the oft-repeated theory that the Hispanicization of America would lead to a World Cup winning soccer team.
     
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