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Tweaked

FIFA World Cup, the Ultimate Quadrennial Soccer Tournament - 2018 Host Nation Russia: Jun 14 - Jul 15, 2018

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In Group A, Russia and Uruguay have advanced to the second round.  All that is left to be decided is which team will top the group when they play against each other on June 25.  A win or a tie and the hosts will win the group.  Egypt and Saudi Arabia will face each other in their final group match, both have been eliminated.

In Group B, we bid farewell to Morocco.  Still lots to play for between Portugal (4 points), Spain (4 points), and Iran (3 points).

Portugal v. Iran & Spain v. Morocco 2 pm June 25.

 

  

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On 6/20/2018 at 1:35 PM, Tweaked said:

In Group A, Russia and Uruguay have advanced to the second round.  All that is left to be decided is which team will top the group when they play against each other on June 25.  A win or a tie and the hosts will win the group.  Egypt and Saudi Arabia will face each other in their final group match, both have been eliminated.

In Group B, we bid farewell to Morocco.  Still lots to play for between Portugal (4 points), Spain (4 points), and Iran (3 points).

Portugal v. Iran & Spain v. Morocco 2 pm June 25.

Group B is crazy - right now Spain is in first place in the group over Portugal because of LESS YELLOW CARDS. If they have identical results on the 25th, that will be the tiebreaker. Insane.

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Are there teams with unique or radically different styles?  If so who?

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Argentina vs. Croatia.  Argentina’s loaded with attackers, including the world’s best player and the GOAT Lionel Messi.  He is the best dribbler, able to slalom through multiple defenders and then slot a shot thru a keeper’s legs.  Croatia has an awesome midfield, able to thread passes and defend.  Both teams will try to retain possession but I suspect Croatia will play counter more in this game.

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16 hours ago, DaveO said:

Are there teams with unique or radically different styles?  If so who?

There are only a handful of teams in the world who will play their style regardless of opponent.  Generally speaking that will be your top teams in the world. 

For example, Spain will always play ball control, quick short passes, if they lose the ball, they immediately try to win it back.  They will try to pass you to death, and they will play that style against anyone.  It even has a name: tiki taka (Barcelona is the best example of tiki taka)

Italian soccer is infamous for its lock down defense called catenaccio (door-bolt).  Done well, its a highly coordinated dance of defenders, done poorly and you end up with a lot of 1-0 games.   

Historically, England is known for playing a direct, physical style.  Win 50/50 balls, direct passes to forwards who run on to the ball and score.  At its best, it makes for fun fast paced soccer, and is the style many English Premiere League teams utilize.  On the other hand, it can make for many long balls passed out of the back which are cut off by defenders, and becomes one dimensional and boring.   

But most teams in the world will adjust depending upon their opponents.  For example, if playing a better opponent, many teams will sit back and absorb pressure and hope for a quick counter.  See Mexico's win over Germany in this WC.  Mexico seceded possession for long stretches of the game, but with quick attackers, they tried to win the ball in midfield and launch counter attacks against slower German defenders.  At its worst, it's simply parking the bus (a frequently criticism of Jose Mourinho, the current manager of Manchester United).

Gaining traction is a high pressing attacking style, nicknamed Heavy Metal Football.  Pin your opponent back, win the ball in their half, and score goals and then score even more goals.  This of course leaves a team open to quick counter attacks.  Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool are probably the best example of this current style.  

Volumes have been written about soccer tactics...you can quickly get into the weeds!

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In Group C action, pre-tournament favorites France punch their ticket to the next round, although they need to pick up their game if they hope to do much in the knock out stage.  A sad farewell to the plucky Peruvians, who are making their first WC appearance in 32 years!  A big win out of the Socceroos of Australia next week could very well see them through, while Denmark will be looking for a point.  We'll find out on June 26. 

France v. Demark

Australia v. Peru

June 26 at 10am.

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3 hours ago, Tweaked said:

Gaining traction is a high pressing attacking style, nicknamed Heavy Metal Football.  Pin your opponent back, win the ball in their half, and score goals and then score even more goals.  This of course leaves a team open to quick counter attacks.  Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool are probably the best example of this current style.  

Gegenpressing FTW!  Sometimes I wish MLS teams would employ this more -- it seems more compatible with the greater athleticism and lack of skill (relative to top European domestic clubs) in the league.

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For current followers of the game, I only watched the first half of Croatia/Argentina.  At that it was spotty watching while also conversing with others.  What I did sense though was that by hook or by crook, Messi wasn't getting the ball.  Since I couldn't follow closely, I'm not sure of this, but either Messi wasn't going to the ball well, Argentina wasn't getting him the ball well, and Croatia was playing him extremely well, not giving him space to receive the ball or some of all of the above.  I couldn't get a handle on which of those elements seemed to be dominant.

In any case one of the two current greatests of the great seemed to be missing on this big moment.

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It is Saturday, and you are Jogi Loew.

Whom do you start?

And if this were an obvious question, I wouldn't be asking.

 

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7 hours ago, Tweaked said:

In Group C action, pre-tournament favorites France punch their ticket to the next round, although they need to pick up their game if they hope to do much in the knock out stage.  A sad farewell to the plucky Peruvians, who are making their first WC appearance in 32 years!  A big win out of the Socceroos of Australia next week could very well see them through, while Denmark will be looking for a point.  We'll find out on June 26. 

France v. Demark

Australia v. Peru

June 26 at 10am. 

I figured out the scenarios for Argentina, Nigeria, and Iceland in Group D based on Argentina's 3-0 loss today and speculating on the result of tomorrow's Iceland-Nigeria match.  Lots of them involve tiebreaks.  The final Group D matches will be June 26 at 2 p.m., with Argentina vs. Nigeria and Iceland vs. Croatia.

Edited by lovehockey
Because there won't be any World Cup on July 26

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In Group D action today:  The midnight sun is starting to set on our Viking friends, now desperately needing a win against group leaders Croatia.  Nigeria have to like their chances against a wounded and in turmoil Argentina.  Croatia will advance, but Nigeria, Argentina, and Iceland all have routes to the second round.

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Ozil didn't do much in the first game either, and he's been known not to do much.

Ozil is a mystery, he's brilliant and then he's not.  Just fades out of the game for long stretches. 

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Introducing a box-to-box Leon Goretzka will lead to success, while Gundogan may not.  Unfortunately (a) Jogi is too conservative for such a decision, and (b) Kroos and occasionally Ozil will have to perform more defensive duties which is far from certainty.

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in Group E action yesterday, both Brazil and Switzerland rally late to claim three points.  Our Tico neighbors to the South are elminated.  The Swiss play Costa Rica in the third game and have to fancy their chances to advance.  Can Serbia take down Brazil?  We find out on June 27.

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2 hours ago, Sasha K said:

Hummels is injured.  Is Jogi bone-headed enough to start Rudiger over Sule?

I don’t follow Bayern Munich’s b-team.  😀

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1 hour ago, Ericandblueboy said:

I don’t follow Bayern Munich’s b-team.  😀

You and Maradona (back in 2010).

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6 hours ago, Sasha K said:

Hummels is injured.  Is Jogi bone-headed enough to start Rudiger over Sule?

It's halftime.  It is a rare occasion when one must quote one's own post.

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10 minutes ago, Sasha K said:

It's halftime.  It is a rare occasion when one must quote one's own post.

Well, *I* personally think that, even though I'm not Rudiger's biggest fan at all, I like the thought of using him as a defensive LB (Howedes 2014-style) to counter-balance Kimmich's forward runs and help deal with their defensive transition issues - even if that means playing Ginter or Sule today.

And if you think that's original thought, I have some swampland in Florida to sell you. ;)

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Wow Group F!  Germany scores at the death to beat Sweden. All teams are alive, no team is safe.  

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5 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Well, *I* personally think that, even though I'm not Rudiger's biggest fan at all, I like the thought of using him as a defensive LB (Howedes 2014-style) to counter-balance Kimmich's forward runs and help deal with their defensive transition issues - even if that means playing Ginter or Sule today.

And if you think that's original thought, I have some swampland in Florida to sell you. ;)

Hah, not only did they do this with Howedes in 2014, but also with Boateng in 2010 if I recall correctly.

4 hours ago, Tweaked said:

Wow Group F!  Germany scores at the death to beat Sweden. All teams are alive, no team is safe.  

Some reports say Germany doesn't hold their fate in their own hands, but this is not true: they are through if they win by 2 goals next week, regardless.  They may still finish second in the group through (and probably will).

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