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World Cup Thread


Wolverine
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After my efforts to watch as many games as possible at the pub. (yeah motty i had a fry up whilst watching England v Nigeria). I'm intending to watch as many games as possible either at my own home or my good friends.

 

But honetsly June 9th 2006 just can't come any quicker, i'm even excited about the draw in a few weeks essential viewing if there ever was. You just can't beat the World Cup a whole month of wall to wall top class Football. it's only sad that it only comes round every 4 years, for pure enjoyment the European championships, Premier league, Champions League just don't come any way close to the excitment of a World Cup.

 

When the tournamant starts next June it will of been 48 years since a South American won the World Cup on European soil, so on that basis i'm writing off the challenges from both Brazil and Argentina, yeah that sounds rather foolish considering most of the major talents play there football in Europe and if you look back on the last 2 finals to be held in Europe then both teams respectively have actully reached the final itself, only to end up on the losing side. But yes i'm going to say a European side will claim victory next July.

So which European side? Well one from three, Holland, England and the team i'm leaning towards at the moment Spain.

 

You look at those 3 sides and it's amazing with all the history and talent that they have had during the past that they only have 1 world cup between them. Everytime a World cup comes along these teams are mentioned (if they've qualified). Yet everytime they flatter to decive. So i guess the law of averages states that it's about time one of them came forward and claimed the trophy.

 

Things may become a little clearer on December 9th, can't wait :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Im extremely excited about next years World Cup. Obviously most people will bet on Brazil winning, but Im going with a Germany win this year. Why? They have the home advantage, and they were the runners up last time round. They also have some fantastic individual players (Michael Ballack, Oliver Kahn) and bond we'll as a team. I hope Im wrong, but I think Germany will be the team lifting the trophy this time.
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Yeah disagree with a lot of things.

 

France aren't a patch on what they were, even with players back, thus finalists I very much doubt it. Argentina are a lot like Brazil and essentially England, on their day unbeatable, but have plenty of weaknesses, and can be picked off.

 

For me Holland, Portugal, Czech Republic are all dark horses.

 

And I'll place money Germany get further than the first round. Hosts seemingly always do well, look at Portugal 04, South Korea 02, France 98, England 96, Italy 90, heck even USA and Japan did better than expected when they hosted.

 

Brazil to win for me, if they don't, it will probably be their own fault. And Ronaldinho and Kaka always play in the same side, without problems, plus Cafu is virtually out the side, in favour of the young lad Cicinho, who's pretty awesome.

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I'm trying to figure out how the seedings will go. Last I heard, England were looking good for a top spot. Obviously FIFA have their own system for working it out, but I would guess...

 

Pot 1: Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Holland, Czech Rep, England, France, Italy

Pot 2: Spain, Portugal, South Korea, Sweden, Croatia, USA, Mexico, Serbia

Pot 3: Poland, Ukraine, Iran, Japan, Paraguay, Switzerland, Tunisia, Ecuador

Pot 4: Trinidad & Tobago, Angola, Australia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Costa Rica, Togo, Saudi Arabia

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In my opinion, Argentina have the best all-round side. Their attack is the equal of Brazil's and there won't be many better defences either. Zanetti, Ayala, Samuel and Sorin are all experienced defenders who have performed with distinction in their various leagues (and the Champions' League too). The competition for places in their midfield and attack is outstanding. Aimar, d'Alessandro, Messi, Veron, Cambiasso, Gonzalez, Riquelme, Crespo, Tevez, Saviola, Cruz ... the list goes on. Whoever is picked will have to be on top form and with the talent these players have, it will be extremely difficult for opposition defences to stop them.

 

As for Germany, they have some good talents and home advantage will obviously help them but their defence is shocking. They (the whole team) were abysmal in Euro 2004 and the defence hadn't improved much when I watched them in the Confedrations Cup. They also do not possess a prolific striker. Kuranyi and Klose are competent and Podolski shows promise, but when compared to the other top teams, the German attack is found wanting.

 

The French have undoubted class and also have a point to prove. They will desperate to show that they are still one of the best teams in the world and with the side they have, I certainly wouldn't put it past them to go very far. Henry, Trezeguet, Giuly, Zidane, etc ... the French are still an extremely strong team.

Edited by Wolverine
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Right, the seedings are:

 

Pool One: Germany (hosts), Brazil (champions), Italy, France, Argentina, Spain, Mexico, England

 

Pool Two: Australia, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo, Tunisia, Ecuador, Paraguay

 

Pool Three: Croatia, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine

 

Pool Four: Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago, United States

 

Special pot: Serbia & Montenegro

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Hmm, gonna be interesting as to what group we might get.

 

To me it seems there is a chance we could get an extremely favourable draw, but we will see.

 

BEST CASE SCENARIO

 

England, SWITZERLAND, TOGO, SAUDI ARABIA

=Surely a breeze through this, 9 points and confidence.

 

WORST CASE SCENARIO (Thus most likely!)

 

England, NETHERLANDS, IVORY COAST, USA

=A very tricky group, Netherlands on their day almost unstoppable, Ivory Coast many peoples dark horses, a big strong side, and USA- a game which would have a lot of needle, and would be no walkover.

 

Friday is gonna be interesting!!!

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By the way, in case anyone's wondering about Serbia & Montenegro having a special pot, here's the explanation. FIFA have organised the pools so that there will not be more than two teams from each continent in a group. The eight seeds have a pool of their own and the other three pools are determined by the continents of the qualifiers (i.e. Pool Four consists of entirely African/South American teams).

 

However, their are nine unseeded European teams and each pool only consists of eight teams. As Serbia & Montenegro are lowest ranked of the nine in the FIFA World Rankings, they are put in Pool Four (and given the term 'special pot' in a bizarre attempt to make the Serbians feel better)

 

Probably self-explanatory, but there you go. As for England's group, Percy's dead-on with his assessment of their easiest/hardest scenario (although I'd fear the Czechs slightly more than the Dutch)

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I hope and pray the Aussies get drawn against the United States after Bruce Arena, their coach, mouthed off that the only 2 easy games at the World Cup would be Australia and Trinidad and Tobago.

 

He had said in an article published on the Sports Illustrated website that Australia and Trinidad and Tobago shaped as the two weakest sides in Germany next year despite the Socceroos being ranked above four other sides that have qualified for the tournament.

 

"The last time around (in the 2002 World Cup) the easy games were China and Saudi Arabia," Arena said in the article.

 

"This time around you'd probably say Australia and Trinidad and Tobago are the weak ones.

 

"But Australia has basically all of its players in Europe, and Trinidad have a guy (in Dwight Yorke) who was arguably the top striker in soccer."

 

From the Melbourne Age Newspaper

 

Nothing is more exciting to Aussie sports teams than to have someone come out and underestimate them in the most public and ignorant manner possible....

 

Now here is the retraction of the statement, laced with a backhanded swipe regardless......... (3rd last paragraph)

 

United States coach Bruce Arena has gone into damage control following the furore over his rating of the Socceroos as one of the two weakest sides at next year's World Cup.

 

Arena was lampooned by former Socceroo greats, including current assistant national coach Graham Arnold for suggesting Australia and Trinidad & Tobago were the weaker sides in the 32-nation competition in Germany.

 

However the American coach told a teleconference he'd been saying there weren't any weak sides and that his comments were misunderstood.

 

"Just on your Australia comment: I was, obviously, misinterpreted," Arena said after the seedings were announced for the World Cup ahead of the draw on Saturday morning Australian time.

 

"I think Australia is a very good team and the comment I made this week is the fact that their entire team plays in Europe.

 

"They have a very strong team although they were the last team to qualify, as was Trinidad & Tobago.

 

"My previous comment on those two teams implied that this is a very, very strong field of 32 teams, in fact, considerably stronger than what we saw in 2002."

 

Arena guided the United States to the quarter-finals at the 2002 World Cup and to eighth spot in the world rankings.

 

from the Melbourne Age Newspaper
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The World Cup Final groups are:

 

 

GROUP A:

Germany

Costa Rica

Poland

Ecuador

 

GROUP B:

England

Paraguay

Trinidad And Tobago

Sweden

 

GROUP C:

Argentina

Ivory Coast

Serbia And Montenegro

Netherlands

 

GROUP D:

Mexico

Iran

Angola

Portugal

 

GROUP E:

Italy

Ghana

United States

Czech Republic

 

GROUP F:

Brazil

Croatia

Australia

Japan

 

GROUP G:

France

Switzerland

South Korea

Togo

 

GROUP H:

Spain

Ukraine

Tunisia

Saudi Arabia

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I'd say Group H is the most interesting. It's the only one where the top two qualifiers aren't blindingly obvious.

 

As for England's group, it's easy to get through, but we'll lose to Sweden, which will mean Portugal by my predictions.

 

As for Scotland's group... oops.

 

Wales' group is... d'oh.

 

Northern Ireland's got a good... oh.

 

Well at least the Republic of Ireland can... ah crap.

 

:P.

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Full Group Match Listings for the FIFA 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany.

 

 

 

Friday 9th June, 2006:

Germany Vs Costa Rica (Munich) A

Poland Vs Ecuador (Gelsenkirchen) A

 

Saturday 10th June:

England Vs Paraguay (Frankfurt) B

Trinidad And Tobago Vs Sweden (Dortmund) B

Argentina Vs Ivory Coast (Hamburg) C

 

Sunday 11th June:

Serbia And Montenegro Vs Netherlands (Leipzig) C

Mexico Vs Iran (Nuremberg) D

Angola Vs Portugal (Cologne) D

 

Monday 12th June:

Italy Vs Ghana (Hanover) E

United States Vs Czech Republic (Gelsenkirchen) E

Australia Vs Japan (Kaiserslautern) F

 

Tuesday 13th June:

Brazil Vs Croatia (Berlin) F

France Vs Switzerland (Stuttgart) G

South Korea Vs Togo (Frankfurt) G

 

Wednesday 14th June:

Spain Vs Ukraine (Leipzig) H

Tunisia Vs Saudi Arabia (Munich) H

Germany Vs Poland (Dortmund) A

 

Thursday 15th June:

Ecuador Vs Costa Rica (Hamburg) A

England Vs Trinidad And Tobago (Nuremberg) B

Sweden Vs Paraguay (Berlin) B

 

Friday 16th June:

Argentina Vs Serbia And Montenegro (Gelsenkirchen) C

Netherlands Vs Ivory Coast (Stuttgart) C

Mexico Vs Angola (Hanover) D

 

Saturday 17th June:

Portugal Vs Iran (Frankfurt) D

Italy Vs United States (Kaiserslautern) E

Czech Republic Vs Ghana (Cologne) E

 

Sunday 18th June:

Brazil Vs Australia (Munich) F

Japan Vs Croatia (Nuremberg) F

France Vs South Korea (Leipzig) G

 

Monday 19th June:

Togo Vs Switzerland (Dortmund) G

Spain Vs Tunisia (Stuttgart) H

Saudi Arabia Vs Ukraine (Hamburg) H

 

Tuesday 20th June:

Ecuador Vs Germany (Berlin) A

Costa Rica Vs Poland (Hanover) A

Sweden Vs England (Cologne) B

Paraguay Vs Trinidad And Tobago (Kaiserslautern) B

 

Wednesday 21st June:

Netherlands Vs Argentina (Frankfurt) C

Ivory Coast Vs Serbia And Montenegro (Munich) C

Portugal Vs Mexico (Gelsenkirchen) D

Iran Vs Angola (Leipzig) D

 

Thursday 22nd June:

Czech Republic Vs Italy (Hamburg) E

Ghana Vs United States (Nuremberg) E

Japan Vs Brazil (Dortmund) F

Croatia Vs Australia (Stuttgart) F

 

Friday 23rd June:

Togo Vs France (Cologne) G

Switzerland Vs South Korea (Hanover) G

Saudi Arabia Vs Spain (Kaiserslautern) H

Ukraine Vs Tunisia (Berlin) H

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Well. We got Paraguay, Trinidad & Tobago and of course, Sweeden. We SHOULD get through that with relative ease, I just hope we don't leave it to the last game.

 

Bound to. We'll draw against Paraguay and Trinidad & Tobago and have to beat Sweden to qualify (something we haven't managed to do in 30 years). I pray I'm wrong but I can see that happening.

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England's group is hilariously easy looking but still we all seen in Belfast when they think they just have to turn up for the game.

 

To be honest not many of the groups I find that exciting looking. Group F looks interesting, as does Group C and Group E but the rest don't look that interesting. It'll only really get exciting come the knock out stages. I'm still of the opinion that the European Championships are of a much better standard.

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Hilariously easy looking?

 

You kidding me?

 

Apart from Ivory Coast, Paraguay were the toughest team to get from that section, and Sweden are our bogie team, considering we haven't beaten them in nearly 40 years. With exception to Italy, and Holland's group, I'd say ours is fairly tough, as both those sides are pretty good.

 

Thus ridiculously easy? Not a chance in hell. How about France's group? Thats ridiculously easy.

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