2022 World Cup News Thread

SocrManiac

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I like the sentiment. It’ll be nice to see FIFA squirm about which human rights cases to support and which to ignore.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Russias invasion of Ukraine was so unambiguously horrible that it was a no brainer and uncontroversial to boot them from the tournament entirely. Supplying arms to Russia is, unfortunately, small beer in the global geopolitical context, if they were to ban every nation with human rights violations of that severity there would be maybe eight or nine sides left
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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I like the sentiment. It’ll be nice to see FIFA squirm about which human rights cases to support and which to ignore.
That assumes that they have shame, which they don’t, as I know you agree. But yes, the public response is amusing.
 

candylandriots

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Russias invasion of Ukraine was so unambiguously horrible that it was a no brainer and uncontroversial to boot them from the tournament entirely. Supplying arms to Russia is, unfortunately, small beer in the global geopolitical context, if they were to ban every nation with human rights violations of that severity there would be maybe eight or nine sides left
I thought that the issue was that Iran doesn’t let women attend games, which is against FIFA rules.

Not sure if that rule predates Saudi Arabia’s last World Cup appearance.
 

67YAZ

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Gutted for Son and all the Korea supporters.

I don’t think Korea had a real chance to advance - Portugal & Uruguay should move on - but Korea does have more talent this go round with Hee-Chan Hwang & Jae-Min Kim running along side Son.

Beat Ghana, a smash-and-grab job against Uruguay…with Son, they have that chance with Son running on the counter. Without him, I think it’s too much.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Bad day for Canada. Davies with a hamstring and Maxime Crépeau just got a “we’re choosing not to show the replay” in the MLS Cup final.
 

nayrbrey

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Driving somewhere most likely

DJnVa

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Glad Richarlison is still going. Would've been gutted if he missed out.

Man, I can't wait for the WC Daily Game Threads. Fun stuff.
 

PedroSpecialK

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I'm surprised Firmino was omitted, selfishly glad he'll get a rest - seems like a lot of redundancy with all those wingers. Nonetheless they'll be absolutely stacked regardless
 

Pesky Pole

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Defending is their biggest challenge (and it's mostly relative and somewhat age related). I'm also surprised they didn't carry Firmino to kill off games (if nothing else). That said, with all that attacking talent, it's hard to quibble with any choice they make.
 

Kliq

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Brazil has a ton of depth, I'd worry about athleticism of that back line. Neymar is kind of a meme but has been in superb form so far this season at PSG. The midfield, particularly the box-to-box guys, is really strong and loaded with talent. Will be interesting to see who else starts up front; tons of talent but no one really distinguishable from one another outside of Neymar.

This feels like the most open World Cup in some time and lacking a clear favorite. France has the most talent but seem to be towards the end of the Deschamps era and the chemistry of the team seems out of wack.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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The last post got me thinking and for the hell of it, I googled the odds and grabbed the first result.

2022 WORLD CUP WINNER ODDS
I'm not quite sure why, but I'm pretty surprised to see Argentina in the number 2 spot. England is probably the other team that seems too high to me, but I have a bias there as a generally can't stand them. I can't wait for this damn thing to start and to be a very welcome distraction from work.
 

67YAZ

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I'm surprised Firmino was omitted, selfishly glad he'll get a rest - seems like a lot of redundancy with all those wingers. Nonetheless they'll be absolutely stacked regardless
I was really hoping that Fabinho wouldn’t get the call since he’s so clearly gassed and out of form. The man needs a month (or more) to try to get his shit back together.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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It's funny how this all works. I was hoping that Gabriel Jesus and Martinelli wouldn't make the roster so that they could get some rest.

I'm kind of shocked that Brazil didn't take Gabriel Magalhaes given they're weakest in the back line and with how good he and the Arsenal defense has been this year, he certainly seemed good enough as a bench player.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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The last post got me thinking and for the hell of it, I googled the odds and grabbed the first result.

2022 WORLD CUP WINNER ODDS
I'm not quite sure why, but I'm pretty surprised to see Argentina in the number 2 spot. England is probably the other team that seems too high to me, but I have a bias there as a generally can't stand them. I can't wait for this damn thing to start and to be a very welcome distraction from work.
Denmark jumps out to me as slightly undervalued there, based on their Euro performance. Croatia as well to a lesser degree, although they're old now.
 

Zososoxfan

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The last post got me thinking and for the hell of it, I googled the odds and grabbed the first result.

2022 WORLD CUP WINNER ODDS
I'm not quite sure why, but I'm pretty surprised to see Argentina in the number 2 spot. England is probably the other team that seems too high to me, but I have a bias there as a generally can't stand them. I can't wait for this damn thing to start and to be a very welcome distraction from work.
Argentina are a friggin' wagon and have real quality at every position. It says something that many of these players have played or are playing significantly better for country than club over the past couple of years (Messi, De Paul, Paredes, etc.). My biggest concerns going into the tourney are the health of Emi Martinez and Cuti Romero. Also, Scaloni's misplaced confidence in Otamendi.

My one knock on Brazil's squad is that it's very thin at both FBs and Striker. Telles is the yute of the FB group and is 29. Jesus is having a terrific season and that's crucial for Brazil, but like everyone else I would've thought bringing Bobby along was a no-brainer. Richarlison is a fine option at the 9, but he hasn't played in over a month (or so it feels like). Otherwise, yeah Brazil's a beast.

France should probably be the favorite on paper. They're stacked beyond belief.

England are also facing a crisis at both FB spots. Shaw's game is probably better suited for internationals, but injuries to James, Walker, Chilwell, and Southgate's disdain for TAA make the FBs a problem. Trippier's excellent but also long in the tooth. CB is also suspect although Southgate's conservative setup does protect Stones-Maguire-Dier. But all that said, I think England's biggest problem is that they are comically conservative and that doesn't help them take advantage of their talent. It's like France's 2018 squad, but without the willingness or awareness to just say 'get the ball to Foden and let's win this thing'.* Fortunate for Gareth, it's not just Foden up there, but Arry, Saka, Mount, Grealish, etc.

Spain's problem is that they have no real world class forwards. Is it Ferran Torres? Morata? Spain will have approximately 72-96% of possession in every match, but like always (save for 2010-2012) they'll be relying on getting fouled in the box rather than scoring goals. Then again, maybe their riches in MF (Pedri, Gavi, Soler, Rodri, etc.) can generate offense.

Germany are underrated by the odds you posted IMO. They're the biggest overpeformers in the WC and even though they may lack a true striker, Haavertz and Muller are close to ideal false 9s and can finish, and their wingers (Sane, Gnabry) put the ball in the net a lot. Also, they have a kid named Musiala who's OK.

I think the Netherlands are also underrated. They have terrific players at every spot.

Portugal is strong throughout, but I do think they're a player or 2 short--certainly at one of the CB spots.

* Deschamps Nuanced Tactics
 

SocrManiac

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Other than the US I have no dog in this fight. I don’t like Argentina but in Messi we’ve seen one of the all-time greats. I’d like to see him lift the ugly trophy to cap it all.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Other than the US I have no dog in this fight. I don’t like Argentina but in Messi we’ve seen one of the all-time greats. I’d like to see him lift the ugly trophy to cap it all.
I'd really like to see Argentina take it. It's the only mark against his resume, and it seems like he's in fantastic form heading into it.
 

rguilmar

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The last post got me thinking and for the hell of it, I googled the odds and grabbed the first result.

2022 WORLD CUP WINNER ODDS
I'm not quite sure why, but I'm pretty surprised to see Argentina in the number 2 spot. England is probably the other team that seems too high to me, but I have a bias there as a generally can't stand them. I can't wait for this damn thing to start and to be a very welcome distraction from work.
I think that top 3 looks about right. France have the talent to be the odds on favorite except for their poor recent form, “the champions curse”, and the possibility of an implosion. Argentina have a great chance but I do wonder about whoever they start at RB (assuming either Montiel or Molina) as both have had lost control in big games for their clubs. I don’t rate England that highly, but I’m guessing that the bets will be there to justify those odds. It’s a little surprising to me to see Spain rated that high, and they are my second team behind the US. They have legit issues at striker and CB. I’m much higher on Portugal and would pick them over Spain. Germany have also really put it together of late.

My top 5 would like be Brazil, Argentina, France, Germany, and Portugal.
 

Zososoxfan

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I think that top 3 looks about right. France have the talent to be the odds on favorite except for their poor recent form, “the champions curse”, and the possibility of an implosion. Argentina have a great chance but I do wonder about whoever they start at RB (assuming either Montiel or Molina) as both have had lost control in big games for their clubs. I don’t rate England that highly, but I’m guessing that the bets will be there to justify those odds. It’s a little surprising to me to see Spain rated that high, and they are my second team behind the US. They have legit issues at striker and CB. I’m much higher on Portugal and would pick them over Spain. Germany have also really put it together of late.

My top 5 would like be Brazil, Argentina, France, Germany, and Portugal.
Can you elaborate on the bolded? I know you're a La Liga savant.

How do you rate the Netherlands? I think your top 5 is defensible, but I do think England and the Netherlands are right there. In fact, I'd say of those 3 Holland is the most complete, as they have starters that fit at every position and have excellent depth:

Cillessen/Bijlow/Flekken (anyone have an idea who will actually start?)
VVD-Ake-Timber
Malacia-FDJ-Koopmeiers-Dumfries
Simons
Bergwijn-Depay

Bench: de Vrij, de Ligt, Botman, de Roon, van de Beek, Gravenberch, Wijnaldum, Berghuis, Klaasen, Weghorst

So they lack top end talent at striker and in net, but otherwise that side is an absolute wagon. Add in that they're drawn into Qatar's group and they should have little trouble getting out of the group stage.

I compare that England, who lack stability in the backline (there's talent, but I doubt Southgate will sit Maguire or Dier, even with Tomori and White on good form), and Portugal who lack a CB partner for Dias or a bona fide striker (unless you think Ronaldo qualifies). Throw in that Portugal is in the most difficult group IMO (Portugal, Uruguay, South Korea, Ghana) and I like the Netherlands' chances.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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IMO, Germany should be right there among the favorites. Less overall talent but the best manager (along with Spain) and the advantage of having a lot of Bayern players who are very familiar playing together. If they can figure out a stable backline, then I could see them hitting stride at the right time.
 

InstaFace

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67YAZ

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Ah, I see Sepp is very remorseful.

"It is too small of a country. Football and the World Cup are too big for it.”
 

Zososoxfan

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If you're not angry enough this morning, read this:

https://www.espn.com/soccer/fifa-world-cup/story/4795763/qatar-world-cup-is-a-mistake-former-fifa-president-sepp-blatter

Sepp Blatter - who orchestrated the schemes that brought this competition to Qatar, and probably squirreled away millions for himself through it - now says "it was a mistake" to award it to Qatar. From the comfort of his Zurich home, as he is a free man.
I believe this is commonly referred to as chutzpah. My word.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Ah, I see Sepp is very remorseful.

"It is too small of a country. Football and the World Cup are too big for it.”
You know, I never actually looked up the physical size of Qatar, but it turns out it's 4,468 square miles. Connecticut is 4,845.
 

InstaFace

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Whatever reporter dutifully took down that quote without asking him some blindingly obvious followups deserves to be whipped in the nearest town square.
 

rguilmar

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Can you elaborate on the bolded? I know you're a La Liga savant.

How do you rate the Netherlands?
Both Montiel and Molina had stinkers recently in big games, and both got red cards in high pressure games. These reds weren’t the defensible kind. These were “lost his mind” types of red cards in high pressure games (Molina against Villarreal where he had already basically set up the Villarreal goal and Montiel in the Seville Derby). I like both players a lot and these are small sample sizes, but when the lights were brightest both of them had rough games or gotten sent off. And the lights are pretty bright at the World Cup.

The Netherlands are a good shout. I could easily have replaced Portugal with the Dutch in my top five. For me, Portugal is slightly more complete but it’s a toss up. I’m admittedly anti-English soccer, so there is a bias, but they seem similarly incomplete and in bad form right now.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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You know, I never actually looked up the physical size of Qatar, but it turns out it's 4,468 square miles. Connecticut is 4,845.
A proper WC in that part of Asia would be a multi country host, it works with bigger countries like Japan/Korea, USA/MEX/CAN. But of course grifters gonna grift.
 

Zososoxfan

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Both Montiel and Molina had stinkers recently in big games, and both got red cards in high pressure games. These reds weren’t the defensible kind. These were “lost his mind” types of red cards in high pressure games (Molina against Villarreal where he had already basically set up the Villarreal goal and Montiel in the Seville Derby). I like both players a lot and these are small sample sizes, but when the lights were brightest both of them had rough games or gotten sent off. And the lights are pretty bright at the World Cup.

The Netherlands are a good shout. I could easily have replaced Portugal with the Dutch in my top five. For me, Portugal is slightly more complete but it’s a toss up. I’m admittedly anti-English soccer, so there is a bias, but they seem similarly incomplete and in bad form right now.
Ah, I see. I'm certainly grasping for straws here, but neither Atleti nor Sevilla are cohesive clubs at the moment. Sevilla especially is all over the place. Atleti at least are still grinding out points and are sitting in a UCL spot, but there's not good vibes coming out of the Wanda--just ask @bosox4283 .

In other news, GLC went under the knife this week and is confirmed out for Argentina at the WC. I'm crushed for the player, who struggled at Spurs but was having an OK loan at Villarreal. GLC was a terrific fit with Argentina and a perfect complement to De Paul and the forwards. He's a tenacious defender, gifted passer, and press resistant, and that fits the role perfectly.

While this loss hurts, Argentina are fortunate to have capable replacements in Mac Allister, Enzo Fernandez, Almada, and others. My guess is that Mac Allister steps into the XI, as he's more seasoned than Enzo, and is a more complete B2B Mid than Almada. Regardless, Enzo will play. When Scaloni wants more defensive balance he can move to a double pivot with Paredes and Rodriguez, and really Enzo can pair with one of those guys as a double pivot of sorts as well. When he wants more attack going forward, he can play Almada (is he ready for the bigtime??), Papu Gomez, or shuffle around ADM and/or the Correas.

The other question is who gets called up. My guess is that it's either Nico Dominguez (Bologna) or Exequiel Palacios (Leverkusen). Palacios is probably the better player, but Dominguez has been getting more minutes this season. Since Scaloni knows the Argentine league well, I'm sure he'll also give some consideration to Carlos Medina (Boca) and teenager Carlos Alcaraz (Racing), who had that match winner against Boca (ha!) which ended with approx. 45 red cards.
 

67YAZ

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He walked off on his own, but looked a helluva lot like a hamstring pull. He’s got 13 days until his first match.

Bayern coaches saying Mane got kicked in that soft spot between the knee and shin. Hurt like hell, an X-ray forthcoming, but not a hamstring issue.
 

67YAZ

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Just cruel. Senegal’s goal was to go further than any African team in history (the semifinals). They have such a great mix of recent successes, coaching consistency (7 years of Cisse), veteran leaders, and young talent that it was possible. I’ve been hearing from friends from Ghana, Tanzania, and Kenya that they were excited for Senegal to make that run.

But the whole set up is built around Mane in the false-9/10 role where he presses in the middle of the pitch and pulls all the strings in attack. Senegal’s biggest challenge in recent years has been consistency in converting the chances Mane creates. But now it’s not clear what their attacking approach will be and who has the skill set to run things.

They still have a puncher’s chance in this group since Cisse is a defense first, second, and third kind of manager. They’re a hard nut to crack, and presumably Cisse will focus on sitting deep and running on the counter.

But damn.
 
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67YAZ

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A bunch of sources are claiming Mane will be included in Senegal’s roster when it drops later today. That indicates that there’s at least some indetermination about his status. Rosters aren’t official with FIFA until Monday, but even still, it’s probably worth carrying Mane just in case. He’s that important to the squad.
 

SocrManiac

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I don't see how they can't bring Mané. Whatever utility value that 23rd player would have is nothing compared to his impact if he's even remotely capable.

If I'm Bayern, I'm probably howling about how they manage the injury, but that's the international game.