International Break (06-16 October)

Zososoxfan

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Oh hi International Futbol! It's great to see you again. I'll let others catch us up on what else is happening during this international break, but I know that there's the first pair of CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers (WCQ) matchdays on order (home team first):

Thursday 08 October
Uruguay vs. Chile
Paraguay vs. Peru
Argentina vs. Ecuador

Friday 09 October
Colombia vs. Venezuela
Brazil vs. Bolivia

Tuesday 13 October
Bolivia vs. Argentina
Ecuador vs. Uruguay
Venezuela vs. Paraguay
Peru vs. Brazil
Chile vs. Colombia
 
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Dummy Hoy

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I love international football, though the quality is generally shit.

Looking forward to Belgium smashing England, but I haven't looked at the European fixture really (aside from seeing Scotland/Israel is thursday)
 

Zososoxfan

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Oh hi International Futbol! It's great to see you again. I'll let others catch us up on what else is happening during this international break, but I know that there's the first pair of CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers (WCQ) matchdays on order (home team first):

Thursday 08 October
Uruguay vs. Chile
Paraguay vs. Peru
Argentina vs. Ecuador

Friday 09 October
Colombia vs. Venezuela
Brazil vs. Bolivia

Tuesday 13 October
Bolivia vs. Argentina
Ecuador vs. Uruguay
Venezuela vs. Paraguay
Peru vs. Brazil
Chile vs. Colombia
Friday's match in Baranquilla will be at 8200 feet above sea level. Of course, in CONMEBOL that's child's play. Tuesday's match in La Paz will be played at nearly 12,000 feet above sea level. Honorable mention to Quito's Rodrigo Paz Delgado stadium which sits at 9350 feet.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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First leg of the Euro playoffs on Thursday. Looks like all 8 games go off simultaneously. I can’t find any US tv info but I would really like to watch a few of these or I guess channel surf.
 

swiftaw

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First leg of the Euro playoffs on Thursday. Looks like all 8 games go off simultaneously. I can’t find any US tv info but I would really like to watch a few of these or I guess channel surf.
12:00 pm ET
Georgia vs. Belarus (Euro 2020 playoff)
ESPN3, fuboTV, Sling Orange
2:45 pm ET
Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Northern Ireland (Euro 2020 playoff)
ESPN3, fuboTV, Sling Orange
2:45 pm ET
Bulgaria vs. Hungary (Euro 2020 playoff)
ESPN3, fuboTV, Sling Orange
2:45 pm ET
Iceland vs. Romania (Euro 2020 playoff)
ESPN3, fuboTV, Sling Orange
2:45 pm ET
North Macedonia vs. Kosovo (Euro 2020 playoff)
ESPN3, fuboTV, Sling Orange
2:45 pm ET
Norway vs. Serbia (Euro 2020 playoff)
ESPN2, fuboTV, Sling Orange, Hulu + Live TV, Vidgo
2:45 pm ET
Scotland vs. Israel (Euro 2020 playoff)
ESPN3, fuboTV, Sling Orange
2:45 pm ET
Slovakia vs. Ireland (Euro 2020 playoff)
ESPN3, fuboTV, Sling Orange
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Excellent -- so it looks as though one game is not simultaneous with the rest of the games.

What the heck is ESPN 3? Is it the same as ESPN+?
 

Zososoxfan

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Argentina's rumored XI for tonight:

Armani
Montiel-Martinez Quarta-Otamendi-Tagliafico
De Paul-Paredes-Acuna
Messi-Lautaro-Ocampos

Outside of Argentina, I don't think anyone wants to see Armani over Emi Martinez. Against Ecuador though, it's hard to get worked up over keeper selection. This likely has something to do with keeping domestic clubs happy, although it's hard to reconcile that with the selection of Otamendi.

Normally I'd think Montiel is also an example of showing some favor to domestic clubs, but Argentina really don't have any notable FBs other than Tagli. There are some options at LB, but at RB it's really down to Montiel and Saravia. Maybe you give Bustos (Independiente) or Herrera (San Lorenzo) a look? Even converting a RMF isn't much of an option, and Almendra from Boca is the only player who comes to mind.

More than Armani though, the selection of Otamendi boggles the mind. Argentina suddenly have a glut of real options of young and good CBs and yet Ota is getting the start. I'd rather not have him on the squad at all. Tagli is a no-brainer selection.

Paredes-De Paul-Acuna is actually a pretty solid midfield for this side, since they won't need to worry about getting pressed too much in the MF. De Paul and Acuna can both run for days and will have to provide some options in attack while still being the designated guys to sprint back in defense. Paredes is an outstanding pivot who can pull the strings from deep as a proper regista. As I type this, I wonder if Acuna might be an option at RB. When GLC is healthy, he's an auto-start and Acuna still has enough quality to contribute and his workrate might work well down the right to give Messi a consistent option (although Paredes and the other MF would need to cover for him a lot).

Messi should get to play as much as he wants for the NT. He can obviously destabilize a packed defense still, he's incredibly creative, and he's also a living legend still capable of playing at a high level. I hope Argentina start to use him as a super sub though, so that they develop a system without him and he can come on against tired legs. Playing with 10 in defense is fine against Ecuador, but not so much against the top half of the CONMEBOL.

Lautaro is also an automatic selection. He had a relatively slow finish to last season, but for the 1.5 seasons before that he was one of the best 9s in the world. With only a couple of exceptions like Kane and Lewa, there's no one I'd rather have up top with Messi than Lautaro.

Ocampos is also an absolute beast. He's a phenomenally gifted player, but one that fits into a system more neatly than someone like Dybala. Dybala needs the system to revolve around him and while I used to think Argentina's best strategy was to get him and Messi onto the field together somehow, that's easier said than done. I'd rather see Dybala in his true AMF/SS role rather than try to pigeonhole him somewhere else when Messi's on the field.

I really hope we get to see some Foyth, Palacios, and Correa in these matches.
 

DJnVa

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Excellent -- so it looks as though one game is not simultaneous with the rest of the games.

What the heck is ESPN 3? Is it the same as ESPN+?
FTR ESPN3 is simply ESPN streaming. It's free assuming you have cable sub to ESPN.

ESPN+ is the extra service.
 

Kliq

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England has insane depth right now at forward and fullback; it is those pesky other positions they need to work on.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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England has insane depth right now at forward and fullback; it is those pesky other positions they need to work on.
Southgate's insistence on playing three at the back when CB is the weakest part of the squad is baffling.

I actually think midfield is fine if he got the team selection right. A three man midfield of Rice, Foden, and Grealish has great balance. Put that trio behind a forward line of Sterling-Kane-Sancho and with TAA and Chilwell as fullbacks and that is a really strong team, albeit with the CB pairing still to be sorted.
 

Kliq

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Southgate's insistence on playing three at the back when CB is the weakest part of the squad is baffling.

I actually think midfield is fine if he got the team selection right. A three man midfield of Rice, Foden, and Grealish has great balance. Put that trio behind a forward line of Sterling-Kane-Sancho and with TAA and Chilwell as fullbacks and that is a really strong team, albeit with the CB pairing still to be sorted.
Yeah, Eric Dier working himself back into the fold has been an unforeseen development, and probably not a good one for England. In your midfield, you would have to think Henderson would be ahead of Rice, right? Grealish and Foden are the most interesting players imo, because what doomed them in the 2018 WC was they lacked a true playmaker from the midfield position and Croatia bossed their lineup around. If one of Grealish or Foden could step into that role, the team becomes a lot more balanced.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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FTR ESPN3 is simply ESPN streaming. It's free assuming you have cable sub to ESPN.

ESPN+ is the extra service.
Thanks. I was able to watch Iceland v. Romania. Weird game. Iceland hung on 2-1 and dominated play but Romania scored on a penalty and had a good claim for a second penalty.

Iceland plays in Budapest next month, where Hungary have a lot to play for because it has a chance to host in the group stages if it advances. In fact it is crazy how many potential host teams are playing in these playoffs and how many of them are still playing. Four games right now in extra time, including Scotland and Ireland.
 

swiftaw

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Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland all going to penalties.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Yeah, Eric Dier working himself back into the fold has been an unforeseen development, and probably not a good one for England. In your midfield, you would have to think Henderson would be ahead of Rice, right? Grealish and Foden are the most interesting players imo, because what doomed them in the 2018 WC was they lacked a true playmaker from the midfield position and Croatia bossed their lineup around. If one of Grealish or Foden could step into that role, the team becomes a lot more balanced.
Youre right that Henderson should definitely be in the mix. I think they have pretty decent options and agree that Foden and Grealish either together or alone could really help.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Scotland and Northern Ireland move on. Ireland loses in penalties. Serbia wins in extra time.
 

Zososoxfan

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So apparently the argentina match is exclusively on fanatiz, potentially only as ppv??!? Can someone confirm? If so, would appreciate any links to alternative options.
 

DJnVa

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Yes, I think that's right. The CONMEBOL matches were sold to some weird company that decided PPV is the way to go.
 

OCST

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Thanks. I was able to watch Iceland v. Romania. Weird game. Iceland hung on 2-1 and dominated play but Romania scored on a penalty and had a good claim for a second penalty.

Iceland plays in Budapest next month, where Hungary have a lot to play for because it has a chance to host in the group stages if it advances. In fact it is crazy how many potential host teams are playing in these playoffs and how many of them are still playing. Four games right now in extra time, including Scotland and Ireland.
Gylfi Sigurdsson, who’s been riding the pine at Everton, scored both and said “I hope Carlo was watching.”
 

OCST

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it's actually an entertaining game, Gibraltar up 1-0, and Gibraltar have awesome kits:

34863

That's pure fire, and the nod to the geography of the Rock is fantastic.
 

SocrManiac

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Any soccer is good soccer rn. Just got done with some household chores and turned on Spain v Switzerland.
You turned on Spain and Switzerland. You watched footy. That’s not “any soccer.”

OCST watched something shittier than most Sunday League.
 

Kliq

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I know the empty stadium exasperates it, but it’s amazing how much of England’s defense appears to hinge on panicked screams of desperation.
 

swiftaw

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I know the empty stadium exasperates it, but it’s amazing how much of England’s defense appears to hinge on panicked screams of desperation.
Well, when your back 5 includes a right back at left wing back (Tripper), a right back at center back (Walker), a midfielder at center back (Dier - okay, he plays CB for Spurs some times) and "speedy" Harry Macguire, I can see why they are panicking, and that's not even mentioning Pickford. :)
 

Kliq

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Yet England leads 2-1 with 25 minutes to go following a Mason Mount shot that took an insanely fortunate deflection.
 

SocrManiac

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The only possible argument to start Pickford in goal is his experience as measured in caps. There is literally no other possible justification. It is surreal to see this happen in real-time.
 

Kliq

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After a shaky start, England’s defense was actually pretty good today and Kyle Walker had a great game. Belgium didn’t have Eden Hazard or Mertens, but KDB, Lukaku, Carassco is not exactly chopped liver.
 

Vinho Tinto

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Portugal is still scheduled to play Sweden tomorrow for the League of Nations. I'd hope they would postpone the match. Everyone with Portugal was exposed to Ronaldo over several days.
 

Kliq

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Everyone with Portugal has been exposed to Ronaldo for almost 20 years.
 

OCST

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The only possible argument to start Pickford in goal is his experience as measured in caps. There is literally no other possible justification. It is surreal to see this happen in real-time.
I would be happy if Pickford went away.
 

Kliq

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Oof, Harry Maguire sent off 30 minutes into England's game against Denmark; stupid challenge while already on a yellow.
 

Kliq

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And two minutes later, some Pickford indecisiveness causes a penalty, 1-0 Denmark. To be fair, the penalty was incredibly soft.
 

OCST

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Pickford is a dumpster fire.

Next Everton game is the derby. Fascinating game - Toffees are rampant but LFC are LFC. Both are soft at the back. Pool have to be smarting after getting torn apart by Villa. I'd like the Blues' chances - but Pickford's jangly nerves mean you can never relax. He's a fine shot stopper when he doesn't have to think, but he's a disaster in commanding the box, coming out/staying on his line, etc.
 

fletcherpost

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Scotland are now 8 games unbeaten. Steve Clarke can organise a back line, he can park the bus. We're riding our luck...but we're starting to form some sembalnce of a decent side.


And Ye Leads no 58% to 42% (exluding dinnae kens).

This is good news all round for the ProJ
 

Zososoxfan

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Pickford is a dumpster fire.

Next Everton game is the derby. Fascinating game - Toffees are rampant but LFC are LFC. Both are soft at the back. Pool have to be smarting after getting torn apart by Villa. I'd like the Blues' chances - but Pickford's jangly nerves mean you can never relax. He's a fine shot stopper when he doesn't have to think, but he's a disaster in commanding the box, coming out/staying on his line, etc.
:oops:
 

OCST

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Everton are the Toffees, Chelsea are the Blues--right?
Everton fans refer to the side as the Blues, often but not always in contrast with LFC, ie "the blue half of Merseyside."

As a data point - a social media campaign made this the #1 song on iTunes a few weeks ago-



Chart-topping Everton anthem Spirit of the Blues – which stormed to number 1 in the iTunes singles chart this week – has been released as a limited-edition 7-inch vinyl single, with all proceeds going to the Club’s official charity Everton in the Community.

The track has captured the imagination of Evertonians on social media as videos dubbing Spirit Of the Blues over dozens of TV and film clips - from The Simpsons and Friends to The Shawshank Redemption and The Blues Brothers. The popularity of the social media memes inspired a fan-led campaign to take the song to number one as a light-hearted celebration of Everton’s fine start to the 2020/21 season.

With fans from across the world joining in – the tune eventually beat Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Jason Derulo to the number one spot in the UK iTunes chart, attracting global media attention.

It is more associated with Chelsea though.
 

Zososoxfan

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Everton fans refer to the side as the Blues, often but not always in contrast with LFC, ie "the blue half of Merseyside."

As a data point - a social media campaign made this the #1 song on iTunes a few weeks ago-






It is more associated with Chelsea though.
TIL! I used to play Winning 11 back in the day, and the lack of licensing always led to learning points (e.g. Merseyside Blue) and silliness (e.g. instead of Maxwell, the player's name was House).