Pre Tournament Discussion Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea

Zomp

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Aug 28, 2006
12,389
The Slums of Shaolin
Is the so called "Golden Age" of Belgian soccer ready to make the leap as one of the world's best teams?
 
and the most important SoSH question of them all....
 
...will goyang return to the forum when South Korea wins one game?
 

Schnerres

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Apr 28, 2009
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Germany
This group is unpredictable. And i don´t know if i am sold on Belgium. They could sweep this group and make a decent run into the semis.
Or they could fade out of the group with a loss (to Russia), a draw (to SK) and a win (vs. Algeria, who everyone could beat)...I don´t know much about those belgian players, but if they start van Buyten (idk) in the back 4, i doubt they have a shot at making it very far. It´s just that they lack the experience and i think they are up and down in match-to-match form. I also think, Courtois isn´t yet, what many see in him. He is a very good keeper, but not a great (or special) one.
 

Dummy Hoy

Angry Pissbum
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Jul 22, 2006
6,767
Falmouth
Belgium will likely have a back four of Kompany,  Vertonghen, Vermaelen, and Alderweireld. All of them can play CB, while Lombaerts and Van buyten are quality depth.
Courtois, at only 22, may not yet be at his peak, but plenty of clubs have succeeded at the WC with goaltending that is inferior to Belgium's this run around. Mignolet is a pretty solid back up. The back 4 and goaltending should be adequate, which is all the Belgians need with their attacking players.
They'll likely have Lukaku alone up top, with some combination of Witsel, Fellaini, Dembele, De Bruyne, and Hazard in the mid field. Of course that gives them guys such as Chadli, Mirallas, Defour, and Mertens on the bench. Betenke being hurt is too bad.
 
The Belgians have yet to prove anything at the international level- their flameout in the EC qualifying in 2012 was embarrassing, and certainly doesn't instill confidence. That said, that was two years ago, Marc Wilmots has changed a lot of the mindset, and they steamrolled their qualifying group to this cup (not the strongest group for sure).
 
They'll win this group without a loss I would guess, but it gets harder immediately after.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Jul 2, 2006
18,376
Philadelphia
Belgium will probably win the group but this team has all the signs of a squad in which the whole will be less than the sum of the parts - young players, haven't played together much at the national level against elite competition, spread over a zillion clubs so that they haven't developed an understanding together at club level either.
 

Dummy Hoy

Angry Pissbum
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Jul 22, 2006
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I don't disagree with that at all. Their back 4 isn't that young and have played together for a bit, which should help, but the scenario you describe could very well be accurate.

If they come in second they probably draw Germany, and even if they win they get Portugal or the US (I guess Ghana too). That's a tough road.
 

goyangfc

up to his ears in k-pop
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Feb 10, 2009
630
Montreal, Canada
goyang has been hanging out with Omar a bit lately.
 
I fell asleep after the first half of Korea Rep v Tunisia yesterday. Even Son HM is not in top form right now. Ki SY was even worse:
 

 
Hong MB is managing this team now (the 2002 captain who played for LA Galaxy after and took Korea Rep to the Bronze at the Olympics in 2012), and this year's squad features the most number of players who are playing outside of Korea in our WC history. But, it's an incredibly tough road ahead for us. If we can somehow beat Russia...
 
Basically, I miss Park JS in his prime. And, my picks for this group are Belgium and Korea Rep (of course and praying).
 
BTW, I'll be in Montreal for Russia v Korea Rep, Baltimore for Korea Rep v Algeria, and Denver for Korea Rep v Belgium. Please PM me if interested in sharing a beer with this lonely but outgoing oriental man. We can do a kalbi outing also.
 

goyangfc

up to his ears in k-pop
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Feb 10, 2009
630
Montreal, Canada
Ghana v. Korea Rep. in Miami tonight. Expected starting XI for Korea (4-2-3-1):
 
------Better Than Bendtner?------
----Son-Koopard-Blue Dragon----
--------Kirrard-Korea Young--------
---Yun-Kim-Kwak-Another Kim---
----------------Jung----------------
 
Key points for Korea:
-Not giving counterattack chances when on the attack
-How well we can block the opponent's counterattacks
-Stability on defense
-Attack patterns
-Set pieces
 
Expected result: Korea loss
 
Jan 30, 2014
33
Good to see some fellow supporters of the Korean National Team on Sosh, although I've got to admit that this is the least excited I've been about the Korean side's chances at a WC since 1990. 
 
goyang's expectations were spot on and the Korean team fell to the Ghanaians 0:4. This match was supposed to be a simulation of the Russians. If this match was any indication, I'd be betting that the Koreans might not even score a goal during the tournament. 
 

Phil Plantier

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Mar 7, 2002
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Goyang, I'm excited for Korea's 6'6" striker, Kim Shin-Wook, who has the early lead for nickname of the tournament, The Wookie. Does he, as the cliche goes, have a good touch for a big man?
 

Bailey10

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Jul 6, 2013
411
Don't sleep on Algeria. I think they have the potential to be the biggest shock to reach the round of 16. Belgium should breeze through but neither Russia or South Korea are that formidable IMO.
 
Algeria drew England 0-0 and were beaten by Donovan's goal in extra time (GOAL GOAL USA) last World Cup. Forgetting that both England and the US were somewhat offensively challenged in 2010, they've shown they can at least play some tough, organized defense in the WC.
 
Add some young exciting players playing in big leagues like Feghouli (Valencia) and Bentaleb (Tottenham), Algeria should not be written off by any means.
 

goyangfc

up to his ears in k-pop
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Feb 10, 2009
630
Montreal, Canada
Bailey10 said:
Don't sleep on Algeria. I think they have the potential to be biggest shock to reach the round of 16. Belgium should breeze through but neither Russia or South Korea are that formidable IMO.
 
Algeria drew England 0-0 and were beaten by Donovan's goal in extra time (GOAL GOAL USA) last World Cup. Forgetting that both England and the US were somewhat offensively challenged in 2010, they've shown they can at least play some tough, organized defense in the WC.
 
Add some young exciting players playing in big leagues like Feghouli (Valencia) and Bentaleb (Tottenham), Algeria should not be written off by any means.
 
Agreed. If KOR can get to their top form by Tuesday, it should be a great war between ALG, KOR, and RUS for that second spot.
 
 
Phil Plantier said:
Goyang, I'm excited for Korea's 6'6" striker, Kim Shin-Wook, who has the early lead for nickname of the tournament, The Wookie. Does he, as the cliche goes, have a good touch for a big man?
 
Haha great nickname. He did score against RUS in November before the draw. If anything, he should be starting over Park CY and Ji DW right now. He is one of the 5 players from the K League Classic on KOR. It is his first WC appearance.
 

Dummy Hoy

Angry Pissbum
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Jul 22, 2006
6,767
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Michael Cox's ZM preview on Belgium is a good read; he worries about lack of fullbacks who can vertically stretch the field and team inexperience in major tournaments- both legit concerns. He also includes the expected line up and formation:
 

 
I will say that for people who aren't real familiar with their games, both De Bruyne and Mertens were frightening in qualifying. I think people are very familiar with the PL members of the squad, but those two were very impressive on the attack all throughout qualifying.