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World Cup 2018 - Russia


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#861 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 11:20 AM

Well Belgium goes on to win 2-0 and they deserved it for sure. England played a fine game but Belgium was better.

 

Look out for England in Euros 2020 and WC 2022. They are setup for a nice run. Young and talented.



#862 BSLRobShields

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 12:51 PM

Well Belgium goes on to win 2-0 and they deserved it for sure. England played a fine game but Belgium was better.

Look out for England in Euros 2020 and WC 2022. They are setup for a nice run. Young and talented.


....but not as good as France, who is also young and talented.
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#863 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 04:32 PM

Here's my take on the final France v Croatia:

 

Talent - Advantage France. They are more talented and deeper across the board.

 

Coaching - Advantage Croatia. Somehow Dalic has Croatia constantly playing better as they should be tiring. 

 

Defense - France. But only by a little. Both teams are sold in the back. 

 

Midfield - Even. Both teams have studs in the middle. France has Kante, Pogba,  and Matuidi. Matuidi scored the winner against Belgium and Pogba finally played to the level he is capable of and why Manchester United signed him. He was outstanding against Belgium especially in supporting the defense. Then there is Croatia. Luka Modirc has played like a man possessed and right now he is playing as well as any midfielder in the world.

 

Offense - Advantage to France. Griezmann played well against Belgium plus they have Mbappe (who I still think is the tournament MVP).  Croatia just doesn't have that level of play. But that doesn't mean they aren't dangerous. Mandzukic is as good a goal poacher as there is....look no further than the winner he scored against England.

 

Goalkeeping - Most pundits thing France has an edge here with Lloris. I don't agree. I think Subasic is playing better and has elevated his game all tournament long.

 

So how does France win?

1. Run Mbappe at them. Then do it some more. England gave Croatia fits the first 25 minutes running at them. Then Croatia changed their tactics and kept their wings much more in the middle. England didn't then make use of the width. France will.

2. Keep Pogba back supporting the defense and choking Modric in the midfield.

3. Score early and don't let Croatia stay in the game.

 

So how does Croatia win?

1. Develop space for Modric to run all over the field.

2. Keep the game close and look to pounce if France ever has a mental slip up (see the last goal against England).

3. Somehow, someway, find some energy for one last match.

 

Ultimately, while I am routing for Croatia, France wins. Their speed and having played way less minutes is going to be too much for the Croats. But don't take this to the bank. If Croatia can keep it within one to the halftime break they will come out with their hair on fire the second half like they did against England. Then its a toss up.


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#864 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 04:34 PM

....but not as good as France, who is also young and talented.

Correct. But I see more promise from England than France especially in the back. But France should be a strong team in 2022. 



#865 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 09:07 PM

ESPN: World Cup final: France have barely broken a sweat, but don't write off Croatia

http://www.espn.com/...ite-off-croatia

 

ESPN: Croatia defy expectations as they close in on 'miracle' World Cup win
http://www.espn.com/...e-world-cup-win

 

SI: Polished Orchestra vs. Punk Rock: France, Croatia Carry Differing Tunes to World Cup Final

 

NBC Sports / PST: World Cup final preview: France v Croatia
https://soccer.nbcsp...ance-v-croatia/



#866 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:00 AM

Its WC  FINAL time!!!!

 

The first 10-15 minutes will be critical for Croatia. I suspect France to come out and run at them hard much like England did. If France can score early they may find a second (which England couldn't do) and end it. But if Croatia can withstand the initial pressure they can get into their rhythm and find a way to stay close like they have all knockout stage. Then anything can happen.



#867 BSLRobShields

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:03 AM

A billion people will watch this today...that’s insane to think about
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#868 BSLRobShields

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:08 AM

Didn’t realize only 7 countries have won a WC
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#869 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:10 AM

First 10 minutes not gone close to script. Croatia doing all the pressing.



#870 BSLRobShields

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:15 AM

Why didn’t he go right for the goal? Trying to make a pass that had no chance of success makes no sense to me.
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#871 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:18 AM

Effing hate this crap. Greizmann dives and gets a free kick and France scores. 1-0.



#872 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:19 AM

Another own goal...increasing the record.



#873 BSLRobShields

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:19 AM

Own goal too.
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#874 NewMarketSean

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:23 AM

Effing hate this crap. Greizmann dives and gets a free kick and France scores. 1-0.


Yeah. BS
I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?

#875 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:27 AM

Kante with the first yellow of the match....and deserved.



#876 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:28 AM

PERISIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1-1



#877 NewMarketSean

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:28 AM

Equalizer!!!!
I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?

#878 Dupin

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:28 AM

Well at least they got it in the right net this time.


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#879 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:29 AM

Croatia... again....  falls behind, and again ties a game up.



#880 Chris B

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:29 AM

What a goal




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