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World Cup 2014

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World Cup 2014

Postby RedHopeful » Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:42 am

Shocked no one has made a thread yet (looking at you Artful D). Got some fantastic early matchup's: Spain v. Netherlands, England v. Italy and Germany v. Portugal. Anyone doing Yahoo's World Cup Pick'em? Also, be sure to post pics of all hotties! ;-D
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby The Artful Dodger » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:34 pm

It has been pretty quiet around here. :-B

I'm actually excited about the World Cup. Perhaps it's had to do with the omnishambles this past season has been. Once the calendar turned to June, it has dawned on me that I'm a bit envious of those traveling to Brazil. :-b

Today is Brazil's opener vs. Croatia, which should be interesting. I haven't seen too much of Mateo Kovacic of Inter, but he's one of the more promising young talents in world football. Croatia of course have two really good midfielders in Rakitic and Modric. I think Brazil find a way to win today though.

As for Spain/Netherlands, apparently Louis van Gaal will play 3-5-2 or a five man backline. Basically, I see it panning out as a typical possession vs. counterattack game. I think Spain and Chile will advance from the group.

England vs. Italy might be better known for the Manaus debacle, looking at how the building of the stadium has had to be rushed. Portugal are more likely to post a pragmatic performance vs. Germany, who should be good enough with Marco Reus out injured.

I think Argentina, Spain, Germany, and Brazil are the teams to beat. Your dark horses are probably France, Uruguay, Ivory Coast, and Belgium. Colombia would be, had Falcao not torn his ACL. If I had to guess, Argentina will win.
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby RedHopeful » Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:42 pm

If I remember right, you went to a game or two in South Africa?
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby The Artful Dodger » Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:05 pm

RedHopeful wrote:If I remember right, you went to a game or two in South Africa?


Yup, four games. Home base was Cape Town until transferring over to Johannesburg for the final.

I saw Germany rout Argentina, 4-0. The best moment of the match was when a few of the English who remained in Cape Town started chanting they were one goal better than Argentina. :-b

I was there for the other semi in Cape Town: Netherlands-Uruguay. Then, the semi between Germany and Spain in Durban, which ended in a Puyol match winner and a red eye flight back to Cape Town. (It was lucky that we flew in early in the day because a lot of people missed at least the start of the game due to a big travel mix-up.) Then, the final in Johannesburg of course which resulted in Spain winning their first World Cup.

I had been to the World Cup final at the Rose Bowl, but that was a proper World Cup experience. South Africa is a wonderful country, vuvuzuelas aside. ;-D

Anyhow, the first half of this Brazil-Croatia match has been entertaining. Croatia were good on the break and they were rewarded with a Marcelo own goal. Brazil have responded well, even if Neymar's goal was a bit of a mishit.
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby AussieDodger » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:04 pm

Is New Zealand in it? No :-/

Ireland? No :-/

Vuvuzelas? :-/


I can't find a team to go for, so go Mexico maybe?
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby The Artful Dodger » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:15 am

I usually find any side that employs Marcelo Bielsa-like tactics is an entertaining and tactically intriguing one. So, I would think Chile are fun to support for a neutral. They play an all attack formation, with no true center forward, but rather with two wide forwards and a central midfielder pouring forward. They'll switch between a three or four man defense and they like to press a good bit.

Mexico are a maddening and clumsy bunch, if we can base them completely on how dramatic it was just to qualify for the World Cup finals.

On the whole, the Brazil-Croatia opener was good. There was some controversy about the Fred penalty decision. Lovren appeared to have an arm tangled with Fred, but he was going down anyway. Not a penalty. The Croatian keeper Pletikosa was rubbish; he seemed apprehensive to dive for the ball and his positioning was off. He guessed right on Neymar's penalty, but you figure he had to have a stronger parry to disallow that ball from going in.

As for Friday's games, Mexico v Cameroon is perhaps the tossup of the three. The kamikaze like attack for Chile could be to their undoing and if Australia can get their share of set pieces, they have a chance to prevent Chile from winning. Spain v Netherlands looks terrific on paper, but Spain should be the favorites to win.
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby AussieDodger » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:18 am

So Mexico, Brazil and Chile to win and Australia and USA for last?
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby lastingsgriller » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:18 pm

That Brazil-Croatia game was bunk. Fred's fall, not a penalty. Croatia also had a goal disallowed on a relatively questionable call. I think Croatia played well enough to beat a lackluster Brazil side (lackluster aside from Oscar and Neymar, obviously), but the refs managed to steal the wind from their sails.
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby RedHopeful » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:34 pm

Saw/heard some of the Mexico/Cameroon game and already everyone is calling for the heads of the officials. Ugh.
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby bigh0rt » Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:37 pm

Love watching Spain get a good drubbing. RVP with more goals today than in his entire EPL campaign. :-b Keep the goals coming, Dutch!
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