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Group Projections

Group A

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Netherlands 3 2 1 0 7 (5-1)
Senegal 3 2 0 1 6 (5-4)
Ecuador 3 1 1 1 4 (4-3)
Qatar 3 0 0 3 0 (1-7)

The Netherlands appear to be the strongest team on paper in Group A. The Dutch are back at the World Cup after missing out on qualification in 2018. They advanced to the final in 2010 and the semifinals in 2014. A fresh batch of Dutch talent, including Cody Gakpo, Xavi Simons and Stephen Bergwijn are ready to make their own impact at the World Cup. Virgil Van Dijk leads an experienced back line that also features Denzel Dumfries, Stefan de Vrij and Matthijs de Ligt.

The backbone of the Dutch team should help it remain in front of the other three Group A participants throughout the group phase. Senegal boasts the same strength with a defense led by Chelsea’s Kalidou Koulibaly and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. The reigning African Cup of Nations champion has to deal without Sadio Mane for some part of the tournament, which could affect its scoring in Group A.

Ecuador possesses a disciplined unit that conceded just 19 times in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying. Moisés Caicedo of Brighton and Hove Albion has the potential to break out in the tournament. Qatar is the big unknown in Group A. The host nation did not go through the rigors of World Cup qualifying and all of its players are rostered in the domestic league.

The Dutch should get through with ease. Senegal or Ecuador will likely join them. The November 29 clash between the two sides could determine second place.The Netherlands finish group play against Qatar and that should help them wrap up first place as long as they avoid a huge failure against a Mane-less Senegal in the opener and Ecuador in the second match.

Predicted Winner: Netherlands

 

Group B

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England 3 2 1 0 7 (9-2)
USA 3 1 2 0 5 (2-1)
Iran 3 1 0 2 3 (4-7)
Wales 3 0 1 2 1 (1-6)

England is the clear-cut favorite to win Group B. The Three Lions went on a tear in UEFA World Cup qualifying. They won eight of their 10 matches and produced two draws. The expectation for England is to reach another final after falling short to Italy on home soil at UEFA Euro 2020. Harry Kane will once again be in contention for the Golden Boot. He has plenty of support in attack with Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and others in the squad.

England’s main concern comes at the back, where it lost Reece James and Ben Chilwell to injuries before the World Cup. Gareth Southgate should be able to piece his defense together for the group stage in preparation for tougher tests to come. The United States men’s national team’s return to the World Cup is a massive storyline, but so is its inability to find a consistent striker. Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams lead a very talented midfield, but one of Jesus Ferreira, Josh Sargent and Haji Wright must step up to get the Americans out of the group stage.

Wales’ lone international accomplishment is a semifinal run at UEFA Euro 2016; this is only their second World Cup appearance, with the last being in 1958. A second-place finish would be fantastic for the Welsh. Iran conceded just four goals in 10 AFC World Cup qualifying matches to get to Qatar. It has an in-form striker in Porto’s Mehdi Taremi.

England should cruise to first in Group B, but second place is harder to figure out with three well matched teams in the mix.

Projected Winner: England

 

Group C

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Argentina 3 2 0 1 6 (5-2)
Poland 3 1 1 1 4 (2-2)
Mexico 3 1 1 1 4 (2-3)
Saudi Arabia 3 1 0 2 3 (3-5)

Group C is Argentina’s group to lose. Argentina should outclass Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia and secure a spot in the knockout round, where the team’s true World Cup aspirations lie. Lionel Messi could be extra motivated to perform well in Qatar because, at 35, this could be his last World Cup. The Albiceleste should start in flying fashion against Saudi Arabia. A multi-goal win in the opener could inspire more confidence within the squad to take on Mexico and Poland.

Mexico has a good record of getting out of the group stage, having done so in each of the last seven World Cups. El Tri might have had an edge to win the group if Argentina was not drawn alongside them. Poland has not advanced out of the group stage in its last three World Cups and in three of its last four Euro appearances.

If the historical trends continue, Mexico will follow Argentina out of Group C and into the knockout round.

Projected Winner: Argentina

 

Group D

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France 3 2 0 1 6 (6-3)
Australia 3 2 0 1 6 (3-4)
Tunisia 3 1 1 1 4 (1-1)
Denmark 3 0 1 2 1 (1-3)

Reigning World Cup champion France is the headliner of Group D. But as Les Bleus have learned in the last year, it is unfair to sleep on Denmark’s quality. The Danes defeated France twice in the UEFA Nations League this year, with the most-recent win coming on September 25. Denmark advanced to the semifinals of the UEFA Euro 2020 and it made it to the round of 16 in Russia in 2018. France will be wary of the threat posed by Denmark, but the two losses in 2022 to the Danes could be the extra motivating force that manager Didier Deschamps needs to focus the 2018 World Cup winner.

Kylian Mbappé is in tremendous form and he is surrounded by a group that includes Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Kingsley Coman and Ousmane Dembélé. France lost Christopher Nkunku to an injury this week and Karim Benzema has been dealing with injuries at Real Madrid this season, but those are not the two injuries that could affect France the most. The absences of N’Golo Kanté and Paul Pogba could be felt in the group stage and may leave France more open in midfield than it would like. If Group D was a tougher group, France might have been in trouble, but it should earn six points off Tunisia and Australia.

A win over Denmark comes with extra meaning because of the two clashes between the European sides in 2022 already. We can expect France to come out flying in that match to prove a point that it will be a top contender in the knockout round. Additionally, winning Group D comes with the prize of likely avoiding Argentina in the round of 16, something France encountered on its way to winning the 2018 World Cup.

Projected Winner: France

 

Group E

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Japan 3 2 0 1 6 (4-3)
Spain 3 1 1 1 4 (9-3)
Germany 3 1 1 1 4 (6-5)
Costa Rica 3 1 0 2 3 (3-11)

The Spain-Germany Group E clash headlines the slate that day. The winner of that match could go on to win the group. The respective 2010 and 2014 World Cup winners both know what it is like to suffer disappointment in the group stage and that could help them deal with the challenges posed by Costa Rica and Japan. Spain dropped out in the group stage in 2014 and lost in the round of 16 in 2018, while Germany was eliminated in the group stage four years ago.

The two squads have an abundance of young talent. Gavi, Pedri, Ansu Fati and Pau Torres are among the young Spaniards that can raise their international profiles. La Roja does not have Sergio Ramos in the back. Only Jordi Alba has more than 45 caps in the Spanish defense. That would be the area of concern for the Spanish.

Germany has the edge in net with Manuel Neuer and most of its top attackers already have strong chemistry from their time at Bayern Munich. There are six Bayern midfielders and forwards on the German roster, led by Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane. Germany was the more dominant squad in UEFA World Cup qualifying and it has an important edge in net with Neuer that could be the difference against Spain.

Japan is probably the more dangerous underdog in Group E, but it needs some type of result against either Spain or Germany to be in the mix for the knockout round. Costa Rica needed a win over New Zealand in the intercontinental playoff to get to Qatar and its World Cup hopes likely rely on Keylor Navas in net.

Projected Winner: Germany

 

Group F

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Morocco 3 2 1 0 7 (4-1)
Croatia 3 1 2 0 5 (4-1)
Belgium 3 1 1 1 4 (1-2)
Canada 3 0 0 3 0 (2-7)

Belgium and Croatia have sky-high expectations going into Qatar. Croatia was the surprise team of the 2018 World Cup, as it advanced to the final. Belgium made it to the semifinals. Belgium’s golden generation has taken it to at least the quarterfinals in its last four major tournaments. The Red Devils have arguably the best midfielder in the world in Kevin De Bruyne running their attack. De Bruyne may be needed more if Romelu Lukaku is not at 100 percent. Lukaku has been dealing with some injuries this season at Inter Milan. Roberto Martinez’s side is loaded with experience, as it has six players with 100 caps on the roster. De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois could join that collection of players in Qatar.

Belgium should be the favorite to advance out of Group F because of its consistency at the top international levels. Croatia could be in a bit of trouble. The 2018 run was an exception to its World Cup trend. Croatia exited the group stage in 2002, 2006 and 2014. It only made it to the round of 16 at the last two Euros. Canada will be fearless with its group, led by Bayern’s Alphonso Davies, and it has some quality up top that could surprise the two European teams in its group.

Morocco only scored two goals in the 2018 World Cup and it may not be a huge threat to Belgium, but it could take a point off Canada or Croatia if they do not respect the African side.

Projected Winner: Belgium

 

Group G

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Brazil 2 2 0 0 6 (3-0)
Switzerland 2 1 0 1 3 (1-1)
Cameroon 2 0 1 1 1 (3-4)
Serbia 2 0 1 1 1 (3-5)

The World Cup draw probably brought about some deja vu for three Group G teams. Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia were together with Costa Rica in Group E in Russia. Brazil won that group with seven points. The Selecão beat Serbia and tied with Switzerland. Since then, Brazil rolled through CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying behind one of the most talented attacking units ever assembled, led by Neymar. Neymar is the star of the Brazilian team, but do not be surprised to see Richarlison, Antony and others on the score sheet. Vinicius Junior, Raphinha, Gabriel Jesus and Rodrygo are also on the World Cup roster. Brazil should win Group G on pure talent alone. The Selecão are one of four teams to make it to the knockout round in each of the last three World Cups.

Switzerland made it out of the group stage in three of its last four World Cup appearances, but it has not made the quarterfinals since 1954. Serbia is 0-for-2 in attempts to get out of the group stage. Cameroon could be a tough foe for everyone in Group G with an in-form Eric Choupo-Moting up top. The Indomitable Lions conceded 14 times in their last two World Cups. If their defense holds up, they may be able to earn a result or two.

Projected Winner: Brazil

 

Group H

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Portugal 2 2 0 0 6 (5-2)
Ghana 2 1 0 1 3 (5-5)
Korea Republic 2 0 1 1 1 (2-3)
Uruguay 2 0 1 1 1 (0-2)

Uruguay is the most consistent international team in Group H. The South American nation advanced to the round of 16 in the last three World Cups and it got into the quarterfinals at three of the last four Copa Americans. Uruguay is one of the most battle-tested teams in the tournament. Luis Suárez, Edinson Cavani, Diego Godín and Fernando Muslera are still around, but La Celeste injected new talent into the squad over the last few years. Darwin Núñez, Rodrigo Bentancur and Federico Valverde all come into the tournament in solid form and they could be the keys to winning Group H and going on a deep run in Qatar.

Even though Portugal has Cristiano Ronaldo on its roster, it has been inconsistent at times on the international stage. Portugal won Euro 2016 and then dropped out in the round of 16 in the last tournament. It was bounced in the World Cup group stage in 2014 and lost in the round of 16 in 2010 and 2018. No one knows what version of Ronaldo will show up for Portugal and that could make the European side vulnerable in matches with Ghana and South Korea. Ghana and South Korea are no pushovers and they will contend for one of the two advancement spots out of Group H.

Uruguay has been the most consistent side of the four at this level, and that is why it has the edge in Group H, but the order of the group could be up in the air if Portugal disappoints.

Projected Winner: Uruguay

 

 

 

Copyright to: https://syndication.bleacherreport.com/amp/10055927-world-cup-2022-predictions-projecting-winners-for-every-group.amp.html

Congratulations

At this point in time – we already miss the daily -tune to ESPN- to watch the next game. We don’t wanna miss to congratulate our winners of the Euro 2020 contest:

The pot has been distributed and I hope everyone will participate again – when we try to crown the next World Cup Champion in 2022!
Keep in mind – the more players we will have – the bigger the pot will be. You have enough time to tell your friends if you enjoyed to participate. If you have ideas how to improve the website or increase the participation, please let me know.

Thanks for playing – see you soon!

Quarter Final – where are the VAR’s

The straight red card in the 78th minute to Swiss Midfielder Freuler by the english referee “Oliver” changed the flow of the game completely. Based on the UEFA VAR-rules, the VAR actually has the option to change Yellow to Red – that would have been the better option in my opinion. The VIDEO-VAR still could have decided ‘red’ after the main referee shows a yellow for the defensive foul, which was not given from my perspective. It was a clear ‘foul’ but not against the player as it was a regular fight for the ball.

Why aren’t the Video referees not able to tune in and make the necessary changes? The very first decision against Switzerland in history was by the Video-VAR – now when you need ’em – they are not showing up.

Hopefully the referee will enjoy his lifelong vacation at the beaches in Spain.

Playing 10 against 12 isn’t fun anymore.

If you disagree – please comment below.

Knockout Summary

Denmark vs. Wales
Denmark is favored, but Wales is good as well. Gareth Bale is showing why he’s still one of the top talents in the world and Aaron Ramsey is taking charge in the midfield. Denmark may be past its early struggles after Christian Eriksen’s collapse, but still only has one win in the last three contests.

Italy vs. Austria
Italy has raced past everyone in the group stage so far, showing why it is considered one of the favorites in the tournament. Austria has a solid back line with David Alaba and Stefan Lainer, but the Italians are rightfully favored.

Netherlands vs. Czech Republic
Netherlands is unsurprisingly favored to win this one after they cruised through the group stage with three straight victories, winning Group C in the process. Georginio Wijnaldum led the way with three goals while Memphis Depay added two goals and two assists of his own. That’s not to say Czech Republic are already down and out before it even starts, though. They finished the group stage with a 2-0 win, a 1-1 draw, and a narrow 1-0 loss against England, and should put up a fight against the Dutch even though they’re the clear underdogs. Patrik Schick finished the group stage with three goals, including one absolute world-class wonder goal in the opening match.

Croatia vs. Spain
No surprise here that Spain are the favorites to win over Croatia, especially after their 5-0 shellacking of Slovakia in their third and final group stage match. Spain finished in second place, just two points behind Sweden and will take on the second-place team from Group D which ended up Croatia. The Croatians finished the group stage 1-1-1, winning their third and final match with a 3-1 scoreline over Scotland, just barely edging out Czech Republic on a tiebreaker. Luka Modric and his squad will look to upset the Spanish giants despite the odds being stacked against them.

England vs. Germany
England fared better in their group standings than Germany did, but then again England wasn’t drawn into the group of death, either. Three Lions finished top of Group D, logging wins over both Croatia and Czech Republic while ending their match against Scotland in a scoreless draw, scoring only two goals through three games. Germany finished second in Group F, narrowly escaping elimination at the hands of Hungary before they found a late game equalizer. They were able to take down Portugal 4-2 in their second game after opening the group campaign with a 1-0 loss to France. Now these two sides will face off against each other in the Round of 16, and while England is only slightly favored here to Germany, I would argue it could be flipped as Germany definitely has the talent to move on. This game could easily go either way, and will be an exciting affair to watch.

Belgium vs. Portugal
Portugal, after escaping Group F in third place, will have to take on a very good Belgium side who went 3-0-0 in Group B, locking up the top spot without much trouble. Belgium only allowed one goal through three games — their 2-1 win over Denmark — while scoring seven of their own. Romelu Lukaku was a standout as he notched three goals for the Red Devils while several other players added one each. Portugal also totaled seven goals through the group stage, with Cristiano Ronaldo leading the way with an impressive five. Belgium is favored to win, and I think that’s the right call, but Ronaldo and the Portugal squad could be poised for an upset.

France vs. Switzerland
The reigning World Cup champs are riding high after finishing first in Group F. Karim Benzema led the way with two goals as Kylian Mbappe surprisingly didn’t get even one. They’re heavily favored to beat Switzerland and rightfully so — as the Swiss sneaked through in the Group A’s third-place spot. Switzerland has some big players in Kevin Mbabu and Xherdan Shaqiri, but France is the obvious choice for the win here.

Sweden vs. Ukraine
Sweden finished at the top of Group E thanks to a stoppage time goal from Viktor Claesson in their third and final group stage game, giving them a 3-2 win over Poland. Striker Emil Forsberg scored the other three goals in the opening stage while their defense was able to keep two clean sheets including a scoreless draw with Spain. While Ukraine didn’t fare too well, they slipped through with the third place spot in Group C thanks to the three points they collected from North Macedonia in a 2-1 win. They lost their other two outings, and honestly their odds to win don’t seem low enough, as Sweden should definitely be expected to win this contest.

What is your take? Let me know in your comments below.

Last 16 / Knockout Phase

The knockout stage at Euro 2020 is set, with a lopsided bracket and a series of high-profile matchups in the round of 16 headlining the elimination phase of the competition.

Germany and Portugal ultimately prevailed after a pair of 2-2 draws to secure the final berths in the knockout stage, avoiding the fate of the eight nations who didn’t make it through: Turkey, Finland, Russia, North Macedonia, Scotland, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.

Due to the nature of the competition’s format, which has third-place finishers go through and leaves the balance of the bracket in jeopardy until the final 16 are sorted, the knockout pairings do seem to be a bit tilted in one direction. One one side of the knockout bracket resides the world’s No. 1 ranked team (Belgium), the reigning World Cup (France) and European (Portugal) champions and the side that has appeared to be the most in-form one in the competition through the group phase (Italy). On the other side, outside of the England-Germany matchup in the last 16, things appear to be wide open.

It’s not too dissimilar to the last Euros or World Cup, which resulted in less-traditionally-successful nations like Croatia and Portugal reaching the finals.

The knockout bracket for the 2020 European Championship

There will be a couple of days off before the round of 16 begins on Saturday. Here are the matchups, times and locations for those eight matchups—and the quarterfinals—as the road to lift the trophy at Wembley Stadium continues!

All Teams played – finish bonus questions

As of today, all teams have shown their form and the group winner bonus questions need to be answered before the next games. Make sure you have all group winners selected.

France win heavyweight clash with Germany thanks to Hummels own goal!!

Mbappé’s superiority seems effortless every time he runs and twice more he showcased that. He might have won a penalty when he burned past Hummels, starting a good seven or eight metres behind him and finishing a metre in front where the centre-back just managed to dive in and take it off his toe. And another run seemed to have wrapped it all up when he escaped everyone and rolled across for Karim Benzema to score, the same flag delivering. France were not to be denied. Yet resisting is just another thing France do well, perhaps better even than the rest of it – and they’re good at that.

First ever VAR decision EURO

GAME: Wales 1-1 Switzerland, June 12

DECISION: Mario Gavranovic (Switzerland) goal disallowed for offside, 85th minute.

WHAT HAPPENED: Breel Embolo helped the ball on to Gavranovic inside the six-yard box, and he finished well past goalkeeper Danny Ward. The Swiss celebrated what they thought was a late winner, only for the VAR to rule it out for offside.

VAR RATING: 9/10 – Definitely the correct decision. Gavranovic was just ahead of the last defender when Embolo played the ball and VAR came to Wales’ rescue. However, UEFA’s lack of transparency in broadcasting the final VAR offside image loses it a point.

This is history and even if I agree with the decision – it took some points away from me ;-(

Let the games begin …..

I hope everybody is going to enjoy the upcoming games. It has been some time before we finally will get some decent soccer again. Keep in mind, you are able to change your bets up to 2′ before the game starts, then your last chances are gone …… You always can be proactive and put all the ‘potential’ bets in the system already now – not worrying about a potential weak signal or other issues.

If you ever experience any connection issues – send me an email – and I will try to fix what will be fixable.

Keep pounding for your team – am sure you know which is my team!!

The countdown is on …

As you hopefully have your way to our page – you know – the countdown is on – less than two weeks!