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FIFA 2014 - Who's your pick?

 
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Either Brazil or Spain is my pick for this World cup. What is yours?
 
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Argentina to win it, beating Brazil in the final....

Spain, to get into the Semi's, but to get beaten by Argentina!
England will go out in the quarter finals...

European teams will not be able to adapt their tactics to the heat.
 
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Spain over Brazil in the final. Germany will not make it into the semi finals (and England not into the quarter finals, sorry Peter :-). The US will not get past the group stage.
 
lowercase baba
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When is the game? Who's playing?
 
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Two of Spain, Brazil, Argentina in the final. Spain's possession based football makes them the one European team who are suited to the heat - you have to run more if you don't have the ball.

Given the group they are in, and the inexperience of the squad, I'll be very happy if England make it out of the group.
 
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Qatar, of cour$£! Ker-ching! $$$$
 
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Brazil. The football's good and the ladies are pretty. I want to see them celebrating victory
 
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I'd like to see your reactions to this one!

Group A:
- Brazil
- Mexico
Group B:
- Spain
- Chile
Group C:
- Japan
- Colombia
Group D:
- Italy
- Uruguay
Group E:
- Switzerland
- France
Group F:
- Argentina
- Bosnia
Group G:
- Germany
- Portugal
Group H:
- Belgium
- Russia


Second Stage:

Brazil - Chile
Japan - Uruguay
Switzerland - Bosnia
Germany - Russia
Spain - Mexico
Italy - Colombia
Argentina - France
Belgium - Portugal


Brazil - Uruguay
Switzerland - Germany
Spain - Italy
Argentina - Belgium

Brazil - Switzerland
Spain - Belgium

Final
Brazil - Spain

 
Ulf Dittmer
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I'd like to see your reactions to this one!



CH and BE for the semis are bold bets; I think neither will get to the quarter finals.
 
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And I was hoping that for the next 4 weeks The Ranch would be a football free zone!

Of course I might be more enthusiastic if England had any chance at all.
 
Dieter Quickfend
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Switzerland are very well-organized, and I believe they can beat France to the top spot. If they don't, they're dead in the water vs. Argentina of course. If they do, they will face Bosnia which I don't see defeating Switzerland. So Switzerland beats Bosnia, and faces Germany. Hitzfeld is coaching Switzerland, and if he knows how to beat one team, it's gonna be Germany. Hitzfeld is gonna take out Müller and give the Germans no space. I honestly don't see Germany beating Switzerland. If they face any other team, they're out though.

There are few teams in this world cup as talented as Belgium. They are now what the Netherlands normally are. Except they have better defenders, and the world's best goalie. They are invulnerable in the center - hands down the best center axis. they are vulnerable through their lack of real wing defenders (Still don't understand why they didn't even take Cavanda (Lazio Roma's awesome right back)), and the injury of Benteke, their best striker. They're left with Lukaku, who should become one of the revelations of the world cup, but no real alternatives on that position.
 
Peter Rooke
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and England not into the quarter finals, sorry Peter

- yeah and that's why I’m supporting Brazil for this tournament!

I hope England will do well, but I can predict our star underperforming (overpaid wig) player rolling off the same old lame excuses; “it’s was too hot”, “we play too many matches in our domestic season!”.
Some very good European teams, but is rare for a team to win in a foreign continent.
 
Joe Harry
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Is anyone there watching the opening ceremony that is happening right now? I'm right in front of my TV watching it.
 
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Wow! 5-1 against the current world champion!

(And I'm not even really a big soccer fan).
 
Joe Harry
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Jesper de Jong wrote:Wow! 5-1 against the current world champion!



That exactly is called revenge!
 
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I just saw a meme witch picture of Spanisch coach and a text saying:
How would you rate this match? (1 to 5)

Jesper de Jong wrote:And I'm not even really a big soccer fan.


It's football!!!
 
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The FiveThirtyEight is now giving Spain only a 25% chance of making it out of the first round: FiveThirtyEight’s World Cup Predictions.
 
Joe Harry
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Spain vs Chile should be deciding Spain's fate. Should they loose, there is 0% chance that the make it to the next round!
 
Paweł Baczyński
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Joe Harry wrote:Spain vs Chile should be deciding Spain's fate. Should they loose, there is 0% chance that the make it to the next round!


Technically a team can advance with only 3 points, but...
1. This never happened before
2. This would only work if Australia won all their games... Which won't happen as they lost to Chile.

So you are right. Should Spain loose to Chile, they are doomed .
 
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My pick: Germany, Netherlands or Brazil.
 
Matthew Brown
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Pawel Baczynski wrote:

Joe Harry wrote:Spain vs Chile should be deciding Spain's fate. Should they loose, there is 0% chance that the make it to the next round!


Technically a team can advance with only 3 points, but...
1. This never happened before
2. This would only work if Australia won all their games... Which won't happen as they lost to Chile.

So you are right. Should Spain loose to Chile, they are doomed .



Technically, a team can advance with 2, though it's already impossible in that group. Three points could theoretically be enough (Chile beat Spain, Australia beat Netherlands, Chile beat Netherlands, Spain beat Australia)...but then that -4 goal difference is likely to hurt them unless there were some really freaky results.

I wasn't sure about the "never happened before", so did a bit of searching. Group B, 1998 - Italy 7 points, Chile 3, Austria 2, Cameroon 2. Chile qualified after drawing all three games.

It's also possible to not qualify with 6 points. I couldn't find an example of that, but there were a couple of cases in 1994 where teams qualified from 3rd place in their group with 6 points.
 
Paweł Baczyński
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Matthew Brown wrote:Technically, a team can advance with 2, though it's already impossible in that group.
I wasn't sure about the "never happened before", so did a bit of searching. Group B, 1998 - Italy 7 points, Chile 3, Austria 2, Cameroon 2. Chile qualified after drawing all three games.


Hmmm maybe I was thinking about advancing with 2 points ;).
Or maybe in Euro it never happened with 3 points? I don't know. I once heard this and didn't check before posting . My bad.

But as my defence I was thinking about qualifying with 3 points with one game won and two lost (I didn't consider three draws)
 
Matthew Brown
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Pawel Baczynski wrote:Or maybe in Euro it never happened with 3 points?


I thought I'd found a counter-example to this...then realised it was in a tournament with 2 points for a win and so doesn't really count .
 
Paul Clapham
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Another 4-0 game: this time Portugal is the losing side. That looks good for Germany but I suppose what happens in the opening round isn't a solid predictor of what will happen later.

On the other hand a 4-0 game is much less likely to be a poor side randomly happening to win, unlike a 1-0 game where that could easily be the case.
 
Dieter Quickfend
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Germany was by no means poor, but I didn't think they were all that great either. As it is the case with Germany, they took optimal advantage of the situation, but it was the referee who destroyed this game early on. A penalty which shouldn't have been one, which meant Germany wouldn't have to push anymore, and an all too easily given red card to Pepe decided the game early on. I don't believe you can take anything that happened after at face value, and what happened before wasn't that great.

There's actually only been two teams who've really impressed me so far, and they were playing each other. I had expected Italy to be good... But England was a surprise. Italy was the better team and their win deserved, yet I think for the first time that England can go far with this team. That Sterling guy is extremely good.

As far as the Netherlands go, they beat Spain 5-1 which is ridiculous, but the way Spain played that game was just painful. I can't really say if they will go far yet or be eliminated early after the group phase. Their forwards - Van Persie and Robben - are very dangerous and seem to be in top shape, but I can't say I have faith in the quality of their entire team. Germany is a surer bet, but their play was uninspired. I expect Schweinsteiger for the next game, maybe Klose or Schurrle. They need a striker in that line-up. France I thought was definitely not bad, though I also think their opponent -Honduras - was far from world class.

What to say about Nigeria-Iran though? I don't know how they've made it to the world cup, but it makes me feel sorry for all the good European teams that didn't qualify.

Let's hope Spain, Portugal and Uruguay play a better second game.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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an all too easily given red card to Pepe


I disagree. Headbutting another player -when the match was already interrupted, even- is as clear-cut a case for a red card as is possible.
 
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Pepe did not get the card for Mueller going down (I suspect it was the usual play acting) but for the head contact, while he was down. I do not think the referee destroyed the game. In fact I found him a no nonsense guy who did not pay much heed to the 'agonizingly painful moment' of the actors players
 
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!England
 
Dieter Quickfend
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Ulf Dittmer wrote:
I disagree. Headbutting another player -when the match was already interrupted, even- is as clear-cut a case for a red card as is possible.


That was not a headbutt. Take it from someone who's had headbutts in football. It was intimidation and it was stupid and maybe even deserved a yellow card. But a red card when you consider Müller was trying to screw him over one (when it already worked once and got Germany an unfair goal out of it) and Müller retaliated as well (pushing Pepe), giving Pepe a red card and Müller nothing is completely unreasonable. If you send off Pepe, you have to send off Müller as well and then we'd have seen a very different game indeed.

But overall, as far as I've seen, in this world cup it really sucks to be a defender. Defenders should be protected in the penalty area, but defenders are punished with cards and penalties for any kind of contact (At the moment, I can't think of one penalty in this world cup, and there's been many, which was really a penalty), whereas attackers are allowed to do just about anything (for instance, Van Persie's clear foul against Casillas). I have also not yet seen an attacker punished for taking a dive, and they've been doing nothing but.

If you think something's really a penalty, just think - would the attacker have gone down if the 'foul' was committed in midfield? The rules don't say you're not allowed to hinder an attacker in the box - that's the whole point of defense. In this world cup, if an attacker pulls a jersey, it's nothing. If a defender does it, it's penalty. It should be other way around. Defenders should have the greater freedom in their own box. Penalties should not be given frivolously.

So maybe Pepe's behavior was not an example of fair play, but neither was Müller's. And Müller's behavior, to me, is a far greater problem in football at the moment and should be cracked down upon. No wonder other sportslovers think of football players as wussies, if they see that kind of stuff.

 
Ulf Dittmer
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That was not a headbutt.


Then we'll have to agree to disagree. In the view I saw it was clear that his head made contact with Müller's head, who was sitting motionless at the time. During an interruption of the game, that's a red card (I'd agree that Müller was certainly not hurting from it, though).

So maybe Pepe's behavior was not an example of fair play, but neither was Müller's. And Müller's behavior, to me, is a far greater problem in football at the moment and should be cracked down upon.


I agree that there's a lot of acting going on. But that doesn't factor into it - the severeness is irrelevant in this case.
 
Dieter Quickfend
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Ulf Dittmer wrote:
I agree that there's a lot of acting going on. But that doesn't factor into it - the severeness is irrelevant in this case.



If that were true, there would no longer be any need for a referee. As it is with a judge, it is up to a referee to interpret the rules and to determine an appropriate punishment keeping in mind the spirit and severeness of the act. If a player falls on top of another player and breaks his leg, the player causing the break should not be punished as if he deliberately jumped on the player's leg. That is the interpretation a referee must make, and that must determine the punishment. There were mitigating circumstances for Pepe's behaviour, for Müller's, there were none. A fair judgement would've seen them both taking yellow.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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If that were true, there would no longer be any need for a referee.


I don't see how that follows. Headbutting someone during an interruption is like spitting at someone - it's beyond conduct allowed on a football field. That's why severity is irrelevant, and it's why there are no mitigating circumstances. During the match it might be a less black-and-white situation and thus up to the referee's discretion. During an interruption, not so much.
 
Matthew Brown
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There might have been mitigating circumstances for Pepe's actions if it had been immediate (I'm thinking of Pogba's response to being trampled on the other night - I've seen people sent off for that). Though he'd still probably be off. But I don't think any referee would have done anything other than send him off as it was. If the referee had given him a yellow, I think that would be the last match he refereed in this tournament. As the regulations stand that's as clear-cut a sending off as you get, in my opinion.

That doesn't mean I don't agree about Müller. I'd love to see suspensions based on video evidence for "simulation" - you can't rely on referees to stamp it out on the pitch. But I've seen much worse. At least there was contact in this case.
 
Dieter Quickfend
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Ulf Dittmer wrote:
I don't see how that follows. Headbutting someone during an interruption is like spitting at someone - it's beyond conduct allowed on a football field. That's why severity is irrelevant, and it's why there are no mitigating circumstances. During the match it might be a less black-and-white situation and thus up to the referee's discretion. During an interruption, not so much.

Well I figured we had already established that we differ in opinion on whether Pepe's action constitutes a headbutt or not - to me it's clearly not, or I would have to apologize to my girlfriend for headbutting her lovingly every day for quite some time...

Seriously, what Pepe did is basically something that happens in every game when it gets heated. Players stand close together, sometimes touching heads, seething with anger. It goes no further when everyone controls their anger - when someone doesn't, they might lash out, which is definitely grounds for sending someone off. But this didn't happen with Pepe. At all. Unless you somehow noticed Müller's head snapping back, starting to bleed, or developing a bulge - - it's not a headbutt. The only thing that made it look different was that Müller was sitting down and Pepe wasn't, making Müller appear small, weak. The one that lashed out with a push was Müller - he didn't turn away, he pushed Pepe. If the thing had unearthed, Müller would've been the cause. But Pepe didn't retaliate to that and then was sent off unjustly, while Müller, having taken a dive and having lashed out, was not punished.

At least, that's how I saw it. But obviously we both saw completely different situations.

Just to be clear, I consider Germany to be the better team and one of the favorites for the World Cup, and I had expected them to win. I don't begrudge them the win. But it was not fair to Portugal, the way it was done.

Aaand I'm pretty sure this referee won't be returning after Round 1.
 
Dieter Quickfend
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Perhaps I should also mention that I was a defender for a very long time. I've had attackers stand face to face, head to head with me on many occasions after I tackled them. And I took a few headbutts over the years. I never saw someone take a card for intimidation, though. The initial anger is controlled and subsides very quickly. The ref comes in, cools the situation down, the players shake hands and nothing has happened. This is how a ref is supposed to handle these situations. This ref breathed powerlessness and despair. He had no control over the match whatsoever, after the silly penalty. That's why he went for the red, not for something Pepe did. So for me, the ref is clearly to blame.
 
Dieter Quickfend
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I just watched the situation again, and noticed two new things:

1) after Müller scored his next goal after the red card, he didn't even cheer.
2) after the game, in his interview, he pretended not to remember anything that happened after his duel with Pepe.

I think that shame Müller feels, coupled with the footage, says enough. Portugal has a reason to feel mistreated. Especially Pepe.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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I'm pretty sure this referee won't be returning after Round 1.


That at least we shall have no problems to establish. As opposed to just about everything else :-)
 
Dieter Quickfend
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I changed my predictions based on what I saw in round 1. Yes, I even changed the winner. I was really impressed by Italy. There was a lot of doubt, though. I think Brazil, for the first time ever, has a better defense over Italy. That David Luiz is amazing. But if they can beat the Netherlands despite their defense, they can beat Brazil. The Netherlands beating Brazil will mean Belgium or France in the finals. We will see how they grow in the tournament. Belgium played very badly yesterday. Coach was pretty stupid starting without Fellaini. Though I think they'll be much better next game.

Group A:
- Brazil
- Mexico
Group B:
- Spain The Netherlands
- Chile
Group C:
- Japan Colombia
- Colombia Ivory Coast
Group D:
- Italy
- Uruguay England
Group E:
- Switzerland
- France
Group F:
- Argentina
- Bosnia
Group G:
- Germany
- Portugal
Group H:
- Belgium
- Russia


Second Stage:

Brazil - Chile
Colombia - England
Switzerland - Bosnia
Germany - Russia
The Netherlands - Mexico
Italy - Ivory Coast
Argentina - France
Belgium - Portugal


Brazil - England
Switzerland - Germany
The Netherlands - Italy
France - Belgium

Brazil - Switzerland
Italy - Belgium

Final
Brazil - Italy
 
Paweł Baczyński
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Dieter what is your type for 3rd place?
 
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Dutch is the team to beat
 
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