2018 World Cup

Discussion in 'Prem talk, Those Other Leagues, and International' started by jumpkutz, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Louisville, KY
    We're 10 months and change from Russia '18. The opening match is June 14th, 2018 at the all new Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, which will also host the final on July 15th. Since we're down to months instead of years, I thought I'd go ahead and start the thread. Hope y'all don't mind. Of course, the Russians are in by virtue of being the hosts. After them...well, let's see. Brazil qualified on March 28th of this year with a 3-nil win over Paraguay, ensuring their finish in the CONMEBOL top 4. Iran qualified on June 12th, beating Uzbekistan 2-nil at home to clinch 1st in their qualifying group (and yes, Hatter, Ashkan "The Iranian Dempsey" Dejagah was a 70th minute sub). We all (hopefully) know where our heroes stand, so I'll try to do a thumbnail of the other region timetables. Before we do that, however, let's look at the venues, courtesy of wikiworld: world cup venues 2018.JPG

    All of them are brand new, or newly renovated. Luzhniki replaced an old stadiium that was demolished.
    Central Stadium in Yekaterinburg is undergoing it's second reconstruction of the 2000's, originally opened in 1957. Elevation does not appear to be an issue at any of the sites. It can get very hot in Kazan, Samara has high humidity, and Yekaterinburg is on the east side of the Urals, sometimes resulting in daily weather swings.

    Now, the possibles for the rest of the 32 team field. From Asia, Japan, South Korea, the Saudis, the Aussies and Uzbekistan are still in the hunt. Only Iraq and Thailand have been eliminated.
    In Africa, DR Congo, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Egypt lead the five groups, but Tunisia, South Africa, Morocco, Gabon, Senegal and Uganda are still close. Ghana and Cameroon appear to be in trouble, along with our buddies, Algeria. We, of course, have a huge match Sept. 1st against the Bryan Ruiz's at Red Bull Arena. We're third behind they and El Tri, but 3 points in NJ should do it. Of course, we should get six since the October match against Panama is in Orlando, but we'll see. Mexico and Costa Rica should make it.
    Who do you like for the last spot? I'll go with Honduras, which means it'll probably be Panama.
    What about South America? 2 through 8 are bunched together behind the Brazilians within six points of each other. Colombia have 24 whilst Peru and Paraguay each have 18 points. Uruguay and Chile have 23, while Argentina are 2 points ahead of Ecuador. A bit of a squeaky bum time for La Albiceleste. They've got away matches at Uruguay and Ecuador sandwiched around a home game against Peru this fall. Vewwy intawesting. New Zealand and the Solomon Islands will play for the right to be eliminated (that was harsh, wasn't it?) by the 5th place CONBEMOL finisher (Argentina as it currently stands) on the 1st and 5th of September. And let's not forget the 4th place CONCACAF finisher will play the 5th place Asian finisher Nov. 6th and 14th for a trip to Russia. Got it?
    Ah, yes, the Europeans. Those pesky Europeans. And their 13 (minus the Russkies) slots. The 9 group leaders are Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Serbia, Poland, England, Spain, Belgium and Croatia. The winners of the groups at the completion of the group stage, which resumes August 31st and finishes October 10th, qualify. The eight best group runners-up play home and away ties in mid November to determine the final four. Difficult to tell who may be in trouble at this point, although the Dutch are third behind Sweden and France in Group A and Bosnia and Herzegovina are just behind the Greeks in Group H. The Scots are probably out, no surprise, but the question is will Gareth Bale's Wales make it to the big show? They're solidly third in Group D behind Serbia and 2nd place Ireland, trailing the latter by four points, but even on goal difference (+4). Not sure I care, honestly. The current second place teams are, in order of ranking: 1) Italy 2) Northern Ireland 3) France 4) Iceland 5) Portugal 6) Slovakia 7) Greece 8) Ireland. The Turks, Ukrainians, Slovenians and Danes appear to have a crack at it, but realistically, who knows? It's going to take a good chunk of the fall to figure it out, but somebody big is not going to make it. I think Arena will get us there, don't think we'll finish any higher than we ever have before. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the entire tournament will be espionage, given the current world political climate. I'd wager on several newsworthy "incidents" happening.
    Just remember kids. June 14th ain't so far away now.
  2. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
  3. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Louisville, KY
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