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    The bracket

    Norway
    Australia

    England
    Cameroon

    ------------------

    France
    Brazil

    Spain
    USA

    ------------------
    ------------------

    Italy
    China

    Netherlands
    Japan

    ------------------

    Germany
    Nigeria

    Sweden
    Canada

    #2
    France havent had any hosts free ride set up for them, then, have they?

    Comment


      #3
      No, that's a rock solid top half. The bottom half is no cakewalk but on current form I would back Germany and Netherlands to form the semi final.

      Comment


        #4
        I'm annoyed that the bracket was designed such that some group winners and runners-up from the same group find themselves in the same half of the draw (groups A and E). Teams from the same group should not meet again until the final. This principle is impossible to uphold in a best-third-placed-team scenario, but then at least keep the group winners and runners-up apart.

        They could've just swapped Norway and Canada around, and all would've been fine and dandy.

        Comment


          #5
          Netherlands USA final then?

          Comment


            #6
            16 team tournament:

            Hosts, plus: Europe 7. CONCACAF 2. Asia 3. Africa 2. South America 1.

            Not too unreasonable, if Oceania had their traditional half-qualifier and lost a play-off to Asia, and South America had another half, losing to Europe.

            As it is, an all Europe QFs is possible but unrealistic: 6 out of 8 would be my guess.

            Comment


              #7
              Only just noticed after Rogin mentioned the Olympic qualification (edit - and tee rex has mentioned it above!) that all eight second round matches are UEFA v RoW.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Bizarre Lw Triangle View Post
                Netherlands USA final then?
                Nah, France do for the US in the QFs. Home advantage and all that.
                In the other half, the Netherlands are probably just about the strongest team but putting them anything other than marignally ahead of the pack overstates them, I think (see the home advantage thing re: their Euro Championship win). Japan could very easily beat them next up. Though the Dutch are effectively at home in this, given the travelling crowds they are bringing!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Janik View Post
                  Nah, France do for the US in the QFs. Home advantage and all that.
                  In the other half, the Netherlands are probably just about the strongest team but putting them anything other than marignally ahead of the pack overstates them, I think (see the home advantage thing re: their Euro Championship win). Japan could very easily beat them next up. Though the Dutch are effectively at home in this, given the travelling crowds they are bringing!
                  Agreed.

                  We probably should edge Japan on current form, and I give the Dutch team the edge over Italy too, but Germany may very well beat us. But it's all too close to really call. Marginal is right.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Greetings from Grenoble, a city with nice views wherever you happen to be standing (once the rain stops), and a very friendly second hand vinyl shop. Although the proprietor had, scandalously, never heard of Lincoln City.

                    So, Nigeria - very strong in defence against France, which means that the less adventurous Germans could have problems breaking them down, especially as - like France - they rely on much of their attacking initiative from the flanks, where Nigeria was particularly strong at snuffing out the host nation. Then again, Torrent was being rested, so it's hard to tell for sure. Plus, the boxy Chikwelu - who did much to disrupt the French rhythm on Monday - is suspended.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by imp View Post
                      Greetings from Grenoble, a city with nice views wherever you happen to be standing (once the rain stops), and a very friendly second hand vinyl shop. Although the proprietor had, scandalously, never heard of Lincoln City.
                      Do Lincoln specialise in dub 12"s or what?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Can someone start a match thread pls?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Kevin S View Post
                          Can someone start a match thread pls?
                          Done! I went for a thread for the two matches today. I may live to regret this decision.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by imp View Post
                            Greetings from Grenoble, a city with nice views wherever you happen to be standing
                            See, I find that being boxed in by mountains on all sides is both spectacular and really quite oppressive. It also makes it one of the most polluted places in the country, because the smog just sits there with nowhere to go.

                            Anyway, as you were.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Fussbudget View Post
                              See, I find that being boxed in by mountains on all sides is both spectacular and really quite oppressive. It also makes it one of the most polluted places in the country, because the smog just sits there with nowhere to go.

                              Anyway, as you were.
                              Blimey, Debbie Downer! I was only there for half a day before scuttling off back north, and as the mountains were hidden behind rain clouds when I arrived, they were only gradually revealed to me over the course of the next few hours, and so I was duly awestruck. I know what you mean, though. I love the Scottish Highlands, but after about a week there I start to feel hemmed in too.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                So far 4/4 European sides are through. Norway relied on penalties though.

                                What odds would we get on 8/8 getting through? USA are due a duff game at some point.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Duff enough to lose to Spain? That is unlikely. Canada and Japan are also decent tips to win their games. Indeed it could easily turn on it's head and be 0/4 in the remaining last 16 matches.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Janik View Post
                                    Duff enough to lose to Spain? That is unlikely.
                                    Sounds like they almost did. I've seen the Spain goal. Looks like the keeper got the yips.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Spain played better than I expected. But yes, the US did not look anything like as dominant against the first proper strength side they have come up against (Sweden played their reserves in the dead rubber final pool game, and Chile and Thailand were rightly ranked amongst the weakest eight sides in the competition). I'm still happy with my tip of France to win that QF.

                                      Comment

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