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Old December 2nd, 2017 (12:34 AM).
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    first impressions on the groups. i am so excited for this words can't even explain. will be making an effort to watch every match (although that will probably fall apart a few days in)

    group a:
    i think egypt will win and it won't be very close. salah is picking up more and more momentum and with a relatively solid backline, which they have, none of those teams should be too much trouble. i'd pick uruguay for second, but if suarez and gimenez don't sort themselves out, that could change. russia vs saudi arabia has to go down as one of the most disappointing opening games in quite a while.

    picks: egypt, uruguay

    group b:
    top two should be fairly obvious here. not seeing an upset on the cards whatsoever, spain and portugal are both in their best form in quite a few years

    picks: spain, portugal

    group c: f
    rance are an obvious first place, second will be very close between australia and denmark. peru are not good. although you couldn't tell that from their media which is comparing us to new zealand, despite the facts that a) there's a ~80ish rank difference and b) they couldn't even score against new zealand. if something happens to farfan or he just doesn't play well they are a surefire 0 points

    picks: france, australia (can you tell where i live???)

    group d:
    about the closest to a 'group of death' that we have this year. can never trust argentina to actually play well despite their insane talent, iceland and croatia both very solid, and nigeria have the youngest squad in the cup. will watch as much of this group as i can

    picks: argentina, nigeria

    group e:
    brazil for 1st, were unreal in the qualifiers and they're my pick to win the whole thing at the moment. 2nd could go to any of them, switzerland are all-round solid, costa rica have proven their knack for upsets, and serbia are a young up-and-coming side that'll only get better in the months leading up to the cup. milinkovic-savic is a real star imo and i think his value will hit the roof come august

    picks: brazil, serbia

    group f:
    germany are about as good as they were last time and have just insane depth (although that doesn't count for as much via squad sizes), 100% to go through. second will probably be mexico, again solid in qualifiers, hirving lozano is a 10 although the rest of their squad aren't doing too much in their leagues. sweden are just ok, yes they knocked out italy but italy are also just ok. south korea aren't very exciting and i would expect nothing from them

    picks: germany, mexico

    group g:
    first place is a battle of the badly managed but potentially quite good teams. belgium are much more talented but still seem to lack any direction. afaik roberto martinez is in charge and he has not been good for a very long time, and lukaku is underperforming to say the least at the time of writing, but they definitely have enough to get them through, especially considering the alternatives of panama and tunisia. england for me are similar to belgium, but just less talented. again, shouldn't matter in this pool.

    picks: belgium, england

    group h:
    just behind group d in terms of being unpredictable. poland are solid at some times and a bit of a one man team at others, albeit that one man is incredible. if glik and co can keep going and him in particular pick himself up in the league, they should win. senegal have some real firepower in mane and keita, and you'd think that their afcon run was them underperforming rather than what they're fully capable of. colombia seem very average overall, some star players but some weak spots, fairly balanced. japan are very solid but going through a ton of managerial and tactical trouble and their chances will very much depend on wether they can figure that out in the next few months.

    picks: poland, senegal
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