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Old December 2nd, 2017 (1:14 AM).
Hikamaru Hikamaru is offline
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Australia
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Nature: Quirky
Posts: 50,252
Originally Posted by % View Post
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
You got some good picks. Maybe I do see my nation's chances of progressing much better now since the Danish tend to rely on the star player Eriksen, while Peru are coming into this WC with a 28-year drought. Peru have not faced Australia previously in any meeting, while Australia's last meetings with the French and Danish both resulted in defeat.

So I do think your choices are definitely what I'd expect. Considering Argentina's sloppy qualifying campaign, I'm probably seeing Iceland pose as Nigeria's biggest threat in Group D, but I'm seeing top spot there definitely go to the Nigerians who have a young side in this WC. Iceland showed that a small nation can still pose big problems to the opposition as they showed at Euro 2016, so they'll definitely be a potential dark horse.
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