Good morning! Thank you for coming. I hope you had your cup of Joe and are ready for some intense lesser footy action. Group C and D will finish their group play today.
As I was on my way home from work yesterday, I began reflecting on which World Cups I liked the most. France ’98, Japan/Korea ’02 and Brazil ’14 were the first three that came to mind.From what I remember about these tournaments, they had high goal scoring totals and there were at least two non-traditional powerhouse teams that made an impact. After a quick google check, my foggy memory was actually correct, as these three tournaments were the highest scoring World Cups in my lifetime. On the other end of the spectrum, I did not care for South Africa ’10 and Italy ’90. This isn’t surprising as these two tournaments had the lowest scoring goal totals in World Cups that I watched.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, you don’t need to look at my internet history to know that I like to watch people score.
I’m all for non-traditional lesser footy nations like Iran, Iceland or Denmark make an impact at the World Cup. In fact, I hope this World Cup final features two teams that have never made it to the big game. It’s just that I would prefer if these non lesser footy powerhouses did it with offensive flair as opposed to boring, stifling defense. It’s hard to get up for a team that you know would be perfectly content with a 0-0 draw, only to take their chances in penalties. Those are teams you don’t want to succeed because it encourages other teams to emulate their boring plan. May the offensive oriented teams win.
Here is the schedule for today’s games:
France vs Denmark and Peru vs Australia at 10 am EST
Croatia vs Iceland and Argentina vs Nigeria at 2 pm EST
France vs Denmark
Wakezilla: Don’t bother watching this match because each team is through with a tie. France could try and risk one of their key players get injured, or, they can pass the ball around at midfield and finish first in the group. It’s not like this isn’t a common strategy that players employ at most qualifiers and group stage matches that mean nothing. The only question is, who will hold the ball for France in the first half and who will hold the ball for Denmark in the second half. My guess is that Arriaga holds the ball for the first 45 minutes, followed by Pizzouza holding the ball for minutes 45-90. That way, both teams stay healthy and advance on a nil-nil draw.
Hippo: The Aussies need to hope Les Frogs have a bug up les arse collective for some historical slight, an d supply a proper rogering. Those fuckers can hold a grudge. I can’t see France resting on their laurels completely here. Froggies 2, Danes 1.
Balls: I think the only legitimate reason to play for the tie on purpose in order to leave someone out would be if the country in question was a powerhouse like Germany or Argentina. This is Australia.
I do not think the French want to be seen as doing favours to Denmark, so I believe they will actually try. Denmark will try too, which means this should be a wide open game. A late goal will decide the outcome.
Prédiction: Les Bleus will sneak out a 2-1 win to get them top of the group.
Litre Cola: I am all in on Les Bleus, they are coming together and getting better and better. Giroud, M’Bappe and Griezmann are playing off of each other so well and look dominant at times. The back 4 who I thought were going to be an issue have looked tough, and organized.
The Danes run through Eriksen. Shut him down, you can beat the Danes. My favoUrite Dane is still Scooby Doo. Cartoon Scooby not that weird movie thing that came out.
Prédiction: France 3 Denmark 1, the French are getting hot at the right time.
Don T: They do not get the press of their notorious peers, but with determination the Danes are becoming the assholes of Russia 2018. For their last game, Denmark fans were fined by FIFA for “throwing objects” at Australian fans (I’m guessing beer cups and cookie tins), and displaying a sexist banner “which read ‘store patter’. A term that translates to ‘big t**s in English.” I would’ve argued that it wasn’t hooliganism, but a waaay glib gynecomastia support group.
Speaking about the Danes’ playing style, summarized below,
Denmark’s coach Åge Hareide said “I think it’s quite good to be unbeaten in 17 matches, so what do people want?”
[raises hand, Hermione style]
Goals! Creating chances! Anything but launching long ball after long ball hoping to luck out! Jesus Christ!!
Hareide also talked shit about France (“Nothing special”) and Paul Pogba—something along the lines of Pogba only caring about his hair at ManUre. France’s coach, Didier Deschamps, bit his lip and retorted: “Anybody can say what they want, anybody can take responsibility in their own words. It’s not particularly pleasant.” For international fútbol, that’s Tupac-Biggie intensity.
Predicción: Denmark 0 : 1 France, Denmark backs into the knockouts.
Peru vs Australia
Wakezilla: This is the Group C game you should watch because there are so many questions left unanswered, like: Now that Peru is eliminated, will the curse of the mummies allow them to score? And if so, will they counter that with a weird, heartbreaking loss? Aside from that, will Cahill play and score a goal? You would think Australia’s coach will have enough common sense to start Cahill in a meaningless game.
Predicción: Australia 2, Peru 1 in an entertaining game. Cahill will shoot the ball and it will hit a defender in the dick, hit Peru’s goalie in the face, off another defender and in the net in the 56th minute. The curse of the three Peruvian mummies is real.
Hippo: Are the British penal colonists (hee hee, phrasing) still taller than Los Midgetos Del Torneo? Who really gives a fuck, everyone in this’un is going home, and nobody will be missed..
Predicción: 1-1 Draw that will be entertaining in a comical fashion.
Balls: The funny/sad/ironic thing is that Australia will have a chance to progress yet Perú will most likely play their best game of the tournament. All that curse stuff is fun to joke about, but the reality is that Perú has seriously underachieved this World Cup.
Today, they will go out in a blaze of glory leaving their fans to wonder where this team was hiding the rest of the tourney? Alas, the discussion of teams tanking for a result will need to be postponed for 2 hours.
Predicción: Perú 2 Australia 1
Litre_Cola: Can you feel the heat of the taeks from down under concerning Cahill? They are fiery. You can find arguments for Cahill here (No room for debate!) , here (Demand!),and here. Then there is the other side of the coin which you can see here. Problem is that the Aussies must win and other shit has to happen for them to move on. Are the Socceroo faithful just being nostalgic wanting to see lil Timmy out there again? Yes they are but you aren’t going through so let him try to bang one in.
Prediction: Australia 2 Peru 1 Not enough to qualify but Cahill bangs one in when he comes on as a sub.
Don T: Australia has played without fear. Perú is playing for dignity and to erase their lasting memory of the tournament: the missed penalty against Denmark.
For Ricardo Gareca, Perú’s coach, this game ends his contract. The Peruvian federation wants to hire him again, but Gareca has been getting buzz to coach his native Argentina, or Colombia, after the World Cup. I dunno about Colombia, but the Argentina gig is ripe for the plucking. Oh yes: today it’s All About Argentina.
Predicción: Australia 1 : 2 Perú. There’s no way I see Perú going home with zero points and zero goals. I’d say six yellow cards in this game.
Croatia vs Iceland
Wakezilla: There is still lots to play for in Group D! Croatia mostly has first place locked up and won’t be too interested in this match. With Ivan Rakitic, Ante Rabic, Sime Vrsaljko, Mario Mandzukic, Marcelo Brozovic and Vedran Corluka all one booking away from a ban, it’s likely Croatia will be fielding their bench warmers. It’s too bad Kalinic couldn’t check his ego because if he were to have a good game, his coach would take notice.
That’s great news for Iceland since Iceland needs a win and some help to make it to the round of 16. Iceland is still banged up, however, as Ragnar Sigurdsson and Johann Berg Gudmundsson are doubtful to play. With Iceland needing a win, it’ll be interesting to see them go out of their comfort zone and open up the game.
Proricanje: Iceland doesn’t have the skill set to go on an all-out attack and Croatia has the depth to shut down the Icelandic players. Plus, I don’t like teams that rely too heavily on defense, so, I’ll say this game ends in a 1-1 draw.
Hippo: Our spunky little Ice Side just needs to not only beat easily the best team in the Group (little incentive or no, it ain’t like they can just play walk-ons, nor would I advise same in this event), but also run up el score MOAR so than the Peronist sheep fuckers. I am, shall we say, skeptical. Fret not, they always gave the world this little gem:
Proricanje: Croatia makes statement, with strong 2-nil win, despite having nothing racialist against their honkified brethren.
Balls: So, Croatia has a five goal differential over #2 Nigeria. This means that Croatia would need to lose and Nigeria beat Argentina and for the combination of the margins of those outcomes to be greater than 5 in order to lose first place in the group.
Not bloody likely.
So let’s say Croatia fields a team full of reserves with the legitimate excuse that they do not want starters to miss the next match due to accumulation of cards. And so, they lose 1-0 to as plucky Iceland side that desperately needs a win.
Argentina would need to beat Nigeria by two in order to qualify. Nigeria would simply need to tie Argentina to progress as they already beat Iceland 2-0. That spells out even game.
Prediction: Croatia plays reserves but Iceland cannot take advantage. 0-0 tie.
Litre Cola: As was mentioned here the Vikings are banged up and have to some out of their defensive shell here as they must win. This will make Don T happy as he hates defensive futbol. The Croats are going to run out their bench due to the FIFA fairplay rules….. anything about doping in fairplay? No? Ok.
Proricanje: This will end 1-1, with the Croats breaking any hope of the Icelandic folk.
Don T: Croatia and Iceland were in the same group at the European qualifiers, and somehow the Cousins finished above the Unlimited Salads.
A Croatian kit seats up to four
You fellas know me well. I want attacking fútbol, not a great story–even if it involves The Clap.
Predicción: Croatia 1 : 1 Iceland.
Argentina vs Nigeria
Wakezilla: Argentina has been an absolute shit show on and off the field. Up until a few days ago, there were rumors that Argentina’s players had revolted against Sampoli, resulting in the nightclub bouncer being fired. That rumour was not correct because Sampoli is coaching today. Then there was Diego Simeone’s leaked whatsapp message the went viral because he criticized Messi. This was followed by Mascherano and Cristain Pavon getting into a fight, leaving Mascherano with a visible black eye. Aside from publically denying the fight and nobody believing him, Mascherano suggested the players’ phones might have been tapped. Shit. Show.
How bad are things? Here’s recent dialogue between Pele and a commentator.
Interviewer: Do you think Brazil’s 1970 team can beat today’s Argentina?
Interviewer: By how much?
Interviewer: That’s it?
Pelé: Well, most of us are over 75 now.
Regardless, we’re about to see the unfortunate end to one of the greatest players of all time. It boggles my mind that Argentina never truly catered to Messi in a way that made him as effective as he was in Barcelona. Obviously, Argentina’s national squad isn’t as good as Barcelona, but, they still have some pretty talented players.
I also never understood why so many Argentinians never fully embraced Messi. No one would have blamed him had he chosen to play for Spain instead of Argentina. Had he made that decision, I don’t even think there would be much debate about who the GOAT is in lesser footy. I’d guess Spain would have won at least 2 World Cups and 3 Euros. I often wonder if he regrets choosing Argentina over Spain, especially when he seemingly gets blamed for every loss and generally doesn’t get enough credit for Argentina’s wins.
Argentina isn’t that good and Messi has been covering up their glaring lack of pieces around him for 12-15 years. Assuming he retires from international lesser footy after today’s match, perhaps it’ll force the AFA to look into the mirror and realize that they just squandered the international career of one of the greatest talents to ever play lesser footy.
If/when Messi retires after not making it to the round of 16, does Argentina even qualify for the next World Cup? I don’t think they will. By then, Argentinian fans will realize just how much they didn’t appreciate Messi. By then, obviously it will be too late.
Predicción: Wakanda 1, Argentina 1.
Hippo: Oh dear God, how I am going to laugh when A Fine Messi collapses onto the pitch, patented look of inept bewilderment on his stupid face, after this’un. The Nigerians will do a fine celebration dance, because, you know, Afrika. Raise yo fist. No, I said fist, not finger, DonT. Ur Guays are through already, don’t be a big baby.
Afrikan FOAR Prediction: Bonkers 2-2 Draw, whatever makes it the most painful for the Peronist sheep fuckers.
Balls: Going by my scenario above, Nigeria only needs to tie Argentina to qualify. Which Nigeria team will show up? The one that beat Iceland 2-0 or the one that lost to Croatia 3-0?
Prediction: I say the “good” Nigeria shows up and manages to tie Argentina. This leaves Argentina eliminated and Nigeria in second place in the group.
Litre Cola: Messi has no help here, his manager looks like a cocaine dealer. Nigeria is a Jekyll and Hyde team, who is going to show up. You could see Argentina laying the bouts to them or you can see them shitting the bed yet again. Since Argentina was overrated to begin with are we know underrating them?
Hawt taek alert. The Nigerian jerseys from the 1st game were far superior to the last match. We will look back on these with other ridiculous world cup jerseys.
Prediction: Argentina 2 – 0. Bad Nigeria shows up.
Don T: Before Argentina kicked a ball in Russia 2018, DFO said:
-Argentina is a shitshow
-Sampaoli is an overrated prick
-The starting goalie, Willy Caballero, will fuck up
-The backup goalie, Franco Armani, will play in Russia
In lieu of tootin’ our own vuvuzela, let’s pile on.
In early 2018, a book about Sampaoli’s “ideas about the culture of [fútbol]” came out: Mis latidos (“My Heartbeats”). After the Croatia game, book sellers in Argentina took action, with one putting a sign above the tome that called Sampaoli a “SMOKE SELLER”:
Many pointed out an excerpt on planning, which read:
I plan nothing. Everything comes in my head when it has to come. It emerges naturally at the opportune moment. I hate planning. If I plan, I am rendered an office clerk. […] Futbol is not studied; it is felt and is lived. I go from there. I’m from the street; denying that is impossible.
So Sampaoli, in his own words, is a savant who leans on inspiration / his gut, has no time for nerd shit, and keeps it real. That explains reasonably why he has not repeated a formation in 13 matches; decided to have three defensemen at the back against Croatia after practicing for a month with four at the back; starting Caballero “because he can play with his legs” (a soft kick by Willy was intercepted for an easy goal for Croatia)… There’s more, but the best summation was from ole.com.ar: “Everything was written” in his book, Sampaoli committed “sincericide”.
Predicción: Argentina 2 : 0 Nigeria. As much as I’d like to give Sampa the finger, the upgrade at goalie will make the difference. And hey, we get to have more of this idiot.