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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA

    World Cup 2022 - Qatar

    We are 51+ days away from the World Cup.

    Figured I'd create a new, official thread for all things World Cup 2022. I couldn't wait to get to 50 days...

    Let me start this off with a few things:

    1) The World Cup is the single greatest sporting event out there. I love it. But I must admit that I am quite bitter about FIFA/Qatar. The corruption is sky high. The worker conditions/scandals in Qatar over the last 10 years have been appalling. The fact the World Cup is being held in a country that doesn't embrace basic human rights is a disgrace.

    2) I cannot help but be so excited, and a lot of that starts with my team (the Netherlands, also called Holland amongst soccer fans) is pretty good and has the easiest group. 2018 wasn't exciting for me, mainly because the Netherlands wasn't there. And I know a lot of friends weren't excited either, given the US somehow wasn't there.


    I'll post leading up to the WC on the teams with the best chances of winning, the most exciting players, and general thoughts.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  2. #2
    We should do a poll of maybe the top ten from the world rankings that qualified. I too love the event and hate FIFA for their decision to have it in Qatar. Since the Russian bid in 2010 they donít even try to hide the corruption.

    The heat is going to be a big factor here. Many of the top players donít regularly play/train in the predicted conditions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Love the World Cup. My personal enthusiasm at present is lagging significantly though.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Kdogg View Post
    We should do a poll of maybe the top ten from the world rankings that qualified. I too love the event and hate FIFA for their decision to have it in Qatar. Since the Russian bid in 2010 they donít even try to hide the corruption.

    The heat is going to be a big factor here. Many of the top players donít regularly play/train in the predicted conditions.
    I thought Qatar says they're stadiums are going to be "air conditioned"? Who knows how well that works in a huge open air stadium...but this article claims Qatar is about 75 degrees in Nov/Dec, so that doesn't sound too bad (and it talks about the a/c):
    https://www.sportingnews.com/us/socc...danzwcs4ypxpm3

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    2018 wasn't exciting for me, mainly because the Netherlands wasn't there. And I know a lot of friends weren't excited either, given the US somehow wasn't there.


    I'll post leading up to the WC on the teams with the best chances of winning, the most exciting players, and general thoughts.
    Net-net this was basically a wash for me. As an ardent USMNT fan, this says a bit about my feelings about the Dutch team. This is a great example of irrational sports emotions, but there you have it.

    Unfortunately, the Netherlands look much stronger than USMNT right now. My hopes are so low I would take anything better than 1998 or 2018 (a bar that’s already been exceeded) at this point.

    Rooting preferences aside, thanks for getting this going. I too love the World Cup and am disgusted about where and how it’s being played.

    What’s the over/under on England fans getting thrown in jail for illicit alcohol?
    Carolina delenda est

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by Kdogg View Post
    We should do a poll of maybe the top ten from the world rankings that qualified. I too love the event and hate FIFA for their decision to have it in Qatar. Since the Russian bid in 2010 they donít even try to hide the corruption.

    The heat is going to be a big factor here. Many of the top players donít regularly play/train in the predicted conditions.
    Top 10 from world rankings are pretty useless. Belgium is #2, and they don't look like a top 10 team at this point. Here are the latest and greatest odds (top 10):

    Brazil +450
    France +600
    England +700
    Argentina +700
    Spain +800
    Germany +1000
    Portugal +1200
    Netherlands +1200
    Belgium +1400
    Denmark +2800
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by cato View Post
    Net-net this was basically a wash for me. As an ardent USMNT fan, this says a bit about my feelings about the Dutch team. This is a great example of irrational sports emotions, but there you have it.

    Unfortunately, the Netherlands look much stronger than USMNT right now. My hopes are so low I would take anything better than 1998 or 2018 (a bar thatís already been exceeded) at this point.

    Rooting preferences aside, thanks for getting this going. I too love the World Cup and am disgusted about where and how itís being played.

    Whatís the over/under on England fans getting thrown in jail for illicit alcohol?
    Number of fans? 200.

    I'm more worried about the ramifications of same-sex couples kissing in public. Cus you know this will happen, the military/police will arrest (or do something worse), and it will create a media firestorm (rightly so).

    I am so proud of the Dutch for spearheading the rainbow captain armband initiative. I believe ~8 teams have already committed to this.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    Top 10 from world rankings are pretty useless. Belgium is #2, and they don't look like a top 10 team at this point. Here are the latest and greatest odds (top 10):

    Brazil +450
    France +600
    England +700
    Argentina +700
    Spain +800
    Germany +1000
    Portugal +1200
    Netherlands +1200
    Belgium +1400
    Denmark +2800
    But what are the odds that England gets knocked out on PKs?
    Carolina delenda est

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    I am so proud of the Dutch for spearheading the rainbow captain armband initiative. I believe ~8 teams have already committed to this.
    Wow, I hadnít heard about this. Good for these teams to take a stand. Iím glad to see Harry Kane will also be wearing the armband, if they get a chance to wear them.
    Carolina delenda est

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by cato View Post
    But what are the odds that England gets knocked out on PKs?
    Is there a number higher than 100%? I know there isn't, but for England and PKs, there should be.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Partly Orlando, FL partly heard Sandpoint, ID
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    I thought Qatar says they're stadiums are going to be "air conditioned"? Who knows how well that works in a huge open air stadium...but this article claims Qatar is about 75 degrees in Nov/Dec, so that doesn't sound too bad (and it talks about the a/c):
    https://www.sportingnews.com/us/socc...danzwcs4ypxpm3
    Having spent 4 years in Saudi, I will say for 6+ months the weather is just gorgeous. The summer in unbelievably hot(returning as a teacher, getting off the plane at 11pm and it's still over 100 degrees takes some getting used to). But I have little concern of the temperature being too hot to play. It's likely to be hotter in 2026 in the US and Mexico when the games are in the summer.
    Re: the USMNT, this past week did not fill me with optimism for our outlook. At this point, the question looks more like will we score?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Deslok View Post
    Re: the USMNT, this past week did not fill me with optimism for our outlook. At this point, the question looks more like will we score?
    If we had trouble scoring in Europe, I donít have high hopes for Qatar.
    Carolina delenda est

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    Is there a number higher than 100%? I know there isn't, but for England and PKs, there should be.
    Quote Originally Posted by cato View Post
    But what are the odds that England gets knocked out on PKs?
    Got to get out of the group stage first. They have been unimpressive these last months. That +700 is a suckerís bet.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    I thought Qatar says they're stadiums are going to be "air conditioned"? Who knows how well that works in a huge open air stadium...but this article claims Qatar is about 75 degrees in Nov/Dec, so that doesn't sound too bad (and it talks about the a/c):
    https://www.sportingnews.com/us/socc...danzwcs4ypxpm3
    I remember when Atlanta told the Olympic Committee that August in Georgia was moderate.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    I wanna be a Qatar Hero

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    Yes, the World Cup is my 3rd favorite sporting event (#1 March Madness, #2 the Olympics). Yes, Qatar is corrupt on many levels, but so is China hosting the Summer and Winter games. I'm very upset, though, with the timing - the WC should be a northern hemisphere summer event given the most important soccer federations overall - and the heat that will be prevalent. But FIFA is as corrupt as the IOC, so what should I have expected when all that really matters is money?

    Just hope the US can pull it together and make the knockout round. I may be dreaming there, given recent performance. And who knows what other American player is going to get injured before it starts???

    9F
    I will never talk about That Game. GTHC.

  17. #17
    At those odds, if I were a betting person I would absolutely put some money on Belgium. They have not one, but two of the handful of players who can single-handedly win games, a deep, talented, and versatile midfield, and a top-five keeper. Defense is slightly suspect, but not a real liability. And one of their young kidsómaybe Onana, maybe DeKetelaereóis going to break out in a huge way. And yes, they can win with zero contributions from Lukaku.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA

    Who will win the World Cup?

    The World Cup, unlike the NCAA Tournament or even the Euro Cup, is a fairly predictable tournament. Not in terms of the group stage or the semi-finalists, but rather who is going to win it all. There really hasn't been a surprise team who's won it all since...ummm...France in 1998? And even then, France was the host and France had incredible talent.

    But the tournament favorites are often the same: Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain. You can add a few teams depending on the World Cup (like adding England this year) or remove a few teams (like Italy, who failed to qualify). But for the most part, the best teams stay the same. Hell, look at the top 11 teams for Vegas odds:

    Brazil +400
    France +600
    England +700
    Argentina +700
    Spain +800
    Germany +1000
    Portugal +1200
    Netherlands +1200
    Belgium +1400
    Denmark +2800
    Croatia +5000

    The delta between the 9th and 10th best team (Belgium and Denmark) is quite substantial; the delta between the 10th and 11th best teams (Denmark and Croatia) is huge.

    So what does this mean? Well, despite there being 32 teams competing for the World Cup, I'd be willing to stake my house that one of the following 6 teams will win the WC:

    -Brazil
    -Argentina
    -Germany
    -Spain
    -France
    -England

    Yeah...not very original. But this is the way of the World Cup. Since 1954, every World Cup has been won by Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Spain, France, England, and Italy. Italy cannot win this World Cup. The other 6 teams are legit, and this year is no exception. The other 3 teams that have decent odds - Portugal, the Netherlands, and Belgium - are all talented but more flawed than the "Big 6". But they are Dark Horses and despite zero World Cup titles between those 3 teams, Spain did break the trend in 2010 of only Brazil, Argentine, Germany, France, Italy, and England winning the WC in the last ~70 years. Could it happen again this year with a brand new World Cup winner? Possibly, but unlikely. Belgium is aging, the Netherlands don't have an attacking force, and Portugal needs to feature Ronaldo which makes the team so much worse.

    The World Cup is exciting, but sadly one of those 6 teams will win it.

    So, sometime in the next 40 days, I'll be giving a run down on each of those 9 teams (6 Favorites + 3 Dark Horses).
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    The World Cup, unlike the NCAA Tournament or even the Euro Cup, is a fairly predictable tournament. Not in terms of the group stage or the semi-finalists, but rather who is going to win it all. There really hasn't been a surprise team who's won it all since...ummm...France in 1998? And even then, France was the host and France had incredible talent.
    Well, since the World Cup is only every four years, "since 1998" only includes 6 World Cups, right? if we go back 6 NCAA Tournaments, we've had 5 one seeds win it, and 1 two seed. (Thankfully last year did not buck that trend in the finals!! Phew...) So, has been fairly predictable about who is going to win it all too...Admittedly, in the NCAA tournament, it CHANGES year to year to an extent as to who the favorites are, so perhaps that's your point.

    Thanks for the analysis and insights incidentally! Appreciate the football insider intel.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    Well, since the World Cup is only every four years, "since 1998" only includes 6 World Cups, right? if we go back 6 NCAA Tournaments, we've had 5 one seeds win it, and 1 two seed. (Thankfully last year did not buck that trend in the finals!! Phew...) So, has been fairly predictable about who is going to win it all too...Admittedly, in the NCAA tournament, it CHANGES year to year to an extent as to who the favorites are, so perhaps that's your point.

    Thanks for the analysis and insights incidentally! Appreciate the football insider intel.
    Fair, but I'd argue 1998 wasn't that surprising. Brazil was the favorite, but France was definitely a top 5 team. There are more data points with the NCAA, so it's not apples to apples, but Florida in 2006 was a surprise, as was UCONN in 2011 and 2014. Plus, while 8-12 teams may compete for the NCAA title per year, those 8-12 teams will look different next year and year thereafter. There will always be the Kansases, Dukes, and Gonzagas, but a lot of those other teams will be different.

    In four years, the team that will win the World Cup will be Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, or England (and maybe not England).
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

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