World Cup 2022 Qatar

We have a tradition here on SWDB of commenting and discussing World Cups. The tournaments of 2010, 2014 and 2018 all had their own threads, so it seemed logical to create a page for the actual tournament in Qatar as well.

I know, it wasn’t a good idea to pick Qatar as the host of the most important sporting event in the world, and lots of things have been said and will be said about that stupid decision, but we can’t change things overhere at SWDB. And with people from all over the world, we should have interesting discussions on the matches. (And we can of course still discuss this stupid decision as well).

Today we kick off with a match in Group A between the home country Qatar and Ecuador. The other two teams playing in this group, Holland and Senegal, will meet tomorrow afternoon. Most people think that Holland and Senegal will be the two teams qualifying for the next round. That seems logical in my opinion as well, but I really wonder what Qatar will be able to do. Normally the host does better than expected, but the Qatari have no real history in world football, so expectations are rather low. They apparently naturalized several foreign players (from African and South-American countries) but nobody knows how good these players are. Therefore I find it very hard to predict the result of this match. We’ll see, this afternoon.

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I agree with the holland and senegal call, but it will be interesting today to see what qatar are really like. Where are you from, Scherps- who are you rooting for?

I’m Dutch but I live in Belgium and both my wife and mother are Belgian, so I root for both teams.

Historically Holland is the better football nation of the two, but in more recent times Belgium has been the stronger side. Most people feel Belgium is over the top, so expectations aren’t very high overhere, some even think they won’t even survive their group. In Holland, on the other hand, expectations are rather high. To me that is a surprise, because I think the Duth team has a few important shortcomings: we lack an experienced goal keeper (our most experienced goal keeper, Cillessen, wasn’t selected by Van Gaal because of reasons that are more than just an bit obscure) and we are very vulnarable to counter attacks. With our attacking style of football, that could be fatal. Holland & Belgium met twice in the last few months and Holland won on both occasions, but oddly enough I still have the idea that the Belgians are stronger.

I think both countries will survive the group stage, but won’t reach the final stages. A quarter Final maybe.

And then of course the obvious question: Where are you from, @QuickDraw?

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I got Belgium in the family sweepstake, and considering their talent they have somewhat underperformed in recent years, so this could be a big tournament for them - I think they may do well. I’m just plain English, so it’s the three lions for me. Here’s to an exciting few weeks of footy! :beers:

Also, I had wondered where Cillessen was too, when looking through the squad lists. Didn’t recognize the goalies selected, they are a bit younger aren’t they, if I remember right.


Today’s games:

England - Iran (14,00h)
Senegal - Holland (17,00h)
United States - Wales (20,00h)

All times MET (UCT+1)

At least two favourites (or outsiders) start their World Cup campaign today, England and Holland.
England hasn’t done well lately, but in a group with Iran, Wales and the USA they should easily qualify for the next round. Iran did well in 2018, and I guess they will cause England some trouble this afternoon, but it would be quite a shock if they would grab a point.

Holland did far better in the Nations League, they won their group and beat ancient rivals Belgium twice. Still I’m not very confident. Many players (especially those from Ajax Amsterdam) have not shown their best form during the last few weeks and we don’t have an experienced and reliable goal keeper. Van Gaal seems to opt for Andries Noppert from Heerenveen, a goal keeper who has never (!) played for Oranje (the knick-,name of the Dutch team) and only played some 40 games at the highest level in the Dutch league. he was in great form lately, but it’s an enormous risk. I guess Holland will have a difficult game against Senegal, who are after all champions of Africa.

The third game, pairing USA and Wales, will be a crucial game in group B in deciding who will join England to the next round. It will be a very close match, but I slightly favor Wales because of Gareth Bale: he can always score from a free-kick and one goal could well be decisive in that match.

Good luck to all teams!

oh man, what a game today. My 6-0 bet on England almost came true! :grin: Oh well, i suppose, can’t get too lucky…

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England was quite impressive, what an attacking force with players like Saka, Rashford, Kane, Grealish, Foden, Sterling … the biggest problem might be to pick the three best to start with in a game that really matters. Iran was no serious opposition, of course.

Holland also did what it was supposed to do: win their the first game, but it was far from easy. But then again the opposition was a bit stronger than in the case of England. I still think Senegal can reach the second round. They will beat Qatar now, I suppose, and then it’ll all come down to their last game against Ecuador.

Anyway, four games today:

Argentina - Saudi-Arabia
Danmark - Tunesia
Mexico - Poland
France - Australia

It’ll be interesting to see how two of the favourites, Argentina and France will do. Against not so strong opposition, unfortunately, so perhaps we still won’t know how strong Mbappé & Co and Messi & Co really are after their first game.

Argentina - Saudi Arabia 1-2

Dear me. I only saw the second half (I only started watching because of the half time result) but it was worth watching. Not that it was the greatest match in football, but it was sure amazing, surprising, sensational, whatever …

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Would have said the same about Saudi Arabia too. You still have to win, no matter who it is, it’s never guaranteed.

Frankly, Argentina look as shambolic as the 2018 edition despite their long unbeaten run. One of the favourites invariably crash out at the group phase (Italy 2010, Spain 2014, Germany 2018) and 2022 may well be the turn of La Albiceleste again.
France should do better than most defending champions. However they’re carrying injuries to key players and Deschamps probably should have gone after the last Euros.
Of the other main contenders, all have their limitations. Spain lack the attacking firepower, and England, despite superb attackers are susceptible in defence. Germany are still in a transitional phase after Joachim Löw. The ship has likely sailed for Belgium but I wouldn’t totally discount them.
It should all point to being Brazil’s to lose but they’re largely untested against elite opposition. Maybe this will finally be the World Cup when an unfancied team triumphs.

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If “unfancied team” (don’t know that word) means an outsider team, this at least happened once in 1954. Even if from nowadays point of view it was one of the usual favourites, but back then they were total outsiders.

Yes, it seems that Brasil is the big favourite, and the other usual favourites of the last tournaments (Argentina, England, France, Germany, Netherlands) are all viewed as such again. If Italy had made the qualification they would also be one of them. And Portugal and Belgium belong to this group also, should at least have enough quality for the quarterfinals. And England, France and Germany all underachieved in the last year.

Actually I don’t see a real outsider to be strong enough to reach the half finals.

He, he, yes, that was a surprise, especially against the probably weakest team in their group, but after the draw of Mexico and Poland it doesn’t look too bad for them.

I thínk tomorrow for Germany everything is possible, and I don’t have high expectations, but then they mostly did well in a tournament when I did not expect much … :wink:

I beg to differ. Once Hungary, Brazil and Uruguay were on the opposite side of the draw it was no great surprise FRG reached the final. The only surprise was that after a thrashing in the group phase they defeated Hungary in the final.
Unfancied means ‘not likely to win’ - i.e. Denmark (1992), Greece (2004) & Portugal (2016) in the Euros. Croatia in the last edition of the World Cup would have been another example.

None of the major European teams (France, Germany, England, Spain, Belgium) have been in great shape lately, both England and Germany didn’t do well at all in the Nations league (even losing games against Hungary) and France only nearly escaped relagation. Spain seem to have eternal problems to score goals, so therefore many thought a South-American giant would grab the title, Brazil or Argentina that is. In spite of this impressive unbeaten run, Argentina looked very poor today. I can still see them getting to the next round, but a candidate for the title? I don’t know. Messi is no doubt the best player of the last 15 years, bu today he looked old and tired. Let’s see (the day after tomorrow) what Brazil has to offer.

Of the favourites England and France looked good so far, but against weaker opposition, so we don’t know yet how strong they really are. England should win their group comfortably and don’t see any major difficulties for France either.

Outsiders? My dark horse is Portugal.

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Actually it still was.
Germany was not one of the great football nations then (that changed not really even after that WC win), but on the other hand Austria was one of the greatest in the first half of the 20th century (that totally changed after this tournament). For the group phase the 16 teams were split into 8 seeded and 8 unseeded teams, and Germany belonged naturally to the unseeded.
Sure, their way to the final was much easier, as they had only to play against teams which reached the quarter final as 2nd in their groups (strange mode btw), but in fact nobody expected them to beat Jugoslawia and especially not Austria.

The win against Hungary was maybe the biggest surprise in the WC history, as Hungary doubtless had then the best team in the world. And imo and would really have deserved to win this WC. More than maybe any other great team that failed to win over the last 21 tournaments

And of course the earlier 3:8 against Hungary was also not a real surprise, as Germany played in vulpine manner only with a secondary formation. Which made sense due to another odd mode of the WC.

Of course, but for me Portugal does not really belong to the outsiders in the last 20 years. Their EC win in 2016 was a bit undeserved, but then a compensation for their lapse not to win in 2004. Which would have been at least the more deserved win.
After all they had constantly good teams since 2000.

You never know with those Portuguese, on a good day they are able to beat everyone, but they also have their sloppy days or even sloppy tournaments, I remember the 2014 World Cup, in which they were all over the place and didn’t survive the first round. Hopefully they won’t do anything stupid this year (losing against Ghana or South-Korea for instance) and rise tot the occasion.

Scherp, what about Denmark?

They will possible get far, quarter finals, maybe even semi-finals, but somehow I can’t see them as a possible winner. I can’t see Holland or Belgium win the tournament either. Holland beat Belgium twice in the Nations League, but I still have the feeling the Belgians are stronger (in Brussels they missed several key players and in Amsterdam they were clearly the better team), but winning the tournament might be a step too far for the Red Devils. So I think it will be either Brazil or one of the European Super Powers, England, Germany or France (with, as said, Portugal as the outsider). I don’t believe in Spain, and after this Saudi Arabia game, I don’t believe in Argentina either. I know England, Germany and France haven’t done well lately, but they have tons of talent and a relatively young group of players.

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The 1954 World Cup was clearly the birth of a new world football power and to suggest otherwise is disingenuous. After all the team reached the semi-finals of the next edition in 1958.
Also several mitigating factors were at play in Hungary’s surprise defeat - principally two devastating matches against Brazil and Uruguay plus allegations of shenanigans on the Gernans’ part.
We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.