Which Teams Will Surprise and Which Teams Will Disappoint in Russia?

Discussion in 'World Cup 2018 - Russia' started by Iranian Monitor, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    In the last World Cup in Brazil, the award for the most surprising sides would IMO go to Costa Rica and Algeria, both of which entered the tournament as rank outsiders, many expecting they would likely finish last in their respective groups. Instead, both advanced from their groups with memorable performances and, in the case of Costa Rica, advancing as far as the quarterfinals and exiting even then only on penalties.

    Conversely, the most disappointing must have been Italy, Spain, and England, each failing to advance from their group despite each being either a favorite (Spain and even Italy) or at least among sides expected to advance from their group and beyond (England). Even hosts Brazil, despite finishing a respectable 3rd, had a disappointing tournament overall, as Brazil were among the top pre-tournament favorites to win the trophy. Instead, they made the semifinals through a series of largely forgettable and unconvincing performances and ended up, not merely losing the semifinal, but getting thoroughly embarrassed by Germany in a way that frankly resembled the thrashing the Saudis received from the Germans in 2002.

    So who do you think will overcome the odds and do much better than expected? And who you think will belie their odds and do much worse? Who will be the Cinderella sides in Russia and who will be the emperor's who will be shown to have no clothes?
     
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  2. HomietheClown

    HomietheClown Member+

    Dusselheim FC 1971
    Sep 4, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    I will wait for the draw to make my official predictions. Everything depends on match ups and how potential knockout stage brackets look.
     
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  3. NickK

    NickK Member

    United States
    Feb 20, 2016
    Jersey City, NJ
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    I agree with you 100%. However, regardless of the draw, I think Argentina is going to have a disappointing tournament. They've become too reliant on Messi, their other stars (Aguero, Higuain, Dybala, etc.) haven't been performing well for the national team, and they lack depth. I can't see them getting past the QFs, maybe even R16.
     
  4. HomietheClown

    HomietheClown Member+

    Dusselheim FC 1971
    Sep 4, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    I'd venture to say most Argentina fans would be thrilled with a Quarter-Finals run based on the last few years actually but who knows. Argentina is still Argentina.
     
  5. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    Sounds reasonable except looking at the draw in 2014 would hardly have helped picking the greatest surprise package in that tournament, namely Costa Rica. After all, Costa Rica had drawn Italy, England and Uruguay and that was hardly an easy group and most would have picked Costa Rica to finish last in its group. I certainly did.
     
  6. HomietheClown

    HomietheClown Member+

    Dusselheim FC 1971
    Sep 4, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    That Group tripped up most of us (Myself included) but the other Groups I pretty much guessed correctly.
     
  7. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    Yes, but the biggest surprise package and the biggest disappointment will hardly be the ones everyone will be able to pick looking at the draw! Unless there is something resembling a group of death and you end up picking the team that everyone is picking to finish last as the group winner:)
     
  8. HomietheClown

    HomietheClown Member+

    Dusselheim FC 1971
    Sep 4, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    So what are your picks?
     
  9. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    For the question I am really asking, namely which teams you pick to do much better than the odds given to them and which to do much worse, I would say the following:

    My top 3 picks to do better than what the odds makers are giving them:

    1- Morocco
    2- Iran
    3- Nigeria

    In terms of doing worse, Belgium are given the 7th best odds to win the World Cup. I think that is way too generous to them.

    https://www.oddschecker.com/football/world-cup/winner
     
  10. HomietheClown

    HomietheClown Member+

    Dusselheim FC 1971
    Sep 4, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    Still very difficult for me while not knowing who they are playing.
    But maybe others can predict.
     
  11. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    Fair enough, but is there a side you think is hugely overrated? Or you think is being hugely underrated?
     
  12. HomietheClown

    HomietheClown Member+

    Dusselheim FC 1971
    Sep 4, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    Good questions. I have said in other threads that I am trying to keep an open mind. But I think many others here have their selections.
     
  13. Nani_17

    Nani_17 Member+

    Nov 3, 2011
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    My 2014 picks were okay, but certainly not great. I did however pick Algeria as the team I thought would suprise. When I looked at their starting 11 I remember thinking this is a pretty damn solid team. I had no idea they could fight Germany as well as they did though. I agree with Homie, it's best to wait for the draw, but why not give it a go anyway.

    Iran is one team I'd like to see their draw first. The only thing I can say confidently about their team is, you know with Queiroz at the helm and with the style they have adapted and our now fully accustomed with, they are a team that no one will have an easy time with but they will also not beat up anyone. So if Iran gets a favourable draw I can see them surprising many people forsure.

    I think Argentina will disappoint, they have just looked disjointed and even though Sampaoli has had success, maybe him and Argentina just don't mix well. That being said they certainly have fire power and if they can click then watch out. I just don't see it happening in time.

    So Iran to suprise, Argentina to disappoint.
     
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  14. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
  15. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    Of course not. But the few times I have seen Belgium with Eden Hazard, Lukaku and company hasn't left me with much of an impression. Of course, its possible that those who watch the EPL have a greater impression of some of Belgium's players and consequently their team. But for now, the most lasting impression of Belgium for me is their Euro 2016 match against Italy.

    P.S.
    I noticed you had highlighted me saying they are given the 7th best odds when in fact their odds might be 6th instead.
     
  16. Willy4TLS

    Willy4TLS New Member

    Nov 26, 2017
    Great thread.
    I really believe Iran will do the Algeria thing at this upcoming World Cup.
    Algeria were decent at the 2010 World Cup then played as closely the role of giantkillers at the 2014 World Cup, which was by far the toughest set of opponent for Germany the eventual winner in South America.
    What drove Algeria even more is that they had indomitable spirit on the pitch which gave Germany a scare that made them 'dazed and confused' as we saw most of German players in that game as like they forgot how to play football.
    I see both Iran and Algeria had something in common, both are proud and passionate football-mad nations.
    Iran were decent at the 2014 World Cup, they made the Argentinians completely sweated in their game against them, we saw that they were a good side in terms of organization and fitness but inexperienced so I expect much improved at the 2018 World Cup and make the Round of 16 and whatever the opponent will be a tough game.
    For disappoint, I pick Germany.
    Germany do not play well after winning the title at least that what the history said, sometimes history repeats it self over and over again.
    Germany were the pre-tournament favorites at the 1994 World Cup, they played some excellent friendlies before the World Cup, especially Lothar Matthaus regain his top form but the team were a subject of ego-battles in USA and some of the players did not played really well.
    We saw some signs at the 2016 Euro with Thomas Muller and Bastian Schweinsteiger, I expect even more at the 2018 World Cup.
     
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  17. Mahmoud Abdelhamid

    Al Ahly
    Egypt
    Nov 21, 2017
    Honestly, I feel something exceptional for Egypt in the next campaign.. maybe that's a quarter final, but I definitely predict a first 2nd round match in the history of Egypt.

    Also, Morocco is probably gna do something which is at least a second round qualification!

    I can't really put much stress on this one till the draw is held, but I kind of foresee a first time African quarter-final clash and a Russian grp stage exit!

    Maybe Moroccan-Egyptian, Egyptian-Nigerian or Moroccan-Nigerian!

    Anyways, Egypt, Morocco and Peru to surprise
    (as a prediction of Nigerian quarter final qualification should really be a surprise as it's kind of expected from the CAF team who's 2nd most featured in WC especially it's been achieved by Cameroon and Ghana before)

    and Brazil, Belgium and Russia to disappoint!
     
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  18. Nico777

    Nico777 Member

    Olympique de marseille
    Croatia
    Oct 19, 2017
    I am feeling the expectations are too high about Brazil and i don't see them going from a 7-1 and 3-0 at home to a world cup title in Russia.

    They are good but i am not impressed.

    I don't know where it will come from but i think favorites will be in trouble and we might have a new world champion or a 2nd world cup for a country that got only one.

    The football changes. The usual powerhouses are not as scary for the others as they were before.
     
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  19. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    In general, and not focused on any particular team such as Brazil, I agree with you. I do not see the usual powerhouses as being that scary for any side. For instance, as a fan of the lesser sides at the World Cup, namely Iran, I am frankly not scared of who we will draw in our group. To be sure, I prefer we don't get Brazil in pot 1 and I certainly want us to avoid Spain in pot 2. Otherwise, the draw isn't going to make me sweat and I am confident the ultimate results will be dependent a lot more on how the ball bounces in each game, how the two teams devise their tactics and execute them, and a bunch of other intangibles and tangibles that aren't necessarily shown in the name or reputation of the teams that face one another.
     
  20. Mahmoud Abdelhamid

    Al Ahly
    Egypt
    Nov 21, 2017
    You're correct, even for me here in Egypt I am confident we can draw almost any team without any issues. But just bear in mind that Iran and Egypt are proper football teams after all, who've got a strong mature squad as well as great history in the game!

    Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Spain or even France and Colombia could be much of a nightmare for some teams, e.g Panama or South Korea, to be drawn with!
     
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  21. guri

    guri Member+

    Apr 10, 2002
    I see a lot of "whistling in the dark" in this thread.

    :ROFLMAO:
     
  22. vancity eagle

    vancity eagle Member+

    Apr 6, 2006
    Surprise and dissapoint according to who?

    Oddsmakers? Pundits? Fans?

    I think other than maybe Panama, Saudi Arabia, and perhaps Tunisia every country will be aiming for the 2nd round. If they don't get there then that would be a dissapointment IMO.

    So there will be a lot of dissapointments, unless of course you get a 2nd round aiming side in a GOD.

    As for overrated

    Poland, Peru, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay

    Underrated

    Morocco. I really think Morocco could be like last editions Algeria. They have a strong well rounded squad and a very good coach with a history of success.


    For my team Nigeria 2nd round would be average and slightly dissapointing tbh. 1st round would be poor, unless we get Brazil and Spain

    Quarter finals would be good as we have never reached there despite having good potentials.
     
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  23. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Just looking at the winners of the last 2 world cups seems to indicate that it helps if the core group of a NT play for the same club:

    2014: Bayern
    2010: Barcelona

    Also in 2006 the core of Italy were largely at one of two clubs: Milan or Juve.

    I guess that bodes well for Brasil in 2018.

    On the flip side, Spain's players seem to be spread across more clubs now than ever.
     
  24. +PL+

    +PL+ BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Jun 22, 2015
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Will surprise:
    1. Senegal
    2. Saudi Arabia (setting new records)
    3. Sweden

    Will disappoint
    1. South Korea (hope not but they have been in decline since 2012)
    2. Mexico
    3. Portugal

    Iran will be playing a defensive fold hard to break an it is hardly a surprise.
     
  25. Nico777

    Nico777 Member

    Olympique de marseille
    Croatia
    Oct 19, 2017
    I don't see Portugal with bernardo silva guedes cr7 and andre silva on the wings and front having a bad world cup.

    Rui patricio Semedo pepe bruno alves guerreiro william carvalho adrien silva bernardo silva guedes andre silva cristiano.

    They got one of the best squads in the tournament if they come without injured players.
     
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