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
    Portugal is one of the top 6-8 teams at the World Cup by any quantifiable or objective measure. That means a quarterfinal finish for them would ordinarily be what you would expect from them. But teams that surprise or disappoint are those that do better or worse than what you would ordinarily expect. In Portugal's case, they would surprise if they finish beyond the quarterfinals and, in particular, if they make the final (not to mention if they win the tournament). They would disappoint if they fail to make it out of their group or if they get knocked out in the R-16.

    On the other hand, to pick the AFC teams to disappoint means picking them to do worse than they would ordinarily be expected to finish. Given that all of the AFC teams (except Iran) were in the bottom pot and none are favored to advance from their group, I am not sure what it means to say that the AFC teams will "disappoint"? Sure: if they go pointless and get thrashed, that would mean they have done worse than what would be expected. Otherwise, if even one of them manage to advance from their group, or if more than one of them finish 3rd instead of 4th in their group, that still means they have done better than their rating and billing.
     
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  2. BrahmaBull

    BrahmaBull Member

    AS Saint-Etienne
    France
    May 7, 2014
    Italy
    Club:
    AS Saint Étienne
    Nat'l Team:
    France
    I cannot agree more, you cannot be disappointed by a nation you think that will not get past group stage unless they get trashed every match which is unlikely for almost everyone.

    However, teams that qualify quite constantly for the world cup, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Iran, I can understand that their supporters would like them to progress world cup after world cup, and losing the same way everytime can be sort of disappointing, even if that’s what you expected since the beginning.
     
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  3. HomietheClown

    HomietheClown Member+

    Dusselheim FC 1971
    Sep 4, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    And that leads to another way of thinking.
    I think there are little nuances too that have nothing to do with statistics or ratings when it comes to expectations.

    You can look at teams and say they have veteran players who have been to the World Cup before and should be performing at a better level (even if they have low FIFA ratings or ELO or whatever) and teams that have never been to the World Cup or have not been to a World Cup for decades that people do have high expectations for.

    Expectations and prognostications can be very subjective which is why people should not really be too judgemental on one another's personal expectations.
     
  4. HomietheClown

    HomietheClown Member+

    Dusselheim FC 1971
    Sep 4, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    And don't even get me started on context and how teams did during qualification.

    And those elements(and other elements like Group opponents and match ups)may conflict a bit with Historical expectations.

    For instance Historically speaking would it shock me to see Argentina make it to the quarters or even the Semis?
    Nah.

    But based on how they looked in qualifying would it shock me if they did not even advance out of their group.
    Nope.
    We just don't know which team is going to show up or not show up.
     
  5. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    Expectations are typically borne out of a team's current form (ELO/FIFA ranking), their historical pedigree, along with the talent they boast on their roster (e.g., transfer market value of their players). A team like Argentina rates up there right below the top favorites on all counts.

    Of course, it wouldn't be shocking if Argentina fail to advance from their group. They have a pretty tough group and they haven't been spinning heads with their performances as of late. But based on the factors I mentioned, for Argentina to fail to at least make the quarterfinals would mean they have done worse (disappointed) and, conversely, if they manage to win the tournament, that would mean they have done better and been somewhat a surprise.
     
  6. HomietheClown

    HomietheClown Member+

    Dusselheim FC 1971
    Sep 4, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    See we have to agree to disagree. You are tying to tell people how to set their expectations when it comes to surprises and disappointments. As if there is some mathematical and statistical procedure everyone should use.

    I see it differently.
     
  7. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    I am actually not trying to tell people how to set their expectations, but explaining how I see most expectations (except for fans) are usually formed. At the end of the day, of course, each of us have our own expectations on how sides will do and that includes teams which we believe would basically do better or worse than conventional wisdom would predict. The latter, in fact, is what this thread was meant for us to discuss.
     
  8. HomietheClown

    HomietheClown Member+

    Dusselheim FC 1971
    Sep 4, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    Technically "surprise" and "disappoint" are associated with feelings and subjective /non-quantifiable issues ...
    ....so the title of the thread is misleading if using statistics should be the only way to evaluate things but that would be meandering into a philosophical debate.
     
  9. leonidas

    leonidas Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 25, 2005
    NYC
    Club:
    Palmeiras Sao Paulo
    Nat'l Team:
    Brazil
    As luck would have it, I ended up attending all 3 of Portugal's knock out matches in the Euros. They have been a very good tournament team as of late, and well, they haven't truly been disappointing since the 2002 disaster.

    They have a reasonable path to the quarters. They are more than capable of beating Spain and Uruguay. Well organized defense. Good offensive players, and they have shown they can win without CR7.
     
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  10. Kamtedrejt

    Kamtedrejt Member

    Internazionale Milano
    Albania
    Mar 14, 2017
    Hamburg
    Club:
    FC Internazionale Milano
    Nat'l Team:
    Albania
    Surprises: Australia and Tunisia
    Disappointments: Mexico and Belguim
    Dark horse: Colombia
     
  11. bigsoccertst1

    bigsoccertst1 Member

    United States
    Sep 22, 2017
    You gotta it. Disappointment if all AFC reps fail to advance to R16.

    Since 1990s, AFC reps managed to reach R16 on alternate WCs. 2018 could have meant a continuation of that trend. But no dice this time.
     
  12. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    Australia have done well in their recent friendlies, but all the AFC teams face an uphill battle. The most amateurish one, namely Saudi Arabia, got a very good draw but even with that draw, it is unlikely they can advance. The best one heading to the tournament, namely Iran, has compounded a bad draw with terrible and inexplicable decisions and has been busy working on its own implosion. South Korea aren't looking any better then they did in their qualifying campaign, so they aren't heading to the tournament with much hope. Japan have done poorly in their recent friendlies. And that pretty much takes care of the AFC contingent, so it wouldn't be really surprising if none advance regardless of any past "trends".
     
  13. Kamtedrejt

    Kamtedrejt Member

    Internazionale Milano
    Albania
    Mar 14, 2017
    Hamburg
    Club:
    FC Internazionale Milano
    Nat'l Team:
    Albania
    #88 Kamtedrejt, Jun 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    My money is on Australia to advance together with France. No way AFC teams will completely fail in back to back World Cups, especially with five teams being there for the first time. I have the feeling that one team will overperform. Looking at their group and their last displays I feel it is going to be Australia.
     
  14. Hayaka

    Hayaka Member+

    Jun 21, 2009
    SF North Bay
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Denmark

    Maybe. However, friendlys have a tendency to provide a skewed perspective on a team. When I saw Australia in their last competitive matches (i.e. against Syria and Honduras) they looked absolutely dreadful. Granted, that was before Bert Marwijk took over. If he can turn that hapless bunch from the qualifying rounds into an R16 team, than he really is a miracle worker.

    My guess though, is that all AFC teams will go home early from this World Cup.
     
  15. bigsoccertst1

    bigsoccertst1 Member

    United States
    Sep 22, 2017
    I agree, trends are meant to be broken.

    All AFC squads have shown shambolic preparation efforts. Maybe they will have more success, after WC expansion to 48-teams.
     
  16. Kamtedrejt

    Kamtedrejt Member

    Internazionale Milano
    Albania
    Mar 14, 2017
    Hamburg
    Club:
    FC Internazionale Milano
    Nat'l Team:
    Albania
    #91 Kamtedrejt, Jun 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    It is the first time I watched so many friendlies in a build up to a World Cup (almost 80%). The other World Cups before I just watched the actual Workd Cup games. Honestly I don't know how much truth is to be found in friendlies. I know that just looking at friendly results is deceptive and can't tell about how a team will perform in the tournament. But actually watching the matches can be an asset for predicting games. I will post my predictions for each group in the next days. It will be interesting to see how I will fare with my predictions compared to other who barely watched any friendlies. And yes the current Australia looks 1-2 steps above that of the qualfying. I said once in Group C thread that I would be surprised if they would take any points. I think it's likely that they will get at least a result in one game, maybe even agaibst both Denmark and Peru. We will see but this Australia won't be the punching bag of the group which I thought it would be some time ago.
     
  17. Phillyspur

    Phillyspur Member+

    Tottenham Hotspur
    England
    Mar 18, 2007
    Arroganistan
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    I'm just interested to see who these over achievers and under achievers will be. Boring if the usual suspects go through.
     
  18. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    I'm sure there will be surprises, but the real surprises are those we won't have necessarily guessed until the World Cup is underway.
     
  19. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    I am not as confident that any of the AFC teams will necessarily advance, although even before Australia's recent good showing in their friendlies, I had given them a decent chance in their group. The only problem is that while Australia has done well in its last 2 friendly games, Peru have been doing well too. Still, I agree that Australia can get results in its group against either Peru or Denmark or both.

    And, of course, I haven't fully given up on Iran either:) In some ways, it would be an even greater surprise after the past few months if Iran ends up being the AFC team to advance from its group.
     
  20. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    Still, too early to give the verdict on the surprise and disappointing teams, but certainly with some of the results and performances, the list of disappointing teams right now looks pretty long! Anyway, I just wanted to bump this thread so we can review the issue as the games are being played.
     
  21. Kamtedrejt

    Kamtedrejt Member

    Internazionale Milano
    Albania
    Mar 14, 2017
    Hamburg
    Club:
    FC Internazionale Milano
    Nat'l Team:
    Albania
    Australia was good against France and can still advance but Peru looked very strong so I'm not that optimistic anymore. Tunisia will start off today. Mexico was not the disappointment but the biggest surprise so far. Belguim starts off today. Colombia tomorrow also.
     
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  22. bigsoccertst1

    bigsoccertst1 Member

    United States
    Sep 22, 2017
    Woot! AFC did not disappoint, as I thought it would.

    AFC trend for progress out of group stage lives on: since 1990, AFC has managed to advance every other WC.

    Russia 2018 was its turn to place at least 1 AFC rep into R16.

    Kudos to Japan for reaching R16, with 1 W / 1 D / 1 L in group stage. Japan did so despite appointing a new NT coach just 2 months ago.
     
  23. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    #98 Iranian Monitor, Jun 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
    Now that the group stage is pretty much over, here is my list of teams which surprised and those which disappointed the most:

    Surprised:
    1- Japan (few gave them much of a chance to advance)
    2- Belgium (for once, looked to be able to live up to the hype that usually surrounds them)
    3- Iran (came close to advancing, which would have seemed extremely improbable to most)
    4- Russia (did better than expected even if as hosts many expected they would advance)
    5- South Korea (lost their first 2 games as expected but went out with a BANG, recording one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history)
    Disappointed:
    1- Germany (no explanation necessary)
    2- Tunisia (I expected so much better from them but their good performances in friendlies and high FIFA rankings meant nothing when the World cup started)
    3- Egypt (even I expected better from them and I didn't expect as much as many others)
    4- Poland (came in highly rated and did what they often do)
    5- Argentina (barely advanced and looked as lackluster as their recent form had suggested even before the tournament started)
     
  24. Kamtedrejt

    Kamtedrejt Member

    Internazionale Milano
    Albania
    Mar 14, 2017
    Hamburg
    Club:
    FC Internazionale Milano
    Nat'l Team:
    Albania
    Ok regarding possible surprise teams I was completely wrong. Mexico advanced and therefore can't be considered a disappointment. Too early to judge Belguim. If they exit in the Round of 16 or even quarter-finls one coud say that I was somewhat right. Colombia just sneaked through today. To justify the label "dark horse" they will need to win 1-2 games in the knockout stage. I didn't mention Croatia as a dark horse in the list above (as I support Croatia and don't wanted to look biased) but whoever follwed my posts in Group D Thread knows that I predicted them to be a very dangerous team that can reach the semi-finals similiarly to what I thought about Colombia.
     
  25. Hayaka

    Hayaka Member+

    Jun 21, 2009
    SF North Bay
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Denmark
    Hard to imagine Belgium going out to Japan in R16. And if they go out in the quarters to Brazil, well, it's Brazil. Maybe if they are routed 0-3 or so, but that seems unlikely.

    Belgium-Brazil could be the match of the tournament.
     

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