Could this be the year an 'underdog' nation reaches the World Cup final ?

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Post by S on Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:51 am

By an underdog team, i mean a country that hasnt won it or reached a final in their history. Even though England are practically an underdog compared to the big teams, that rules them out since they've won it once.

3 teams , who are also among the dark-horses for this World Cup fall under this category in my opinion : Belgium, Croatia and Colombia. (You could include Portugal too if you want)
-Belgium will most likely have to beat the highest ranked team in the tournament(Brazil) to have any chance of getting far
-Croatia, who have probably been the best team of the group stages sit in with a slightly favorable draw compared to Belgium. Denmark and Spain who have been unconvincing all throughout the group stages.
-And Colombia who have the best draw out of these 3 teams to make a semi and possibly a final.

For decades, we have more or less seen the World Cup final contested between teams of big international pedigree. Brazil, Italy, Argentina, Germany, France, Netherlands, Spain etc. Could this be the year an underdog nation breaks the trend ?

Yes or No ? Discuss.
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Post by Robespierre on Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:11 am

Croatia have probably the greatest chance in their history
Great generation + Italy and Germany out + Spain with no coach + Argentina into total chaos.
England are worse
France are great names but not a squad. They can suffer even against Australia
Just Brazil are really strong.
It won't hapoen again, other strong NTs will be back, WC will be broadened for 48 NTs...

I don't count Portugal, they are a one man team.

So I think just Croatia can do it and they are on last great chance for it, but at same time I think it is the WC of Brazil and I have been saying it since May
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Post by juvealbanian on Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:21 am

Yes it's not impossible for the following teams considered underdogs to reach the finals especially after poor showings from all the big teams.

I will rank them like this: (England not included)

1. Croatia
2. Belgium
3. Portugal


1. Croatia has a fantastic team and their midfield is clearly one of the best. With players like Modric and Rakitic they have the creative force even big teams would be proud to have. They have pacy and hardworking players on the wings and they have MARIO as simple as that.Their only weakness (defense) hasn't been exposed yet as they only took 1 goal in the process (only Urugay did better in a much easier group). They run a lot and put their all in the field. Very likeable team.

2. A team full of talents from the goalkeeper to attack with the mighty Lukaku actually delivering.
Midfield packed with talents such De Bruyne and Hazard (others don't deserve to be mentioned)
Not a bad defense ( at least better than Croatia ).
Their only downside? Being full of EPL players as simple as that. I don't need (want) to go into details why.

3. They might lack something here and there but with Kommander everything is possible. They even won Euros with Kommander leading them like a player/coach rare hybrid.
They do look like Belgium a couple of years ago as they have young talents waiting to step up.Could they do it now? I doubt it but they are a lucky side led by the luckiest dude ever.
Their defense will be exposed for sure with oldies such Pepe and Fonte but they do have decent quality on wingbacks and midfield while Kommander makes the attack on his own as Guedes or Silva are just not on his level.
Will heavily depend on CR7 (as they already have) , if he delivers they may go far. If he doesn't (highly unlikely) they will become a joke.
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Post by Robespierre on Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:23 am

Totally forgotten about Belgium

I should give same speech made for Croatia (they are also better , Croatia have bad defence) but they are going to face Brazil

If they lose yesterday...

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Post by Art Morte on Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:50 am

If Belgium don't reach the final in this world cup, they never will.
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Post by zenmaster on Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:51 am

Belgium and Croatia , yes.

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Post by Babun on Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:53 am

Most good Belgian players play in EPL so I don't count on them winning the whole thing. EPL is really bad at tactics and match/ball control from the midfield. Portugal and Croatia are more like it. England is poor man's Belgium.
I would include Argentina as an underdog, too, but they played so super crap so far, no way they could win WC with that kind of performance.

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Post by rincon on Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:19 am

We had Spain reach it in 2010 after never having even a semi-final so this already happrned recently. The 2010 final even had netherlands so I remember all the hype cause we wouod have a new winner of the trophy.

This year it could happen again with these teams. I would include Uruguay over Colombia or Portugal (I guess we'll see if it's sensible after saturday).
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Post by S on Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:26 am

Spain were the favourite going into the tournament. They won the Euros too convincingly in 2008 unlike any of those aforementioned teams.

So no , they shouldn't be part of the conversation.
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Post by futbol_bill on Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:26 am

Chance yes for both Croatia and Belgium. But likelihood is 50-50. The others mentioned and including England and Uruguay, the answer is no way.

There is one consideration that I don’t believe has been mentioned in these discussions. Big teams usually build slowly throughout entire tournament just putting in minimum to reach knockouts. Therefore your opinions are best to wait until after first knockout rounds to see if form of teams like Spain, France, Brasil improve.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:27 am

@Babun wrote:Most good Belgian players play in EPL so I don't count on them winning the whole thing. EPL is really bad at tactics and match/ball control from the midfield. Portugal and Croatia are more like it. England is poor man's Belgium.
I would include Argentina as an underdog, too, but they played so super crap so far, no way they could win WC with that kind of performance.


I disagree we are really bad at match/ball control tbh, we are quite bad at actually creating chances as our midfielders lack top end passing ability.

But I don't think we struggle to control a game, mainly we struggle to open up teams because our midfielders are not great at it.
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Post by Babun on Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:12 pm

@Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:
@Babun wrote:Most good Belgian players play in EPL so I don't count on them winning the whole thing. EPL is really bad at tactics and match/ball control from the midfield. Portugal and Croatia are more like it. England is poor man's Belgium.
I would include Argentina as an underdog, too, but they played so super crap so far, no way they could win WC with that kind of performance.


I disagree we are really bad at match/ball control tbh, we are quite bad at actually creating chances as our midfielders lack top end passing ability.

But I don't think we struggle to control a game, mainly we struggle to open up teams because our midfielders are not great at it.

As a result you concede possession which creates counter attack chances for sucker punches on the break which England are good at. It's not a reliable strategy in the long run. Also, any of midfields of Croatia, Brazil, France, Spain etc. will run rings around your midfield because they don't concede possession easily. So what's left is park the bus. I don't have to remind you how successful the PTB teams have been so far.
Belgium and Croatia are a different story, with Croatia having the better mid and Belgium the better attack.

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Post by Zagadka on Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:20 pm

Insha'allah
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:42 pm

@Babun wrote:
@Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:
@Babun wrote:Most good Belgian players play in EPL so I don't count on them winning the whole thing. EPL is really bad at tactics and match/ball control from the midfield. Portugal and Croatia are more like it. England is poor man's Belgium.
I would include Argentina as an underdog, too, but they played so super crap so far, no way they could win WC with that kind of performance.


I disagree we are really bad at match/ball control tbh, we are quite bad at actually creating chances as our midfielders lack top end passing ability.

But I don't think we struggle to control a game, mainly we struggle to open up teams because our midfielders are not great at it.

As a result you concede possession which creates counter attack chances for sucker punches on the break which England are good at. It's not a reliable strategy in the long run. Also, any of midfields of Croatia, Brazil, France, Spain etc. will run rings around your midfield because they don't concede possession easily. So what's left is park the bus. I don't have to remind you how successful the PTB teams have been so far.
Belgium and Croatia are a different story, with Croatia having the better mid and Belgium the better attack.


We haven't conceded possession though, the Belgium game doesn't count because we played our b team who admittedly do the things you say but also won't see the light of day for the rest of the tournament.
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Post by iftikhar on Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:04 pm

I have a feeling one of these teams will reach the semis:

Uruguay (not meeting the criteria, I know)
Portugal
Croatia
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Post by breva on Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:16 pm

@S wrote:By an underdog team, i mean a country that hasnt won it or reached a final in their history. Even though England are practically an underdog compared to the big teams, that rules them out since they've won it once.

3 teams , who are also among the dark-horses for this World Cup fall under this category in my opinion : Belgium, Croatia and Colombia. (You could include Portugal too if you want)
-Belgium will most likely have to beat the highest ranked team in the tournament(Brazil) to have any chance of getting far
-Croatia, who have probably been the best team of the group stages sit in with a slightly favorable draw compared to Belgium. Denmark and Spain who have been unconvincing all throughout the group stages.
-And Colombia who have the best draw out of these 3 teams to make a semi and possibly a final.

For decades, we have more or less seen the World Cup final contested between teams of big international pedigree. Brazil, Italy, Argentina, Germany, France, Netherlands, Spain etc. Could this be the year an underdog nation breaks the trend ?

Yes or No ? Discuss.


Spain had never once gotten to the semis before they won the World Cup in 2010. They were an underdog nation until 2010.
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