Tag Archives: Scenarios

Group Stage Scenarios + Totally Inaccurate Power Rankings + Brief US-Portugal Review

That was a wonderful, terrifying, fascinating, gut-wrenching, yet kind-of-hopeful draw by the US. That’s all I’ve got. Too numb to go into detail. By the way, what’s wrong with Michael Bradley? For The General to have two bad games in a row is so un-Bradley-like. Something must be wrong. Is he nervous? Over-confident? Injured?

However painful the last goal conceded was, the US have got 4 points out of 6 in the Group of Certain Death, with our most important player being pedestrian at best, and that’s terrific. If Bradley can find his form again (I would say “when,” but I said that before this game as well) this team will be a strong test for Germany. I will agree that that last goal was painful, however.

(Note: I apparently didn’t mean “that’s all I’ve got” in a literal sense. Or a figurative sense, really. Not in any sense, come to think of it.)

Now it’s time for Total Inaccurateness! With a picture this time, too!

Totally Inaccurate Power Rankings

Previous editions can be found under the “World Cup” tab. You should go there, as I’ve written some kind-of-good stuff. It has humor, my opinion on things, and some tactical insight. It even has philosophical insight! Oh, and Mario Balotelli. Because everything has Mario Balotelli.

DISCLAIMER: these power rankings are totally inaccurate. If there is anything that you disagree with, it’s probably because it’s wrong because I’m terrible at Ranking stuff, Power-wise.

1(1) – Germany

Yeah, they drew against Ghana, but that’s a good team. Germany still has the ability to crush teams. They are an efficient machine that destroys stuff in a business-like manner.

What’s that you say? By praising Germany so much am I actively trying to jinx them, so that they don’t beat the US? If I answered that, I think it would disable the jinx.

2(2) – Brazil

They and Mexico are the only teams not to have played since my last rankings. They’ll both play tomorrow. Brazil have been shaky, but they’ll need a crazy amount of things to happen in order to not qualify, including them losing to Cameroon. Cameroon! Not going to happen. This is still the same group of players and the same coach that steamrolled everyone in the Confederations Cup, and they’re still the home team. It will take more than just “shaky” to stop them.

3(3) – Argentina

Do you know how much I want to drop this team in the rankings? A lot. But I won’t. Why do I want to drop them? Because they’re terrible outside of Messi. Why do I not want to drop them? Because 1) it’s against my kind-of-soft-yet-still-existent rules, 2) they’ve technically won their last two games and 3) who else do I put ahead of them?

Oh, and this is their tactical lineup:

Argentina WC 2014

That isn’t really far off.

4(8) – Colombia

Whoa! Just like that, into the top 4? Yep, just like that. But they don’t have Falcao? True, but they have James “Don’t Call Me James” Rodriguez. Wait, that doesn’t work in print. Oh well. Another knock on them is that they’re in a fairly easy group, but European teams tend to struggle in the Americas, and as I displayed previously in my CONCACAF-centric report, this Americas-based World Cup is no exception.

5(6) – Netherlands

This team got over-confident against a formidable Australia side, but they still won. They were also more than formidable against a perhaps over-confident Spain side, and they thoroughly crushed them. But how far can they go in this World Cup? If they don’t beat Chile tomorrow, playing Brazil could be in their very near future.

6(4) – Italy

They lost against Costa Rica, yes, but they still have Pirlo and Balotelli. They still may not make it out of the group, and even then Colombia are their likely opposition, but this is a team that could go very, very deep.

7(7) – Belgium

How deep can Belgium go? I’m not sure. I’m really not sure at all. They have a fairly easy group, although if they win that they’ll have to face second-place in the Group of Certain Death (Group G), with Argentina most likely if they win that. As I said before, success doesn’t come easy. This experience will help them going forward. Belgium will not win the 2014 World Cup. Take it to the bank.

8(9) – Chile

Arturo Vidal? Those home-like crowds? ELECTRIC SANCHEZ!!?!!?!! This team can go a long way, but they have some serious obstacles in their path. Including the Dutch tomorrow, where they need a win to find victory in the group.

9(11) – France

I won’t completely buy France as a contender until they play really good teams. They won’t until the quarterfinals. However, they’ve done very, very well against who they have played.

10(12) – Uruguay

They beat England, but, I mean, anyone can do that, right? They do have Luis Suarez, though, who can tear apart defenses AND coach Honduras at the same time!

11(15) – United States

Take your pick. Results? Ghana. Performance? Portugal. Oh, and all of it was without the team’s most important player doing well, and most of it was without the team’s target forward. One of the games was against Cristiano Ronaldo, while the other was against a team that drew Germany, the #1 team in these Power Rankings.

12(13) – Mexico

Mexico are one of the few teams that haven’t yet conceded a goal. Memo Ochoa hasn’t let in a single goal, and they’ve played both Brazil and Samuel Eto’o. Croatia will need to work hard to score against Mexico, which they will have to do given El Tri’s superior points total.

13(14) – Croatia

The team with the MAGISTERIAL!!!! checkered uniforms beat Cameroon 4-0. They will need to get another win vs. Mexico in order to make it out of the group.

14(21) – Costa Rica

This team went out and beat Uruguay AND Italy? Applause! They turned a group full of inferior players into a superior team.

15(5) – Spain

Yeah, Spain played poorly, but they were up against very good teams. I think they would’ve made it out of most other groups, especially as the seeded team (Group C, anyone?).

16(10) – Bosnia and Herzegovina

DZEKO’S GOAL WAS SO CLEARLY ONSIDE!!!!

Also: on the goal that was called a goal, Emineke’s foul/not foul against Spahic: if that was a defender doing that to forward, it would’ve been called a foul, right?

So, um, how much did the Nigerians give the refs? And in what denomination? Asking for a friend…

17(17) – Portugal

They played poorly for a lot of the game against the US, and the first goal was gifted to them (WHY, CAMERON, WHY!?!?!), but their second goal was created by CR7. Ronaldo is Ronaldo and he does Ronaldo things. They’ll need a lot of things to go their way to make it out at this point, but in another group with a healthy CR7 they could’ve easily made it out of the group.

18(22) – Ghana

Similar to Portugal, the Black Stars are a good enough team to be able to make it out of an easier group. But in Group G, they’ll need lots of result to go their way. It’s the Group of Certain Death, people.

19(23) – Nigeria

Based on the scoreline Bosnia should’ve won, but Nigeria actually did play well, and they now have a good chance to make it out of the group, which surprises me.

20(16) – England

They didn’t do that poorly, actually. Now, they didn’t do all that good either, and they’re being dumped from the Group Stage for the first time since 1958, when Roy Hodgson was 11. If half of their young players become what they can be, this could be a good team in the future.

21(18) – Switzerland

They got crushed by France, people. I’m not sure why I’m not giving them a poorer ranking. I guess it’s my reaction to people writing off them as terrible, which was a reaction to them surprisingly getting seeded, which was the result of the mathematical formulae saying that they were top 8, which was the result of them steamrolling through an easy qualifying group.

22(25) – Ecuador

This is when it starts to go off the rails. What am I doing? I don’t know!

23(19) – Russia

Not good enough. 1 point in their first two? It’s a must-win against Algeria. Wait, must win against Algeria? Who’s the closest thing Russia has to Landon Donovan?

24(20) – Ivory Coast

Why am I ranking them this low? I’m not sure. Gervinho, Gervinho, Gervinho. Yes, I was meaning for that to be musical.

25(32) – Algeria

Last place? Algeria laughed at my rankings, and set them ablaze.

26(31) – Iran

Yeah, they totally lost against Argentina, and they haven’t scored a goal, but they defend well. I could see them sneaking through. And then getting pummeled by France.

27(30) – Australia

This team got a terrible draw, and they’ve done very well, despite not getting any points so far. They won’t make the Knockout Stage, but they’ve set up a foundation for the future.

28(24) – South Korea

They conceded 4 against the team that I randomly ranked last. For shame.

29(26) – Greece

Man, 29 is too low.

30(27) – Japan

#FreeShinji

31(29) – Honduras

They’ll do better next time.

32(28) – Camerooooooon

Their loss against Croatia was pure self-destruction at its finest. How does CAF get 1.5 more spots than CONCACAF?

Qualification Scenarios

This is where it gets serious. Who will advance? Who will…not advance?

This section is meant as a reference. Don’t try to read it all like you would read my normal writing. You might not make it.

Group A

Cameroon vs. Brazil, Croatia vs. Mexico, Monday.

Already in: none.

Eliminated: Cameroon.

-Brazil, 4 points, +2 goal difference:

Win/draw OR

Mexico win OR

Croatia win AND goal difference

-Mexico, 4 points, +1 goal difference:

Win/draw

-Croatia, 3 points, +2 goal difference:

Win OR

Draw AND Cameroon win AND goal difference

Group B

Australia vs. Spain, Netherlands vs. Chile, Monday.

Already in: Netherlands, Chile.

Eliminated: Australia, Spain.

Group C

Japan vs. Colombia, Greece vs. Ivory Coast, Tuesday.

Already in: Colombia.

Eliminated: none.

-Ivory Coast, 3 points, 0 goal difference:

Win OR

Draw AND goal difference

-Japan, 1 point, -1 goal difference:

Win AND Greece win/draw AND goal difference

-Greece, 1 point, -3 goal difference:

Win AND Colombia win/draw OR

Win AND goal difference

Group D

Italy vs. Uruguay, Costa Rica vs. England, Tuesday.

Already in: Costa Rica.

Eliminated: England.

-Italy, 3 points, 0 goal difference:

Win/draw

-Uruguay, 3 points, -1 goal difference:

Win

Group E

Honduras vs. Switzerland, Ecuador vs. France, Wednesday.

Already in: none.

Eliminated: none.

-France, 6 points, +6 goal difference:

Win/draw OR

Honduras win/draw OR

Goal difference

-Ecuador, 3 points, 0 goal difference:

Win/draw AND Honduras win/draw OR

Win AND goal difference OR

Honduras win AND goal difference

-Switzerland, 3 points, -2 goal difference:

Win AND France win/draw OR

Win AND goal difference OR

Draw AND France win OR

France win AND goal difference

-Honduras, 0 points, -4 goal difference:

Win AND France win AND goal difference

Group F

Nigeria vs. Argentina, Bosnia vs. Iran, Wednesday.

Already in: Argentina.

Eliminated: Bosnia.

-Nigeria, 4 points, +1 goal difference:

Win/draw OR

Bosnia win/draw OR

Goal difference

-Iran, 1 point, -1 goal difference:

Win AND Argentina win AND goal difference

Group G

United States vs. Germany, Portugal vs. Ghana, Thursday.

Already in: none.

Eliminated: none.

-Germany, 4 points, +4 goal difference:

Win/draw OR

Ghana draw OR

Goal difference

-United States, 4 points, +1 goal difference:

Win/draw OR

Ghana draw OR

Goal difference

-Ghana, 1 point, -1 goal difference:

Win AND United States win AND goal difference OR

Win AND Germany win AND goal difference

-Portugal, 1 point, -1 goal difference:

Win AND United States win AND goal difference OR

Win AND Germany win AND goal difference

Group H

South Korea vs. Belgium, Algeria vs. Russia, Thursday.

Already in: Belgium

Eliminated: none.

-Algeria, 3 points, +1 goal difference:

Win OR

Draw AND Belgium win/draw OR

Draw AND goal difference

-Russia, 1 point, -1 goal difference:

Win AND Belgium win/draw OR

Win AND goal difference

-South Korea, 1 point, -2 goal difference:

Win AND Russia win/draw AND goal difference

 

For the rest of the group stage, I’ll only do daily thoughts, and a US-Germany preview, because I’ll be working on an epic group stage review article (my take on Spain’s elimination will be included), along with Round of 16 previews. That’s it for now, from Daniel’s Soccer Emporium, your home for adults kicking stuff.

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