jmh470 wrote: I'd say one thing is pretty certain about the draw: after 2010's sweetheart draw, the US is going to get absolutely reamed this go-round. I'll go ahead and expect Spain, the Netherlands, and, of course, Ghana, ruiner of all things American football.
jmh470 wrote:Switzerland beat Brazil in a friendly in August. Ipso facto, Switzerland is among the giants of world football.
I'd say one thing is pretty certain about the draw: after 2010's sweetheart draw, the US is going to get absolutely reamed this go-round. I'll go ahead and expect Spain, the Netherlands, and, of course, Ghana, ruiner of all things American football.
largegarlic wrote:I realize it's pointless to complain about the weirdness of the FIFA ranking system, and I don't think the US deserves a seed, but in the games since the last rankings, the Swiss had 1-goal wins over Slovenia and Albania and somehow jumped from 14 to 7. The US had wins over Jamaica and Panama and stayed put at 13. The Swiss also somehow leapfrogged Holland, who beat Hungary (8-1) and Turkey (2-0) in that time frame. How does that make sense?
largegarlic wrote:Some posters on the Bigsoccer boards calculated what the FIFA rankings are going to be that will be used to determine the seeds for the World Cup. If they're right, the seeds will be:
Of course, Uruguay still has to beat Jordan in playoff to make it. But, that's still a crazy list considering that Holland, Italy, and England didn't make the cut. I know Belgium is stacked on paper, as WDWBurghGooner is fond of pointing out, they haven't even been in a major tournament in a while. Switzerland is one of those teams that always seems to qualify, but never does anything interesting once they get there. Colombia also looks good on paper and in qualifying, but they haven't made the World Cup since '98 (I thought they hadn't been in 2010, and when I looked it up, found they haven't qualified since then).
Nobody was talking about Belgium at the start of last season
Gaucho wrote:Harry Wilson's grandfather nets £125,000 over Wales debut bet:
Gaucho wrote:The FIFA rankings are indeed nonsense and I never bothered to try and find out how they are determined. I'm a little torn on this, because on one hand it seems absurd that teams like Colombia or Switzerland are seeded ahead of Italy or the Netherlands. On the other hand, it certainly makes sense to base the seeding on somewhat recent performances. But again, Italy won a much harder group than Switzerland. Uruguay are the reigning South American champions, so you could make a case for them being one of the top seeds. Then again, assuming they beat Jordan, they needed a playoff to even make it to the World Cup.
slappybrown wrote:No one on Earth thinks that Colombia, Belgium, Switzerland, or Uruguay are amongst the top 8 national sides.
largegarlic wrote:Around the Confed Cup time, I sorted the countries into different tiers, which I mostly still agree with. I'd say the favorites for the World Cup are Spain, Germany, and Brazil (I'm moving Brazil into this category after they killed Spain in the Confed Cup).
Then I'd say Argentina, Italy, and Holland are serious contenders (i.e. it would be mildly surprising to see one of them win, but only mildly).
After that, there's a whole group of teams that could be considered for the 7 and 8 slots--France, Portugal, England, Belgium, Uruguay. It wouldn't surprise me to see any of those teams in the quarterfinals, but it would be a bit surprising to see them go any further.
Gaucho wrote:If you want a real dark horse pick, I'd say Bosnia, Chile, or Ghana. I want to say Japan, but that'd be wishful thinking.
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