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Quarters Discussion

GWarner27

Meatballin' in Celtics Stadium
FRA will be without Matuidi due to his second yellow, ARG with injury concerns for Cavani and Muslera, but no suspensions.

Did FRA get the monkey off its back by busting out putting four in the back of the net? I'm not sure I'm a buyer here as ARG looked old and poor in the back this entire tournament, so we could see some extra value on URU thanks to today's performances. The Cavani injury would be crippling, but I think it would do even more to the line than it would URU's chances of advancing.

Based on line movement today, neither caught money running into kickoff while their opponents did. FRA is a bit less damning as they were the favorite, but URU flipping from favorite to underdog says a fair amount about how much respect they hold in the marketplace.

My guess is FRA closes with a very similar line to what they gave ARG, -0.25 likely getting odds. If Cavani does not start, that probably moves to a -0.25 -120 or so but not to the full -0.5

Thoughts?

(i also need to decide if hedging my URU 28/1 is worth it here. No Cavani would make me much closer to making a FRA advance wager to return my risk)
 

KJ

Banned
Cavani seemed to be moving fine and smiling post match, doubt that's the case if it's serious. I really think this is a coin toss (it obv won't be lined that way) and will be on the South Americans, at least on the handicap. Plenty of star power in this one.
 

GWarner27

Meatballin' in Celtics Stadium
fine? I'm surprised to hear that, but hope you're right.

He said in the postgame that it was his hamstring, which concerns me more than a calf as that seems to be a more difficult injury with high re-injury risk that could burn a sub vs FRA if he starts. And that risk also could lead to him not starting and instead being used as a sub late, which will affect the price quite a bit.

In terms of substitutes, I'm not sure who will fill his spot if he sits as Stuani played today and the only other attacker on the roster is 21. I wouldn't be surprised if Tabarez inserts a midfielder and the 4-4-2 switches to a 4-5-1 because that's where they're strongest. That could be a way to limit the FRA offense, though Cavani was dropping pretty far back to help the defense today after URU took a lead
 

aplous

Donkey Hater
I was surprised at how Uruguay had little to no possession. Maybe it was because they played almost the whole match with the lead but that worries me against a team like France. Portugal seemed to spend the whole match on the attacking side.
 

bee172

Well-Known Member
(i also need to decide if hedging my URU 28/1 is worth it here. No Cavani would make me much closer to making a FRA advance wager to return my risk)
Same here.. I got them at 20/1. I think they can beat France. Won’t be easy but like you said, were they that good or Argentina that bad.

France riding high and coming into the match hyped up. I don’t see Mbappe running 70 yards and drawing a penalty again. That was a fantastic run but it was against a piss poor defensive squad.

Uruguay gave up their first goal today all tournament. Godin and company playing really solid.

Cavani injury does cause a bit of concern but I still like the match up.
 

GWarner27

Meatballin' in Celtics Stadium
I was surprised at how Uruguay had little to no possession. Maybe it was because they played almost the whole match with the lead but that worries me against a team like France. Portugal seemed to spend the whole match on the attacking side.
that was by choice. The Pepe goal shows how quickly it can evaporate, but they yanked the lead back pretty quickly and then did the same thing.

It may not work as well vs FRA, but they seem to be best in space and that is something URU will not give them
 

GWarner27

Meatballin' in Celtics Stadium
CRO had to win their Round of 16 game twice after Modric failed to convert from the penalty spot, but survived incredible goalkeeping thanks to an impressive job from their own netminder. They did this all to join the hosts, who equalized on a penalty and then held firm through extra time to reach penalties and advanced. RUS will have massive support within its borders, so CRO will be a fragile favorite with a small supporting contingent playing one of the most difficult road games imaginable.

After watching both games, I'm not sure either deserves much of a power rankings adjustment. CRO is the better side, I figure they'll be favored by between 0.25 and 0.5 even after struggling with DEN for 120 minutes. DEN was a solid defensive side this entire tournament, so, while it was not pleasing to the eye, CRO did what it needed to advance. There may actually be some value in backing CRO after that performance as they didn't look anywhere near as strong as they did in the group stage, but RUS can really only take credit for sitting behind the ball and keeping ESP out of the net.

ESP did not score a goal themselves, they only got one in the onion bag thanks to the heel of a RUS defender, which is worth some credit. RUS allowed a game of nearly 80-20 possession in the opposition's favor, but did not break and are rewarded by still being alive in front of the home crowd. Cards do not appear to be an issue, so we should expect the best from each outfit.

Dzyuba is the first focus for any defense, he's huge and is the biggest offensive threat for RUS. I'm not sure what other options they have besides Cheryshev and Golovkin from distance, but the strong CRO midfield should hold onto the ball for a long time. I'm not expecting dominance like ESP, but it will take another great defensive effort for RUS to advance.

RUS embarrassed a lost KSA backline and beat EGY handily after an early 2H OG opened the floodgates, but then got whooped by a disciplined URU. They survived ESP somehow, but were not impressive against anybody besides those two undermanned sides. CRO is not that, with such a dominant midfield that will make it very tough for RUS to get the ball. RUS will be forced to be efficient with the ball, which doesn't seem likely from anyone but Golovkin, and even that isn't a sure thing. If they fall behind early, they will get stretched and equalizing seems unlikely without a really bad decision from a defender like Pique's today.

Pretty confident the run ends here, but an early lead will be huge and they may push early to get it before falling back into their ESP gameplan. That'll give CRO an opportunity to score first. If RUS goes ahead early, I do think CRO has a good chance to equalize, but if ESP couldn't score for as long as they tried I think we have to respect the RUS defensive tactics at least a little bit
 

Sammy Meatballs

It's Not A Lie, If You Believe It...
Amazing write up. You may be right there me value on Croatia.

They look to be a ball heavy possession team so they will have chances to win I think.

Croatia 7-1 final
 

GWarner27

Meatballin' in Celtics Stadium
What a crazy comeback by BEL, thought for sure the nail was in the coffin at 2-0 and then they won in regulation.

Martinez had two substitutes score, normally a great sign of a manager, but there were questions about his decision-making all tournament and i'm not sure he's answered them. I'm not sure how to rate Tite as he has the best team in the tournament, but i guess give him credit for getting BRA to this point.

BRA shut down the MEX attack completely, to the point where it was clear nothing would happen off corners and MEX would have to find a moment of magic on a counter attack or in the run of play. That never came, there were hardly any tests of Allison on the day and BRA added a goal late to seal the deal.

Neymar may be the best talent still alive in the tournament, and flopping aside, he will command a ton of attention. That attention has given his teammates great matchups and they have benefited from it. Coutinho and Paulinho have been direct recipients, though Coutinho has probably been the best player for the country this tournament. There is a little left to be desired from this team offensively, but it seems to me that the defense is what has them staring at a semifinal berth.

BEL is as talented as anybody, but they have never been able to harness it in this tournament or any tournament for that matter. Expectations are high, but that happens with a roster featuring KDB, Lukaku and Hazard. They didn't do much today against a smaller, overmatched group and that does not inspire confidence in the next match against the best defense in this tournament. BRA has only given up a corner kick header off a foul so far in this tournament, though this will be the most creative offense so far. KDB can create just about anything, but Lukaku may find his most even physical matchup lining up against Thiago Silva. I can't imagine Marcelo is available in this one, but he pushes so far up the pitch that his absence may be no harm done as BRA will have more defensive-minded fullbacks.

On offense, BRA scored two tap-ins today and those types of goals keep repeating themselves in this tournament. You could argue Neymar hasn't had an awesome game yet, which is scary considering he's scored at least twice, but I wouldn't assume he will have a great game just because he's due. BEL may be prouder than the other opponents so far and not foul him for 95', but that strategy has worked and I don't think we can question the BEL backline's toughness despite many likely knowing each other from club play in Europe. Coutinho is a concern, as is Neymar finding players in dangerous positions, but the goals have not been very impressive nor easy to find and Courtois will be tough to beat (even after JPN put two by him today).

I expect BRA to be favored by a half-goal, so extra time means a win on BEL ATS. That intrigues me when considering an underdog with the better goalie and offensive weapons like KDB and Hazard, even if Lukaku is quiet. Before writing this I expected to lean BRA, but this is why I've been doing this to really flush things out.

Please feel free to talk me off
 

braves

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
i just looked at the lines, surprised to see you can get belgium at +1/2 at -125. Knew Brazil would be favorite, but they are a little bigger than I thought they would be
 

braves

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
Why are Brazil/Belgium playing on Friday and Russia /Croatia Saturday?

France / Uruguay get twice as much rest
 

braves

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
Yeah I guess that makes sense , but that kinda sucks that the Belgium/Brazil game is going be played on 3 days rest
 

GWarner27

Meatballin' in Celtics Stadium
Yeah I guess that makes sense , but that kinda sucks that the Belgium/Brazil game is going be played on 3 days rest
deeper team benefits from that, not sure which that is.

BRA didn't have to give as much to advance and played earlier so i imagine that favors them. Makes it less likely Marcelo returns, though, and the extra game off from BEL studs thanks to the weak group may loom large
 

GWarner27

Meatballin' in Celtics Stadium
i just looked at the lines, surprised to see you can get belgium at +1/2 at -125. Knew Brazil would be favorite, but they are a little bigger than I thought they would be
i was struggling between 0.25-0.5. Think it makes sense considering BRA was the pre-tournament favorite, have only allowed a single (questionable) goal, falsely appears to have dominated MEX thanks to the misleading final score and BEL had to come back from the dead to advance vs a team picked to finish bottom of its group.

If books offer the pk option at a small juice i think they get crushed with BRA money and they probably will anyways at the bigger number
 

KJ

Banned
Belgium and draw for me, was going to take the team getting + on the handicap anyway which was obv going to be Belgium, talent all over obv so over as well, will be by far the most challenged either defense will have been, can't imagine either of them just trying to sit on a lead either. Going to stick with pre-tournament philosophy of European teams over S American as the cream rises for the most part...forgot to see just how much Brazil has had to travel.

Only on Uruguay over French because the France struggles, we'll see after that last match whether they finally figured it out or if it was a product of Argie just being what was advertised coming in. I'll stick with em even if Cavani doesn't play but might try to back my way out of some of it...we'll see. Last thing I read says Suarez pulled up with a right leg injury in training today but did finish, could get dicey.
 

GWarner27

Meatballin' in Celtics Stadium
not sure travel means too much anymore with how good travel is nowadays, and if URU is down those two guys then Godin is their biggest offensive threat at CB lolol
 

Sammy Meatballs

It's Not A Lie, If You Believe It...
England all the way to the finals.

They will ride Henry Kane and he has weapons these days Sean wright Phillips, Dilly Dally and the rest of the premier league studs should get the job done for us.
 

braves

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
Only way to lose over in SWE/ENG match is 1 or less...I don't see that at all. Can expound later but the sun is beckoning
You see that game as a good game to bet the over ?
 

braves

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
The way I view the knockout rounds and international soccer in general hard for me to make an over bet in these rounds , but I think I’m done with totals in this tournament , I’m not sure if I have actually hit one

Thoughts

France/Uruguay- going look nothing like France”s previous game me thinks , meaning I dont think Mbappe is going be running all over Uruguay defense and getting behind it. Slight and I mean very slight edge to France just because I think they can handle Suarez and Cavani and they have more weapons going forward , but Uruguay to advance is intriguing to me at +165 , see value there

Brazil/Belgium- going back and forth on this , but I don’t think there is any question Brazil has the better defense and that matters a lot right now so they are who I’m leaning towards ( at advance price)

Croatia/Russia- be somewhat surprised if Russia journey doesn’t end here , but probably an avoid for me . Really soured on Croatia after Denmark game , teams tend to be playing their best at this stage and Croatia regressed a little

England/Sweden- I think England is going to the finals , and I also think this will be a difficult game for them . This has a good chance to go to pens as well
 

guaranteeed

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
My thing on spain and russia, i think spain really fucked up their attack and how aggressive they were in regular time

In extras they pressed way more, and had their best 3 chances in the box

In terms of xg they had 0.6xg in 90+ minutes, and added in 1.2xg in the extra 30 alone, while russia didnt have a shot

If croatia plsy aggressively i think they can score, they havent sat back like spain have
 

KJ

Banned
Won't know til Thursday at earliest

And if he plays, gonna guess he's a beast....leaning toward not playing
 

Sammy Meatballs

It's Not A Lie, If You Believe It...
What’s exactly his injury again
Some kind of hamstring injury. Geversllly soccer players in this heat aren’t playing unless fully fit.

I doubt it he plays unless the injury miraculously heals or was a bone bruise which could heal fast.

He will not come back from a muscle injury in less than a week.
 

braves

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
Some kind of hamstring injury. Geversllly soccer players in this heat aren’t playing unless fully fit.

I doubt it he plays unless the injury miraculously heals or was a bone bruise which could heal fast.

He will not come back from a muscle injury in less than a week.
Yeah if that’s the case that sounds like a month out
 

KJ

Banned
Of course when they give up a couple early I eat crow....but this one holds very true to me as of 7:30pm
 

GWarner27

Meatballin' in Celtics Stadium
That was the worst day of the knockouts so far, but we've finally reached the Quarters. And that's saying something when COL jumped off the mat with a 93' equalizer and we made it to PKs where the first unsuccessful team somehow rallied to win (take that @BetCrimes1984 stats).

Defense travels and that is what SWE brings to the table. Forsberg has been the best weapon, though he hasn't exactly looked beautiful, and they probably wouldn't have believed they could make it this far without anything from Berg. He may finally make an impact, but I don't think we can reasonably expect it so SWE will need to keep the score low to advance.

ENG has shown flashes, but they do what young teams do: make mistakes. Kyle Walker is playing out of position and it is pretty clear considering the awful penalty in the opener that put ENG in jeopardy of drawing Tunisia and then today an awful pass that was intercepted and should have been put in the back of the net. Southgate probably wants to keep his lineup in tact, but I'm not sure he can. Tactically I'm not sure how that would change ENG, but SWE should look to attack Walker if he makes it into the starting lineup.

ENG has firepower and Kane will win the Golden Boot if they continue to be gifted penalties in each match. Besides the talisman, Sterling has not done much and Rashford has hardly played. Stones probably has the second-most goals on the squad, which is disappointing, but Alli missed two games and Lingard has been somewhat impressive despite not getting into the scorebook more than his CB. I think ENG has serious problems offensively, masked by spot kicks, and all-defense SWE is a tough squad for them to draw despite the media criticism.

I expect ENG -0.5 though we could see as high as -0.75 and it's hard for me not to consider the Swedes as a draw wins and you can't consider an ENG lead sewn up after they let the only aerial threat COL has tie the game in the 93rd minute. SWE will attack Walker if he is in the lineup, if not there then there may be some unfamiliarity for ENG to deal with and there's always a ton of pressure on that side.

SWE is playing with house money getting to this level without much offense. Meanwhile ENG sees that it has gotten the easiest road to the finals on every streetcorner, if I can get a reasonably-priced +1 I'll certainly be on it. Don't expect to, so I'll be stalking a lower spread until kickoff
 

GWarner27

Meatballin' in Celtics Stadium
It's left calf mates. And prolly 30/70 at this point
his last WC probably sees a huge push, unless he plays at 35 and CONMEBOL will be a mother fucker to qualify assuming they stick at 32 teams.

I wonder how much re-injury risk there will be with a calf strain and if that will force him into a substitute role cuz URU won't want to burn a substitution. From google, it seems grade 1 is 7-10 days and grade 2 is 6 weeks so if he plays that means he's got the minor one, which I wonder if that would have yanked him from an even match as opposed to a 2-1 lead. It was easier to substitute when they clearly were going to defend until the final whistle, i think that makes it even harder to know which he has (and I doubt URU will announce the grade because that will give FRA its answer)
 

braves

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
I think you could make a case that England would have preferred Swiss , at least the game would have been more open and played into their strengths
 
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