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Semis, Finals and 3rd place Discussion

KJ

Lover of Pussy (Cats)
#54
Curious what some of you have for numbers on anytime goals for Hazard and Lukaku today just to compare to mine. Don't care about first/last, just anytime...kinda think both have great chances
 

PaintCrew

Well-Known Member
#57
Good luck today KJ....normally I'm with ya but just a gut feel that France breaks down that back line and finishes a couple times today. I hope it's a classic
 

KJ

Lover of Pussy (Cats)
#58
Well it doesn't take much to break down the back 3 although the playmaking won't be close to what Brazil had imo...but French have finishers for sure. BOL today regardless. Until a couple months before the WC French woulda been the team I'd have picked to win it
 

PaintCrew

Well-Known Member
#60
Yeah I could be under valuing how good those Brazilian playmakers are in comparison to the French. Large part is definitely how many great opportunities and open space they had and expect more of the same today for France but who knows. I can't wait for this one and hope it lives up to the billing.
Regardless I really appreciate your thoughts throughout...been a big help
 
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KJ

Lover of Pussy (Cats)
#61
Yup I’ll be on break until footies after this is done, just bringing these fantasy baseball titles home right GW
Yep it be this and Wimby, then prolly get bored and do US Open but other than golf....and I'm not great at that, what's left? League footy starts up not long from now but I suck at that too....prolly CFB, world series and champs league. Depressing after Sunday really
 

guaranteeed

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
#62
Oof Kane is the best striker left? Maybe from the penalty spot
No one left who compares to him the past few seasons

Hes basically doubled lukaku in goals, hes a better player without the ball

Manduzikic isnt close

Griezz is 2nd best, but hes not top 5 in the world
 

KJ

Lover of Pussy (Cats)
#63
Lukaku on wrong team for that comparison though c'mon

Those are the best two by a bit though although I don't really know how to classify Griezmann
 

guaranteeed

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
#66
Chadli only real wide player there, the formation shows kdb playing wingback which is crazy

Also gives belgium a super defensive midfield with no real attacking vision.

Witsel a dm, dembele good at dribbling but a short passer, fellani is fellani
 

KJ

Lover of Pussy (Cats)
#69
Guess I rate his vision/passing better than you do but that could be close to splitting hairs

He's more than just a heavyweight forward imo
 

GWarner27

Meatballin' in Celtics Stadium
#73
i just think Lukaku is a completely different player for club than country, it seems to me like it's a completely different game as well.

He's been incredible this tournament as the Chadli and KDB goals were his contributions while Kane seems to score only
 

KJ

Lover of Pussy (Cats)
#75
i just think Lukaku is a completely different player for club than country, it seems to me like it's a completely different game as well.

He's been incredible this tournament as the Chadli and KDB goals were his contributions while Kane seems to score only
I think you just did a reverse comparison of Lukaku to Jozy
 

guaranteeed

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
#76
I think belgian FA might be fucking with media and france with this lineup

Cause a 4-3-3 sliding verts over to fb and playing chadli as a rb makes way more sense

Still a super defensive midfield 3

Makes way more sense tho

If chadli and dembele are wingbacks

France going HAM
 

braves

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
#78
From a purely XG perspective Belgium were pretty dominated the last 2 games , fortunate ( really fortunate ) to beat Brazil .

Hard to envision France losing in the finals , but think we all said the same thing. 2 years ago
 

BetCrimes1984

CTG Big Brother Moderator
Staff member
#80
From a purely XG perspective Belgium were pretty dominated the last 2 games , fortunate ( really fortunate ) to beat Brazil .

Hard to envision France losing in the finals , but think we all said the same thing. 2 years ago
No matter who the French play, I think this is one of those classic cases where they had to lose one in order to win one (one here obv. being a big tournament final).

As the BBC pundits said in discussing a potential Eng/Fra encounter, England's first team hasn't faced a team with the pace the French have to this point, so their ability to turn around and get back in defense after turning the ball over in mid-field is exceedingly untested. Also there's the fact that the French defense outside of playing a team with Lionel Messi in it has only conceded 1 solitary penalty goal in 5 matches (and while they conceded 3 in that Argie game, remember one was an unreal strike well outside the box just before h/t that came out of the blue/completely against the run of play for that 1h, and the other was a meaningless goal well into added-on time when the French knew they could afford to concede given they were up 2 at the time). Harry Kane is so much better than merely good, but he doesn't play the type of role for England that Messi does.

Croatia make the final, I think they'll suffer from the ole 'just happy to be here' syndrome. They were nervous against the Danes and played like it, and that was a mere R16 encounter. They were taken to the brink by the lowest ranked team at this cup (and despite having a back-up keeper in goal, have no excuses for not closing out that match once they went up in ET). Plus the French beat them in the '98 semis after Croatia took the lead in the 2h, so I would imagine there'll also be a bit of intimidation in who they'd be facing if they made the final, which could only add to their nerves.

For me the Frogs are dead set to win their first WC on foreign soil. They were robbed/raped of their chance at such an achievement by a cynical German side in 1982 on Spanish soil, and Zidane losing his (fore)head in 2006 cost them in Asia. To me I see nothing that says they won't amend those results here.
 
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GWarner27

Meatballin' in Celtics Stadium
#81
CRO did not have a backup keeper in ET and a team who wasn't even in high school yet being intimidated in a WC final because their countrymen lost 20 years ago to this other country in the semis is a laughable point to make
 

GWarner27

Meatballin' in Celtics Stadium
#82
From a purely XG perspective Belgium were pretty dominated the last 2 games , fortunate ( really fortunate ) to beat Brazil .

Hard to envision France losing in the finals , but think we all said the same thing. 2 years ago
xG may be the best metric we have, but i think it has some holes. BEL was fortunate BRA did not score as much as they could have, but the fortunate statement is less valid when they were up 2-0 as i'm sure the advance% with that type of lead is huge.

FRA suffocated BEL today, but still gave up some good chances and won a really tight game on a single goal off the head of the least likely scorer on the FRA side. I think it was a really tight game and could have gone either way as both had plenty of chances, FRA probably a few more good ones, but it looked to be a race to 1 and FRA were the team to get there
 

KJ

Lover of Pussy (Cats)
#83
Belgium had chances, they didn't convert

This metrix stuff gonna give me the bitch headache I was trying to avoid tonigh

If that's you, be you....tired of x anything who gives a fuck

Win baby win
 

braves

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
#85
xG may be the best metric we have, but i think it has some holes. BEL was fortunate BRA did not score as much as they could have, but the fortunate statement is less valid when they were up 2-0 as i'm sure the advance% with that type of lead is huge.

FRA suffocated BEL today, but still gave up some good chances and won a really tight game on a single goal off the head of the least likely scorer on the FRA side. I think it was a really tight game and could have gone either way as both had plenty of chances, FRA probably a few more good ones, but it looked to be a race to 1 and FRA were the team to get there[/QUOTE

Yeah I’m not saying Belgium didn’t play well they did , France is probably the best team in the world .

I think it’s really a testament to how organized and compact France is that they really didn’t give that many great chances to Belgium

XG isnt the end all be all and it’s probably really a better metric to use over a larger sample size to see who is underachieving and/ or overachieving
 

KJ

Lover of Pussy (Cats)
#88
More pissed bout the carrot stuck in my back molar than whining about whatever

This fucker's gonna see goals, likely England...but if Croatia get up 2-1 it will be a dream
 

blackcrow

Well-Known Member
#89
CRO did not have a backup keeper in ET and a team who wasn't even in high school yet being intimidated in a WC final because their countrymen lost 20 years ago to this other country in the semis is a laughable point to make
If anything, I have read that this Croatia team is looking to emulate their "golden generation" of 1998, so if they get past England, they will be looking for revenge on their behalf.

France wins their semi final, but for Lloris in the first half, they could have been down a goal or two at half time. That's football. Ruined my picks but it happens
 

aplous

Donkey Hater
#90
Lloris is on fire right now as well. Belgium should have had at least 1 in the first half and Hugo shut it down.

Leaning England to advance today.
 

BetCrimes1984

CTG Big Brother Moderator
Staff member
#92
CRO did not have a backup keeper in ET and a team who wasn't even in high school yet being intimidated in a WC final because their countrymen lost 20 years ago to this other country in the semis is a laughable point to make
I could have sworn they did use him in the latter part of ET after their starter went down (they stopped the game for his leg injury, that I remember for sure). Now that I have gone back to look at the in-game and the talk that took place about who his replacement would be after that injury stoppage occurred, I see that wasn't the case. My bad. So the 'asterix' I put besides the Russian goal should've been that it came against an injured keeper, not a replacement one.

---

As for Croatia potentially being intimidated, teams lose to Brazil before they even take the field all the time because they're intimidated. Hardly a new phenomena for sports. Plenty of teams have that aura in all sports (the All Blacks are another side in a different sport which benefits from this psychological phenomena). This vulnerability to being intimidated by an opponent is naturally ramped up when the potentially intimidated side brings an inidivudal history of failing to beat said opponent-with-an-aura to the looming contest, even if many-to-most of the results had nothing to do with the current iteration of the side concerned. Brazil intimidates most opponents, but not unnaturally especially those with little-to-no history of winning against them: a history of losses is psychological baggage that just magnifies the size of the present day task that faces the opponent taking them on. Croatia has failed to win in any of their 5 attempts to do so against the French, '98 was simply the biggest of all their failures (and most relevant to this event). The French are playing in their 3rd WC final out of the last 6. Croatia, if they made it, would be playing in their first ever. Obvious which team of the two would be more intimidated by the atmosphere of the event & the quality of their opponent than the other, and one's knowledge of the recent accomplished nature of their opponent's WC efforts couldn't help but further enlarge their perception/s of the nature of task before them.

As I pointed out, Croatia was nervous playing Denmark. This was an observation/assertion made by their former coach who's working as a pundit for the BBC (or ITV? either one) this WC, and he said it didn't surprise him that their mentality wasn't the strongest: he stated his belief it was a weakness of the team. If Croatia could show significant nerves for a R16 game against Denmark, then they'll certainly display them in a WC final. As I've typed this reply, England scored as early a goal as they could ever have hoped for to start this SF, so it's been yet another nervous start for the Croats.

I could've written all this out in my previous post, instead I codified it into a very quick sentence. I see now that, as with my goalkeeping miscall, was a mistake.

Edit: FTR, Croatia had won 2 of their previous 4 games against (and never been beaten to nil by) England prior to the SF just gone.
 
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PaintCrew

Well-Known Member
#94
If this price keeps going up I might have to take a nibble of Croats ML even though I already have some Croats +650 to win the cup. I see +371 right now...that feels way too high to me but maybe none of them will even be able to walk on Sunday?
 

braves

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
#97
I don’t think Croatia will be intimidated by France

Could be a mentality of happy to be there for Croatia , but France in the collection of great international teams this century is pretty far down the list, so really nothing to be intimidated about if you are Crotia

The pressure on France for sure , enough so that if Deschamps blows this one he probably is out of a job
 

BetCrimes1984

CTG Big Brother Moderator
Staff member
#98
France in the collection of great international teams this century is pretty far down the list

France is playing their 2nd WC final out of 5 this century. That's as many final appearances as anyone else (Germany).

Since the WC went to 32 teams (1986), France has made 3 finals. That equals Brazil & Argentina, is bettered only by Germany (4), and is better than Italy (2), Spain (1) & Holland (1).

France had a poor WC history prior to Platini's generation, but since then (1982, when they made the semis and were cynically denied a final spot by Germany) they're up there amongst the best.
 

braves

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
#99
France in the collection of great international teams this century is pretty far down the list

France is playing their 2nd WC final out of 5 this century. That's as many final appearances as anyone else (Germany).

Since the WC went to 32 teams (1986), France has made 3 finals. That equals Brazil & Argentina, is bettered only by Germany (4), and is better than Italy (2), Spain (1) & Holland (1).

France had a poor WC history prior to Platini's generation, but since then (1982, when they made the semis and were cynically denied a final spot by Germany) they're up there amongst the best.
Im talking about this particular France team not the one in 00 or 06

I certainly agree they are a powerhouse as a football nation along with Germany, Spain and Brazil but I dont think this particular team is “great” compared to the rest this century. I think that’s what made this World Cup so great , is that even the so called best teams in the world really weren’t that far ahead of everyone else , hence why I just don’t see Croatia being intimidated by them
 
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GWarner27

Meatballin' in Celtics Stadium
Now that we know both games, I'll start with the one that matters.

CRO had the huge comeback and i'm sure everyone who thought they'd be fatigued are expecting they'll even be more fatigued for the ship. I wasn't too worried about that and feel justified when seeing Vrsaljko in the lineup despite everybody assuming he'd be out along with CRO making zero substitutions until extra time.

Modric was the sparkplug, but he served the flanks quite a bit instead of dominating possession. I imagine that was due to the ENG defense keying off him, but things looked bleak until Perisic found the back of the net. FRA should use a similar strategy, but I've been really impressed with their defense this tournament and asking CRO to break through their CBs on crosses could be a very tall order.

FRA got on the board with a header off a corner then held on for the victory to advance to the final. They had opportunities to add a second, but blocked shots and Courtois played a huge role in keeping BEL in the game until the end. Those headers seem to be extremely difficult to predict, all I know is that if you have more of them then you have more chances to find the net. The FRA defense has defended very well and I'd expect they will make it more difficult to recreate this than the CRO backline will, but I think it's too hard to rely on a corner kick.

The easiest goals come from counters, which both of these teams have shown they can do. I almost want to say that is what Deschamps has decided to play for as he's chosen defensive lineups over offensive the entire tournament and has appeared to bottle up his own offense at times this tournament. That certainly limits the margin of error, but FRA with a lead has been nearly impossible to beat (and also equalize). Just ask the most talented offensive team in the tournament, BEL, whom they blanked.

DeBruyne is a better playmaker than Modric, at least in terms of setting up teammates. He and crosses from Mertens were the best chances BEL could build, but I'm not sure that will be an efficient way for CRO to create offense considering the overwhelming BEL talent. I'm struggling to come up with ways that CRO will score besides set pieces or FRA mistakes. The normal run of play is an option, especially on the counter, but I'm concerned that it will become a crossing contest if FRA pulls ahead.

Offensively, Pogba in an open game is a concern. I'm not sure we'll see that, but I don't think he'll have to help on defense as much as he did vs BEL against a less dynamic attack. Griezmann is scary because he can strike from anywhere, which puts a lot of pressure on a defense despite him not being a constant threat. Giroud hasn't done much in this tournament, but I'm not as afraid of the CRO central defenders like I would be on other teams. Besides these three, I'm not sure there's a lot of offense to fear on this side either and the CRO defense has been great despite lacking the fanfare of big names.

I'm strictly in the "life is too short for unders" camp, but the nice thing about soccer is there is no overtime to worry about on under bets. The biggest concern would be a team jumping ahead 1-0 and then the other overextending until they're trailing 2-0. Same could be said about the equalizer, so preventing that first goal for as long as possible sounds like the key. Neither team is here because they outscored the competition to cover a leaky defense, plus nerves and pressure and a month of intense matches every four days also likely means everyone is carrying a knock or two. The total probably sits above 2, but even with all the eyes on it i don't think it hits 2.5.

If offense isn't going to be the name of the game, that also makes any sort of spread even more important. Since CRO closed +0.25 to ENG and FRA was favored on the pick-line to BEL, i'm expecting FRA to at least be -0.25 if not laying half a goal. At +0.5 with reaching ET or winning in regulation meaning a win, it'll be hard for me to avoid backing the dog. FRA should be favored, but I can see CRO winning or drawing a low-scoring game that seems ticketed for ET
 
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