UEFA 2018 World Cup Qualification

Discussion in 'UEFA and Europe' started by Italy-Azzurri-Fan, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. Italy-Azzurri-Fan

    Nov 15, 2014
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    Italy
    Hey All,
    Sorry to be late to start this thread, although I am surprised nobody has started one already.

    So here are the groups:

    Group A: Netherlands, France, Sweden, Bulgaria, Belarus, Luxembourg

    Group B: Portugal, Switzerland, Hungary, Faroe Islands, Latvia, Andorra

    Group C: Germany, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Norway, Azerbaijan, San Marino

    Group D: Wales, Austria, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Moldova, Georgia

    Group E: Romania, Denmark, Poland, Montenegro, Armenia, Kazakhstan

    Group F: England, Slovakia, Scotland, Slovenia, Lithuania, Malta

    Group G: Spain, Italy, Albania, Israel, Macedonia, Liechtenstein

    Group H: Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece, Estonia, Cyprus, Gibraltar

    Group I (Group of Death): Croatia, Iceland, Ukraine, Turkey, Finland, Kosovo


    So these are my predictions for each group:

    Group A:
    I think its safe to say that France will win this group. They are really above all other times by quite a bit, especially considering the crisis that both the Netherlands and Sweden are facing. I must say that second place will be fought between Netherlands and Sweden, and I am honestly having a serious hard time picking one. They both suck if you ask me. Ibrahimovic has retired so that will be one huge less threat Sweden will have. Robben is extremely injury prone and the question is, can he stay healthy? Also Bulgaria is not a team to be underestimated and can be good on their day especially at home. Bulgaria might steal some points off of some of the bigger teams. We will get a really good idea tomorrow, but for now since Strootman is back from injury, and there is still a chance Robben will be able to help the Netherlands, I will back Netherlands to take second place. Sweden is just extremely weak even with ZLATAN, so imagine how much weaker without him.
    1. France to Qualify, 2. Netherlands to the Playoff

    Group B:

    Before Euro 2016, I think we all thought that Portugal and Switzerland would ease this group, but after watching Hungary, I think they could surprise a few. Portugal won Euro 2016 though, and I see a lot of promising talent coming: Renato Sanches and Andre Gomes are huge ones, and of course we still can't forget that Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world. I think Portugal has this group in the bag, and winning Euro 2016 is definitely gonna boost their confidence. Switzerland has a really good defense, but seems to struggle in attack. Hungary will definitely cause problems for the Swiss and I see them having a hard time breaking Hungary down. However I think Switzerland will do just enough to reach the playoffs.
    1. Portugal to Qualify, 2. Switzerland to the Playoff

    Group C:

    Now again, I am pretty confident Germany has this group in the bag. They are a step up from all other teams, and maybe they are not the 2014 Germany who won the world cup, but they still have world class players, and usually perform better in the World Cup compared to the European Cup. Also we can tell that they are still a world class team from that classy 3-0 win away to Norway last night. Now the fight for second place will be between Czech Republic and Northern Ireland. I think a lot of this will depend on the health of Thomas Rosicky who is a huge key player for the Czechs. Both teams appear to have a great defense, and can be good on their day. Also Czech Republic is the kind of team that does well against great teams but can flop against teams they are favorites against. They drew last night, and I actually watched that game. To be honest though I just have this feeling that the Czechs will drop some points against Norway, but Northern Ireland will beat Norway twice. I am also not very confident that Rosicky will be healthy for all the big games, so I think Northern Ireland will just edge this due to superior tactics, and make the playoffs.
    1. Germany to Qualify, 2. Northern Ireland to the Playoff

    Group D:
    Now this is a very tough group to call. Wales seemed impressive in Euro 2016, but to be fair they had an easy group, and were not challenged that much. They did beat Belgium which is not something to be overlooked, but Belgium was managed horribly, and very disorganized. I LITERALLY have no idea what to expect from Serbia. They are very inconsistent. Austria are mediocre at best, and are not that good of a team. Republic of Ireland can be really strong at home, but away from home they are ok. So here is what I think: Wales do have Bale, Ramsey, and Williams, and I think thats enough to get through this group. Wales will win this group but not comfortably, they will scrape through. Republic of Ireland seem to have a good coach that is capable of upsetting any team in this group, and I think they will get the better of Serbia, and Austria, and reach the playoffs.
    1. Wales to Qualify, 2. Republic of Ireland to the Playoff

    Group E:

    Again this group is not too easy to call, however I have a strong feeling on how this group will end. The only thing is that Kazakhstan is capable of taking points from any team at home because of the conditions, and it showed vs Poland yesterday. I am extremely confident though that Poland are the team to beat in this group, and the likes of Milik, Lewandowski, and Blaszczykowski are definitely enough to win this group comfortably. The draw against Kazakhstan was just a wake up call. Denmark and Romania will both take points of each other and will likely struggle against Montenegro and Kazakhstan as well. Also Armenia does have Mkhitaryan who is not a player to be underestimated. No team here will reach the playoffs because they just aren't consistent enough, and the worst second placed team will be in this group, especially with Kazakhstan on the rise.
    1. Poland to Qualify

    Group F:

    Before yesterday, I was having a little doubts about England winning this group, but since their toughest game was arguably yesterday against Slovakia away and they were able to nick 3 points, I think they will win this group ok. Slovenia and Scotland will also give England problems, but the young talent England have will prove to be too much for the other teams. Slovakia have a great team, but the problem is age and a lot of their players cannot keep up with the pace of the game. Slovenia is so so. Scotland don't seem like a big threat at all to me. I'll say England to win this group, and Slovakia to reach the playoffs.
    1. England to Qualify, 2. Slovakia to the Playoff

    Group G:
    Before I start with this, I just would like to say that Albania do have a good coach and did extremely well to reach Euro 2016 and even get three points against Romania. However a number of Albanian players will be moving to the Kosovo National Team since Kosovo became a FIFA Member, which will weaken Albania. So other than that the real question is who will qualify automatically, and who will reach the playoffs. Spain and Italy are both great teams. They also both have new managers. To tell you the truth, Italy are superior in defense and midfield, while both have promising young players in attack. The difference is that Spain's bench has extreme talent, that Italy's bench doesn't have. However according to the superstition this appears to be a good era for the Italians, and their young talent seems really promising to back it up. I think Ventura is another really good tactical manager and will be able to out-coach the Spaniards at least in the home leg which will send Italy to qualify, and Spain will reach the playoffs. Both teams will dominate the rest of the group comfortably.
    1. Italy to Qualify, 2. Spain to the Playoff

    Group H:
    De Javu. This group is really de javu. Belgium, Bosnia, and Cyprus were all in the same group in Euro 2016 Qualifiers, while Greece was with Bosnia in 2014 world cup qualification. So despite the problems Belgium are having, this group is easy enough for them to win comfortably. The likes of Hazard, De Bruyne, Nainggolan, and many other players are enough to handle this group even without a game plan, although their new manager MIGHT be better. Bosnia and Greece will be fighting for second place, but Greece did collapse in Euro 2016 qualifying, and I think Bosnia-Herzegovina will get the better out of them. Bosnia are also is some sort of shambles but they aren't as bad as Greece.
    1. Belgium to Qualify, 2. Bosnia-Herzegovina to the Playoff

    Group I:
    This is definitely the GROUP OF DEATH. Croatia, Iceland, Ukraine, and Turkey were all part of Euro 2016. I must say that Ukraine seem to be a joke of a team. Konoplyanka and Yarmolenko are good players, but they always seem to fail to communicate and the team always seem to fail to get the quality of those players in to the game. Fomenko sucked tactically, but they have a new manager now. However I don't think it will be enough, because the group is tough, and both Iceland and Turkey are better tactically. Croatia should win this group without a doubt. They seem to be a growing team, and they have the likes of Modric, Rakitic, Mandzukic, Perisic, and Corluka. Pjaca also seems to be very promising at a young age. I think Iceland will slightly edge second place over Turkey, because Turkey always seems to be scared at the back in defense, and Iceland just have the confidence from Euro 2016 and the team knows each other very well.
    1. Croatia to Qualify, 2. Iceland to the Playoff


    So those are my predictions. What do you all think? I'll be back later, but I have to watch some of these qualifiers now.
     
    Penaldu repped this.
  2. Outburstz

    Outburstz Member

    Jun 22, 2014
    Country:
    United States
    Why are Iceland and Ukraine playing in an empty stadium?
     
  3. hwkn

    hwkn Member

    Dec 5, 2009
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    The Ukrainian team is being punished for their fans racist behavior in a previous world cup qualifier.
     
  4. LorneMarvello

    LorneMarvello Member+

    Jul 1, 2014
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Country:
    England
    thats the style serbia
     
  5. Italy-Azzurri-Fan

    Nov 15, 2014
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    Italy
    The only surprise today was Turkey taking a point from Croatia at home. I thought Croatia were stronger than that. Anyway its only Game 1 for every team.

    Iceland took a point off Ukraine in Ukraine which I expected. Spain and Italy won their games pretty comfortably. Ireland tied Serbia, but the irish were the better side. Wales won comfortably. So far so good.
     
  6. Forgiven

    Forgiven New Member

    Sep 6, 2016
    Club:
    AC Milan
    Group A

    France
    Netherlands

    Sweden
    Belarus
    Bulgaria
    Luxembourg

    Tough group.France could top it as they are the most consistent one,despite their early struggle with Belarus.Netherlands/Sweden have equal chances to be second,however,I can't see a clear favourite here.Belarus and Bulgaria might steal some points at their home games as well.Belarus could be a factor here.


    Group B


    Switzerland
    Portugal

    Hungary
    Faroe Islands
    Latvia
    Andorra

    Battle for the top spot should be entertaining here.Portugal losing their opener against Switzerland coulld hold them back for a while,Swiss side has the quality to defend that advantage they got today and also score a bunch of goals against the rest of the teams.Hungary is a mediocre team,not a threat for both Portugal and Switzerland.The rest complete the group.




    Group C


    Germany
    Czech Republic

    Nothern Ireland
    Nowray
    Azerbaijan
    San Marino


    Germany with much ease.Unbeaten as well.The case should be between Czech and NI,which Imo is again a 50/50 decision.Czech has more quality and they should be placed second,unless Norway proves me wrong.




    Group D

    Wales
    Republic of Ireland

    Serbia
    Austria
    Georgia
    Moldova


    Strongest one.#4 could be #1 and #1 could be #4.Ranked the teams basing on consistency here.Austria had a bad European Championship and I doubt if they can pull down the likes of Ireland and Wales.Serbia has also a decent team,but never manages to bring their heads together.



    Group E

    Poland
    Denmark
    Romania
    Montenegro
    Khazakhstan
    Armenia.


    Poland is the deepest one out there.Even after the draw against the Khazaks I expect them to qualify atop.Denmark also to bounce back.They have a solid squad,and considering Romania's downside they must grab the opportunity, however here I expect the group without a second best,and that's why the teams will drop points even at Armenia.




    Group F

    England
    Scotland

    Slovakia
    Lithuania
    Slovenia
    Malta



    One more time England without problems will advance to the main stage.Scotland should follow at the play-offs.Slovakia does not threaten I think.They have trouble scoring the ball in the net and that's gonna cost them.


    Group G

    Spain
    Italy

    Isreal
    Albania
    FYROM
    Liechtenstain



    Sad saying this,but the renewed Spanish side might lands us to the play-offs.And I have a feeling that this gonna happen because of their scoring ability,despite I believe Azzuri can steal a point home and away.The rest apart from Israel shouldn't be considered as threats.Even though Albania had a good cycle,talent wise they're miles away even from Israel.

    Group H

    Belgium
    Greece

    Bosnia
    Cyprus
    Estonia
    Gibraltar


    This group is really lucky to have probably the weakest European team there.They're goona score a bunch of goals and that's a serious advantage speaking about the seeding at the second best-placed teams.About the group now,Belgium can go unbeaten here.Their quality is enough for that.Greece and Bosnia are going to fight for the second place as obvious.I'll go with Greece.



    Group I

    Croatia
    Iceland

    Turkey
    Ukraine
    Finland
    Kosovo

    Pretty strong group.Kosovo seemed decent at their first opener ever,fun team.

    Croatia can top this,followed by Iceland.Ukraine(and Turkey) is much less of a team that Iceland.They have both inner issues which seem to handle them back.Talent wise they can both cause problems to Croatia but they lack consistency to survive in such a group.
     
  7. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    United States
    I like Israel, but I don't think they're as good as you think. Albania is 37th in the FIFA Rankings and tied for 55th in the ELO Ratings. Israel is 76th in the FIFA Rankings and tied for 73rd in the ELO Ratings. In the Group Stages of qualifying for World Cup 2014 and Euro 2016, Albania averaged more points per game than Israel, 1.39 to 1.35. I used points per game rather than total points because Albania was in a group of 5 for Euro 2016. Israel had two draws with Portugal in World Cup 2014 qualifying, but they have also had draws and losses against Cyprus, Latvia, and Azerbaijan. In qualifying for World Cup 2010, Euro 2012, World Cup 2014, and Euro 2016, Israel has finished third or fourth every time. In their four games against the top two teams in each of those four groups, Israel had 0 wins, 6 draws, and 10 losses. Israel already lost 3:1 hosting Italy while Italy was down a man for a while. I would say Israel is more likely to get no points from their three remaining games against Spain and Italy than to get at least 1 point from those games.
     
  8. Forgiven

    Forgiven New Member

    Sep 6, 2016
    Club:
    AC Milan

    I respect your opinion,however I don't think that Albania is basically better.They could be equal.Albania's offensive game is pretty poor I have to say,but their organization inside the field makes them looking better than they actually are.Btw I feel this discussion is kinda pointless,since either 3rd or 4th they are not going to qualify.


    P.S Please dude,don't use FIFA rankings as an evidence.Romania was ranked 5th if I recall correclty somewhere near to Euro's opening game.Wales got into top-10 before settling to their first major competition after 50 years.Not to mention Belgium's constistent top-3...
     
  9. Italy-Azzurri-Fan

    Nov 15, 2014
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    Italy
    I do think Albania is quite a bit better than Israel. Albania isn't great either, but they have coach Di Biasi and are very organized and defense. They don't attack very well, but they do a lot of their scoring from set pieces like corners and free kicks which is not something to be overlooked. Israel is honestly not even that good of a team. To be honest I rate: Greece, Romania, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Scotland, and even Kazakhstan above Israel.
     
  10. keremistanbul

    keremistanbul New Member

    Fenerbahçe
    Turkey
    Sep 6, 2015
    İstanbul
    Club:
    Fenerbahce SK
    Country:
    Turkey
    We(Turkey) will play with Ukraine at home and then we will go to Iceland. Next two games will be very decisive, because remaining games will be Finland and Kosova. I believe we can take 6 points from Finland and Kosova. If we can maintain unbeaten streak against Ukraine and Iceland, it will be a massive boost for team morale.
     
  11. Hideo

    Hideo Member

    Apr 30, 2010
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    Country:
    England
    It will be interesting to see whether England's latest shambles has a significant bearing on their qualifying progress. With Allardyce ditched for being a moron (and leaving with a 100% record no less!) England will be in the hands of the U-21 coach Gareth Southgate for the rest of 2016. That will include qualifiers against Malta (home), Slovenia (away) and Scotland (home), as well as a friendly against Spain.

    While they aren't necessarily the most taxing of fixtures, there must be a little doubt as to how well the team will respond. Slovenia is a potentially tricky trip, while Scotland will always present a different type of challenge to England than they would do to other teams. It could be awkward.
     
  12. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    So Italy v Spain right off the bat on Thursday!

    Group 'I' also has their second round of matches on Thursday. There is a 6-way tie for first right now. :laugh:
     
  13. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    United States
    It will be at 2:45 P.M. with coverage on Fox Sports 1 from 2:30 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. I didn't see confirmation of this, but I'm assuming Italy's Giorgio Chiellini is suspended because he was ejected last month at Israel.
     
  14. edcalvi

    edcalvi Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 1, 2005
    Nevada
  15. Italy-Azzurri-Fan

    Nov 15, 2014
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    Italy
    stream2watch.cc
     
    edcalvi repped this.
  16. Juanele

    Juanele Member+

    Aug 4, 1999
    Colorado, US
    I'll probably get downvoted here (or whatever it is that people do) but Ramos is a liability when he plays for Spain.

    That being said, if Vitolo puts that second goal in then it doesn't matter...
     
  17. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    United States
  18. GreekAttackSux

    Jun 23, 2014
    Club:
    Olympiakos Piraeus
    How do you compare teams like Greece,Sweden with consistent top 2 pot apperances with Kzakhstan Israel and Scotland who are pot 5-6 teams in the previous years? Really bro I think everyone forgot Greece winning 04 , being in euro 08 and 12 and in wcs 10 and 14 (and even doing well in 14). A bad European Campaign and everyone comparing us with pot 5 teams. I mean you didnt expect BVB to literally demote after one bad year, neither do you expect Chelsea to demote this year.
     
    manofsteel repped this.
  19. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    I'm looking forward to your game against Bosnia to get a sense of where you're at ... it's hard to gauge you guys right now but that game could be a decent test.
     
  20. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    United States
    Israel has not been a Pot 5 or 6 team recently. Here is what pot Israel was in for their last seven draws:

    World Cup 2006: Pot 4
    Euro 2008: Pot 4
    World Cup 2010: Pot 2
    Euro 2012: Pot 3
    World Cup 2014: Pot 3
    Euro 2016: Pot 3
    World Cup 2018: Pot 4
     
  21. NaBUru38

    NaBUru38 Member

    Mar 8, 2016
    Las Canteras, Uruguay
    Club:
    Club Nacional de Football
    9 groups is excessive. Most of the matchups are boring.

    There should of 6 groups of six teams. The other teams should play in second division for promotion.
     
    Boloni86 repped this.
  22. NaBUru38

    NaBUru38 Member

    Mar 8, 2016
    Las Canteras, Uruguay
    Club:
    Club Nacional de Football
    Imagine if these were the groups:

    * France, Wales, Slovakia, Albania, Israel, Estonia.
    * Italy, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Montenegro.
    * England, Switzerland, Hungary, Scotland, Turkey, Finland.
    * Portugal, Croatia, Bosnia, Ukraine, Greece, Bulgaria.
    * Spain, Belgium, Iceland, Austria, Serbia, Norway.
    * Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland.

    The top 2 from each group would qualify directly, the four best 3rd placed teams would play for the final spot.
     
    Penaldu repped this.
  23. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

    Jun 7, 2000
    Baltimore
    Club:
    DC United
    Country:
    Gibraltar
    Group A : Big win for France in Holland. That probably sealed the group. It'll be a fight for 2nd between Holland and Sweden

    Group B : Big win for Switzerland in Hungary which probably already eliminated Hungary. Only thing to decide is whether it's Switzerland or Portugal to win group.

    Group C : Easy group for Germany. Azerbaijan is the surprise 2nd place team, but it can't last, can it? 2nd place realistically is a battle between Northern Ireland, Norway and Czech Republic.

    Group D : Might be the most entertaining group out there. Serbia with an impressive home win against Austria is temporarily on the top but you can't rule out Ireland and Wales ...

    Group E : Another open and entertaining group. Montenegro is the biggest surprise group leader, but in the end Poland is probably the most likely to advance directly. Romania not too far behind either.

    Group F : England always dominates in qualifying and this group should be no different. Two impressive results for Slovenia makes them the most likely to advance in 2nd place

    Group G : Spain and Italy. Enough said. Only thing to decide is which order they advance in.

    Group H : Belgium is just pure quality. And Greece is the most bipolar team in Europe. Strong WC, horrible Euro qualification and now sitting on 9 points in 2nd place.

    Group I : Interesting group. Croatia has the most quality to win group. And Iceland the best team mentality to earn 2nd place. It's too early to rule out Ukraine and Turkey, but Iceland just has that special magic right now.
     
  24. Penaldu

    Penaldu New Member

    FC Spartak
    Chile
    Apr 22, 2017
    I agree with you 100%. It's exactly what I think they should do. This qualifying business will gain so much more interest because now it's so boring to watch most of the games.
     
  25. GreekAttackSux

    Jun 23, 2014
    Club:
    Olympiakos Piraeus
    We Drew Bosnia at Home and we Drew (last minute goal from Lukaku) Belgium away.
    What sense did that leave for the soccer fans outside the Group?
     

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