UEFA 2018 World Cup Qualification

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

  1. HandofAbel

    HandofAbel Member

    Liverpool FC
    Portugal
    Jun 19, 2017
    eu estou aqui

    Thanks for this information
     
  2. Desere

    Desere Red Card

    sampdoria
    Italy
    Oct 16, 2017
    What do you all make of Italy? Being an Italian fan, I'm interested to know people's thoughts on the state of our national team atm. We haven't had to go through a playoff route for 20 years, France ended up winning that world cup incidently.


    hmmm, omens perhaps. I'd pick France to win it next year tbh.
     
  3. Desere

    Desere Red Card

    sampdoria
    Italy
    Oct 16, 2017
    My thoughts on Italy are we are a joke. Getting smashed 3-0 by Spain, scraping wins against sub-par nations. No one will fear playing us. That being said, no one will still want to draw us. We're the team all the second seeds want to avoid.

    Our manager is the reason we suck. Our players are still good, but he has no idea.
     
  4. Italy-Azzurri-Fan

    Nov 15, 2014
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    Italy
    Its really hard to judge our team at the moment. One can say that we are a joke and are not good because of the draw with Macedonia and the lost to Spain. However though I have no idea why people expect us to beat Spain in Spain. The amount of talent Spain has is enormous and I wonder did people really think we were going to beat Spain with the talent they have in front of their own fans? I wished, but if you look at reality it would have been a really small chance, even if Conte was still our manager. On neutral ground or in Italy, we would have a good chance, but in Spain, the chances of beating them were probably 20% at the most.

    The draw with Macedonia was horrific, however though in qualifying we have a history of not playing too well and dropping points. It really is nothing new. Yes we didn't top the group this time, but this is the first time in a long time we were in the same group with another powerhouse like Spain. Conte coached us during Euro 2016 qualifying campaign and we failed to beat Croatia at home and in Croatia, and failed to beat Bulgaria away. I do believe Conte is probably a better coach overall, but I honestly do not think we would have turned out much differently if Conte was our manager.

    If Conte was our manager, maybe we would have beaten Spain instead of drawn them at home, and beaten Macedonia, however no way would we have surpassed Spain on goal difference.

    Also not to mention that our squad is going through a huge transition with many new players coming in and adjusting. It all takes time. Before the World Cup, we will likely have at least two weeks for our team to prepare, and we will be playing much better. History says we always play better in the actual tournament.

    Last time we went through a playoff was 1998, and we were arguably the second best team there. Only team that actually gave France a good game. France beat Brazil 3-0 in the final. Also not to mention that R. Baggio was struggling with fitness and therefore he did not start that game. I believe we could have even beaten France if R. Baggio was fit.

    Now truthly do I think Ventura is the best man for this job? No I do not. Do I think he is good enough to be successful? Yes as long as the team is united and plays their best.

    I gotta say that I think this team is quite a bit better than what we had in 2014 World Cup and Euro 2012 even. Despite making the final in Euro 2012, I was not impressed by the way we were playing in many of the games, and I really think most of it was a fluke. Against Germany we were having the game of our lives, but other than that I wasn't too impressed. In 2014 World Cup, our play was atrocious, especially against Costa Rica.
     
  5. faiyez

    faiyez Member

    Feb 16, 2010
    Costa Rica
    Club:
    LD Alajuelense
    Country:
    Japan
    #205 faiyez, Oct 17, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
    Sometimes I read a post in big soccer, and can't help but entertain the notion that people are commenting from an alternate dimension.



    tl;dr an abundance of overdramatic begging, bawling to the ref to end the match.

    As for the Italian National Team... well, you just pay a little mind to what their fans have been thinking lately.
     
    verde-rubro repped this.
  6. Desere

    Desere Red Card

    sampdoria
    Italy
    Oct 16, 2017
    I disagree. If you look at 1998, Paraguay took France until the 114th minute before they lost via a golden goal. Croatia were the only team to actually lead France in that torunament. Yes we pushed france at times, took them to penalties, but they were easily the better team and deserved to put us away if not for some poor finishing from Guivarch, Djorkaeff and maybe Dugary it might have been.

    In 2012, I disagree again. We held spain to a draw in the opener, were the only team to lead against them. The only team to score against them, that was the best anyone played against Spain, including Portugal who took them to a shotoout. Marchisio could have easily won it for us at the end, just as easily as Torres could have won it for Spain. Against Croatia we should have went 2-0 up when cassano scored but was adjudged to be offside in the lead up play when he wasn't { another player was } We also played england off the park amassing 40 shots on goal. We should have won that game by 2 or 3 goals. We drew some games, but played good football. We created far better chances than germany did too in the semi and should have won by about 3 goals.

    I mentioned what we did to croatia in qualifying late 2015, we were denied a goal from El Sharraway, then croatia score from an offside goal at the other end. Drawing with Bulgaria, we did that in 2008 also qualifying for 2010. We draw games away like anything. Ireland in 2009, Hungary in 2001, the list goes on and on. You mentioned yourself even when we won the world cup, that we drew away to Scotland and Norway. That is what we do. What we don't do though, is get hammered by three goals in qualifiers. 2006 away to France we lost 3-1, with another bs offside goal given against us then a non penalty call when it was 2-1. Despite this, we lost by two goals. Not three. Since Holland 2008, losing by three goals has been something that we have did but not in major games. Going back to brazil in 1970, that's a pretty big gap. We've lost by 3 goals to brazil at the confed cup in 2009, although it was just the confed. 3-0 to russia on the eve of 2012 euros, but it was a friendly. I think maybe Uruguay beat us 3-0 in a friendly too. I'm not sure. But again, we don't lose by three with the rare exception of holland in 2008 in major games.

    This clown, is exactly that. A clown. With him, missing the world cup is a real possibility.
     
  7. calabrese8

    calabrese8 Member+

    Feb 9, 2008
    Vancouver
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    Italy
    Ventura is a huge clown. The problem though lies deeper than it appears on the surface. I would say he is doing as well as he can (and with systems he has used in past so not a surprise). perhaps it is the FIGC / Tavecchio who hired this incompetent “coach” who are to blame.
     
  8. dinamo_zagreb

    dinamo_zagreb Member+

    Jun 27, 2010
    San Jose, CA / Zagreb, Croatia
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Croatia
    The draw starts now, live on Eurosport.

    Sweden, please!
     
  9. dinamo_zagreb

    dinamo_zagreb Member+

    Jun 27, 2010
    San Jose, CA / Zagreb, Croatia
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Croatia
    And of course it's Greece.

    NIR - SUI
    CRO - GRE
    DEN - ROI
    SWE - ITA
     
  10. verde-rubro

    verde-rubro BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Jan 15, 2005
    LONDON
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
  11. Kung

    Kung Member

    Nov 3, 2014
    Club:
    Hammarby IF
    Country:
    Sweden
    It would be fun to be lucky in the draws for once.. bye bye the world cup
     
  12. faiyez

    faiyez Member

    Feb 16, 2010
    Costa Rica
    Club:
    LD Alajuelense
    Country:
    Japan
    As if things weren't bad enough for them, Italy get the toughest draw.
     
  13. Italy-Azzurri-Fan

    Nov 15, 2014
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    Italy
    Sweden is the toughest draw really? Ireland is a lot tougher. Might of been one of the easiest actually.
     
    Hidegkuti78 repped this.
  14. faiyez

    faiyez Member

    Feb 16, 2010
    Costa Rica
    Club:
    LD Alajuelense
    Country:
    Japan
    Yeah, based on their qualifying route and the rankings used to seed.

    The easiest on paper, of course, would have been Greece.
     
    Samurai Warrior repped this.
  15. Italy-Azzurri-Fan

    Nov 15, 2014
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    Italy
    On paper I actually think it would have been Northern Ireland.

    However if you look at the teams qualification games, I think Ireland is the team we really want to avoid. They know how to get the results they need even when they are dominated.

    I was honestly hoping for either Sweden or Northern Ireland. Greece I don't know, but they have surprised quite a bit and the way they play could cause us problems.
     
  16. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    We're all Croatian for the next month. :cool:
     
    Philip J. Fry repped this.
  17. faiyez

    faiyez Member

    Feb 16, 2010
    Costa Rica
    Club:
    LD Alajuelense
    Country:
    Japan
    FUN FACT: Italy have not missed a World Cup since 1958.

    Yes, the one in Sweden.
     
  18. world soccer magazines

    Italy
    Oct 31, 2016
    I fear for this Italy up against Sweden.

    Imagine a World Cup without Italy but Panama.
     
  19. Kung

    Kung Member

    Nov 3, 2014
    Club:
    Hammarby IF
    Country:
    Sweden
    What would the world cup be without Toivonen?..

    Our qualification campagn looks more like being at the final tournament after the group stage. Facing France, Netherlands and Italy.
     
  20. Nani_17

    Nani_17 Member+

    Nov 3, 2011
    Club:
    Real Madrid
     
  21. Hidegkuti78

    Hidegkuti78 Member

    Sep 2, 2015
    Club:
    ACF Fiorentina
    It's not a matter of which team is better in absolute terms, but more about the tactical matchup.
    Ireland can get very defensive if needed and that is a situation that Italy hates.
    Sweden is likely to leave more space.
    Current Italy, with the Belotti-Immobile duo, love space behind the defensive line.
     
    Nani_17 repped this.
  22. Italy-Azzurri-Fan

    Nov 15, 2014
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    Italy
    Hmm possibly. I mean no way is Sweden a piece of cake, however I would back Ireland over Sweden in a playoff.

    Ireland have some good players. They are pretty good at being organized and playing on the counter. Set pieces is also something they are a huge threat from. Martin O Neill is a smart manager and always has good game plans. Let me tell you Ireland beat us in Euro 2016 and completely dominated Sweden. I know we had nothing to play for really as we already were top of the group, but still. Their record is also pretty good against us. We beat them in 2012 but in 2010 World Cup qualification they drew us both home and away. I am telling you Ireland are really good at getting results. Also what Hidegkuti78 said, Ireland are the type of team that will cause us problems.

    Sweden is definitely more likely to leave more space at the back, and while they are no pushovers, they aren't the Sweden from before. This Sweden is quite a bit weaker than 2014 World Cup Qualifying Sweden, and even that Sweden failed to make the World Cup. I think we really just need to be careful in defense especially when it comes to set pieces.

    I guess we'll see when the time comes, but honestly I am backing Ireland to win the playoff over Denmark. First leg 1-1 draw in Denmark, and then Ireland takes a 2-1 win at home.
     
    Nani_17 repped this.
  23. Hideo

    Hideo Member

    Apr 30, 2010
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    Country:
    England
    Got to feel for Sweden coming through a tough group only to have to face Italy. They've been rather unfortunate in play-off draws in recent years.

    I'd expect Croatia to see off Greece. They certainly have the ability, but there is a bit of turmoil too, with a change of coach and the lacklustre game against Finland this month which cost them the group.

    Ireland v Denmark is a tough one to call. On the one hand Denmark seem to be one of the form teams at the moment, having come back from a bad start in qualifying to put a good run of results together. The pinnacle was the 4-0 thumping of Poland which is a hell of a result. Ireland won't let Denmark settle though, and will play spoiling tactics as against Wales recently. I hope Denmark win through but it's very much in the balance.

    On paper Northern Ireland are no match for Switzerland, but it's not played on paper. They are the very definition of a team being greater than the sum of its parts and in Michael O'Neill they have a coach who knows how to get the very best out of them. I still favour Switzerland, just, but again, this one will be a close one to call.

    Sweden - Italy is the same but I just can't see Italy not finding a way to get the job done.
     
  24. world soccer magazines

    Italy
    Oct 31, 2016
    I am Irish and also an Italy fan and I disagree.

    Ireland didn't dominate Sweden at euro 2016; it was 50-50.

    Also, this Ireland team are crap. We have one really good player who is out with a broken leg (Coleman). We do not keep possession; we hoof the ball long and hope for the best. We aren't creative and we aren't technical. Witness our away performance against Georgia to see the full extent of our mediocrity.

    We were in a weak group and if we were any good we could have won it. Wales were the better team against us in both meetings but luckily they were reduced to ten men in our home match and then in the away match they were missing Bale and we got one chance and scored. Serbia beat us on her home ground with 10 men.

    The only thing we have is spirit and determination.

    I would have preferred Italy to get any team but Sweden. I think they could have handled the others but Sweden I worry about.
     
    Ceres repped this.
  25. Italy-Azzurri-Fan

    Nov 15, 2014
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    Italy
    I predict Italy, Croatia, Switzerland, and Ireland.

    Literally I have no idea what happened in the game that Denmark beat Poland 4-0. Didn't watch, but other than that Denmark have looked mediocre at best. Failed to beat Romania at home even. Regardless of how they smashed Poland, I believe it was a fluke.

    There is usually one upset in the playoffs (unseeded team wins), and I believe that will be Ireland over Denmark.

    Switzerland will nick it somehow vs Northern Ireland by some luck. It will be 0-0 for a looooonnng time, and Switzerland will find a way to make it somehow.

    Croatia should pull it off, and so should us!
     

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