Discussion in 'World Cup 2018 - Russia' started by NickK, Dec 2, 2017.
Lesson of this thread is for me to not make any bold predictions But, alas, I intend to ignore the lesson and merely expect Qatar (as opposed to Russia) to show the wisdom of my predictions
Brazil to win it all.
But I always think Brazil has a chance .
Let's have some fun. Being an aspiring academic (and a massive pedant) I decided to give you a "grade" based on my perception of the events and the accuracy of your predictions. I hope that you will find it at least slightly amusing.
Red = very wrong
Blue = partially correct
The color key above is to give you my general subjective, qualitative impressions in addition to the more formal grade.
I will give you a number grade out of 100 and a letter grade on an A-F scale. I numbered your predictions above. 60/100 is a D, i.e. a "passing grade".
You made 6 predictions. 100/6 = 16.67. For simplicity's sake, you will start with a default score of 4/100 (if you got 0 points on the rest of the prediction). I will then add points based on the accuracy and reasonableness of your predictions. Each prediction is worth up to 16 points.
Alright, here we go.
1. At least 3 of the quarter-finalists in Russia will not be from the list of usual suspects from UEFA or Conmebol. One of them will be Iran
There are really two components to this prediction, the prediction about Iran's performance, and the more general prediction regarding the WC QFs. I will give you a grade out of 4 points for the Iran component and a grade out of 12 points for the more general portion, for a total of 16 points on this prediction.
Iran portion: I will give you 2/4 on this one. While Iran failed to advance from its group, they did significantly over perform the expectations of myself and I believe most people on this forum.
Your prediction was within the realms of reasonableness at the time in my view based on the bracket. If Iran had scored its last-gasp chance which came off the post, we would have had a quite intriguing fixture with a Russian side which would have been under huge pressure to beat the resolute Iranians at home. Nonetheless, as Iran was ultimately eliminated in the group stage you cannot get more than 2 points on that one.
“Quarterfinalists outside the usual suspects” portion: 3/12 points. The only real surprise for me was Russia, and Sweden to a lesser extent. The rest on paper were teams that more or less could have expected to be there before the tournament started. And no one from outside UEFA or CONMEBOL reached the quarterfinals.
So you have 9/20 points so far including the 4 free points you get by default. Needs some work, but nothing insurmountable thus far.
2. Nigeria will make the semi-final in Russia. Maybe even the final.
Pretty self-explanatory. You will have no complaints on this one I assume. I’ll give you 4/16 points. To give you less than that you would have had to have said something truly absurd like Panama reaching the quarterfinals or something like that.
3. Messi and Chris Ronaldo will be forgettable and the players that will shine the most in Russia will not be ones that are household names right now.
Messi and Ronaldo indeed were nothing exceptional at the 2018 WC. The former managed one measly goal against Nigeria and his pk miss cost them the win against lowly Iceland. The latter also missed a crucial penalty against Iran and was pretty ordinary apart from the admittedly quite exciting opening game against Spain.
I would probably count Mbappe as not being a household name prior to 2018 despite his excellent performances for Monaco in the 2016-17 season (UCL semifinal and Ligue 1 title).
On the whole, however, the latter stages of the tournament were still filled with the big names from the EPL and La Liga, even if Croatia was not expected to reach the WC final.
I’ll be nice and give you 13/16. This was a decent if somewhat exaggerated prediction.
You have improved to 26/52 points. Your Nigeria prediction was quite costly however.
4. Both CAF and AFC fans will be reasonably pleased with their performances in Russia despite having 3 group stage match ups against one another.
8/8 for AFC, given pre-tournament expectations and your relatively modest prediction of fans being “reasonably pleased”.
I and I imagine many others did not rate AFC particularly highly after the debacle that was the 2014 WC for AFC teams.
All AFC teams performed respectably, even Saudi Arabia in its latter two games. Australia was the worst performer and the only AFC team to fail to notch a win, but still performed credibly.
Your CAF prediction as you could have imagined will cost you, however. I will be nice and give you 3/8 points on that one. In the grand scheme of things a confed which on average only sends 1 representative to the knockout stage instead sending 0 one year is not all that much of a shock when the sample size is so small (15 WC group games among 5 CAF teams).
That takes you to 11/16 on that question and 37/68 overall. You will need a little bit more to get a passing grade...
5. Concacaf, which had its best tournament last time, will have a very poor showing in Russia.
Panama and Costa Rica indeed were quite poor. Mexico maintained its knockout stage streak however, and I believe from your other posts that you had predicted a group stage exit. 13.5/16
6. Neither Conmebol (which will have a rather poor tournament overall) nor UEFA will be dominant by any stretch of the imagination. More so Conmebol than UEFA, but in reality both.
By far the poorest of your predictions. The reality was 4 UEFA semifinalists, 6 quarterfinalists, with the other 2 from CONMEBOL. 4/5 CONMEBOL in R16, 10/14 UEFA. 2/16
Your overall score added up to 52.5/100. Alas, it is with great regret that I must inform you that you did not pass my examination . #2 and #6 were especially costly.
You have been more than generous with your grades. But on this one item I will quibble with you: you are double-penalizing me based on the quarterfinal lineup. Otherwise, a confederation that goes into the tournament with Brazil (highest ranked team and top favorite along with Germany) and WC-14 finalist Argentina and sees Argentina barely make the R16 and none of its teams in the semis can be said to have done poorly compared to its ranking, But your overall grade was more than fair
I think the recent World Cups have shown us that when the WC is in Europe, picking against UEFA teams is not a smart move. However, if the venue is outside Europe, the results are more balanced (UEFA's championship trophies in Brazil and South Africa notwithstanding). So in Qatar, I think we will see some breakthroughs from CAF and AFC, with 3 or 4 R16s and 1-2 quarter-finalists. Those are modest advances perhaps, but they are still developments in the right direction.
I started my predictions with this line. Despite the many details I got wrong, I submit if Qatar also shows a majority of favorites stumble, but also produces the kind of lineups in the final rounds that we have never seen before (e.g., a non-traditional finalists from even outside of UEFA) and perhaps a new World Cup winner, maybe I can claim I was onto something. After all, WC18 did see all the older traditional powers do poorly (Italy didn't qualify for the first time in memory, Germany GS exit for for the first time in memory, Brazil and Argentina eliminated before semis, Croatia in the final, ...) So if Qatar produces even fresher new faces such as US, Nigeria, or Iran, with deep runs, maybe hints of it can in retrospect be said to have first emerged in WC18 in Russia
I remember, incidentally, thinking at the time that Russia will prove the last hurrah for Brazil-Germany, both making the final.
I think the best teams (and they all come from Europe and South America right now) will dominate wherever the tournament is played. I think its the second tier UEFA teams that tend to not go as well outside Europe. I'm confident that at least 5 UEFA teams will make the quarter finals. I also think that 2 or 3 will finish bottom of their groups.
Actually it's the opposite, for some reason. The 2nd tier UEFA sides seem to make the 2nd round at about the same rate whether matches are at a European venue or away from Europe. It's the 1st tier UEFA teams that don't do as well in ROW. See below, with the first tier teams in bold:
At European venues:
1998 in France: 5 for 15 failed to make 2nd round: Scotland, Austria, Bulgaria, Spain, Belgium
2006 in Germany: 4 for 14: Poland, Serbia and Montenegro, Czech Republic, Croatia
2018 in Russia: 4 for 14: Iceland, Serbia, Germany, Poland
At ROW venues:
2002 in Japan/Korea: 6 for 15: France, Slovenia, Poland, Portugal, Croatia, Russia
2010 in South Africa: 7 for 13: France, Greece, Slovenia, Serbia, Denmark, Italy. Switzerland
2014 in Brazil: 7 for 13: Croatia, Spain, England, Italy, Bosnia, Portugal, Russia
2nd tier sides failed to make the 2nd round 11 times in Europe, and 12 times in ROW. The 1st tier teams failed to make the 2nd round only twice in Europe, but 8 times in ROW.
My guess is we will see more 1st tier UEFA failures in Qatar.
This is exactly what I'm feeling. Certain UEFA powerhouses I see having early exits (group stage or Round of 16).
I'm confident about England and Germany going very far. For the rest of UEFA powerhouses I can't rule out that they possibly underwhelm. I do think that at least one UEFA powerhouse will have a group stage exit.
As of now I could imagine the quarterfinals to look like this:
- 5 UEFA sides (two of them not powerhouses)
- 1 surprise from AFC, CAF or CONCACAF (less likely CONMEBOL)
As of now I think Canada, Iran, South Korea, Nigeria and Senegal if they qualify battle it out for that spot to be the surprise of the tournament. Maybe some North African team can join the race but as of now I don't see it to be honest.
That looks to me a reasonable line-up for the last eight. If it's a mad tournament with lots of surprises we could have even more suprises from the ROW like it was the case the last time the World Cup was in Asia in 2002 with South Korea, Senegal and the USA all making the last eight.
What are you guys on? There are no surprises. In a 7 game format tournament, a certain amount of "surprises" are expected. It has been like that since ever. It's very naive believing there is any kind of new trend here.
What you label as a powerhouse is merely a narrative based on the past "surprises".. therfore, it is to be expected that the hirierachy continues to get shaken up, because the hirierachy in the first place was established on the loose grounds of unpredictibility.
Also, resources nations put into developing football in their country changes over time. Uruguay used to be the powerhouse in football. They are not anymore.
Just because Brazil and Germany have the best record in WCs, it doesn't mean that something is going on if they don't win every single WC.