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Milan Are Brilliant
All World Cup 2014 talk in here cool.gif
han2503
Can't wait, really excited for this one, Africa was just one huge let down, so hoping this will be better
Jack Sparrow
I support Team Hodgson. king.gif
han2503
QUOTE (Jack Sparrow @ Jun 2 2014, 10:34 AM) *
I support Team Hodgson. king.gif

puke.gif puke.gif
X-Offender
I fancy Italy. I honestly think they have a really good team this time around.
han2503
QUOTE (X-Offender @ Jun 2 2014, 11:12 AM) *
I fancy Italy. I honestly think they have a really good team this time around.

Don't want to get my hopes up. But I'm hoping for a good run

Just think that a S. American team will win this thing this time around.

I am sort of expecting an implosion of sorts from Spain though. I think there time just has to come to an end sooner rather than later
dst
QUOTE (han2503 @ Jun 2 2014, 10:16 AM) *
Can't wait, really excited for this one, Africa was just one huge let down, so hoping this will be better

I've never been less excited about a WC. Maybe as get closer I will.
kurtsimonw
Germany and France were great. They're the only World Cups I've seen that I thought were great. Japan/Korea was decent.
han2503
QUOTE (dst @ Jun 2 2014, 12:59 PM) *
I've never been less excited about a WC. Maybe as get closer I will.

Well it can't get much closer now as we're only a few days away tongue.gif

QUOTE (kurtsimonw @ Jun 2 2014, 02:08 PM) *
Germany and France were great. They're the only World Cups I've seen that I thought were great. Japan/Korea was decent.

Yep, don't want to sound biased but I think they're organised better in European countries because they actually know what the sport is all about
Danny
Can't wait for this. A football-based distraction from the hell of Milan and Rangers right now.

My picks for the last 4 are Brazil, Germany, Uruguay and Belgium.

I'll also be watching out for Croatia, Portugal, Ghana and USA.

Argentina will flop, Spain will go out at last 8 and England won't get out their group.

Bring it on.
Milan Are Brilliant
QUOTE (kurtsimonw @ Jun 2 2014, 03:08 PM) *
Germany and France were great. They're the only World Cups I've seen that I thought were great. Japan/Korea was decent.

I actually really liked 2002, even with the time zone and the bizarre Spain - Korea game. Germany was great though agree.

Anything, anything, ANYTHING will be an improvement on South Africa though, that was a horrible tournament in many ways.
han2503
QUOTE (Danny @ Jun 2 2014, 04:12 PM) *
Can't wait for this. A football-based distraction from the hell of Milan and Rangers right now.

My picks for the last 4 are Brazil, Germany, Uruguay and Belgium.

I'll also be watching out for Croatia, Portugal, Ghana and USA.

Argentina will flop, Spain will go out at last 8 and England won't get out their group.

Bring it on.

Interested choices Danny

But my guess is that the US won't get out of their group
arivanjj
I understand the home support will get brazil through group stage and round of 16. beyone that i just seeing them flopping. i really don't get why everyone else thinks they're so great but i guess we shall see.

Italy would be my pick for this one.
X-Offender
So, how's Brazil gonna play? I assume:

Cesar
Alves - Luiz - Silva - Marcelo
Ramires - Paulinho
Hulk - Oscar - Neymar
Fred


Meh, it's not that great. Defense looks good, but no-one in that midfield is a world beater, not even Neymar. And they don't have a world-class striker. Fred and Jo FFS?!
han2503
QUOTE (arivanjj @ Jun 3 2014, 12:56 PM) *
I understand the home support will get brazil through group stage and round of 16. beyone that i just seeing them flopping. i really don't get why everyone else thinks they're so great but i guess we shall see.

Italy would be my pick for this one.

I guess their performances in the Confederations Cup really helped along in hyping up their chances. Still I think the home advantage will be huge for them, as well as the other S. American sides

QUOTE (X-Offender @ Jun 3 2014, 01:02 PM) *
So, how's Brazil gonna play? I assume:

Cesar
Alves - Luiz - Silva - Marcelo
Ramires - Paulinho
Hulk - Oscar - Neymar
Fred


Meh, it's not that great. Defense looks good, but no-one in that midfield is a world beater, not even Neymar. And they don't have a world-class striker. Fred and Jo FFS?!

I read somewhere that Paulinho is out due to injury with Ramires taking over his spot. Don't know if this is correct though...

Agreed about the striker situation which is abysmal for them, the same country that fielded the best striker of this generation a decade ago now relies on this.
Jack Sparrow
QUOTE (han2503 @ Jun 3 2014, 07:48 PM) *
Agreed about the striker situation which is abysmal for them, the same country that fielded the best striker of this generation a decade ago now relies on this.


Oliveira? huh.gif




tongue.gif
han2503
QUOTE (Jack Sparrow @ Jun 3 2014, 04:57 PM) *
Oliveira? huh.gif




tongue.gif

laugh.gif laugh.gif

Was he ever even on a Barzil WC squad? unsure.gif
Jack Bauer
A little hint about who I always support:

han2503
QUOTE (Jack Bauer @ Jun 3 2014, 06:13 PM) *
A little hint about who I always support:


king.gif king.gif

2 questions, how do you think Italy will do against England? And what formation do you think they should play?
X-Offender
I always used to support Germany until 2012. I even got very upset in 2006 when Italy beat them in the semis. But being a huge Milan fan over the years, being exposed to their culture ever since I was a kid, and then living in Milan for three years sort of 'italianized' me, and in the 2012 Euro semis I finally realized that I support Italy more. Germany are still my second choice though.
Jack Bauer
QUOTE (han2503 @ Jun 3 2014, 10:06 PM) *
king.gif king.gif

2 questions, how do you think Italy will do against England? And what formation do you think they should play?

I think it will be a boring draw or a minimal Azzurri win since Italy usually starts pretty slow and it takes them time to get things going.

I would play with Verratti in the further role (DDR, Pirlo and Marchisio are the other 3 mids) - as he's too talented to leave out - behind Balo and Immobile. Not Ideal but it is what it is when you don't have a good trequartista. But Prandelli will robably play with Candreva and Cassano.
han2503
QUOTE (Jack Bauer @ Jun 3 2014, 08:50 PM) *
I think it will be a boring draw or a minimal Azzurri win since Italy usually starts pretty slow and it takes them time to get things going.

I would play with Verratti in the further role (DDR, Pirlo and Marchisio are the other 3 mids) - as he's too talented to leave out - behind Balo and Immobile. Not Ideal but it is what it is when you don't have a good trequartista. But Prandelli will robably play with Candreva and Cassano.

Totally agree with you although I do think that Cassano or Insigne would be better strike partners for Balo as they have more of a creative edge to them rather than Immobile who is more of a direct player and would most likely force Balo in the "support" role.

Agreed on the midfield as well. I think Prandelli will go for the 4 CMs in the diamond, which is what has worked so well for them in the past, and I also agree that it should be Verratti playing the trequartista role and Marchisio being in the midfield 3 rather then the other way around.

My biggest worry is Candreva. I seriously do NOT want him anywhere near the starting line-up come that opener against England, especially not for someone like Verratti who's so talented and has so much to offer.

And x-off, great to hear that you've crossed over to the better side. Germany will just never beat Italy in open play at the rate things are going tongue.gif biggrin.gif
Danny
QUOTE (han2503 @ Jun 2 2014, 06:30 PM) *
Interested choices Danny

But my guess is that the US won't get out of their group


They won't, I'm just watching out for them biggrin.gif

I'm also keeping an eye on Colombia, albeit less so now than Falcao is out. Total tragedy that. They could have made the quarters with him. Now...who knows.
Jack Bauer
BTW, I feel so bad for Rossi, he's so unlucky. Second WC in a row he didn't make the 23 list and because all the injuries he's still never tasted a major international tournament.
han2503
QUOTE (Danny @ Jun 3 2014, 09:17 PM) *
They won't, I'm just watching out for them biggrin.gif

I'm also keeping an eye on Colombia, albeit less so now than Falcao is out. Total tragedy that. They could have made the quarters with him. Now...who knows.

Yeah, that's a huge loss for them. Don't know about making the quarters but they would have probably gotten out of their group

QUOTE (Jack Bauer @ Jun 3 2014, 09:24 PM) *
BTW, I feel so bad for Rossi, he's so unlucky. Second WC in a row he didn't make the 23 list and because all the injuries he's still never tasted a major international tournament.

I'm more p!ssed off rather then sad. A limited player like Candreva gets in the squad so Rossi loses out, same goes with Aquilani and Motta in all honesty who have both been horribly poor for Italy every time they were given the chance
X-Offender
QUOTE (han2503 @ Jun 3 2014, 09:48 PM) *
I'm more p!ssed off rather then sad. A limited player like Candreva gets in the squad so Rossi loses out, same goes with Aquilani and Motta in all honesty who have both been horribly poor for Italy every time they were given the chance


If Rossi was to be picked, then another striker should have left, not any of the midfielders.
kurtsimonw
I get the impression it's only English people who actually support their own NT. laugh.gif
arivanjj
QUOTE (kurtsimonw @ Jun 4 2014, 06:06 PM) *
I get the impression it's only English people who actually support their own NT. laugh.gif

laugh.gif so true. They have reached a level of mundane that can't be undone!
han2503
QUOTE (X-Offender @ Jun 3 2014, 11:32 PM) *
If Rossi was to be picked, then another striker should have left, not any of the midfielders.

Yeah I get that, but it really doesn't make much sense. Prandelli has taken an overload of midfielders, 3 of them all mediocre at best and only 2 recognised out and out strikers (I don't consider Cassano and Cerci strikers)
Danny
QUOTE (kurtsimonw @ Jun 4 2014, 07:06 AM) *
I get the impression it's only English people who actually support their own NT. laugh.gif


And even then it's hardly a labour of love wink.gif
han2503
Candreva: Easily the most limited player I've seen with the Italy shirt in a while. Feels like playing with 10-men, he can't even make a simple cross field pass out to DS from the right side
han2503
And WTF is Prandelli doing with that midfield. I seriously hope this is not how he sets them out against England

Pirlo so high up is getting by-passed, he needs to be the one to pick the ball up from deep and dictate, not get stuck out nearly wide left.

Marchisio is playing as the AM which imo is a mistake as Verratti would be better there while Marchisio is best making those late runs into the box
kurtsimonw
Sterling sent off for being pushed in the back of the head and grabbed round the throat by Valencia. Valencia obviously should've been sent off, but to give Sterling a red there is ridiculous.
kurtsimonw
Italy with one of the worst International results... ever?
Danny
Put my bet on at last. I'm not a betting man but I've been shouting off my last 4 for ages so time to put my money where my mouth is and put 5 on Brazil, Uruguay, Germany and Belgium being the final 4.
han2503
QUOTE (kurtsimonw @ Jun 4 2014, 10:16 PM) *
Italy with one of the worst International results... ever?

Meh, didn't they draw with Haiti 2-2 before the Confeds? Then there was that 3-0 loss to Russia and 1-0 loss to the USA before the Euros.

They also drew both friendlies before the 06 WC as well as drew 2 and lost 1 before the 2010 WC

Aside from 2010, you can't really make much of it.

Prandelli started with the 11 (hopefully minus Candreva) that are most likely to start against England but it felt like he was taking the p!ss out of it with all of the experiments that were going on with the midfield and Candreva constantly changing positions and even their shape
X-Offender
Why would he play Candreva? Why? Why? Why?
Jack Bauer
QUOTE (X-Offender @ Jun 5 2014, 02:41 AM) *
Why would he play Candreva? Why? Why? Why?

han2503
QUOTE (X-Offender @ Jun 4 2014, 11:41 PM) *
Why would he play Candreva? Why? Why? Why?

Seriously! He's easily the most limited player I've seen in a while play for Italy. And he was supposedly included in the line-up instead of Cassano because he provides more work rate and cover for Abate, but Marchisio and Pirlo were doing a better job at that on the left side helping DS out while Candreva was almost invisible.

He mostly made terrible passes, especially to Abate after he busted his gut to overlap his run and shot at row Z a couple of times.

There's obviously a lot Italy need to work in in the next few days. The midfield last night was a complete mess. Don't know if it was intentional from Prandelli to throw off the teams in their group as these friendlies are usually used as indications of how a team will play, especially for the opener.

Also, Cassano isn't a "hard worker" (not that Candreva was busting his @ss out there yesterday) but he gives Italy that creative spark that no one else on that team can, some of the combinations him and Balo played yesterday after he came on were simply amazing to watch.

Imo, the best 11 for Italy and the one they should play against England with is

Abate--Chiellini--Barzagli--MDS
Pirlo
De Rossi--Marchisio
Verratti
Balo--Cassano
kurtsimonw
I would hope Italy would do something like that. Lack of pace would be a huge plus to us.
Jack Sparrow
Prandelli's abysmal friendly record is not news. He treats friendlies they way they ought to be. Glorified training ground 11 v 11.

His record as NT coach is pretty impressive. I read it today morning. 20 victories and 3 defeats. 2 to Spain and 1 to Brazil in the Confed cup.

So if you're only losing to eventual tournament winners that's not too bad. Especially considering the shape of that squad.

That defence. Urgh!
han2503
QUOTE (kurtsimonw @ Jun 5 2014, 09:10 AM) *
I would hope Italy would do something like that. Lack of pace would be a huge plus to us.

Just like it was a huge plus for you in the Euros? wink.gif

Italy have always had a lack of pace as a collective, sure there are certain pacy players who have played in the team, but mostly it's always been a relatively slow side.

We have pace where it matters imo, FBs. It's the only area England can use their pace. Sturridge through the centre will come up against Chiellini and Bonucci/Barzagli.

QUOTE (Jack Sparrow @ Jun 5 2014, 09:26 AM) *
Prandelli's abysmal friendly record is not news. He treats friendlies they way they ought to be. Glorified training ground 11 v 11.

His record as NT coach is pretty impressive. I read it today morning. 20 victories and 3 defeats. 2 to Spain and 1 to Brazil in the Confed cup.

So if you're only losing to eventual tournament winners that's not too bad. Especially considering the shape of that squad.

That defence. Urgh!

I think it's 2 defeats, he only lost once to Spain, in the Final of the Euros. He drew with them both in the group stage and in the Confed Cup
Danny
I don't see Italy making it to the last 8.
han2503
QUOTE (Danny @ Jun 5 2014, 01:14 PM) *
I don't see Italy making it to the last 8.

We'll see, I'm not overly confident. The mish mash in the friendlies from Prandelli has put in even more doubt at the back of my mind.

But if they do get out of the group I think last 8 is a given considering whoever comes out of group D is going to face relatively easy opposition. Quarter final is where both teams will get halted as you have either Spain or Brazil waiting for you (unless an unthinkable upset occurs).

My only concern is how Italy start this tournament. They're notorious slow starters, and this England game has a bore draw written all over it. So what they do against Costa Rica and Uruguay will be crucial
X-Offender
I honestly see Italy winning the thing, but that's just me.

han2503
QUOTE (X-Offender @ Jun 5 2014, 01:59 PM) *
I honestly see Italy winning the thing, but that's just me.

Nah, I think they have problems in defence and Mario goes too hot and cold to rely on. I personally can't see them getting past Brazil in the quarters if they don't win their group

Btw, what do you think about that line-up I posted? Do you agree with kurt that it's too slow and England's kick and rush players will relish it?
X-Offender
Too slow? How? Besides Pirlo, you've got three hard-working MFs, plus Abate and De Sciglio that offer enough cover, as well as lots of creativity. I think it's a very balanced line-up. Don't know how Verratti will fare as AM, but I can totally see it working.
han2503
QUOTE (X-Offender @ Jun 5 2014, 02:47 PM) *
Too slow? How? Besides Pirlo, you've got three hard-working MFs, plus Abate and De Sciglio that offer enough cover, as well as lots of creativity. I think it's a very balanced line-up. Don't know how Verratti will fare as AM, but I can totally see it working.

Agreed.

I've been listening a lot to English pundits as of late to try to gouge what the general consensus is about the Italy game.

Obviously they're all wary of it, but their biggest pre-occupation is Pirlo. All they talk about is man-marking Pirlo to not let him get so much of the ball and run the game as he did in 2012. The flaw in that is that they have to get one of their strikers to do it (mentioning Danny Wellbeck atm). And they're also forgetting that Italy have 3 other great mids in there who can be as good or better on the ball than any of their midfielders. Don't know if Prandelli was experimenting yesterday by removing Pirlo from that position to have a plan B if somehow they manage to shackle him, that's what I'm hoping at least.

And I think Verratti can be great there, he's not slow, he's great at making those little incisive passes in tight spaces as well. I don't really get why they compare him to Pirlo, totally different kind of player. The only thing that worries me about them is they tend to like occupying the same areas on the pitch, they were both part of the midfield 3 yesterday and sort of got in each other's way on certain occasions. Having Verratti as the AM would ensure that he won't get in Pirlo's way in that regard
kurtsimonw
QUOTE (han2503 @ Jun 5 2014, 11:22 AM) *
Just like it was a huge plus for you in the Euros? wink.gif

Yeah exactly, they couldn't beat us in the Euros so it works for us.
Danny
QUOTE (X-Offender @ Jun 5 2014, 12:59 PM) *
I honestly see Italy winning the thing, but that's just me.


Given the current weakness of Italian players and Serie A in comparison with far stronger teams of the past, this Italy is a pale shadow of teams from years gone by.

Serie A is pretty mediocre and far weaker than so many other of its peer leagues. And that's where the players are all coming from, PSG goalie aside.

I think they will really struggle in this world cup.

I don't mind being proven wrong, I've got well over my hatred of them re: Euro 2008 qualification. Although I will mind being proven wrong if it means I lose my bet ha biggrin.gif
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