Showing posts from 2018

Poland vs. Colombia Preview

The two best teams, Poland and Colombia, on paper in Group H face a decisive match whereby both require three points

Poland take on Colombia later today in the second round of Group H fixtures. Since both teams lost their opening games, against Senegal and Japan respectively, it is really all to play for. Both need a victory, but a defeat for either side will spell the end of their 2018 World Cup journey. For the neutral supporters, hopefully it will be an absolutely thrilling game.

Against Senegal, Poland lost 2-1 after conceding an own goal towards the end of the first half and a second halfway during the second half. 

Rybus Zielinski

Forward Lewandowski Kownacki

: Goal Ospina
Defence Arias
Davinson Sanchez
Midfield Aguilar
J Cuadrado


Given the significance of this game, both teams will either go ultra-defensive or offensive. Pe…

Portugal vs Iran Preview

Portugal vs Iran Preview Well this could be a very interesting game, Portugal and Iran both know that a win would guarantee either side a place in the Round of Sixteen. Spain also know that they have to get something from the Moroccan game to qualify and as Morocco are already out of the World Cup, they will hope to cruise to the knockout rounds. Portugal only just beat Morocco 1-0 with an early Ronaldo header and if not for some good defending and some brilliant saves from Patricio, they would not have come out of the game with a win. Guerreiro was very poor and will need to sort himself out against Iran. Ronaldo will hope to score more goals as now Harry Kane tops the Golden Boot table after his hattrick against Panama and also to carry his team even further as he has scored all four of Portugal's goals at the Wolrd Cup. There should be a lot of attacking football with both sides having slightly fragile defences and perhaps an underdog story? Only time can tell...

England vs Panama Match Analysis and Player Ratings

England vs Panama Match Analysis and Player Ratings And there it is! England have comfortably qualified for the Round of Sixteen after hammering Panama 6-1 in their second game with captain Kane bagging a hattrick and John Stones heading in a brace as well as a stunning finish from Jesse Lingard. This puts England at the top of Group G on fair play but will aim to get something from their final game against Belgium. England made one change to the squad that edged past Tunisia with Loftus-Cheek coming in for the injured Dele Alli. The rest of the squad lined up as; Pickford, Trippier, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Young, Henderson, Lingard, Loftus-Cheek, Sterling, Kane (c). 
England started brightly and pressured Panama into making mistakes and within the first ten minutes, opened the scoring as Trippier whipped in a ball and within the battle between the Panama defenders shoving and grabbing Kane and Maguire, John Stones found himself completely free and headed past Penedo to the jubilati…

Germany vs Sweden Match Analysis and Player Ratings

Germany clinched a last-minute victory in dramatic fashion against Sweden, keeping hopes alive for them to qualify for the knockout stages. 
After a dire performance against Mexico, Joachim Low made several changes to the starting 11. Hector came in for Plattenhardt after he was out through illness, Ozil was dropped for Marco Reus, Rudy came in for Khedira and perhaps the most surprisingly, the usually reliable Mats Hummels lost his place to Antonio Rudiger. Low’s changes in Germany’s approach to the game seemed to have paid off as the match started off with Germany on the front foot, constantly getting balls into the box, creating good chances. Draxler had a key chance which he should have put away, but his shot was blocked well by Sebastian Larsson.
But their defensive frailties became apparent once again, as Sweden threatened on the counter. Germany were lucky not to concede a penalty, as Jerome Boateng fouled Marcus Berg who was in on goal but fortunately for Die Mannschaft, the ref…

Belgium vs Tunisia Match Analysis and Player Ratings

Belgium were on fire once again in the World Cup. The star-studded Belgium squad defeated Tunisia in the Group G of the tournament. The score line at the end of the match was 5-2 and we saw the Belgium that we always see, a team that are great on the counter and never shy on attack. Belgium once again showed that they had a perfectly balanced and well gelled side.
Starting XI: Courtios, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Carrasco, De Bruyne, Witsel, Mertens, Hazard, Lukaku.
Match Analysis:
First Half: Belgium began the game just like they did against Panama, attack right from the start of the match. Belgium scored their first goal in the 6th minute when Hazard was tackled in the opposing penalty area resulting in a penalty which was easily slotted in by Hazard to make it 1-0. The second goal came 10 minutes right after the first. Mertens slipped through a pass to Lukaku who put in behind the net. The Belgium defence were surprisingly shocked when Tunisia scored through a se…

England vs Panama Preview

England vs Panama Preview Wetherspoons, replenish your kegs because England are facing their second opponents of the World Cup in Panama on Sunday. After Belgium hammered Tunisia 5-2, England need a goal difference of seven against the Central American side to level with Belgium on points and goal difference. England are likely to make a few substitutions with Danny Rose being requested by the fans to come in for Ashley Young as the Manchester United player was not as lethal in wide areas as Kieran Trippier. Dele Alli has had a niggling injury from the Tunisia game and could be substituted for either Rashford or Loftus-Cheek depending on how Soutgate decides to line England up against Panama. The rest of the team should stay the same and aim to build on their narrow win against Tunisia and guarantee qualification from the group stages.

Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford
Was unchallenged against Tunisia but will certainly keep his position as he was more comfortable on the bal…

Brazil vs Costa Rica Match Analysis and Player Ratings

It seemed as if it was going to be another frustrating display for Brazil against a stubborn defence, but two late goals secured them victory and the all-important three points. With attempt after attempt, Brazil struggled to find a way through Costa Rica’s resilient defence. But their fans breathed a sigh of relief as Coutinho netted his second goal in Russia, in the 91st minute. Neymar rounded things off, by finally scoring his first goal of the tournament, in the last minute of injury time.
In a similar fashion to the first game against Switzerland, Brazil lacked creativity with most of their efforts on goal being from long range, in the first half. Whenever Costa Rica won the ball back, they passed the ball amongst themselves quite effectively and often tried to attack down the right, especially when Marcelo had committed himself in the opposition’s half. The best chance of the first half arguably came to Costa Rica, with Borges dragging his shot just wide.

After the substitution of…

Belgium vs Tunisia Preview

Belgium have had a great start in the World Cup this this season. Having defeated debutants Panama 3-0 in the opening fixture, the team are looking in great spirits. The team look well composed and balanced. They have had the perfect start and haven’t even conceded a goal in the tournament so far. Belgium face off against Tunisia, who were defeated by England in their opening fixture thanks to Harry Kane and co.
Belgium face Tunisia in the Otkrytie Arena, one of the newly built stadiums by the hosts, Russia. A win tomorrow would more or less secure a spot in the round of 16. Should England to win, it would be a great match to see in round 3.
Predicted Line-ups. Roberto Martinez is expected to field an unchanged side against Tunisia. Belgium are one of the most organised sides and will find it very easy as the team gel pretty well.
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois The Chelsea keeper had kept a clean sheet in the opener and didn’t have to do much. Based on the scores of the competition,…

Germany vs Sweden Preview

Holders Germany made an awful start to their campaign in Russia, losing their first game to Mexico. Therefore, Saturday’s game against Sweden in Sochi will be crucial for them to win, if they want to progress to the next round. Sweden made a more successful start to the tournament after a gritty 1-0 win against South Korea. A win for Sweden here will send them through to the next round, and after watching how Die Mannschaft performed against Mexico, Sweden will come into this game with the belief that they too can get a result against the holders. These two teams are quite familiar with each other, meeting 31 times, with Germany winning 15 of them. These two teams produced enthralling games when they met both times in the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup, with Germany winning one 5-3 and drawing the other 4-4. If we witness a game half as entertaining as those previous encounters, we would certainly be in for a treat.
Germany’s possible line-up
Joachim Low could change up his side aft…

Argentina vs Croatia Match Analysis and Player Ratings

making passes and saves, commanded with little conviction and his league experience definitely did not show one bit. He made one good save off Rebic in the first half, did ok to keep it at 0-0. However, his second half mistake was utterly diabolical, one he'll want to forget so badly. He needs to learn how to parry the ball too, as after saving a shot well he then presented it for Rakitic to finish the move. Similarly with the Iceland game. I think his inexperience in the international format really shows, as you can't make those mistakes at a World Cup, whereas you might be able to recover in a league season.
Eduardo Salvio (4.5) Was ok going forward and did whip the odd ball in, but he just didn't track back one bit. Areas in behind were exposed and his work rate was really low.
Nicolas Tagliafico (5) Not a great performance from the young defender. Couldn't cope too well with the Croatian offence. 
Nicolas Otamendi (5) Was sloppy, tired easily and lost his rag at times…

France vs Peru Match Analysis and Player Ratings