Showing posts from June, 2018

Uruguay vs Portugal Match Analysis and Player Ratings

Uruguay and Portugal kicked off in Sochi with a point to prove. Both teams came into this match with unbeaten group records which merely served to disguise laboured performances against the minnows of Egypt and Saudi and near embarrassment at the hands of Iran. It was fair to say that France had no reason to be losing any sleep over whoever would end up victorious come 9pm.
With this in mind both sides seemed determined to make the world take notice and the opening few minutes reflected this ambition.Uruguay started off with high intensity employing the attacking press to make life difficult for the Portuguese defenders, while Portugal themselves showed signs of rapid counter attacking play with Joao Mario producing a promising cross, after good work down the left, being Portugal’s most notable chance in the opening minutes. Ronaldo’s intentions were clear from the opening stages as well. He was often found drifting out to the left and right trying to cover all attacking positions and …

Croatia vs.Denmark Preview

Group D winners, Croatia, take on Denmark, the runners-up of Group C, in what promises to be an exciting last 16 tie

Croatia will be heading into this game as unanimous favourites. Unsurprisingly so, when considering they won all of their group games, finishing on top with 9 points, They were initially marked as 'outsiders' before the start of the World Cup but have increased and earned their status as 'the dark horses' of the competition. From dominating in their 2-0 win against Nigeria to producing an absolute masterclass in their emphatic 3-0 win over Argentina and then finishing the first round of fixtures by beating Iceland 2-1, Croatia are a serious force to be reckoned with.
What is most encouraging about the performance of the Croatians over the duration of these three games has been their game management. The strength in-depth and qualify of their squad was on display for all to see. Their opening fixture, against Nigeria, started tentatively as expected thoug…

Russia vs Spain Preview

The hosts of the 2018 World Cup take on the winners of the 2010 World Cup in the round of 16 tie. After a second place finish for Russia, they take on Spain who finished first in group B owing to their draw against Morocco. Russia had an amazing start to the world cup by beating Saudi Arabia 5-0. They then went on to beat Egypt 3-1. However, a dismal performance on the final day of group stage game when they lost 3-0 to Uruguay who went on to top the group.       Spain were in a very interesting group. They started the campaign with an intense 3-3 draw with Portugal. They then marginally beat Iran 1-0 and were held to a 2-2 draw against Morocco in Kaliningrad. Spain are one of the most unconvincing group leaders. I did find an interesting tweet that said that if Spain don't qualify today, one of the possible finalists are - Russia, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Colombia, England. And I would love to see one of these teams in the finals. It will be a nice break fro…

Marouane Fellaini extends his Manchester United contract.

Manchester United’s transfer business has calmed down over the past few weeks. Having signed Fred and Dalot, Mourinho is on course to have a big transfer window ahead of him. He has instructed the club that he wants the business to get done before the squad fly out to the United States for their pre-season ahead of the commencement of the Premier League in August. United have completed one more bit of business and is a rather controversial one. Marouane Fellaini has extended his contract with the club for two more years and with an option to extend for a further year, hence keeping himself at the club until 2020.
Fellaini is currently at the World Cup with high flying Belgium who have qualified for the round of 16. The midfielder’s contract was to expire at the end of June which would have enabled him to sign for a new club as a free agent. Mourinho was reluctant in keeping the player but the deal was held up due to the two parties not finalising on few financial details which now se…

Uruguay vs Portugal Preview

Two heavyweights clash in this enticing round-of-16 tie between Uruguay and Portugal. Uruguay were one of only three teams to have won all of their group stage games. Although they grinded out results against Egypt and Saudi Arabia, they dominated against Russia in their last match and that could spur them on to clinch the victory in Saturday’s game. Portugal weren’t spectacular in their group, only winning one of their games, but everyone is fully aware that their captain is more than capable of producing game-changing moments out of nothing. He may have missed a penalty in their loss to Iran, but Portugal’s number 7 knows how to turn up in the big games, as we witnessed with his superb hat-trick, in the thrilling 3-3 draw with Spain.Uruguay also have big game players, in Suarez and Cavani, who form one of the best strike partnerships at the World Cup. These two teams have only met twice, with the last time being 46 years ago, and they have never met at the World Cup.

Uruguay’s possi…

The Reds at the World Cup!

The group stages of the World Cup is finally over and what a fortnight it has been. With inexplicable results and tons of surprises, this World Cup seems to be one of the most unpredictable ones. Iran almost knocking Portugal out, Nigeria almost knocking Argentina out, and South Korea knocking Germany out, were somethings bookies never saw coming. Very few groups were open and shut, most others were just a roller-coster ride.       Apart from all of this, the Manchester United boys have done a great job at the World Cup so far. So here we will be analyzing the performances of all the Manchester United players who are currently representing their countries in Russia. 
Starting from the back:

1.) David De Gea
      The world's best goalkeeper started the campaign in the worst possible manner. He conceded three goals including one caused by an individual error in their opening game against Portugal. He was back to his best keeping a clean sheet against Iran. However in the last…

France vs Argentina Preview


Serbia vs Brazil Match Analysis and Player Ratings

Goals from Paulinho and Thiago Silva secured a 2-0 victory for Brazil against Serbia, as Brazil qualify for the next round, finishing top of their group. After a slow start in Russia, we were finally able to witness glimpses of the vintage Brazil style that we were used to seeing them play. The game didn’t start too well for Brazil when Marcelo had to go off the pitch, reportedly due to back spasms. But Brazil looked promising on the attack, with Neymar having a decent chance midway through the first half. In the 36th minute, they opened the scoring after Coutinho played a perfectly weighted pass through to Paulinho, who dinked it over the keeper. In the second, half, Serbia started off on the front foot, with Mitrovic missing a glorious chance, heading the ball straight at a defender when there was no keeper in front of him. Mitrovic had another heading opportunity, but this time it was aimed straight at Alisson. Brazil sealed the win with Thiago Silva heading in from a corner whipped…

England vs Belgium Match Analysis and Player Ratings

England vs Belgium Match Analysis and Player Ratings From an England perspective, it was a disappointing game to watch as Adnan Januzaj's stunning effort beat Jordan Pickford to take Belgium to the top of Group G and to a Round of Sixteen match against Japan. England must face Colombia after their narrow win against Senegal took them to the top of Group H. England and Belgium both rang the changes with the Three Lions making eight changes and Belgium making nine, the squads lined up:  Pickford, Alexander-Arnold, Jones, Stones, Cahill, Rose, Dier (c), Delph, Loftus-Cheek, Rashford, Vardy
Courtois (c), Dendoncker, Vermaelen, Boyata, T. Hazard, Fellaini, Dembele, Tielemans, Chadli, Januzaj, Batshuayi 
England started positively and pressured the Belgian side well and got a cheap chance as Thorgan Hazard, who was playing as a wing-back at times, gave Vardy the ball easily down the right channel and crossed into Rashford but Courtois blocked the ball with his foot and Belgium got away w…

Senegal vs. Colombia Match Analysis and Player Ratings

Heartbreak for Senegal, who bow out of the competition due to their disciplinary record, is mirrored by euphoria for Colombia who top the group on 6 points following their 1-0 victory Group H started with Japan (4 points); Senegal (4 points); Colombia (3 points); Poland (0 points). After today's games, which were always going to be a controversial one, it finished with Colombia (6 points); Japan (4 points); Senegal (4 points) and Poland (3 points)

Colombia beat Senegal 1-0 and despite Senegal level on points with Japan on 4 points, they finish third due to fair play rules having accumulated more yellow cards. The African nation have played extremely well in Russia but will rue their missed chances. They were bidding to become the only African side left in the competition to advance onto the round of 16. However, their exit means that Africa will not be represented in the next round for the first time in a while.

Senegal went into their final group game having made three ch…