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Round of 16: : LET THE (Knockout) GAMES BEGIN!

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14 minutes ago, Prince Onyinye W. Ndidi said:

Yeah, Suarez was excellent. He worked incredibly hard and was a great outlet as well, holding up the ball when everyone else was back defending. Not to mention he put in an inch perfect cross for the first goal.

 

And importantly didn't feel he had to make the attempt in the second one.

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1 hour ago, Ali Daei-nvek said:

I was curious as to why Uruguay wear four stars above theor logo when they’ve only won two World Cups, and it turns out that the other two are for the 1924 and 1928 Olympics, which FIFA recognise as World Championships.

Hey! Same. And did the research too during the match.

Was really impressed with Cavani and Suarez. I hope Uruguay continues through even if it means knocking out France.

Edited by kairparavel

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I am for France as always but it's hard to root against Uruguay, and I think they're a tremendous opponent.  

Nice for La France though to see how bright the future is:

Mbappe is just a highly-publicized 19

Griezmann is 27, so hopefully one more solid WC for him...maybe two

Pogba is 25

Giroud is 31 now so maybe in his swan song, Matuidi same, we'll see 

Umtiti is only 24

Hernandez only 22

So even next WC one would hope to see a core of Mbappe, Pogba, Griezmann, and Umtiti...very solid. 

 

ETA:  Pavard is only 22.  Can you guys help me out, is Pavard good?  That goal today was unreal, but I don't know much about him.

 

Edited by Triskjavikson

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Mendy would be the first choice left back and is 23. He offers much more in attack than Lucas Hernandez. Hernandez is only 1st choice because Mendy missed most of the season due to an ACL injury and he picked up a knock in training yesterday as well. Kimpembe also looked to be a quality player at CB - he's had a great season for PSG. Then there's the wealth of talent in attacking positions - Dembele, Fekir, Lemar, Tauvin and players who didn't even make the squad like Martial, Coman, Ndombele, Lacazette, Lenglet. France really are stacked. RB is the only position were they are a bit thin. Pavard is a CB who can fill in at RB - he's more defensively solid than Sidibe but not as good in attack.

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44 minutes ago, Triskjavikson said:

ETA:  Pavard is only 22.  Can you guys help me out, is Pavard good?  That goal today was unreal, but I don't know much about him.

 

Yes, he is good. But his natural position is actually Centreback, and not right back, so does France not have a proper right defender? Anyway, he took a large leap last season at Stuttgart. It might be a bit too early for him to make a move to a big club however.

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What is most impressive to me about this generation of French players is the sheer depth in centre backs. There are other nations with similar levels of young attacking players coming through -  Spain, England, Germany and Brazil - but none has anywhere near the same quality defensively. By 2022 they will have Varane and Umtiti still from this squad, Pavard, Kimpembe and Hernandez nearer their peaks, but also Lenglet, Laporte, Upamecano, Diallo, Konate and Zouma who did not make it this time to pick from. It might be tempting for whoever replaces Deschamps in due course to try three at the back, to maximise this strength when conventional right backs are scarce.

I actually thought Pavard had his weakest game today. Better going forward than before, but he switched off to what was behind him for Aguero’s goal at the end, which a centre back may get away with doing but an RB won’t.

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That was a great day of football.  I hope the rest live up to that level. 

Is it just me or was Mbappe today a bit like the original Brazilian Ronaldo?  Il Femoneno version 2.0.  Giroud was quietly very good, Pavard smashed a beauty (similar to Spain’s RB against Portugal) despite still not offering a crossing threat. Hernandez was a bit quiet — preoccupied with Messi in his vicinity — but still delivered two crosses that resulted in goals, albeit neither counted as an assist. The French midfield is still a bit hit & miss.  Kante is doing the defensive work of three, but DiMaria was still wide open to shoot and Argentina had a few chances from a central area ~35 yards out to thread passes into the box before one was eventually chipped to Aguero’s head.  Matuidi was pointless except being a safety net for Pogba’s inability to defend.  Pogba has good moments but also has frustratingly self-indulgent moments.  It’s hard to believe he’s 25 and has been playing at elite level for years — you’d think he would have learned how to take control of MF by now.  Lloris was not directly at fault for any of those goals but he didn’t make any great saves — I think he has started to decline and may not be the difference-maker you need at this level. 

The Argie team hs been poor for a long time, and for large stretches of each game Messi makes them worse rather than better.  The scoreline flattered them today.  Banega was good again today but less dominant than against Nigeria.  Rojo was lucky not to see red for the penalty and his substitution was an act of mercy.  Perez, Meza, Pavon are indifferent passengers.  There’s no Maxi Rodriguez or young Mascherano to dominate MF possession. 

The referee was the worst thing about Portugal vs Uruguay.  Players had free rein to launch into late tackles, chop down anyone starting a breakaway, and play-act to win fouls or just waste time. 

Two great goals by Cavani and 90 minutes of unrelenting efforting by all the Uruguayan players.  Portugal were game and made a good fist of it, but a bit blunt against a defense led by Godin and Jimenez.  Portugal didn’t create much other than scoring from a corner.  Lots of crosses to little effect and a couple of unconvincing pleas for a penalty late on.  Most shots were from distance and well off target or comfortably blocked. 

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And it will be a very hard game to call between France and Uruguay in the quarters.  France is going to face a very different challenge, while Uruguay can be Uruguay.

It was also interesting that Portugal had so rarely played Uruguay before.  Argentina had beaten France a couple times in the World Cup but last time in 1978.

While today, Spain should beat Russia.  Russia should be the perfect opposition for them.  And Croatia should be able to knock out Denmark.  Too many good players.

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Iniesta on the bench for Spain. Asensio’s not a bad player to bring in though.

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Spain stupidly let Russia back in the game.

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For all the technical ability in the Spain squad, they have been really bad at creating chances. Since the goal was an own goal, technically, Spain have not managed a shot on target so far despite having over 70% possession.

Pique has been so poor in this tournament. Isco at CAM is a liability. He holds onto the ball too long and slows down play.

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Iniesta needs to come on for David Silva who has not done anything in this tournament. Isco needs to be moved to the left of a front 3 where he is most effective. Pique should be dropped but that won't happen.

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Spain is desperately trying to lose the game without making it too obvious, but they don't know how...

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Thank you, Spain, for bringing down the entertainment level. I had too much fun, yesterday.

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Russia must share a portion of the game. For 85 minutes, they applied zero defensive pressure outside their own back third. In the last 5 minutes they applied a bit of pressure, won the ball and created their only opportunity of the half. 

Edited by AndrewJsonsen

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The entire Spanish team are into edging, it would seem.

 

I mean, Vamos España!

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