Friday, July 13, 2018

World Cup 2018 - Final Predictions

And then there were two.

Well, in fact there's still four. But Belgium and England are going to play in a meaningless 3/4 place match. Ironically when they first played their group match, it was almost meaningless, and now they are in the bronze medal game, it's the same. Except this time we might get to see their first choice teams battle it out. After my semi final thoughts, I have reached the final maintaining my 100% record of not being 100% in my predictions, so here are my crystal ball musings for the final games.

Belgium vs. England (3/4 place)
Winner: Belgium

I really wanted England to win against Croatia. And they almost did. But suddenly after the equalizer, it seemed as if they just switched off and it was back to 2014 Euro. They just did not have any organization. Kind of how Bangladesh has managed to turn the clock back to the 2000s in their recent campaign in West Indies.

What I said in the semi final still holds.

What England lacks as opposed to France is quality. They have one or two good players but nowhere the quality of France or Belgium.

Sometimes the team that is worse comes out winner in the 3/4 game as the other, better team is so dejected at not playing in the final. But I expect Belgium to be fully focused in the game and make England pay.

France vs. Croatia
Winner: France

I fully expect France to lift the World Cup trophy on Sunday. Their team has just gotten better and better as the tournament progressed. In the semi final game, at the beginning Belgium was ALL OVER France but then France just turned it up a notch and bossed the game. You have to kill off the game when you have your chances, and both losing semi finalists didn't do it. France just gets better as the game goes on, just like Croatia, but their reserves are a better quality. They have the perfect blend of youth, experience, talent, and luck. And they would want to make up for losing the Euro final at home two years ago.

Having said all of this, even if Croatia manages to pull an upset, it will be richly deserved. Croatia was involved in some of the best games this World Cup and I hope the final continues that trend.

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