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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:28 am 
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My predictions:

Quarter finals
Uruguay 2-1 France
Brazil 3-0 Belgium
Russia 3-1 Croatia
Sweden 1-0 England

Semi finals
Brazil 3-1 Uruguay
Sweden 1-0 Russia

Final
Brazil 2-0 Sweden

[1] For me, Sweden have been the revelation of this World Cup. They knocked out Holland, Italy and effectively Mexico. I see them getting to the final with their negative and defensive football but ultimately, class will tell.

[2] Uruguay and England have done very well and their managers deserve credit

[3] Belgium and Croatia are just a collection of names and not teams.

[4] Russia has done their fans proud so the team can go home with their heads held high. Two months ago, they were dead and buried but alas, look at them today.

[5] For me, the only tragedy of this World Cup was the poor performance of African teams. I think Caf needs to revise its qualification procedures as the teams do not play enough games so are not ready like their European and South American counterparts. They play twice as many qualifiers, so have more or less finished the weeding process by the time they qualify. We only play eight qualifiers, so the selection process only really begins with two months to the start of the World Cup.

[6] Nigeria only played Swaziland, Cameroon, Zambia and Algeria to get to Russia 2018. Now, that was not enough preparation. After qualifying we played Argentina, Poland, Serbia, DR Congo, England and Czech Republic. Altogether we played 14 matches on the road to Russia.

[7] In contrast, your Uefa side that qualified automatically played 10 qualifiers and those that went through the play-offs played 12 games. Now, when you add the six friendlies they played to it, you will notice that a team like Croatia played like 18 games on the road to Russia compared with Nigeria's 14.

[8] Those extra four matches can make a huge difference. Just imagine if we had four games to try out new players and master the 3-5-2 formation.

[9] Conmebol teams play 18 qualifiers alone, so I am not surprised that they come to the World Cup battle ready. After playing say 24 games over two years, you are really fine-tuned

[10] I think Caf needs to come up with a league structure that is a lot stronger and will test her teams more. Otherwise, we will continue to witness heartaches at World Cups.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:04 pm 
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Probably the best ten - pointer in Ayoakinfe history! :clap: See, I've always told you guys Ayo knows his football whenever he feels good to bless us with his knowledge.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:16 pm 
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Obong wrote:
Probably the best ten - pointer in Ayoakinfe history! :clap: See, I've always told you guys Ayo knows his football whenever he feels good to bless us with his knowledge.

Au contraire mon ami. If I'm betting, I'll put my money on France, Croatia, Belgium and Sweden.
Bookmark this thread.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:33 pm 
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Ayo Akinfe wrote:
My predictions:
[9] Conmebol teams play 18 qualifiers alone, so I am not surprised that they come to the World Cup battle ready. After playing say 24 games over two years, you are really fine-tuned.

Here is where the problem(s) will arise with us as Nigerians if we want to be honest. Many of the teams you quote that played these many games usually had very small number of changes through those qualifiers and it shows by the time they get to the World Cup. Look at those left. How many changes in personnel have they had over the last few years? Compare them to say an Argentina who are reputed to have hardly had the same team out throughout the qualifiers and you will see that consistency has to be maintained.

Not a criticism of you, but I remember you vividly advocating wholesale changes to the team almost immediately after we qualified. How many of the teams with similar approach made any headway in Russia?

We are at the beginning of another 4 year journey and except for those retiring and the few who will lose form in the meantime, we should ot really need to see more than 60 players don the jersey over the next 4 years, and no more than a core of 35 from 2020 onward. That will do us well.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:43 pm 
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Everything needs to be changed, all that is in place is ineffective. Rip it all up and start anew. The goal is either to progress or to plateau. If the aim is the former, nothing about what is here now will facilitate that, the evidence being the failure today. If they like, let them think they’re halfway there. 2022 will be a World Cup that sends seismic waves through the world of football.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:14 pm 
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But that speaks to his point. By the time you play 12 - 14 qualifying games, you have separated the weeds from the chaff and you pretty much know your 23 players to use for the WC.
In a situation where you're only playing 8 qualifiers, you will always have a tendency to advocate for new players to be tested.
Shownoja wrote:
Ayo Akinfe wrote:
My predictions:
[9] Conmebol teams play 18 qualifiers alone, so I am not surprised that they come to the World Cup battle ready. After playing say 24 games over two years, you are really fine-tuned.

Here is where the problem(s) will arise with us as Nigerians if we want to be honest. Many of the teams you quote that played these many games usually had very small number of changes through those qualifiers and it shows by the time they get to the World Cup. Look at those left. How many changes in personnel have they had over the last few years? Compare them to say an Argentina who are reputed to have hardly had the same team out throughout the qualifiers and you will see that consistency has to be maintained.

Not a criticism of you, but I remember you vividly advocating wholesale changes to the team almost immediately after we qualified. How many of the teams with similar approach made any headway in Russia?

We are at the beginning of another 4 year journey and except for those retiring and the few who will lose form in the meantime, we should ot really need to see more than 60 players don the jersey over the next 4 years, and no more than a core of 35 from 2020 onward. That will do us well.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:35 pm 
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Ayo, I fully agree with you here. This has been the problem with African teams for the past couple of decades. We do not play enough qualifiers. The main issue is money - most African football federations simply cannot afford to prosecute that many games - especially when its clear they have no chance of qualifying after a few qualifiers. Flying players around the continent from their mostly European clubs that many times could be a financial struggle for them. The key challenge, as I see it though, is getting to about 14 teams who we all know are very serious about football on the continent and can surpass that financial challenge. I think now (unlike years past), this is possible.

Proposal.
Since we have 52 countries, the qualifiers can start with two rounds of direct elimination for all the 52 countries.
1st round will whittle down the number to 28 (home and away series) and the next round will reduce the number to 14 countries. The final 14 would therefore have played 4 qualifiers each at that time.
Then split the final 14 into 2 groups of 7, meaning each team plays a minimum of 12 games each. Top 2 in each group qualify for the WC proper and the 3rd place teams from both groups enter into a home and away playoff (like UEFA). Winner qualifies.

This guarantees each of the 5 teams a minimum of 16 (max 18) qualifying games to be played. This would help put African teams at par with Europe and South American in terms of preparedness and would ensure that each of the African representatives has been battle tested.

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Last edited by Otitokoro on Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:42 pm 
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I agree with your point that SE need to play more matches. Crap teams like Colombia etc, are not better then the SE but they have been in deep waters a lot before and it showed. The slightest setback for the SE and everything starts to crumble.. the team needs to get more robust.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:18 pm 
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Otitokoro wrote:
But that speaks to his point. By the time you play 12 - 14 qualifying games, you have separated the weeds from the chaff and you pretty much know your 23 players to use for the WC.
In a situation where you're only playing 8 qualifiers, you will always have a tendency to advocate for new players to be tested.
Shownoja wrote:
Ayo Akinfe wrote:
My predictions:
[9] Conmebol teams play 18 qualifiers alone, so I am not surprised that they come to the World Cup battle ready. After playing say 24 games over two years, you are really fine-tuned.

Here is where the problem(s) will arise with us as Nigerians if we want to be honest. Many of the teams you quote that played these many games usually had very small number of changes through those qualifiers and it shows by the time they get to the World Cup. Look at those left. How many changes in personnel have they had over the last few years? Compare them to say an Argentina who are reputed to have hardly had the same team out throughout the qualifiers and you will see that consistency has to be maintained.

Not a criticism of you, but I remember you vividly advocating wholesale changes to the team almost immediately after we qualified. How many of the teams with similar approach made any headway in Russia?

We are at the beginning of another 4 year journey and except for those retiring and the few who will lose form in the meantime, we should ot really need to see more than 60 players don the jersey over the next 4 years, and no more than a core of 35 from 2020 onward. That will do us well.

The point i'm trying to make to him is that it's people like him who will not make that consistency work because he will tell us qualification is different from the World Cup proper and so and so players need to be brought in even if they have not been tested as thoroughly as those who had been constant for much of that period.. I totally agree and see the need for the plan of playing more games. I just wish we had the right mentality to see it through.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:26 pm 
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the qualification definately needs to be revised.

as it is all is based upon FIFA rankings and if you are in a group with an up and comming side that isn't ranked you may be screwed.

We need to adopt a system like AFC where you end up with 2 groups of 6. The top 2 from each group qualify and then the 2 3rd place sides play off for the final spot.

This will leave teams battle tested as well as qualify the actual 5 best teams.

You would have groups like


Group A

Nigeria
Ghana
Tunisia
Egypt
Mali
Gabon

Group B

Morocco
Senegal
Ivory Coast
Algeria
R Congo
Zambia


To get to these final 12 you could have 12 groups of 4


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:26 pm 
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Otitokoro wrote:
Ayo, I fully agree with you here. This has been the problem with African teams for the past couple of decades. We do not play enough qualifiers. The main issue is money - most African football federations simply cannot afford to prosecute that many games - especially when its clear they have no chance of qualifying after a few qualifiers. Flying players around the continent from their mostly European clubs that many times could be a financial struggle for them. The key challenge, as I see it though, is getting to about 14 teams who we all know are very serious about football on the continent and can surpass that financial challenge. I think now (unlike years past), this is possible.

Proposal.
Since we have 52 countries, the qualifiers can start with two rounds of direct elimination for all the 52 countries.
1st round will whittle down the number to 28 (home and away series) and the next round will reduce the number to 14 countries. The final 14 would therefore have played 4 qualifiers each at that time.
Then split the final 14 into 2 groups of 7, meaning each team plays a minimum of 12 games each. Top 2 in each group qualify for the WC proper and the 3rd place teams from both groups enter into a home and away playoff (like UEFA). Winner qualifies.

This guarantees each of the 5 teams a minimum of 16 (max 18) qualifying games to be played. This would help put African teams at par with Europe and South American in terms of preparedness and would ensure that each of the African representatives has been battle tested.
:agree: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

This proposal makes a lot of sense

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:26 pm 
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Fair point you made but your predictions, France will beat Uruguay but i do agree Sweden has been the surprise of the tournament

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:16 pm 
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Dang Ayo... which side of the bed did you wake up this morning? :laugh:
Brilliant points all round and Otitokoro's suggestion should be sent to the bigwigs in CAF ASAP!! :clap:

On your predictions though there is no way Russia is beating Croatia. The Hosts have had a good run so far but its about to come to an abrupt end.

England vs Sweden will probably be another 1-1 or 2-2 draw and be decided on Pens. With their new found confidence in Penalties they might just scale through. But they could just as well lose.

France will beat Uruguay so my semi Final pairings will be

Semi finals
Brazil 2-1 France
Croatia 2-1 England


Final
Croatia 0 - 3 Brazil

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:32 pm 
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heavyd wrote:
Dang Ayo... which side of the bed did you wake up this morning? :laugh:
Brilliant points all round and Otitokoro's suggestion should be sent to the bigwigs in CAF ASAP!! :clap:

On your predictions though there is no way Russia is beating Croatia. The Hosts have had a good run so far but its about to come to an abrupt end.

England vs Sweden will probably be another 1-1 or 2-2 draw and be decided on Pens. With their new found confidence in Penalties they might just scale through. But they could just as well lose.

France will beat Uruguay so my semi Final pairings will be

Semi finals
Brazil 2-1 France
Croatia 2-1 England


Final
Croatia 0 - 3 Brazil


Cavanni and Suarez will hammer France to pieces!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:48 pm 
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Uruguay might have defended well against Portugal but i think France presents a different proposition, there are goals in that french team

Well just like we predicted anyhows!

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Last edited by marko on Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:49 pm 
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Otitokoro wrote:
But that speaks to his point. By the time you play 12 - 14 qualifying games, you have separated the weeds from the chaff and you pretty much know your 23 players to use for the WC.
In a situation where you're only playing 8 qualifiers, you will always have a tendency to advocate for new players to be tested.
Shownoja wrote:
Ayo Akinfe wrote:
My predictions:
[9] Conmebol teams play 18 qualifiers alone, so I am not surprised that they come to the World Cup battle ready. After playing say 24 games over two years, you are really fine-tuned.

Here is where the problem(s) will arise with us as Nigerians if we want to be honest. Many of the teams you quote that played these many games usually had very small number of changes through those qualifiers and it shows by the time they get to the World Cup. Look at those left. How many changes in personnel have they had over the last few years? Compare them to say an Argentina who are reputed to have hardly had the same team out throughout the qualifiers and you will see that consistency has to be maintained.

Not a criticism of you, but I remember you vividly advocating wholesale changes to the team almost immediately after we qualified. How many of the teams with similar approach made any headway in Russia?

We are at the beginning of another 4 year journey and except for those retiring and the few who will lose form in the meantime, we should ot really need to see more than 60 players don the jersey over the next 4 years, and no more than a core of 35 from 2020 onward. That will do us well.


How many qualifiers did Russia played? Definitely less than Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt!

There is MORE to the outcome than the number of 'qualifiers' played.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:24 pm 
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I for one think the African teams looked better when there was ANC before the WC..as long as they did not fire their coaches for not winning the ANC

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:33 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:39 pm 
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nanijoe wrote:
I for one think the African teams looked better when there was ANC before the WC..as long as they did not fire their coaches for not winning the ANC

:clap:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:03 am 
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nanijoe wrote:
I for one think the African teams looked better when there was ANC before the WC..as long as they did not fire their coaches for not winning the ANC


The ANC was a good rehearsal for the World Cup.

We didn't do ourselves any favors moving it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:07 pm 
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:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:11 pm 
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marko wrote:
Uruguay might have defended well against Portugal but i think France presents a different proposition, there are goals in that french team


France was too strong for a Uruguay that was without Edison Cavani. France did not even get past gear 1.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:13 pm 
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heavyd wrote:
Dang Ayo... which side of the bed did you wake up this morning? :laugh:
Brilliant points all round and Otitokoro's suggestion should be sent to the bigwigs in CAF ASAP!! :clap:

On your predictions though there is no way Russia is beating Croatia. The Hosts have had a good run so far but its about to come to an abrupt end.

England vs Sweden will probably be another 1-1 or 2-2 draw and be decided on Pens. With their new found confidence in Penalties they might just scale through. But they could just as well lose.

France will beat Uruguay so my semi Final pairings will be

Semi finals
Brazil 2-1 France
Croatia 2-1 England


Final
Croatia 0 - 3 Brazil


That's the way I see it too, bro. Incidentally, just before the World Cup, Brazil played Croatia in a friendly at Anfield and Croatia kicked stumps out of them but Brazil still won 2-0.

This World Cup is Brazil's to lose.


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