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Predictions: Geek style
I ran some ‘data simulations based on stochastic modelling ‘ on my computer – which translates to I looked at some past results and guessed some outcomes on a spreadsheet and came up with the following:

Right, who is going to win this thing?
Argentina – when it gets tight at the knock-out stages, as it invariably does at World Cups (where the group stages have been far more exciting in recent memory), Argentina have the firepower to win the whole thing. Messi, Aguero, Dybala, Higuaín…oh come on!

– Name me the four semi-finalists too. Because I said so.
France, Brazil, Germany, Argentina. You will see I have left out Spain, I don’t like their strikers and Costa just doesn’t look at home in a Spanish shirt.

– Who will be the biggest team to flunk it at the group stage?
Belgium, I predict a win in the opening game and then a shock loss to Tunisia followed by a loss in the final game to England. Plus you had an article on your website this week where you put some interesting points forward about the lack of balance in the team and questions from the squad itself about the manager. Also it will stop this nonsense that Henry could actually become a club manager which is something I just don’t see in him.

– Which player will win the Golden Boot?
Werner – decent strike rate at international level and a group where he could knock a few in given the service he will get.

– Lionel Messi won the Golden Ball for the best player in 2014. Who wins it this time?
Messi – if Argentina win it I can’t see anyone else coming close.

– Which young player will become a bloody star in Russia?
Keita Balde of Senegal. Started at Barca and doing quite nicely in Serie A at the moment.

– And yes, I do have to ask: How will England do?
Win the group and get to the 1/4s before they lose to Brazil in the 1/4s. Nothing to be too angry about as we start the Foden, Sancho, Maitland Niles project for 2022….

– Finally, because it is my mission to get everyone excited, in one sentence tell me why the World Cup is brilliant.
Because one day England might just win it and then the whole country will grind to a drunken celebratory standstill, and I always live in hope of this wonderful event happening.
Pradeep Kachhala

 

When are are going to poo?
There are FOUR matches on Saturday.

For some reason I was watching the Alan Partridge episode the other day in which he outlines a detailed plan for completing a day long Bond marathon, including a 20 minute poo.

I’m thinking Saturday will need such a detailed plan – what’s yours? and given the first match is at kicks off at 11am with the last match ending around 10pm – what sort of sustenance is required for this footballing marathon?

I genuinely cannot wait – I think I may be going a little giddy.
Graham Simons, Giddy Gooner, Norf London

 

Southgate would have won 2006 World Cup for England
Inspired by the simulation FM game between the golden generation and today’s team, not saying Southgate is a better manager then Sven, but if Sven did what Southgate has with the formation then I am pretty sure we definitely would have won the whole thing. Probably.

Convert Beckham to wing back a la Young, put Scholes as the ‘second striker’ in the mode of Sterling, with Gerrard and Lampard in attacking midfield per Ali and Lingard ahead of Carrick or Hargreaves, depending on your need to destroy or freedom to create against teams a la Hendo vs Dier. G.Neville as the right back tucked in as a centre back per Walker, with Ferdinand stepping out of defence as Stones is expected to.

Seaman,

Neville, Ferdinand, Terry

Beckham, Gerrard, Carrick, Lampard, Cole

Scholes

Rooney

Easy.
Matt ‘because picking the right formation is all it takes to win the World Cup’

 

Big Sam’s potential squad
Sam Allardyce has been honest enough to say he is jealous of Gareth Southgate and that it should be him taking his squad to Russia for the World Cup. This made me think who would be in the squad. I have taken a sensible approach to this and not just taken the piss and put Kevin Nolan in. I reckon it would look something like this:

Goalstoppers- Joe Hart, Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland

Defenders- Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Keiren Trippier, Ashley Young

Midfielders- Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Theo Walcott, Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana, Andros Townsend

Forwards- Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney, Jamie Vardy, Andy Carroll, Marcus Rashford

Needless to say, I don’t think we would be as optimistic as we currently are… and our current level of optimism appear to be ‘cautious’.
Micki ‘I would need a pint of wine to watch that’ Attridge

 

Dear England…
I said wouldn’t get sucked in again after 2010 but this time it’s different. I’ve read all the reviews, predictions and forecasts.
I’ve cleared the kid’s (questionable) artwork off the fridge to make space for the wall chart.
I’ve worked out all the permutations of the results to plot our progress.
I’ve planned children’s bedtimes, marathon training schedules and even work to maximize viewing.
I’ve watched the World Cup advert for Lidl and warmed to Kyle Walker.
I’ve read the articles on the hotel, the climate and even the surprising amount of sunshine they seemingly get in Russia.
I’ve got the podcast downloaded for the train tomorrow.
I’ve even come round to Ashley Young and Fabian Delph being there.

I cant help it. I’m just so bloody excited.

So please England, please. Just don’t be shit.

Yours faithfully,
Peter, (DRFC in exile), Suffolk

 


Lookalikes

I think Luis Rubiales looks more like Mark Strong than Pablo Zabaleta. Or maybe it’s Pablo Zabaleta that looks more like Mark Strong than he does Luis Rubiales, but I suppose that missed the point. But jeezo, doesn’t Mark Strong still look cool?
Finlay Wright

 

Thank f*** it’s nearly here
At last the World Cup is upon us.

I look forward to F365 reporting on this on the daily.

As opposed to the Daily Express running a story on Alexis Sanchez’s dogs and F365 instantly doing a top ten of players pets.

When Trump met the North Korean Leader the other day I was half expecting a ‘Six meetings we never thought would take place…’ feature, followed by ‘Top ten North Korean Footballers to have spoken to an American…’

Love the website guys, but Christ it’s been a desperate month, I think you’ll agree.
Thom, Newport

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