After an extensive and complex analytical process conducted by the most scientific minds that we could find at Football Nerd; yes that’s right we simply got hold of one of those predictor spreadsheets that do the rounds before major tournaments and set about guessing predicting the results of each match, we can now reveal how the World Cup is going to be won. (Disclaimer: Football Nerd accepts no responsibility whatsoever for anyone foolish enough to hot-tail it off to the bookmakers and make a sizeable bet based on these hastily made predictions!).
Assuming all goes to form with the group stages as outlined last week (https://football-nerd.org/2018/06/11/football-nerd-world-cup-russia-2018-preview-the-groups/), we are probably looking at the following in terms of qualifiers from the groups:
Group A– 1) Uruguay 2) Russia
Group B- 1) Spain 2) Portugal
Group C- 1) France 2) Denmark
Group D- 1) Argentina 2) Croatia
Group E- 1) Brazil 2) Switzerland
Group F- 1) Germany 2) Sweden
Group G- 1) Belgium 2) England
Group H- 1) Poland 2) Colombia
If in the incredibly unlikely event we have got the first and second in each group right then that would give us the following second round match-ups:
Uruguay v Portugal This would be a highly intriguing start to the knockout phase, remembering how resilient Portugal were on the way to winning Euro 2016 this could be something of a war of attrition. A close call but probably Portugal after extra time or even a penalty shootout. Portugal Win.
France v Croatia Croatia look to be a fairly decent side but France’s ability throughout their squad and experience over the last two tournaments should see them through. France win.
Brazil v Sweden If Brazil are playing anything like to form they will simply have too much for Sweden. Brazil win.
Belgium v Colombia Once again, as it was in the previous two tournaments, the key question is whether Belgium can gel as a team and not simply look like a collection of talented players? If they can they should go far in this competition. Colombia may have the attacking threat to worry them but we suspect the Red Devils might just click this time. Belgium win.
Spain v Russia Looks like being the end of the road for the host nation unfortunately. Spain win.
Argentina v Denmark A bit like Belgium surely this time Messi, Ageuro, Higuain and co have to get the best out of each other this time. Argentina win.
Germany v Switzerland The holders are likely to simply be too good for a Swiss side that is fairly ordinary. Germany win.
Poland v England Exactly the sort of knockout tie that England fans dread, assuming they haven’t made a mess of the group at this stage, tempted to suggest elimination on penalties (just for a change!) but we will adopt an optimistic perspective and say that Harry Kane will win the battle of the strikers against Lewandowski and England will go through, possibly thanks to an extra-time winner. England win.
Based on our second round predictions that would give us the following mouth-watering quarter final line-up:
Portugal v France A repeat of the Euro 2016 Final but with a bigger goal threat than Giroud/ Gignac, we expect Les Bleus to gain their revenge. France win.
Brazil v Belgium This would be an incredibly open game with neither side massively committed to defending and could be one of the most exciting games in World Cup history (cue 0-0 bore draw then!). It is a figurative toss of a coin but we are plumping for Brazil, just. Brazil win.
Spain v Argentina Leo Messi might just break the hearts of the nation in which he has played his whole career, assuming of course Sergio Ramos isn’t allowed to nobble him and put him out the game in the opening twenty minutes! Argentina win.
Germany v England No comment! We’ve all seen this one before; if it goes to extra time and penalties I think we would all be better off finding something else to watch on TV! Realistically yet another elimination by one of the old enemies for Gareth Southgate’s men. Germany win.
France v Brazil Almost too close to call but the greater solidity that Tite seems to have added to the Brazil side since he took over, even if it has made them a bit negative, may be just enough for them squeeze through to the Final. Brazil win.
Argentina v Germany A repeat of the Final four years ago where Germany had just enough to seal victory; have Argentina improved sufficiently? Alas for Leo we don’t think they have, so it’s the holders to go through. Germany win.
Brazil v Germany Could Brazil secure redemption and exorcise the ghosts of the Mineirazo? If Neymar is fit they stand a chance but while the romantic in us would love to see it, it is hard to make a case against Germany becoming the first team for fifty-six years to retain the trophy; so it is Germany to win again for us but it couldn’t be 7-1 again…could it?
So that’s it, you read it here first, Germany are going to win the World Cup again, at least that’s what we think, we would love to hear your opinions in the Comments below or on Twitter or Facebook or wherever else you found this post. We do however reserve the right to incessant gloating in the faint possibility that we may actually be right!
Enjoy the four week festival of football that is the World Cup and look out for more posts during the tournament itself. We’re off to try and come up with a vaguely plausible excuse as to why we need to leave work early today!