Should VAR be used at the World Cup?


The Group of Death is…

Information about the groups (and my thoughts) can be found here.

After voting, leave a comment with why you voted for the group that you did.

World Cup 2018 Draw

The draw for the 2018 World Cup was made earlier today.

Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

I would imagine that Uruguay are happy with their draw and will be favourites to qualify from the group. The other three teams will all believe that they have a chance of qualifying for the second round. I think that Egypt will qualify just ahead of Russia.

Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

A group that looks quite straight forward; I would expect the Iberian neighbours to qualify from the group with relative ease.

Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark

France will be favourites to qualify from the group and I expect them to do so. The other three teams will fancy their chances, but I think Denmark will finish as group runners-up.

Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

An interesting looking group. The firepower of Argentina should see them through. The expectation would be for Croatia V Nigeria to be the game that decides who joins Argentina in qualifying from the group, but underestimating Iceland is never a wise idea… Having said that, I think Nigeria will qualify along with Argentina.

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

It’s difficult to see Costa Rica progressing from the group, but the same was said at the last World Cup and they qualified as group winners. Brazil will win the group and I think they will be joined by Switzerland.

Group F: Germany, Sweden, Mexico, South Korea

The Group of Death! Germany will be favourites to progress as group winners, something I am sure they will be keen to achieve as the runners up are likely to face Brazil in the second round. A strong case can be made for the each of the other three teams, but I think Germany will be joined Mexico.

Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

A group that looks straight forward on paper, but (as the cliche goes) football is not played on paper. Belgium and England will be strong favourites to progress from the group. However, for all their talented players, Belgium seem to struggle as a team. England find it difficult to break down sides that defend deep and look for either a draw or a goal on the counter. I would expect Tunisia and Panama to play quite defensively against Belgium and England. I think the two European sides will progress, but not necessarily as easy as some are predicting.

Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

A group that appears to be quite open. An argument for any combination progressing could be made, but I think Poland and Colombia will be the two sides to make it to the second round.

Leave a comment and let me know who you think will qualify from each group.

Simulating Russia 2018 – The Final

How has the World Cup Final been reached? See my previous predictions based on a simulated draw.

Group Stage

Last 16



Third Placed Playoff

Germany V Brazil

A clash of footballing superpowers as the two best teams in the world meet in the World Cup Final. Brazil have a score to settle following their Semi-Final clash in the 2014 World Cup, that saw Germany triumph 7-1 over the hosts. Brazil are determined that Germany will not do the same again and set up deeper than they have in previous matches. They succeed in frustrating German attacks, whilst posing a danger of their own when attacking. It’s an interesting match and with 10 minutes to go, the scores are level. The final German substitution proves to be the pivotal moment of the game as with 5 minutes to go, the fresh pair of legs is able to put away a chance and win the World Cup for Germany. Their strength in depth has been key throughout the tournament and they are worthy winners.

Let me know how you think this World Cup Final would play out by leaving a comment.

Simulating Russia 2018 – Third Placed Playoff

Catch up on my earlier predictions following a simulated World Cup draw.

Group Stage

Last 16



Uruguay V France

Traditionally, the third placed playoff tends to be an open game as neither team really wants to be there. This one proves no exception as both sides launch attack after attack. Uruguay pip a heavily rotated French side by the odd goal.

Let me know who you think would win by leaving a comment.

The next post will be the World Cup Final.

Simulating Russia 2018 – The Semi-Finals

Catch up on my previous predictions based on the simulated draw.

Group Stage

Last 16


Germany V Uruguay

It’s been a good run for Uruguay, but Germany are ultimately too strong for them and win comfortably by a couple of goals. It’s back-to-back finals for Germany.

Brazil V France

An open game is expected, but with the final only a game away, it’s quite a cautious match with neither team wanting to make a mistake. There is plenty of possession in midfield, but surprisingly few chances. It goes all the way to the lottery of penalties, which Brazil triumph in.

Let me know who you think would qualify for the World Cup Final from these matches by leaving a comment.

The next post will look at the Third Place Playoff.

Simulating Russia 2018 – The Quarter Finals

Welcome back to my predicted 2018 World Cup based on a simulated draw. Catch up with my earlier predictions using the links below:

Group Stage

Last 16

Spain V Germany

A quarter final clash between arguably the two best European sides of the past decade. Spain look to keep the ball and whilst they have success with it, Germany are clinical when they have the ball and their substitutions make the difference as they progress to the Semi-Finals.

Belgium V Uruguay

A quarter final clash between a heavily favoured Belgium side and tournament dark horses Uruguay. The individual talents of Belgium bring plenty to the match, but extra time is required and Uruguay are able to win before penalties are required.

Poland V Brazil

Brazil waste little time in applying pressure to the Polish defence and keep it up throughout the game. Poland defend well, but they are unable to resist the attacking talents of Brazil.

France V Argentina

Both sides decide attack is the best form of defence and produce one of the games of the tournament. A late French strike followed by an outstanding save by Lloris moments later sees France progress by the odd goal.

Leave a comment and let me know who you think would progress from these matches.

The next post will look at the Semi-Final matches.