Armchair Predicts Your World Cup 2014

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IT’S HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE!!!!!!!!!! At long last, the World Cup has arrived in all of its glory! Thirty solid days of nothing but football all the time, with every single remote soccer fan/nationalist completely losing their minds until July 13th.

Because we think we know more than you about soccer, we’ve predicted what’s going to happen. We’ll let  you sort out what’s likely and what we simply hope will happen and then you can all laugh at us on July 14th for knowing absolutely nothing about the sport.

World Cup Predictions

Group A:

Brazil: Finals before collapsing under pressure from themselves and Argentina’s forward line. Country immediately devolves into full-scale riots, contemplates invading Argentina.

Croatia: Round of Sixteen before a rerun of the dullest game at Euro 2012 sees Spain advance.

Mexico: Out. Miguel Herrera spontaneously combusts on the touchline after the final whistle.

Cameroon: Out. Samuel Eto’o is revealed to actually be two centuries old and any soccer fan who hasnt watched the World Cup since France 98′ can’t figure out what is going on.

Group B:

Spain: With a midfield containing Xavi, Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, David Silva, Juan Mata, Koke, Javi Martinez, Pedro Rodriguez, Santi Cazorla, and Cesc Fabregas, I just don’t see where the passing is going to come from. In all seriousness, a country whose collective reaction to leaving Alvaro Negredo, Fernando Llorente, and Jesus Navas off the squad can just be “collective shrug” is almost too scary to talk about. Expect Spain to apply the standard strategy of “strangle opponent for ninety minutes” in each of the Group Games against the Dutch and Chileans, while Spain-Australia’s scoreline could start to resemble a ridiculously lopsided basketball game. In the Round of Sixteen, Spain will swat aside Croatia, before beating one of Uruguay or Italy in the quarterfinal. The semis, however, are as far as Spain will get, ultimately being defeated by Argentina before rubbing salt in Germany’s wounds in the third place playoff.

Also, somehow, inexplicably, despite not starting a single game, Fernando Torres will again win the Golden Boot.

Netherlands: Trying to play an ultra-defensive formation, after resorting to kamikaze defending through all of qualifying, goes badly. Attempts to clone the injured Kevin Strootman are unsuccessful, and the Dutch are knocked out at the Group Stage. They all continue hating each other. Arjen Robben says screw it to the entire sport and follows his first love and seeks to be a professional diver. Louis Van Gaal pre-emptively bans every journalist ever from his Old Trafford press conferences.

Chile: Their group matchup with Australia is cut short after Gary Medel tomahawks the entire  Australian front line in their heads… FIFA officials still decide to award Chile the win as no one wants to suffer through more Australian football.

Australia: “Australia have improved immensely since [twin 6-0 defeats to Brazil and France], we’re bringing young players through, our tactical setup is strong, and I really like what I’m seeing from the new coach. But let’s be honest, we are probably going to get slaughtered.” – Australia’s (now-retired) former captain sums up their World Cup chances. If you’re a fan of Australia, you may be wondering “how bad can this get”? The answer: very, very bad. Brace yourselves Socceroos, because this is probably going to hurt a lot.

Group C

Colombia: Unless they somehow manage to score 6 goals per game to offset the 5 they’re bound to give up they arent likely to make much of a run. At the same time, Ivory Coast are the New York Knicks of World Cup choking…. Columbia may finish top of this group,  but really, without Radamel Falcao does anyone really care anymore?

Ivory Coast: Despite being more loaded with talent than most of the rest of Africa put together, the Ivory Coast somehow manage to screw up the Group Stages again. Yaya Toure tries to change his citizenship after his birthday is not made a public holiday.

Japan: Out… This could be Sweden people!  At this point I’m just angry I’ll have to watch a Japan vs Greece matchup but Zlatan is on a yacht somewhere and not gracing me with his presence… Sepp Blatter if you take Sweden and the Zlatan show away from me again I’m going to burn down the Bernabéu.

Greece: Are dull. Again. But what else is new? At least they have the 6’5 man beast Georgios Samaras , lets just pray no one loses their life after trying to tackle him.

Group D:

Uruguay: Top the group, with the Cavani-Suarez show dummying everyone. Are knocked out by Spain in the quarterfinals and walk back to Montevideo chanting “1950 TROLOLOLOL!” the entire way from Fortaleza.

Italy: Andrea Pirlo somehow manages to deepen my man-crush for him by defeating an evil soviet super power all whilst trimming his immaculate beard.

England: Out on penalties. In the Group Stage. No, it isn’t possible, but England will find a way.

Costa Rica: Having been eliminated after their first two games, Costa Rica duly rub salt in the wounds and eliminate England on penalties.

Group E

Ecuador: Well uh, they’re evidently a football team… with… players and stuff. This a team that will  play hard! They really want to win! The first goal will be key and their goalie will really give them a boost… ahh fuck it I need a beer.

France: France either reach the final of a major tournament or explode in a veritable orgy of infighting, mutual hatred (which surely by now is a sign of respect amongst France players), player strikes, revolts, and political interference. Given that France aren’t winning the tournament, there’s only one option left. Dechamps left Nasri off the squad, and it recently emerged that several French players felt that Nasri “didn’t have the right temperament.” Let me rephrase that: in a squad where multiple members are alleged to have engaged in underage prostitution, Sami Nasri (who didn’t) is viewed as “not having the right temperament.” France somehow manage to make every exit more dignity-sapping than the last, even with Raymond Domenech as far away from the France job as possible. I’ve got my popcorn ready for an epic implosion in the Round of Sixteen, and so should you.

Switzerland: Out. What, you thought they somehow were the seventh best nation in the world? Even they didn’t believe that.

Honduras: After being defeated 8-0 by Ecuador, a naked Dwayne De Rosario runs onto the pitch screaming “VENGEANCE BELONGS TO THE CANUCKS!” before being tackled by security.

Group F

Argentina: I’m just going to read you the list of forwards that Argentina are taking to this tournament: Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Ezekiel Lavezzi, Rodrigo Palacio, Angel Di Maria, and some guy named Lionel Messi. Even without Carlos Tevez, the country’s forward line is powerful enough to successfully invade Russia – in winter! – let alone win a footballing tournament. There are group games against Bosnia, Nigeria, and Iran where Argentina could conceivably break the record for most lopsided World Cup game (Hungary’s 9-0 win over South Korea in 1954). The midfield is strong, the defence is underrated, and Oscar Romero is…well…a goalkeeper. But ‘dat forward line is just…like…it’s like a biblical plague: you know it’s coming, you know it’s going to be absolutely devastating, and you know there is fuck all you can do to stop it. France will have imploded by the time Argentina get to them; Belgium, Ghana, or Portugal will be beaten comprehensively (to the dismay of hipsters, Ronaldo fanboys, and Chief Basketball Correspondent and Asamoah Gyan Lover/Hater Alex Simons); Spain will be knocked out (albeit in a close game) before Argentina beat Brazil in the final to win their third World Cup. They will then skip back to Buenos Aires, their mission of pissing all over Brazil’s shiny parade complete.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Why are we talking about Bosnia-Herzegovina? Is this even a thing? Who do they even have? Oh? They’re actually quite good and appearing in their first ever World Cup?

Nigeria: Despite having some very talented players on their squad  Nigeria’s distinct disadvantage of being an African nation in a World Cup will cause them to flame out in a match they have have no right to lose… probably against Iran. Don’t worry, their country men will take advantage of the World Cup distraction and use it as an opportunity to invade and occupy Ghana while Ghana’s people are burning effigies of  Asamoah Gyan.

A safer bet for getting out of Group F

Iran This is a picture of a plastic cup, this plastic cup has a better chance of making it out of the group stage of the World Cup than Iran. the plastic cup has a crazy straw, this gives it more visual appeal than this Iranian national team. No more need be said.

Group G

Germany: Germany are weird. In 2010 and 2012, they were the haven for bandwagon fans who got tired of Spain simply passing teams to death. They were lauded for their attacking verve and forward firepower. This time around, they’ve somehow managed to out-Spain the Spanish, taking a single recognizable forward (Spain brought four) in the 36-year-old Miroslav Klose, Manuel Neuer, and ~21 attacking midfielders. Somehow, all of those midfielders have contrived to get injured in the last six months: Sami Khedira tore his ACL in December (and still isn’t fully fit), Marco Reus has broken his ankle (and is out for the tournament), while Toni Kroos, Mario Goetze, Thomas Muller, and Mesut Ozil have all just seen their form horribly injured by adapting to new styles and/or being an Arsenal player. They’ll probably still top the group, leading to the bandwagon fans reemerging and proclaiming Germany the favourites. But one of two things is guaranteed to happen: either they’ll fold with a whimper in the semifinal, or they’ll lose to Italy (possibly both at once). It just wouldn’t be an international tournament if one of the two didn’t happen. It’s like the slightly more successful version of England losing on penalties.

Portugal: Cloning Cristiano Ronaldo proves unsuccessful. Portugal (and the horribly-monickered CR7) are knocked out in the Group Stage. Grief-stricken, Jamie Redknapp commits seppuku Live On Air in the Sky Sports studio.

Okay, so that last bit’s not actually going to happen, but we can dare to hope.

Ghana: During their group stage matchup with Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo and Michael Essien will collide, this will cause Ronaldo to spontaneously combust and in turn Ghana will go up 1-0…Asamoah Gyan’s evil alter ego will then overtake him at some point or other and he’ll turn around and score on his own goal twice allowing Portugal the win. At least they’re likely to give us some fantastic goal celebrations.

USA: After losing in the group stage, supporters will blame the loss on “the damn Krauts”, while the Republicans will blame the loss on too much gun control and Obamacare.

Group H

Belgium: Having been “dark horses” for so long that they’re not actually dark horses, Belgium are for some baffling reason currently the fifth favourites for the World Cup. This despite having no deep-tournament experience, no true fullbacks, and only one striker. Belgium are such a hipster choice at this tournament that it’s almost become mainstream, while football hipsters have moved onto more avant-garde and obscure passions like Chile, South Korea, and the sport of cricket. Belgium will win the group, but get no further. Having long since moved on from their brief fling with the Belgians, hipsters will shrug, take a sip of PBR, and go back to watching Australian Rules Football.

Russia: I had all kinds of really good, politically relevant “they’ll get knocked out and just usurp Ukraine’s spot in the round ahead of them” jokes ready, but then Ukraine had to go and get knocked out by France in the playoff, so they get out of the group and lose in the octos. France, you ruin everything. Including your own chances at winning the World Cup.

Algeria: Take everything we wrote about Iran, replace “Iran” with “Algeria.” Add the propensity of Algeria’s players to lose their heads in tense games with fly-kicks to opposing players and silly red cards, plus a sheer burning hatred of Egypt, and that’s our profile. They’re going out, they won’t win a game, and Egypt will take most of the blame.

South Korea: Out. The entire country shrugs and goes back to watching the MLG Finals. We could write more about their chances but HOLY SHIT IT’S WORLD CUP TIME OH MY GOD TIME TO GO DRINK FOR THE NEXT THIRTY DAYS!!

 

If you want clarification of any of the above predictions, we’ll be pounding back beers in Ottawa, Toronto, Owen Sound, Calgary, and Mexico. This only happens every four years. Enjoy!

 

Alex S. Cam C

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