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11.10.22 World Cup 2022 Thread: Predictions and 09.29.22 Football: Ranked
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World Cup 2022 Thread: Predictions and Discussion

What are your predictions?
1Orchestra Baobab
Pirates Choice

Group A:

1. Senegal
2. Netherlands
3. Qatar
4. Ecuador

Likely one of the more competitive sets of fixtures in the group stage. Even with Mané's vacancy, I still have Senegal leading the group due to the depth of the squad. While this Netherlands squad pales in contrast to what we saw a decade ago, there's still plenty of talent on display, and they're still favorites to make it to the knock-out stage.
2Anaal Nathrakh
In the Constellation of the Black Widow

Group B:

1. England
2. Wales
3. US
4. Iran

England has been the banter side for longer than I've been alive, but their squad is too stacked to not be automatic favorites in the group. It's theirs to lose, though leave it to England to somehow manage to crash and burn. Bale certainly can't carry Wales to the knock-out stage, but he's going to be a force to be reckoned with assuming he's fit (especially since he's likely to retire next year), and in spite of mediocre performances against Netherlands, Belgium, and Poland in the UEFA Nations League, they've certainly got the potential to make it past the group stage. The same is arguably true of the US with the likes of Reyna, Carter-Vickers, Dest, and Scally. If Pulisic can keep his nerves in front of goal, maybe he has a chance of finally living up to the absurd amount of hype that he's built stateside since his stint with Dortmund, though saying that it's an uphill fight against this England side would be a substantial understatement.
3Downfall of Nur
Umbras de Barbagia

Group C:

1. Argentina
2. Poland
3. Mexico
4. Saudi Arabia

Barring any upsets, this ranking should be among the least contentious. Between Messi's return to form this season and the recent Copa America victory, both should be enough to give this squad the confidence to excel in this group. Poland have Lewandowski (need I say more), and I can't see Mexico or Saudi Arabia having enough depth to give either side a serious challenge heading into December.

Group D:

1. France
2. Denmark
3. Tunisia
4. Australia

You'd have to go all the way back to 1962 for the last time a side has won subsequent titles, and it took a Brazil team with Pele to manage it. Can les bleus break the curse? They're the obvious favorites for the final alongside of Brazil in spite of their issues, and with Benzema finally being part of the squad, there's no doubt that he'll be out for blood. Denmark should be competitive, though I can't see the Socceroos and Tunisia posing too much of a challenge to either side.

Group E:

1. Spain
2. Germany
3. Japan
4. Costa Rice

Spain are easy favorites. Reus missing yet another World Cup is a massive blow to the side, and we'll see how legends like Götze, Müller and Neuer manage alongside the likes of young stars like Musiala. Japan has potential to give both sides a decent challenge, with several key players excelling in leagues like the SPFL and the Bundesliga.
Systems Overload

Group F:

1. Croatia
2. Belgium
3. Canada
4. Morocco

Croatia has more than enough talent to make it to the final again, and I'd say that them and Belgium make for one of the more even and competitive match-ups in the group stage as a whole. It could go either way. I think that Croatia has more potential on the attack and midfield, with Belgium possibly having an edge with De Bruyne, Courtois, and a stronger defense. Canada makes for a decent side, but it's difficult to see them breaking through in this group. Morocco would need a miracle to say the least.

Group G:

1. Brazil
2. Cameroon
3. Serbia
4. Switzerland

It's a given that Brazil is on course to dominate the group, but the second-place spot is a toss-up. Very competitive, and should make for an entertaining watch.
Ghost Reveries

Group H:

1. Uruguay
2. Portugal
3. South Korea
4. Ghana

This entire group is a toss-up. Uruguay and Portugal are definitely favorites, but there's no denying that South Korea and Ghana have more than enough potential to give both teams a run for their money. Happy to see that Son Heung-Min seems to have dodged a bullet with his injury, and hopefully he's fit enough to make the kind of impact that the team deserves.
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