Mails: Hoping Russia try to fix it…but still lose…

Date published: Thursday 14th June 2018 7:05

You know what to do – send your mails to


Opening-day wishes
Can’t decide whether it would be more entertaining for Russia to get tonked by Saudi Arabia, or for them to get a result due to scandalous refereeing.
Aidan, Lfc (hoping they lose in injury time after being awarded five penalties and with Saudi Arabia down to eight men)


Random predictions
Hope I am not late to the World Cup prediction party, instead of going around about who will win the tournament or their groups, I want to give something outside of that. Here are my World Cup predictions:

Lionel Messi to finish the World Cup without a single goal scored.

Sergio Ramos to do a Salah on C. Ronaldo in the Spain vs Portugal game (God the look on Ronaldo and the Portuguese bench will be glorious).

The Swedes to draw all their group matches scoring just one goal in the process.

The clash of fashion (Croatia vs Nigeria) between the two most hyped jerseys to be the most borest match of this World Cup.

Senegal to revive that Senegal vs France spirit and knock out England in the round of 16.

Russia to shock the World and get to the semi-finals (anything can happen from there on).

Australia verses Nigeria in the round of 16.

Mitrovic to pick up two red cards in the group stage alone (the first coming in the first game and his second coming after his suspension in Serbia third match).

I am someone, I denied Africa her first World Cup semi finalist in 2010 by catching a goal bound shot, bit an Italian defender skin nearly off in 2014, will surely do something stupid in 2018, like rip off what is left of Salah’s damaged arm that Ramos didn’t finish or something worst. WHO AM I?
E.N.A – Nigeria (funny how some English think that Southgate is a better Manager than Martinez)


Predos banter
A moment of true camaraderie this morning where after seeing Ian Watson’s struggles to predict who would win the World Cup, “Good Guy” Steve Chicken stepped in and made a phone call to Señor Perez at Real Madrid to sort things out.

…and in doing so has murdered my World Cup predictor.
Cevski (one mans villain is another’s hero) THFC


More predictions
– Right, who is going to win this thing?

Despite sacking the manager, I’m going to stick with Spain simply on the strength of their squad. People are talking about Brazil being good at the back, but Spain are something else. Pique, Ramos, Alba, Carvajal (not sure if he is fully fit yet?) – that is as good as back line as can be found anywhere in club football. They also have a few players who know each other well, are protected by Busquets, and if all of them fail, you have to beat De Gea.

– Name me the four semi-finalists too. Because I said so…
Going to be boring here and go for Brazil, France, Spain and Germany. Far too much quality throughout all four teams to see anyone troubling them. Belgium are managed by Martinez and Suarez will have likely done something awful earlier in the tournament – can’t see any other teams troubling these lot.

– Who will be the biggest team to flunk it at the group stage?
I think France will actually start quite slowly but getter as the tournament goes on. Portugal? Some real quality but a pretty average defence, plus Ronaldo won’t be surrounded by the quality he is at Real Madrid, and think this might show

– Which player will win the Golden Boot?
Going to go for the big Belgium, Mr Romelu Lukaku. If he can score goals in this United team, imagine what he can do with de Bruyne and Hazard behind him! Plus he has been on a good scoring run for the national side, is a guaranteed start for a team that should play five games, and I think he seems a really nice guy and like to believe that nice guys don’t necessarily finish last.

– Lionel Messi won the Golden Ball for the best player in 2014. Who wins it this time?
I’d like to say Neymar but I’m nowhere near as confident as everyone else seems to be about Brazil. If Spain won, almost regardless of performance, I’d think Iniesta would be in with a chance.

– Which young player will become a bloody star in Russia?
Not necessarily become a star since he is already doing pretty well for Napoli, but big things are expected of Piotr Zielinski and this could be his time to shine. Also heard lots of positives about Linetty, but I’d be lying if I said I knew anything about him

– And yes, I do have to ask: How will England do?
Quarters before going out, but generally playing alright along the way, so people back home are relatively happy

– Finally, because it is my mission to get everyone excited, in one sentence tell me why the World Cup is brilliant.
Football almost every day for a month, pretty much a constant excuse to drink, plus every world cup you learn a bit more about previous editions. Honestly, what’s not to like?!
Jack (Downside – moving house over the weekend and won’t have TV or internet set up for up to 2 weeks!) Manchester


Pulling me back in…
I would imagine your two-lined headline below caused a few concerned clicks.

Rashford to miss World Cup
training with knee knock

Isn’t that the sort of click-baiting bullshit you guys are meant to abhor and fight against? You may as well have just put the second line in tiny font to go all in. My one-day protest will start now with 24 hours of no clicks on your site. But wait, what’s this? ‘Five ways Mourinho as a child made his mother feel like she wasn’t the best mother all as a ploy to improve her parenting and make his family stronger’ and ’16 conclusions about why Winty is the bestest boss ever and even better than any man ever and why there is nothing FatManScouse can do about it.’

Damn you Football365, I’m already back clicking. Now where’s that ‘Seven players were are out of their contracts because they aren’t any good, but aren’t you desperate for something to fill up your miserable existence between what is still essentially a rather boring game’
Niall, Denver

(The honest truth is that we don’t see the two lines in the system; it just worked out that way. And nobody clicked anyway – Ed)


Shall we let Scotland and Wales have a go?
I thought it was a nice touch for FIFA to announce the 2026 World Cup hosts on the eve of the 2018 tournament.

Multi-country hosts seem to be in fashion – Japan and Korea, Belgium and Holland, USA, Mexico and Canada.

It got to me thinking, perhaps the UK should put in a joint bid. Maybe then Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland would get to play at the tournament again.
Ian Shannon


Podcast suggestions please
Happy World Cup Day everybody!

My excitement is reaching boiling point now so i’m looking for recommendations for World Cup podcasts. Most of the games are during the day where I am so I’m going to try and avoid scores as much as possible to watch when I get home but if that doesn’t work out, I’m planning on filling my morning and afternoon commutes with as much World Cup chatter as possible.
Andy B, Houston

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