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The Road to Qatar.

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8 minutes ago, Obinna said:

But in the March I think we need to play two solid teams. The higher the ranking the better, within reason. I don't want to play France or Brazil, but maybe a Peru or Denmark

Denmark is playing England in London on March 31. Denmark might be willing to play Canada in England a few days before, but I don't like our chances against them. If we were further back we'd have to take that kind of risk, but I don't think we can afford to lose a match in the FIFA window with only the June window left.

8 minutes ago, Obinna said:

Perhaps we'll have to settle for a team in concacaf and if so I like our chances against Panama and Curacao, two beatable teams ranked high enough to be worth it and who may be tempted to play us, considering we are one of the teams between them and the Hex.

I don't think you can count on that motivation for Panama and Curacao to play us. They're too far behind 6th to have a realistic shot unless they can beat a couple nations ranked much higher.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Rivaldo said:

Denmark is playing England in London on March 31. Denmark might be willing to play Canada in England a few days before, but I don't like our chances against them. If we were further back we'd have to take that kind of risk, but I don't think we can afford to lose a match in the FIFA window with only the June window left.

I don't think you can count on that motivation for Panama and Curacao to play us. They're too far behind 6th to have a realistic shot unless they can beat a couple nations ranked much higher.

Fair enough about our chances against Denmark, but wouldn't we only lose a point or two against them? We could pair that game with a date against NZ in London during the same window.

We know Herdman has pull with their FA and they are a team who may want to play in the UK during the break. Same for Australia, who are ranked in the low 40s last time I checked. We played them at Craven cottage several years ago...

I would have to look at the point totals, but off the top of my head I would think Panama and Curacao are close enough to take that sort of gamble. They have nothing to lose and beating us is essentially worth double. Wouldn't that make sense for them? The only other team better for them to play is El Salvador and well....good luck with that :)

Edited by Obinna

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24 minutes ago, Kyle_The_Hill said:

Here's the list of available nations above Czech Republic. Let me know if you want to see the minnows totals, but as I said in the last post, I think our sweet spot is Czech to St. Kitts.

image.png.39b6ab258b2af9b158f1bc8375843911.png

image.png.e20d0998f3e9a6ae7183aadccb080c8f.png

Couldn’t hurt to have the minnows totals for reference. 
 

To be clear, I’m not advocating playing minnows in March but I’d rather that than play a team that’s not realistic for us to beat. I tend to agree with you that we should be playing teams more like Trinidad than Denmark. At least in March. If we have to get risky in the final window, so be it.

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1 hour ago, Kyle_The_Hill said:

The World Cup is increasing to 48 countries for 2026. The current format will be abolished after 2022.

I hope it's not just tinkered with. I hope they deep-six any over-reliance on rankings. Also ditch the concept of two different pathways like they have now.  ie. hex and non-hex

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I guess 48 teams will mean the end of the hex because CONCACAF will get six spots. They could still have it for 2026 depending on what happens with places for the hosts.

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For March window, I think viable opponents who will get us good ranking points AND we have a chance of beating are:

Sweden

Poland

USA

Wales

Ukraine 

Austria

theyre all tough bouts but that’s the type of situation we’re in right now. I feel like we’re around the level of all those teams

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6 hours ago, N1ckbr0wn said:

For March window, I think viable opponents who will get us good ranking points AND we have a chance of beating are:

Sweden

Poland

USA

Wales

Ukraine 

Austria

theyre all tough bouts but that’s the type of situation we’re in right now. I feel like we’re around the level of all those teams

Not a chance we are beating Ukraine or Poland both very strong nations Ukraine beating and drawing Portugal in the Euro’s as well as hammering Serbia 5-0 and Poland with Lewondoski always expected to make it out of the group stage of the euros or World Cup.

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13 hours ago, N1ckbr0wn said:

For March window, I think viable opponents who will get us good ranking points AND we have a chance of beating are:

Sweden

Poland

USA

Wales

Ukraine 

Austria

theyre all tough bouts but that’s the type of situation we’re in right now. I feel like we’re around the level of all those teams

We’re really really not around the level of any of those teams tbh. 

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3 hours ago, Floortom said:

We’re really really not around the level of any of those teams tbh. 

We literally just beat the USA... and our last matches against Ukraine and Austria were a draw and a win respectively and we have improved significantly since then.  Those teams are all a tier higher than us but it's not like we're talking Brazil or Germany.

Those are matches we should be playing.  Win, draw or lose they're going to grow us.  

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3 hours ago, Floortom said:

We’re really really not around the level of any of those teams tbh. 

Yeah but we can beat any of those teams in a one-off match. I don't think he's saying these are teams we should beat. He is saying these are teams we can beat. None of those teams are Brazil or Germany or Spain etc...

 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, CanadaFan123 said:

We literally just beat the USA... and our last matches against Ukraine and Austria were a draw and a win respectively and we have improved significantly since then.  Those teams are all a tier higher than us but it's not like we're talking Brazil or Germany.

Those are matches we should be playing.  Win, draw or lose they're going to grow us.  

Yes we just beat the US, but I don’t know much about Austria and yes we have improved, but unless you think we are at the level of Portugal then yes play Ukraine, otherwise no because yes we had a draw against them years ago but in the Euro qualifiers Ukraine had a 0-0 draw against Portugal in Portugal then beat them 2-1 in Ukraine topping there Euro Qualifying Group in First place ahead of Portugal and Serbia and almost have there squad plays in the premier league, budensliga or is in the champions league.

 

As for your point to grow us yes I agree but we need points to get into the hex right now we don’t want to take for sure losses or atleast a high high percentage for a loss we need to play teams we know we can beat to get the points then after we make the hex or don’t play teams that can grow us.

Edited by Daryn27

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Daryn27 said:

Yes we just beat the US, but I don’t know much about Austria and yes we have improved, but unless you think we are at the level of Portugal then yes play Ukraine, otherwise no because yes we had a draw against them years ago but in the Euro qualifiers Ukraine had a 0-0 draw against Portugal in Portugal then beat them 2-1 in Ukraine topping there Euro Qualifying Group in First place ahead of Portugal and Serbia and almost have there squad plays in the premier league, budensliga or is in the champions league.

 

As for your point to grow us yes I agree but we need points to get into the hex right now we don’t want to take for sure losses or atleast a high high percentage for a loss we need to play teams we know we can beat to get the points then after we make the hex or don’t play teams that can grow us.

You're heading down a confusing path if you want to do the 3rd party results comparison.. the USA also drew France in 2018.  

I followed Ukraine in qualifiers, they are very impressive but I still think we could take them.   We have some pretty impressive players too..  3 of the players on Ukraine are David's club mates at Gent, including one who scored against Portugal, but none are as valuable as him.  Then they have Zinchenko... we have Davies who is arguably better as well.  Still, I'd say they're a tier ahead of us but there's nothing overly intimidating about them where I would rule out a result.  In 10 matches they would probably win 6, draw 3 and lose 1 against us.    

Edited by CanadaFan123

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16 minutes ago, CanadaFan123 said:

You're heading down a confusing path if you want to do the 3rd party results comparison.. the USA also drew France in 2018.  

I followed Ukraine in qualifiers, they are very impressive but I still think we could take them.   We have some pretty impressive players too..  3 of the players on Ukraine are David's club mates at Gent, including one who scored against Portugal, but none are as valuable as him.  Then they have Zinchenko... we have Davies who is arguably better as well.  Still, I'd say they're a tier ahead of us but there's nothing overly intimidating about them where I would rule out a result.  In 10 matches they would probably win 6, draw 3 and lose 1 against us.    

This. I never insinuated that we are EQUAL with them, yet the gap between us and these teams is a lot smaller then it used to be and that gap is getting smaller by the year. None of those teams blow us out of the water 

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I was thinking more along the lines of these teams if going Euro based in March:

Scotland, Bulgaria, Albania, North Macedonia our all ahead of us & think we have a legit shot at a Win with Euro based A squad.

Belarus, Georgia, Cyprus, Estonia, Faroe Islands slightly below us and think we have a legit shot for a win with Euro based A squad.

@Kyle_The_Hill any chance we can get the points total for those Euro teams?

I'm sure the CSA is crunching the numbers like crazy, prolly hired an expert, but it's fun as supporters also doing this.

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1 hour ago, CanadaFan123 said:

You're heading down a confusing path if you want to do the 3rd party results comparison.. the USA also drew France in 2018.  

I followed Ukraine in qualifiers, they are very impressive but I still think we could take them.   We have some pretty impressive players too..  3 of the players on Ukraine are David's club mates at Gent, including one who scored against Portugal, but none are as valuable as him.  Then they have Zinchenko... we have Davies who is arguably better as well.  Still, I'd say they're a tier ahead of us but there's nothing overly intimidating about them where I would rule out a result.  In 10 matches they would probably win 6, draw 3 and lose 1 against us.    

Sure we can beat Ukraine 1 out of 10 but why is that worth the risk? You’re saying there’s a 60% chance playing that game would eliminate us. And even a draw gets us 2 points which is less than we’d get for beating a minnow so what’s the point. I’d prefer to play a team around our ranking to get 5 points. It really all depends on what happens against Iceland though because we’ll only need 9 points with a win, 12 with a draw and 14 or 15 with a loss I believe (approximately, I’m too lazy to look back at the exact totals). 

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37 minutes ago, apbsmith said:

I was thinking more along the lines of these teams if going Euro based in March:

Scotland, Bulgaria, Albania, North Macedonia our all ahead of us & think we have a legit shot at a Win with Euro based A squad.

Belarus, Georgia, Cyprus, Estonia, Faroe Islands slightly below us and think we have a legit shot for a win with Euro based A squad.

@Kyle_The_Hill any chance we can get the points total for those Euro teams?

I'm sure the CSA is crunching the numbers like crazy, prolly hired an expert, but it's fun as supporters also doing this.

All these nations are unavailable due to UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs.image.png.bbd564490f341fb6d3f4005cac1e0136.png

Here's the nations around them.

image.png.a75b0f875e33c2b1bf37370bd1e73b38.png

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, archer21 said:

Sure we can beat Ukraine 1 out of 10 but why is that worth the risk? You’re saying there’s a 60% chance playing that game would eliminate us. And even a draw gets us 2 points which is less than we’d get for beating a minnow so what’s the point. I’d prefer to play a team around our ranking to get 5 points. It really all depends on what happens against Iceland though because we’ll only need 9 points with a win, 12 with a draw and 14 or 15 with a loss I believe (approximately, I’m too lazy to look back at the exact totals). 

First of all our chances of beating Ukraine are much greater than 1 out of 10 times.

It's subjective, but I say 3 out of 10 times we win, 2 out of 10 we draw and 5 out of 10 we lose. 

I think we tied them last time we played (in Ukraine), although both squads were much different. Simeone Jackson was at Norwich City and Josh Simpson was tearing it up in Turkey. Those were our top attackers...

Secondly, we may grab 5 points with a win against someone of our calibre, but we lose 5 points if we lose, which is equally likely. That for me is the real gamble, isn't it?

The benefit of playing stronger teams is that we lose less if we lose, gain more if we win, and get a small increase if we draw. 

I do believe we are better than our ranking because a) for years we have done without official games, which dragged our ranking down and b) we have a young, talented generation coming up.

And since we are better than our ranking suggests I am comfortable with playing higher ranked teams. Not the super teams, but your mid tier uefa or south American teams.

We already played these teams in friendlies in the recent past and did decently well, and that was with a weaker squad. When we played Equador or Peru they never had to deal with Davies or David.

Like I said though, the real risk, if you ask me, is losing to a team around our ranking and lose as many fifa points as we could win. I think that proposition has the lowest value to us.

Unless we are playing such a team we are comfortable beating, like Curacao and to a lesser extent Panama, I would stay away from teams in the 60 to 80 neighborhood...

Edited by Obinna

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Posted (edited)

^ Case in point, I would rather try and beat Ukraine and pick up 7 points, because a draw also gets us 2 and a loss is only -3, then...

Play Albania, slip up and lose -5. A win against them gets us +5 and a draw gets us nothing. 

Playing a team around our ranking is not something I am overly comfortable with unless it's a team we know. I would rather play Nicaragua and pick up a cool 3 points, because I know them and I really do not think they would beat or draw us, though if they did we'd be cooked.

The benefit of playing a bigger team such as Ukraine is that if we do win we likely force El Salvador out of hiding, where they can possibly drop even more points. 

Or we can keep playing weaker teams and inch closer and hope a freak result doesn't destroy us.

Also, perhaps if we want to take the "gamble" of playing a big team it makes sense to do it in March and not in June? That way we have time to correct if we fail...

Edited by Obinna

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If we were looking at CONCACAF opposition, I still like Trinidad & Tobago as a potential matchup. They're right underneath similarly ranked teams to us (Curacao, Panama, Haiti) and they're high enough that we would still receive 4 points for a win. We defeated them 2-0 just last year, right before the Gold Cup. Just my own gut feeling, but I would rather take a little less risk and have an excellent chance to gain 4 points than try for a 5 or 6 point team and end up with a draw or a loss.

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5 minutes ago, jtpc said:

If we were looking at CONCACAF opposition, I still like Trinidad & Tobago as a potential matchup. They're right underneath similarly ranked teams to us (Curacao, Panama, Haiti) and they're high enough that we would still receive 4 points for a win. We defeated them 2-0 just last year, right before the Gold Cup. Just my own gut feeling, but I would rather take a little less risk and have an excellent chance to gain 4 points than try for a 5 or 6 point team and end up with a draw or a loss.

I kinda like the idea of T&T, but Ryan Telfer makes me nervous...

The soccer gods, y'know? 

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Also something to consider but may not be feasible given the added costs of hosting a friendly, we would have a huge advantage playing in Toronto in March against warm weather nations. I would be super confident in us coming out with 7 points from a Antigua and Barbuda and Trinidad and Tobago doubleheader.

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