Monday, October 21, 2013

There can only be one....or 4 of 8

FIFA posted the 4 games that will decide the final European qualifiers for next summer in Brazil.

With 9 places taken, the winners over two legs will take Europe's contingent up to 13.

According to the FIFA website...

Portugal (ranked 14), Greece (15), Croatia (18) and Ukraine (20) were the seeded teams while France(21), Sweden (25), Romania (29) and Iceland (46) were unseeded, based on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking of 17 October 2013.
The home-and-away play-off matches are due to be played on 15 November and 19 November respectively.
So, who do you fancy?
I'm taking Zlatan over Cristiano. Why? I don't know, I just think Zlatan knows it's probably his last World Cup, loves it when someone has an ego to match his, and would really enjoy sticking it to Sepp Blatter and FIFA. He knows they want/need Ronaldo at the World Cup. He's such an icon of the modern game and attracts so much interest. I'd like to see both teams go, but that's the beauty of it - it's like Highlander - there can only be 1....or 4 of 8, just doesn't sound as good!
France have the quality to beat Ukraine, but I worry about them. They are so inconsistent, but Didier Deschamps has got his team together a little and playing well. Ukraine are ok, but I don't see them winning away if they need to.
Greece against Romania is probably the lease exciting tie, but I fancy Greece, even with Gerogios Samaras in the team. 
And then there's Iceland. I don't think there's a neutral out there who doesn't want them to make their first big tournament - and it has nothing to do with Croatia. I'd like to see Eidur Gudjohnsen get there - mainly because he used to play for the national team with his Dad, and has great goal celebrations.