Thursday, 28 June 2018

Generally Speaking

Of the 47 completed groups to date from the 32-team World Cups, only two saw the winners decided on the 'goals scored' tie-breaker, with England the runners-up on both occasions (to Sweden in 2002, and to the USA in 2010). Both of those 'weak winners' were eliminated in the Round of 16.

Never has the next tie-breaking criteria been needed to determine the group winner, which prior to this tournament was a drawing of lots. This year of course, as every Japan, Senegal, Belgium and England fan now knows, there's a new criteria inserted before the drawing of lots, which is that of 'fair play points'. 

While Group H ultimately didn't need this new tie-breaker to determine the winner, Group G may well do. History was made in that the new tie-breaker saw Japan progress as runners-up at Senegal's expense of course. 

As Vasu Shan pointed out in response to my previous post:

Indeed, and this group is not a 'generally-speaking' scenario.

A semi-final appearance with Colombia followed by either Sweden or Switzerland in the way sounds a lot more attractive than one blocked by (probably) Brazil. 

Same for Belgium of course so it's no surprise that the favourite Correct Score is 0:0 at 7.9, and the draw is a rare sub 3.0 price. With the farcical possibility of both teams looking to pick up disciplinary points and conceding penalties (intentionally missed) perhaps, theses markets should be a consideration. Trent Alexander-Arnold coming on with the sole purpose of picking up a Red Card?

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