*Countdown number for PutinMania is at 252 days.*
As we get closer to the summer of Putin (shoutout George Costanza), we are getting awarded with some Joga Bonito, international edition. Countries are going bananas, hoping to land a spot to, at the very least, the second round of qualifications. You may be thinking, “Second round? WTF is that!?” Well, incase you forgot about how teams in UEFA qualify to the WC, or like me, had no fucking clue before googling it 10 minutes ago, here is a reminder/lesson. Make sure you take notes because there will be an exam at the end of the blog.
9 Groups of 6 teams, more than likely set using Warm Balls, all face each other Home/Away. First place of each group automatically qualifies for WC, while the 8 best runner ups, will duke it out in home/away games, with the 4 winners making it to Russia. How to they decide which 2nd place teams face each other? Yup, you guessed it, revolutionary attempt by UEFA, ditching the warm balls for, FROZEN BALLS. Get ready to see David Beckham botch the English language as he picks out the Cold Pelotas from a bowl. 2nd Round draws will be on October 17.
Anyways, 9 groups is way too much to go through, especially when teams there are tons of irrelevant ass teams out there, you know who you are. Instead, we’ll go over the best games between Thursday and Tuesday, that way you aren’t wasting your time watching games like Belgium v Cyprus, or Germany v Azerbaijan. Be prepared to have TV2 on, we got a couple same day games.
Netherlands has been extremely disappointing recently. It seems as though old men Robben and Snejder have run out of gas after the gutless performance they gave in Brazil ’14, #NoEraPenal. Besides failing to make the 2016 Euros (SAD!), Netherlands have failed to get any points in both matches against France, as well as taking a big fat L in Bulgaria back in March. This game is going to basically decide who finishes 2nd. If by some miracle, Bulgaria pulls an upset at home vs France, then it’s going to be a HUGE Tuesday, where you cannot miss any games in Group A. But that won’t happen so Netherlands v Sweden is your best watch.
Portunaldo vs Neutralandia, this matchup is to decide the winner of Group B. The last game between these two was 3 months after Portugal won the 2016 Euros, without Ronny mind you. Which means, not only did they play without the 2nd best player in the world (Thats Right! @ me if you want @SenorBautista), but they were coming off a high of being the best team of Europe (even though they basically had a cake walk to the finals. Yup @SenorBautista). This time around, the defense is a lot stronger, having given up only 2 goals since that lost, and Ronny is back, most goals in WC qualifiers. Any who, expect a tough game, with the Switz’s falling for a counter attack approach now that Ronaldo is back.
Not really much going on here. Germany should come away with a win and qualify for Russia, BUT, North Ireland have been fantastic at home, scoring 12 of their 16 goals at home. Nevertheless, Germany should put them away with a casual 4-0 win or so.
Big time matchup here. Wales will play Friday’s game against Georgia (country near Russia not Florida) without Madrid’s
super star better than average player, Gareth Bale. Will they win? Yes. Will Ireland beat Moldova? Yes. Will Wales v Ireland be the most exciting game this weekend? Abso-fucking-lutely. Last time around, we saw some dirty football. And not the kind with crazy goals, or cool trick, I’m talking leaving the cleats high, elbows to the head, late tackles, broken legs kind. Expect a HIGH Intensity, blood flowing, beer flowing, sheeps flowing, match.
Now I get that Denmark and Montenegro are tied with a match to split the two tomorrow, but I’m more fixed on Poland vs Montenegro. Why? Poland is the deciding factor of who lands second. Poland will get out of this group, but this game vs Montenegro seals who lands in 2nd. If/when Poland beats Armenia, deciding whether or not to throw out a weaker squad vs Montenegro is the end factor. No matter what results comes from Montenegro vs Denmark, Poland has the keys to their own destiny. Expect a Hat-trick from Lewandowski, Poland can’t risk not finishing in 1st.
Group F has been the weirdest group so far. England is yet to qualify, haven given away 2 ties against Slovenia and Scotland. But without a doubt, Group F is the most competitive of any. After starting off with 2 losses, Slovakia then hosted Scotland and put a beating on them 3 nothing. Ever since that loss, to Slovakia, Scotland has gotten 3 wins, and a HUGE tie against England (should’ve won, but defense had their heads up their ass after Lee Griffiths 2nd goal). Besides that, England has an important game with Slovenia which, if/when England wins, this game between the Scots and Slovaks will ultimately decide who moves onto round 2.
In what to me is the best group of the qualifiers, Group I is fucking loaded. 2 points separate first place and fourth place. I know that the Turkey v Iceland matchup is another spicy meatball, but Croatia going to Ukraine and having to get a W is more appealing to me. Croatia really struggled to edge out a 1-0 win at home vs Ukraine. Now, Croatia will head into Olympic Stadium, in Ukraine, where Shevchenko and co. haven’t lost since a 1-0 loss to Spain. It’s going to be a doozie, and Putin will be sure to watch this game, and potentially wet some referee beaks. You know just to make sure he calls a fair game (for Croatia).
There you have it. A really fucking long and boring blog. If at nothing, I hope you look at the matchups and have them at the back of you head. Make sure you are watching these alone, these luciosious matchups are sure to give you a chub. Imagine that, getting a chubbie from watching Ronny put one into the back of the net of Volkan Babacan (Turkish GK), not that there is anything wrong with that.