2018 World Cup Update!
As most of you know, I’m 50% Dutch. Hence, the “Dutch Lion” nickname. My father was 100% Dutch-American and my mom is a mixture of mostly Swedish and German. If I remember correctly, my mother’s mom was 100% Swedish. So that makes me 50% Dutch and 25% Swedish and other stuff.
(Mom, if you’re reading this you can confirm or deny in the “Comments” section below the article. Please remember that all of your comments are public, not private. That means they are able to be read by anyone and everyone. We know how you can be uncouth. So be careful!)
Since the Dutch aren’t in this World Cup, I decided to cheer for Sweden. So far, so good. Now that we’ve completed the Group Phase, let’s recap what I predicted in my Preview and make new predictions for the Knockout Phase that starts Saturday morning.
Group A Predicted Champ: Uruguay (correct!)
Group A Predicted Runner-Up: Russia (correct!)
Group B Predicted Champ: Portugal (Actual finish: Runner-Up)
Group B Predicted Runner-Up: Spain (Actual finish: Champ)
Group C Predicted Champ: France (correct!)
Group C Predicted Runner-Up: Denmark (correct!)
Group D Predicted Champ: Argentina (Actual finish: Runner-Up; Champ was Croatia)
Group D Predicted Runner-Up: Iceland (Actual finish: 4th; Runner-Up was Argentina)
Group E Predicted Champ: Brazil (correct!)
Group E Predicted Runner-Up: Switzerland (correct!)
Group F Predicted Champ: Germany (Actual finish: 4th; Champ was Sweden)
Group F Predicted Runner-Up: Sweden (Actual finish: Champ)
Group G Predicted Champ: Belgium (correct!)
Group G Predicted Runner-Up: England (correct!)
Group H Predicted Champ: Columbia (correct!)
Group H Predicted Runner-Up: Poland (Actual finish: 4th)
As you can see, the “Dutch Lion” correctly predicted 13 of the 16 teams that advanced to the Knockout Phase’s “Round of 16”. In fact, he even predicted 9 teams in their exact order of finish. #Proud. The only teams he predicted to advance that didn’t were Germany, Poland, and Iceland. He still has all of his Elite 8 picks remaining too. Not bad Dutch. Not bad at all.
Saturday, June 30
France vs Argentina – Without Messi, the Argentines aren’t that good right now. Meanwhile, France has as much talent as any country. However, Messi is playing. But so is Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann. This might be the best matchup of the Round of 16. Do I have to wake up early to watch? Set the alarm for 9am. PICK: France
Uruguay vs Portugal – Uruguay has been as impressive as any team so far this Tournament, with a 3-0 record. The only others to win all three games so far are Croatia and Brazil. Portugal has “the man” Christiano Ronaldo. He’s been as good as any player so far, scoring four goals already. PICK: Can I go with either? This might be a fantastic game. I’ll take Uruguay. They haven’t even given up a goal yet, the only team to achieve that goal. (Are you messing with me “Dutch”, or simply playing with words?)
Sunday, July 1
Spain vs Russia – I don’t really love Spain as much as many prognosticators but they’re playing Russia. The only way Russia wins is if Kaspersky, James Comey, Robert Mueller, Alec Baldwin, or Hillary hacks the scoreboard. PICK: Spain
Croatia vs Denmark – This has got to be the worst matchup of the Round of 16. Of course, that’s what will probably make it the best. Nonetheless, I don’t see myself watching. I’ll probably go to church or watch baseball instead. PICK: Croatia
Monday, July 2
Brazil vs Mexico – Everyone is so hyped up on El Tri. Not me. They stink….. and they’re not very good either! I’m very excited about this game. PICK: Brazil
Belgium vs Japan – Gary “The Gut” Goombah’s Lock of the Week! Belgium has scored 9 goals in their first three games, the most of any team. Belgium is amazing. Japan is lucky to be alive. Don’t worry, Belgium won’t get ‘Pearl Harbored’ on Monday. PICK: Belgium
Tuesday, July 3
Sweden vs Switzerland – The Swedes are underrated. They are a really solid team as I found out way back while watching them in the Qualifiers. PICK: Sweden
Columbia vs England – My heart is telling me England. My brain is telling me Columbia. Too bad “Ma Boyle”. Does anyone get that joke? Nope? Meanwhile, back to soccer, er futbol. Heart wins. PICK: England
That’s it for now. Enjoy the games over the next 4 days. I’ll be back to recap the Round of 16 and preview the Quarterfinals on the 4th or 5th next week.