Saturday, December 2, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Evenly distributed World Cup draw lacks group of death

Yesterday's Scores
Bundesliga
SC Freiburg 0-0 Hamburg SV

La Liga
Malaga 0-0 Levante

Serie A
AS Roma 3-1 SPAL
(Dzeko 19', Strootman 32', Pellegrin 53')-(Vivano 55')

Napoli 0-1 Juventus
(Higuain 12')

Ligue 1
Dijon 3-2 Bordeaux
(Yambere 34', Jeannot 52', Said 86)-(Cafu 13', Malcom 36')

European League Tables

Headlines
Yesterday was the all important draw for the 2018 World Cup in Moscow and here are the results:

Group A: Russia, Uruguay, Egypt, Saudi Arabia
Group B: Portugal, Spain, Iran, Morocco
Group C: France, Peru, Denmark, Australia
Group D: Argentina, Croatia, Iceland, Nigeria
Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Group G: Belgium, England, Tunisia, Panama
Group H: Poland, Colombia, Senegal, Japan

There's nothing truly resembling a group of death in this field. Yeah, there are a couple of tough draws, but these all seem fairly predictable. Distributing the teams into pots based on FIFA ranking instead of by continent kind of has that effect. If you had to pick one that closest approaches as group of death, I give it to either Group D or F. Both are packed with middling nations close together in the rankings and could see some upsets.

Since the USA isn't going to be there, I'm pulling for Poland, who have a favorable outlook as far as getting out of the group stages. I like them to come in second place behind Colombia in Group H.

The World Cup kicks off With Russia playing Saudi Arabia on June 14. Mark your calendars.

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but Gareth Bale is going to miss today's Real Madrid-Bilbao clash with a calf problem. Manager Zinedine Zidane says its nothing serious and they are holding him out for precautionary reasons, but it's still not a good sign to see the Welshman injured again so soon after returning from a thing strain.

Today's Matches
Premier League
Chelsea v. Newcastle United- 7:30 am- NBCSN
Brighton & Hove Albion v. Liverpool- 10am- NBCSN
Everton v. Huddersfield Town- 10am
Leicester City v. Burnley- 10am
Stoke City v. Swansea City- 10am
Watford v. Tottenham- 10am- CNBC
West Bromwich Albion v. Crystal Palace- 10am
Arsenal v. Manchester United- 12:30pm- NBC

Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen v. Borussia Dortmund- 9:30am- FS2
Bayern Munich v. Hannover 96- 9:30am- FS1
Mainz v. FC Augsburg- 9:30am
TSG Hoffenheim v. RB Leipzig- 9:30am
Werder Bremen v. VfB Stuttgart- 9:30am
Schalke 04 v. FC Koln- 12:30pm- FS2

La Lgia
Barcelona v. Celta Vigo- 7am- beIN
Atletico Madrid v. Real Sociedad- 10:15am

Sevilla v. Deportivo La Coruna- 12:30pm
Athletic Bilbao v. Real Madrid- 2:45pm- beIN

Serie A
Torino v. Atalanta- 2:45pm

Ligue 1
Strasbourg v. Paris Saint-Germain- 11am- beIN
AS Monaco v. Angers- 2pm
Lille v. Toulouse- 2pm
Nice v. Metz- 2pm
Stade Rennes v. SC Amiens- 2pm
Troyes v. Guingamp- 2pm

Liga MX Playoffs- Semifinals Second Leg
Tigres UANL v. Club America- 8pm- Univision Deportes

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