My Bracket Predictions for World Cup 2018: 5.5 for 8. (See predictions from 6-29-18 below.)
It's a score of 5.5 since Spain was accurately predicted to have penalty kicks with Russia, though Spain lost. This is based on "Shane Math."
The .5 was added for the correct prediction of penalty kicks during the Spain vs Russia game. I had worked on similar mathematical formulas during my time at MIT.* This, of course, was after I turned down mathematical scholarships from Princeton and Harvard.** Eventually, when I switched from MIT to Stanford, which was due to the actual Dean of the school calling me relentlessly, I began work on Penrose tiling, the true nature of Planck time and gradually I solved Fermat’s Last Theorem one night during an online game of Zelda.*** It goes without saying, I’m still waiting for my recognition from the scientific community. Furthermore, I’d also like an apology letter from Andrew Wiles, and Ken Ribet while we’re at it, for claiming that I “stole their work” and “plagiarized years of research."**** And they call themselves geniuses. Really? Put the time in fella. All they do is yack-yack-yack-yack. Anyway, through all my mathematical travels, I’ve applied my knowledge and expertise to the application of .5 for my bracket prediction in the Spain vs Russia game.
* Complete fantasy.
** Pure fiction.
*** Total rubbish.
**** More rubbish. If you believe this, we should have a talk.
With Germany out, this World Cup is literally unpredictable.
With that said, with great caution and intrigue, I lay out my guesses for the elimination rounds.
“Toss a coin.”
I give it to Portugal only because Ronaldo is playing well. He’s scoring goals, and this may be his last World Cup tournament which may lead him to guide his team with an extra push. However, this game is a toss up. Despite being the defending European champions, Portugal is not the best team around the block. Without Ronaldo they’re super-average, and you cannot depend on them. Uruguay, another team that’s definitely not the best on the block is average as well, counting on Suarez for the majority of their scoring chances, with dull, predictable support from the midfield and defense.
“Toss a coin.”
This should be a great game. This is more like a perfect semi-final or championship showdown. Unfortunately, they’re meeting in the second round. It could go either way, though, as with Portugal, I’m going with Messi and Argentina only because of Messi’s prowess on the field and his quest for the big title which may bring out the best in him during this match. Despite the hype, Pogba is not a big game player, and I don’t think he’ll bring in a magical performance against Argentina. However, he’s a good player, and along with Greizmann, who I believe is more of a threat up top, and one of the better players in the tournament, France should give Argentina a tough game.
“Go with Brazil.”
Poor Mexico. They’re desperately trying to defeat their “second round curse” and this just doesn’t seem like the tournament for them to accomplish it. If only they could’ve been paired against Sweden or Denmark. However, this is probably the best Mexican team in their history of teams so don’t be surprised to see Mexico surprise the world with a defeat over Brazil, and a somewhat injured Neymar. Though, I’m going with Brazil because they’re hitting a stride, they have a talented group with Willian and Coutinho, and I believe they’ll eventually find their way into the finals.
“Go with Belgium.”
Belgium is just better than Japan, on paper and in reality of soccer. However, Japan is very technically sound and it wouldn’t be surprising to me at all if they knocked off the Belgians. Japan is likely going to improve their national team structure and eventually win the whole World Cup. But not this time around. Belgium yes, Japan no.
Going into this tournament I had my doubts about Spain, because members of their “Golden Generation” are slowly retiring from the team. They have a few left, but I thought it wasn’t going to be enough to hold onto that magic, and, as I’ve predicted, they’ll end up being one of the best teams never to win the World Cup “again.” They’re playing well and so is Russia. The Russians have the home crowd which has been of great help to this point. But, I think Spain still holds all the cards with their strong ability to out-possess their opponent. I think this will knock the Russians off their game, and the win should go Spain. Though, penalty kicks might be the end result, which, if that’s the case, the game could go either way.
“Toss a coin.”
Both teams are pretty equal and they both play a quality thoughtful game of soccer, though Croatia might have the edge based on the flow they’ve displayed so far in the tournament. Literally toss a coin for this one. But I’m going with Croatia.
“Toss a coin.”
I chose Sweden only because it was going to be easier to write “Sweden” on my self-made bracket page. So there you go. Sweden, your winners! Go Sweden! Both teams are pretty equal and both play a boring style of soccer. It can go either way. Sweden can bring out a good game, defeating Italy in a playoff to reach this World Cup, and gaining a victory over Mexico in their group. Switzerland is steady, with experienced players. This game could go either way, and despite their mutually boring approach, it could be an exciting game to watch.
“Probably, maybe England…but you never know.”
This should be a very intriguing game. I’m going with England only because this might be the year they do something big! Then again, it might not! They’ve been saying that since 1966. We’ll see. This might as well be a “toss a coin” game. Both teams are very talented and it literally could go either way. Don’t be surprised to see penalty kicks. To this point in the tournament, Colombia just hasn’t impressed me like I thought they would. England, well, it’s not as though we’re talking about Brazil 1970. But I’m going with England. For this game you should too.