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Paco last won the day on December 1 2020

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  1. Falkirk making a good game of this, eh? Looking like John McGlynn’s first Challenge Cup defeat since August 2011. 4/4 wins at Livi, 9/9 at Raith and 1/1 at Falkirk before tonight.
  2. I didn’t realise just how poor their record against the elite teams is - they have essentially never beaten a top-level team in a knockout tie outside of England. Their only real runs outside of the home tournaments were in 1990, where they got past Belgium and Cameroon after extra time to make the semis, and 2018 where they beat Colombia on penalties and beat Sweden. In 2018 they didn’t even come up against a particularly good team in the semis but still failed to make the final. They’ll go into overdrive if they win on Saturday and in fairness you could understand it. Unprecedented ground.
  3. I honestly can’t believe how bad the commentary team are, they’d be as well not being there. ‘Looked onside, and the linesman kept his flag down’ says Hartson as the replays show the striker miles offside, after the linesman’s flag went up.
  4. Should clearly be a lot more than four at half time. Bewildered as to why Korea are playing like it’s the dying minutes of a final. At some stage they’re surely going to have to just shut up shop and try not to get completely humiliated, because Brazil could really get as many as they fancy here.
  5. Senegal are possibly the weakest team in the last 16, who got lucky by getting Qatar as their top seed. Australia are maybe weaker on paper but did fully earn their spot, by beating both the second and third seeds in their group. I’m expecting a couple of big shocks in the last 16, but I don’t see England having any issues at all particularly with Senegal missing a couple of their best players. Senegal were dull and uninspiring in the groups for me. 3-0.
  6. I see Mark Pougatch is the first journalist/broadcaster out of the traps to say that this World Cup is great because he can make more of the games. Inevitable, really. Never mind that fans are sleeping in tents and shipping containers. It’s very important that Graeme Souness is at the matches in person to give his cutting edge analysis.
  7. What are we looking at here? Germany need two goals to win 3-1, and a Spain equaliser? Costa Rica need a winner to go through, with Japan beating or drawing with Spain. Spain are out if Costa Rica win and they lose. Is that right?
  8. Netherlands v Argentina England v Poland Brazil v Spain Morocco v Portugal
  9. Have they changed how offside works in the last couple of days and not told anyone? Very similar to the Griezemann one last night. The guy’s shoulder is offside from the original free kick, but he’s nowhere near play. When the defender heads it he’s back in play, no?
  10. I’ve not been impressed with Senegal at all to be honest, in a pretty weak group. I think England will win comfortably by a few goals.
  11. We don’t really have a striker to speak of, still. Connell is absolutely rubbish 95% of the time albeit one of his two good games did come against Ayr, Vaughan has been played as a centre forward in our last two to predictable results, Gullan has barely played for months and certainly isn’t a lone striker in any case, and Frederiksen has had about ten minutes off the bench since his last start in October. Genuinely surprised to see Ayr fans saying they’d take a draw. Top of the league at home to 7th. We’ve taken seven points from eight away games (wins over the bottom two and a point at injury-depleted Caley). Unfortunately I suspect they’ll be fine.
  12. Do the BBC have a particular slot? Linlithgow away being moved to a Monday night would be a bitter, bitter blow. Friday however would be fine.
  13. I’ve always said that if we can’t get an outright ban on switching home fixtures in the cup, clubs should be forced to nominate their home ground ahead of the draw. Darvel would undoubtedly play every single club in the draw at their home midden, on a tattie field, with the exception of the city clubs. It isn’t fair to expect Livi to play on a dreadful surface in a tight ground, but others can get a nice cushy game at Rugby Park.
  14. Obviously it never actually works out like this, but at this stage the most likely opponents in each round as group winners would be: Ecuador France Portugal Brazil From 2nd it would be: Netherlands Argentina Brazil France A no-brainer to take Option A. If France slip up in the Round of 16 it could be a 2018 style route to the semi, with a very good but certainly not elite European opponent waiting.
  15. Tournament winners very rarely sweep everyone aside throughout. Italy drew with the USA in the groups in 2006, Spain lost their opener to Switzerland in 2010, Germany drew with Ghana in the groups in 2014, France opened with a 0-0 with Denmark in 2018. Obviously England drew 0-0 and were outplayed at home to some diddy team at Euro 2020 and ended up a penalty kick away from winning it. In terms of progression last night doesn’t really mean much. Avoid defeat against a hopeless Wales team and they’re through. But hopefully some panic sets in. I still think England have a very good team and with a kind draw could make the final. They might beat say France in a one-off but I think winning two or three in a row against genuine top-level teams is beyond them. Last night doesn’t change much.
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