World Cup 2018: Need, Should And Will For Matchday Three

Matchday Two for all sides is in the books. From NFB’s perspective, here’s what the teams need to do, what they should do and what they will do in Matchday Three.

Group A


What They Need To Do: Win or draw against Uruguay to top the group.

What They Should Do: Use the game as a chance to set-up for the coming Spain/Portugal clash, with Uruguay’s attackers the perfect warm-up for either Costa or Ronaldo.

What They Will Do: Throw on the back-ups and try and ride it out.


Need: Win in order to top the group.

Should: Make this the final part of the tuning up the group stage has been.

Will: Limp to another sort of positive result and hope the cobwebs vanish for Round Two.


N: Win or draw to secure third.

S: Go all out and leave nothing on the table after a dire World Cup.

W: Get an all too easy consolation victory.

Saudi Arabia

N: Win to secure third.

S: See above. The Saudi tournament has been a disaster.

W: Huff and puff for a while before being overrun.


Group B


N: Match or better Portugal’s result to secure first.

S: Go all out to send a message that the turmoil is over, and this attacking force is ready to reclaim a favourites tag.

W: Probably labour to a one goal win and hope Portugal don’t.


N: Better Spain’s result to secure first.

S: Like Uruguay, approach the game all-in to shake off the rust.

W: Probably labour to a one goal win, from Ronaldo, and hope Spain don’t catch up.


N: Beat Portugal to grab second.

S: Play football, which they showed they could do against Spain, and not just set-up to frustrate.

W: Set-up to frustrate, and rue their luck when they lose by a goal.


N: To beat Spain to have a chance at third.

S: Aim to play a more cohesive, complete game from start to finish, and to set the pace in a way they didn’t against Iran or Portugal.

W: Will struggle through their dead rubber, and lose by a goal or two.


Group C


N: To at least draw with Denmark to secure first.

S: Rest some superstars ahead of tougher opposition to come.

W: Settle for an unadventurous draw to the advantage of both sides.


N: To match or better Australia’s result to be absolutely sure of progression.

S: Seek the win against a less-invested French side, while tightening defensive discipline.

W: Settle for an unadventurous draw to the advantage of both sides.


N: To beat Peru and hope Denmark come a cropper against France.

S: Go for broke, with GD potentially being crucial.

W: Maybe get the win, depending on Peru’s motivation, but it won’t be enough.


N: To beat Australia to get to third.

S: Play like the last two games didn’t happen, with a special emphasis on attacking cohesion.

W: Struggle to stay interested, and bow out 0-3.


Group D


N: Get at least a draw with Iceland to secure first.

S: Use the game as useful practice for a likely clash with Denmark in the next round.

W: Top the group with a routine score draw.


N: Match or better Iceland’s result to progress.

S: Harry the badly demoralised opposition from the off.

W: Get progression with a tight, but well-earned win.


N: To beat Croatia and hope Argentina beat Nigeria.

S: Trust the game plan that got them a draw against Argentina, and forget the Nigerian game.

W: Struggle to get a win when they absolutely have to, and go out valiantly.


N: To beat Nigeria and hope Croatia limit Iceland to a draw.

S: Commit themselves to, if it is their fate, leave the World Cup with a more cohesive performance.

W: Blunder to another loss, and another media roasting.


Group E


N: At least a draw with Serbia to go through.

S: Try to kill the game early, and maintain the pressure throughout.

W: Struggle over the line after another mis-firing performance.


N: To match or better Serbia’s result to go through.

S: Stick to what they’ve been doing, which has been working.

W: Take care of Costa Rica easily enough.


N: To better Switzerland’s result.

S: Go toe-to-toe with the Brazilians for as much as they have to.

W: Say goodbye with a functional but ineffective performance.

Costa Rica

N: To win big if they want third.

S: Go for it, as hard as they can.

W: Go home empty-handed.


Group F


N: At least a point to secure first.

S: Suck-in Sweden, who need goals, and utilise the counter-attack.

W: Win easily enough, as a result of the above.


N: To better Germany’s result.

S: Go at Mexico as much as they can, they have no choice.

W: Go at Mexico, and lose from a counter-attack.


N: To better Sweden’s result.

S: Do what they have been doing, which will work better against the ROK.

W: Beat South Korea easily enough, and progress.

South Korea

N: Beat Germany big to get third.

S: Give it a go I guess?

W: Lose badly.


Group G


N: To beat England to secure first, or let disciplinary record or lots settle it if a draw.

S: Do exactly as they did against Tunisia, and practice the gameplan against more capable opposition.

W: Win the group with a narrow but deserved win.


N: To beat Belgium to secure first, or let disciplinary record or lots settle it if a draw.

S: Steel themselves for a harder task than they’ve had so far, and be prepared for more defensive football.

W: Struggle against better opposition, and be happy with second.


N: Beat Panama to secure third.

S: Play as they did for portions of the Belgium game, since it will work better here.

W: See out an otherwise disappointing World Cup with a win.


N: To beat Tunisia to secure third.

S: Go for something more akin to their set-up for Belgium.

W: Secure 32/32 with another bad performance.


Group H


N: Beat or draw with Columbia to secure progression.

S: With either Belgium or England awaiting, use Columbia as decent practice for facing a young attacking side.

W: Head on through with a score draw.


N: Beat Poland to be sure of going through, hope things go their way in the other game otherwise.

S: Play as they did in the second half against Senegal, but a bit more shooting practice in the meantime would be beneficial.

W: Get through with a draw.


N: Beat Senegal to secure progression.

S: Bring the same energy they had against Poland, and push the opposition at every opportunity.

W: Come just short after a hard-fought draw.


N: To beat Japan to have a chance at third.

S: Take their only opportunity for points while they still can.

W: Head home with just a point.

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