A Kingdom United

Comments

  • ale1985bg
    395 posts Sunday League Hero
    This is taking an interesting route. Looking forward to see how it develops.
  • Alastair
    10179 posts Moderator
    ale1985bg wrote: »
    This is taking an interesting route. Looking forward to see how it develops.

    Thanks Ale. :) Needed to come up with some way to get the other home nations in and I thought of using the bitterness towards FIFA/the decision as that reason.

    There will probably be two updates a day for the next few days to get me to a position to start on Thursday. Qualifying should start tonight.
  • Ashy
    10621 posts Has That Special Something
    edited June 2018
    Appreciate the amount of detail in the backstory of this, yeah I like where this is going, an interesting way to get those UK nations in there, always thought it was a bit dodgy handing it to Russia/Qatar, at least a load of them are gone now and it's starting to move on IRL

    Hopefully you can get ready in time for the World Cup to start on Thursday!
  • Alastair
    10179 posts Moderator
    Ashy wrote: »
    Appreciate the amount of detail in the backstory of this, yeah I like where this is going, an interesting way to get those UK nations in there, always thought it was a bit dodgy handing it to Russia/Qatar, at least a load of them are gone now and it's starting to move on IRL

    Hopefully you can get ready in time for the World Cup to start on Thursday!

    Thanks Ashy. Hopefully I will be able to get it done for Thursday. My plan is Qualifying draw and part 1 in a few minutes. Part 2 tomorrow early evening. Part 3 tomorrow late evening. Playoffs Tuesday. WC draw, squads, prediction league and sticker album Wednesday.
  • Alastair
    10179 posts Moderator
    edited June 2018
    2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Set To Begin


    The European Qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup are about to start and today we review the group draw. The draw was made in July 2015 at the in Konstantinovsky Palace in Saint Petersburg. The 52 teams in the draw were drawn into seven groups of six teams and two groups of five teams. However, after Kosovo and Gibraltar were admitted into FIFA earlier this year, there are now nine groups of six teams.

    Group A looks like being the 'Group of Death' with the Netherlands, France and Belgium all expected to challenge for a spot in the playoffs whilst on paper Group E looks to be the easiest group.

    The home nations are all set for tough qualifying draws. Northern Ireland look to have the toughest of the draws with Germany and the Czech Republic in their group. Norway, Azerbaijan and San Marino are unlikely to challenge the bigger nations in this group.

    Wales will be reasonably happy with their group. Austria and Serbia will provide tough tests whilst the derby matches against the Republic of Ireland are sure to be difficult encounters. Moldova and Georgia complete the group.

    England and Scotland are set to face each other in a repeat of the world's oldest international fixture. The Eastern European nations of Slovakia and Slovenia are sure to put up a stiff test for the two auld enemies. Lithuania and Malta are the final two teams in the group.

    The top nation in each group will automatically qualify for the World Cup Finals. The eight second placed teams with the best record in the groups after games against the bottom side have been discounted will enter the playoffs. Four teams will qualify for the Finals from the playoffs.

    The full groups can be viewed below:
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  • Alastair
    10179 posts Moderator
    Mixed Results For Home Nations At Halfway Stage


    The European Qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup have reached their halfway stage. England look certain to be going to Russia next summer whilst Northern Ireland are on course for a playoff spot. Scotland and Wales need to get their act together if they're to be boarding any planes in 2018.
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    Northern Ireland currently sit second in Group C. Germany already have one foot in Russia at the top of the group while Norway and San Marino's hopes are all but over. The highest scoring games of the group so far both came in Serravalle with Germany scoring eight goals and the Czech Republic putting six past the Italian speaking microstate.
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    Wales are looking unlikely to qualify for Russia 2018 after being unable to carry their Euro 2016 form into qualifying. The Group D side's four consecutive draws leaves them four points outside the playoff spots. If Wales' form does improve then the final day trip to Dublin could prove to be crucial with the two Celtic nations likely to be in contention at the top.
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    England's place in Russia is almost secured with the footballing giants currently sitting four points clear at the top of Group F. England's best performance to date came in their home victory over their northern rivals Scotland. The Tartan Army have struggled so far in qualifying but are still firmly in contention for a playoff spot.
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  • subpop
    3364 posts National Call-Up
    So much work put into this. Very cool.
  • ale1985bg
    395 posts Sunday League Hero
    edited June 2018
    Yeah, impressive. It's very rare to see stories as detailed as this.
    This being said, I'm still curious to see how Wales and Scotland will make their way to the World Cup. :)
  • ASdoZeR
    1362 posts Professional
    Wow Northern Ireland are doing a great job. Shame about Wales, I hope for the miracle though!
    England hasn't conceded a single goal until now...ok :D
  • Alastair
    10179 posts Moderator
    subpop wrote: »
    So much work put into this. Very cool.

    Thanks @subpop. Always like putting in the extra details to flesh out the story and make it more realistic. It’s even more necessary this time with the mode only lasting 7 matches.

    ale1985bg wrote: »
    Yeah, impressive. It's very rare to see stories as detailed as this.
    This being said, I'm still curious to see how Wales and Scotland will make their way to the World Cup. :)

    Thanks Ale. :)

    All will be revealed in the matchday 10 update tonight. The only spoiler I’m giving is that my qualifying updates are only about 99.5% accurate. :joy:
  • Alastair
    10179 posts Moderator
    ASdoZeR wrote: »
    Wow Northern Ireland are doing a great job. Shame about Wales, I hope for the miracle though!
    England hasn't conceded a single goal until now...ok :D

    Yeah, NI did really well.

    Wales’ flop in qualifying came out on nowhere. Such a good Euros then this in qualifying. 8th in the world entering qualifying and in real life they failed to qualify.

    England actually had quite a good campaign. Everyone criticises Southgate but since he took over we’ve had a near perfect qualifying record with good friendly results (beat the Dutch, narrowly lost to France and drew with Spain, Italy and Germany).
  • Alastair
    10179 posts Moderator
    edited June 2018
    World Cup Qualification In The Home Nations' Hands

    With just one game to go in qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup all four home nations have qualification firmly in their own hands. England have already book their place in Russia and are starting to scout out potential training bases for the competition. Northern Ireland have secured a second place whilst Scotland and Wales will do the same with a victory in their final match.
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    Northern Ireland secured their spot in the top two with two games to spare after a comfortable home over Czech Republic. They go into their final match knowing that as long as they avoid defeat away to fourth placed Norway they'll secure a playoff spot. Once again Group C saw several high scoring matches. Norway put eight past San Marino whilst Germany put seven past the same opponents. The Germans also scored six at home to Norway.The final matchday will see Czech Republic verses San Marino, Germany verses Azerbaijan and Norway verses Northern Ireland.
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    Wales sit second in Group D needing a victory in their final match to finish in second place. The Welsh will face Celtic rivals the Republic of Ireland in a winner takes all battle. Should Wales win they could automatically qualify for the finals if Serbia fail to win at home to Georgia. The final match in Group D sees bottom side Moldova host fourth placed Austria.
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    England booked their place in Russia with one game to spare after a one goal victory at home to Slovenia. Scotland are hoping to join England in the finals and will need a victory in their final match to secure a playoff spot. The final round of matches will see England travel to Lithuania whilst Scotland are the visitors for Slovenia. Slovakia verses Malta will complete the Group F matches.
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    After nine matches the current playoff picture is very tight. Switzerland and Italy have secured spots in the playoffs while Sweden, Denmark and Northern Ireland only need to avoid defeat to join them. Croatia, Wales and Scotland require victories in their final matches to knock Greece out of the competition. With Greece's final day opponents Gibraltar guaranteed to finish bottom of Group H, the Galanolefki have played all eight matches verses the other teams in the group. This leaves Greece with thirteen points and a nervous wait during the final round of matches.
    Post edited by Alastair on
  • Wyojasond
    13863 posts Has That Special Something
    Love the work you’ve put into. Very deep and detailed. So easy for most of us to just run with a basic story, I like how you’ve built this one up.
  • Alastair
    10179 posts Moderator
    Love the work you’ve put into. Very deep and detailed. So easy for most of us to just run with a basic story, I like how you’ve built this one up.

    Thanks Jason. :)

    Glad you appreciate the detail, it's taking at least two hours per update. Never spent this long on a CM before. :smiley:

    The final part of qualifying will be posted early tomorrow morning with the playoffs in the evening. :)
  • Stlducks
    1781 posts Play-Off Hero
    Completely agree, the details are great and really add to the story. England are looking really good with Kane doing most of the scoring.
  • Alastair
    10179 posts Moderator
    Stlducks wrote: »
    Completely agree, the details are great and really add to the story. England are looking really good with Kane doing most of the scoring.

    Kane had a great campaign. Really stepped into the hole left by Rooney retiring. :)
  • Alastair
    10179 posts Moderator
    Scotland and Wales Leave It Late To Book Play-off Spots


    All four home nations have now secured either a place in Russia next summer or a play-off spot for a place after a dramatic final round of matches. England are the only side with a guaranteed place in the finals although the other three nations will fancy their chances of joining them after favourable play-off draws.
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    Having already secured a spot in the top two Northern Ireland knew anything better than a one goal defeat would be enough to secure a play-off spot. 1-0 was the scoreline by which Northern Ireland lost but it was enough to book their place in the playoffs.
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    With minutes to go of the winner takes all clash in Cardiff, it looked like the Republic of Ireland would be laughing their way back across the Irish Sea. The Irish led 1-0 after James McClean put the visitors ahead just before the hour mark. This was how it remained until the eighty-ninth minute when Gareth Bale curled a free kick home from 30 yards. Aaron Ramsey was brought down by Irish midfielder David Meyler which gave the Real Madrid man the chance to give Wales a lifeline. In an almost identical goal to David Beckham's for England in 2001, Bale perfectly placed the ball into the top corner.

    This left the match at the 1-1 score line neither team wanted. A draw would have meant that neither team made the playoffs so both managers threw caution to the wind. In the sixth of six added minutes a moment of brilliance from Bale won the game for the Welsh. Bale picked up the ball inside his own half and dribbled past five Irish defenders before calmly slotting the ball past a helpless Darren Randolph. Damir Skomina's final whistle was met with loud cheers around the Millennium Stadium and the parties continued long into the night in Cardiff.
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    England had already booked their place in Russia and tried out a new 352 formation for the game against Lithuania. Despite the changed team England still looked dangerous in this formation and it is likely they'll consider using it next summer.

    The population of Scotland will have considerably less fingernails today after a nail biting match for Scotland. Scotland were first to take the lead after Lee Griffiths put the visitors in front. Roman Bezjak's brace early in the second half left the Tartan Army needing a miracle to reach the playoffs. Soon after coming on Robert Snodgrass chipped the ball over Jan Oblak to give the Scots a glimmer of hope.

    Amid a late flurry of attacks Bostjan Cesar saw red for an off the ball foul. This appeared to give Scotland the extra bit of enthusiasm they needed. From the resulting free kick Robert Snodgrass found himself clear in the box and Oblak could only tip his headeR over the bar. Scotland prepared to take the corner knowing it was their only chance to get a playoff spot. In added time to the extra time goalkeeper Craig Gordon connected with Snodgrass' corner kick to head the Scots into the play-offs. Gordon's header proved to be the last action of the match and a pitch invasion by the travelling fans followed the referee's whistle.
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    The play-off picture proved to be very tight with Northern Ireland sneaking into the play-offs thanks to having scored a single goal more than Greece during qualifying. Soon after the final round of matches was over the draw for the play-offs was completed. The four highest ranked teams in the FIFA World Rankings entered Pot 1 whilst the other four were in Pot 2. The teams in Pot 1 were (rankings in brackets): Switzerland (11), Wales (14), Italy (15) and Croatia (18). The teams in Pot 2 were Denmark (19), Northern Ireland (23), Sweden (25) and Scotland (29).

    The draw was as follows:
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    The Swiss will be confident of victory in their playoff tie. Having won nine out of a possible ten games in qualifying they lost out to Portugal on goal difference. Denmark on the other hand won six, drew two and lost two of their qualifying ties.

    Scotland look to have the hardest tie of the lot with a tough tie against Italy. The four time world champions are in danger of missing out on only the second World Cup in their history. Scotland's slight ray of hope will be that the second leg is at Hampden Park, if the Tartan Army turn up in their numbers then it can be one of the fiercest crowds in international football.

    Wales will face a Swedish side they should easily beat. Despite Zlatan Ibrahimovic retiring after Euro 2016 the Swedes are a tough side and could trouble Wales at home. However, as demonstrated by their Euro 2016 exploits, the Welsh are one of the World's top sides and should have enough to win over two legs.

    The third and final home nation in the playoffs in Northern Ireland. The Green and White Army are the lower ranked of the two sides but will be confident of victory after their fantastic qualifying campaign so far. It is thought as many as 15,000 fans could travel from the Emerald Isle to the Adriatic to watch the second leg of this tie.

    If all goes to plan all four home nations could be playing in Russia next summer.
  • ASdoZeR
    1362 posts Professional
    Good too see all 4 still having the chance to qualify. Good chances for Wales but Scotland and NI need two great days against Italy and Croatia.
  • subpop
    3364 posts National Call-Up
    Well... we'll see what happens now. Scotland definitely were unlucky in the draw as Italy should be a terrible rival. I guess Wales and Northern Ireland aren't favourites either, but they will have their chances too, especially Wales.

  • ale1985bg
    395 posts Sunday League Hero
    Italy vs. Scotland means that... That we're staying home? No, it can't happen.
    I mean, when's the last time Italy missed out on a final phase of a World Cup?

    Great updates as always. As Jason said, I also love the effort you put into this. Very detailed and well-thought.
  • Alastair
    10179 posts Moderator
    ASdoZeR wrote: »
    Good too see all 4 still having the chance to qualify. Good chances for Wales but Scotland and NI need two great days against Italy and Croatia.

    Yeah Wales definitely have the easier tie. :)

    subpop wrote: »
    Well... we'll see what happens now. Scotland definitely were unlucky in the draw as Italy should be a terrible rival. I guess Wales and Northern Ireland aren't favourites either, but they will have their chances too, especially Wales.

    I'd say Wales are definitely heavy favourites given the world rankings (the ones I posted are what the rankings would have been if those results had happened).

    ale1985bg wrote: »
    Italy vs. Scotland means that... That we're staying home? No, it can't happen.
    I mean, when's the last time Italy missed out on a final phase of a World Cup?

    Great updates as always. As Jason said, I also love the effort you put into this. Very detailed and well-thought.

    I'm not going to confirm or deny that statement. At least it won't be as embarrassing as it was for Slovenia with the Scotland GK getting the winning goal with the final touch. :joy:

    Thanks. Glad it's appreciated. :)
  • ale1985bg
    395 posts Sunday League Hero
    Alastair wrote: »
    At least it won't be as embarrassing as it was for Slovenia with the Scotland GK getting the winning goal with the final touch. :joy:
    I know how they might have felt... It's something you will never forget!
  • Alastair
    10179 posts Moderator
    ale1985bg wrote: »
    Alastair wrote: »
    At least it won't be as embarrassing as it was for Slovenia with the Scotland GK getting the winning goal with the final touch. :joy:
    I know how they might have felt... It's something you will never forget!

    Wow, never known anyone ever do that in FIFA. Were you Italy or China? :joy:

    For the final Wales and Scotland games in my update I just tweaked the real matches. For Wales they lost 1-0 so I created the last couple of minutes (6 minutes of added time actually happened). For Scotland they drew 2-2 and the red card actually happened and Snodgrass had that header. The only difference was in real life it was caught rather than tipped over the bar.
  • Alastair
    10179 posts Moderator
    World Cup Lineup Confirmed After Qualifying Finishes

    Tuesday 14th November 2017

    With the four winners of the European playoffs confirmed the thirty-two teams that will compete in next summers world cup finals are now known. The final four teams completing the line up are Switzerland, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The qualification of these three home nations, along with the already qualified England, shows that the £250 million pound used by HM Government has been well spent. The money was allocated in 2011 after England lost out in it's bid to host the 2018 World Cup. It was thought at the time, and has since been proved, that corruption was involved in Russia winning the bid and this money was allocated with the aim of ensuring that whilst the World Cup won't be coming home in 2018, the World Cup Trophy will be coming home after it.
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    Switzerland comfortably qualified for the World Cup Finals after two easy wins over Denmark. Whilst Denmark started well with several shots early in the first leg, Dzemaili's goal just before half time appeared to kill them off and they rarely troubled Sommer in the final 135 minutes of the tie. Switzerland will be a team every side wants to avoid in December's draw.

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    Scotland surprised the World by knocking four time World Champions Italy out of the competition. The Azzuri have previously only missed one World Cup in their history but events this week have left grown men from Milan to Cagliari in tears. After a strong start to the first leg by Scotland, Italy ceased control of the game to get into the lead just before the hour mark. Italy looked to double their lead before the trip to Hampden Park but it was ultimately this attacking which cost them. After piling one too many players forward they were caught out by a quick Scottish counter attack. James Forrest received the ball wide on the right wing with just outside his own box. After a length of the pitch run he cut in and fired a shot from the edge of the box into the top corner of Buffon's net. While Italy were still trying to process what had just happened Scotland broke quickly and won a corner. Christophe Berra headed this corner against the crossbar and as it came back into the box Daniele Rugani misjudged the flight of the ball. His attempted header over the bar sailed straight into his side's empty net. Scotland went on to control the second leg and secure their place in the FIFA World Cup Finals for the first time since 1998 in France.

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    Wales stormed their way into the World Cup after a first leg thrashing of Sweden in Stockholm. Bale was kept quiet for the first half hour of the tie but came to life on thirty-three minutes after a botched clearance fell to him unmarked on the penalty spot. From twelve yards out Bale will always score and he did just that firing into the bottom corner. Bale dominated the rest of the match assisting the other three goals. During the second leg Wales tried different formations with their eyes firmly focused on the Finals. 4-3-3 was the formation they found most success with and it looks like this could be the formation they use next summer.

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    Northern Ireland surprised some by knocking Croatia out in the playoffs After a tough 2-2 draw at Windsor Park they headed to Zagreb with everything to play for. George Saville sent the travelling fans barmy after dancing through the Croatia defence after just one minute and twenty-eight seconds. Sweet Caroline was being sung loudly just before half time when Stuart Dallas curled into the top corner to double the lead. In the second half Croatia piled on the pressure but could only get one goal back. This meant Northern Ireland qualified for their fourth FIFA World Cup Finals and their first in over thirty years.


    The draw for the Finals is set to take place on Friday 1st September. England and Wales will be placed in Pot 2 with Northern Ireland and Scotland in Pot 3.
  • Alastair
    10179 posts Moderator
    Couldn't resist taking a sly dig at @ale1985bg and @Kyle in that update. :joy:
  • DonGabriel
    934 posts Semi-Pro
    It couldn't have gone any better. As all the lads said, very detailed, easy to read and follow, also I've been learning a lot cause these playoffs are a little bit different from the CONMEBOL ones.
    Looking forward to seeing how the draw goes.
  • ale1985bg
    395 posts Sunday League Hero
    Alastair wrote: »
    Couldn't resist taking a sly dig at @ale1985bg and @Kyle in that update. :joy:
    I see what you did there.
    Fun fact, IRL I watched the match against Sweden with a Swede next to the TV who kept telling me "time flies buddy, haven't you scored yet? Tick tock... Still nothing?"

    I would've happily thrown it out the window if I could...
  • Alastair
    10179 posts Moderator
    DonGabriel wrote: »
    It couldn't have gone any better. As all the lads said, very detailed, easy to read and follow, also I've been learning a lot cause these playoffs are a little bit different from the CONMEBOL ones.
    Looking forward to seeing how the draw goes.

    Yeah the CONMEBOL playoffs are completely different. A 54 team league wouldn't really work in Europe though. :joy:

    The draw will be up shortly. Just a heads up for everyone the prediction league will be up late tonight. The first match will be the Russia v Saudi Arabia (like in real life) so if you won't be on in the next 24 hours feel free to predict that now (Home win, Draw or Away win).

    ale1985bg wrote: »
    Alastair wrote: »
    Couldn't resist taking a sly dig at @ale1985bg and @Kyle in that update. :joy:
    I see what you did there.
    Fun fact, IRL I watched the match against Sweden with a Swede next to the TV who kept telling me "time flies buddy, haven't you scored yet? Tick tock... Still nothing?"

    I would've happily thrown it out the window if I could...

    :joy: Should have tried to get a refund.
  • subpop
    3364 posts National Call-Up
    100%!

    Scotland's achievement was huge... that late own goal of Rugani. With Italy, it used to happen the opposite. :#

    Wales definitely showed their best image. What a victory in Sweden, which is not easy. N. Ireland had it more difficult after the first leg, but the victory in Croatia was huge too.

    Let's see what the draw shows now.
  • Alastair
    10179 posts Moderator
    edited June 2018
    subpop wrote: »
    100%!

    Scotland's achievement was huge... that late own goal of Rugani. With Italy, it used to happen the opposite. :#

    Wales definitely showed their best image. What a victory in Sweden, which is not easy. N. Ireland had it more difficult after the first leg, but the victory in Croatia was huge too.

    Let's see what the draw shows now.

    That goal was hilarious. I didn't mention but Buffon wiped out the defender standing on the post in the build up. :joy: It was a perfectly placed header as well. https://gfycat.com/gifs/detail/PleasedGreatCrownofthornsstarfish

    Sweden seemed to fall apart in the second half of that first leg. Just spent the second leg messing around with tactics.

    Croatia didn't turn up for the first half of the second leg. It could have been 4-0 before half time.
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