I finally got one right! Last week with the help of Football Manager 17, I predicted that Sporting Kansas City would down the Loons 3-0 and the software got it spot on. I was happy that I made my rent money back, but sad that United got taken behind the woodshed again. I was shappy.
The Loons aren’t playing again until the 14th when they go back down to play SKC in the Open Cup so this week’s simulation was up in the air for a while. One of the Daves said to try and replicate the 3-0 result this week. I put out the worst team I could and came up with a 0-0 draw. I’m not sure what that says about United’s chances, but it would have been pretty boring to read about and I’m here to entertain. So here’s a simulation of Friday’s World Cup Qualifier between Sweden and France, done with the wonderful technology behind FIFA 17.
France definitely rolled out the star power in this one with Giroud, Griezmann, Payet, Kante, Dembele, Koscielny, and Lloris all starting. Pogba sat out presumably because the excitement of that Europa League Final is still just too much.
Sweden is Zlatan-less these days, and if even he couldn’t make them relevant, there’s no hope these days. If you recognize any of the names on their teamsheet, you’re either reading this from your computer in Sweden or you’re a huge soccer nerd. Either way, why are you reading this?
The first half was all France from the get-go. Giroud’s meaty French forehead found the ball a few times but he missed a sitter about half an hour in, hitting the post from two yards out. I’d be distracted too if I knew I had to travel deep into Eastern Europe every few weeks next season. On the offensive side, France controlled the ball 62% of the time and took four shots and defensively never let Sweden within 30 yards of the goal.
Sweden opened up in the second half, launching quite a few attacks and racking up six shots with four going on goal. The stretching out would prove costly though. France came up with five more shots of their own and kept the majority of possession, finally breaking through in the 66th minute. Griezmann, with acres of space and no one between him and the keeper, took one touch on a cross and skipped the ball into the back of the net.
He didn’t do his weird phone hands celebration this time, which is good because it encourages copycats and no one else looks cool doing it. Believe me.
After the goal, France seemed happy to sit back and bent but never broke. Sweden came close around the 85th minute with a dangerous-looking cross flying into the box, but Lloris gobbled it up like he was eating meatballs at IKEA. France held on until the end and pulled out an unexpectedly close win.
So there you go. Thanks for sticking with something a little different this week. The good news if this whole simulation was wrong? EA is used to complaints about them wasting people’s money!