Understandably its quite early to make a prediction on which teams will emerge triumphant at the end of this tournament, in every tournament there are bound to be upsets from the so called underdogs and Russia 2018 would be no exception to this trend, but the big teams still find a way to shine bright in the big stage. On this article we are going to consider the chances, challenges, best result gotten at the FIFA world cup stage and worst outing of a few teams with a high probability to take home the trophy.
In no particular sequence;
The winners of the 2010 FIFA world cup held in South Africa did not even get close to nearly repeating the same feat in Brazil 2014 as they lost all hope of qualifying after suffering consecutive defeats in their first two games at the group stage between Netherlands and Chile with the former getting their pound of flesh after losing at the finals in 2010 to a Golden goal from Andres Iniesta.
This time out the Spaniards fine themselves in group B with the likes of Portugal, Morocco and Iran and a place in the next round does not look farfetched for the LA Roja.
National team manager Julen Lopetegui has sculpted his team with players from the top leagues which constitutes of an attack that has Alvaro Morata, Diego Costa, isco, Marcio Asensio, and Iago Aspas to pick from. The bunch from Chelsea also made the pick Fabregas, Marcos Alonso and Pedro. The midfield will be a mix of experience and flare as David Silva, Thiago Alcantara, Koke, Saul Niquez, Sergio Bousquets , Mata and legend Andres Iniesta. And in defence we see Captain Sergio Ramos , Cesar Azpilicueta, Dani Carvajal, Pique with David De Gea in goal.
If the heroics of the 2010 world cup are to be repeated it would require more than passion.
LA Albiceleste as they are fondly called last won the prestigious title in 1986 when Maradona was really impressive. To the world of football this is the biggest and only down side of Lionel Messi as he has won every title at club level and the absence of an international trophy continues to haunt the Barcelona legend. The Argentine team came very close at the last world cup but the Germans wanted it more.
They find themselves in same group as Africa’s football giants Nigeria, Croatia and Iceland.
With a team consisting of some of the worlds best attackers in the persons of Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala and the incredible Lionel Messi . Angel Di Maria anchors midfield alongside Ever Banega and Lucas Biglia. While Manchester cities Nicolas Otamendi stands at the back with Marcos Rojo and Javier Mascherano. With Chelsea’s number 2 goalie Willy Caballero will provide safe hands in goal.
Jorge Sampaoli’s men will be hoping to end a 32 year old no world cup trophy drought in this tournament.
After a successful outing at the 2014 world cup the Die Mannschaft as they are also known have been tipped by punters to be one of the favourites in this outing at Russia, arguably the most successful team in the world cup with 8 finals and 4 trophies to their name.
Qualifying out of group F where the likes of Sweden , Mexico and South Korea can be found does not look very difficult for this team. Winning the confederations cup last time out with their less experienced second eleven squad shows how much of a threat these Germans are to any team.
Joachim Löw’s selection would consist of outstanding defenders like Jerome Boateng, Matthias Ginter, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Antonio Rudiger and Niklas Sule. The midfield would be controlled by Mesut Ozil, Sami khedira, Toni Kroos and Julian Draxler amongst others. Strikers in the atgacking option include Leroy Sane, Timo Werner, Thomas Muller and Marco Reus.
With the heroics of the 2014 success in mind it wont be far fetch to tip Die Mannschaft to try and make a second consecutive win and claim their fifth title in the history of the world cup.
Being the first team to qualify for the FIFA world cup, he Seleção find themselves in Group E alongside Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia, qualifying from this group shouldn’t be a problem.
After a very disappointing outing infront of home fans and the white washing from eventual winners Germany. The five times winners have sacked two team managers (Luis Felipe Scolari and Carlos Dunga) since their semi final exit.
New manager Adenor Leonardo Bacchi will be in charge of handling a star studded squad with the likes of Neymar Jnr., Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firminho heading the attack while the midfield will be marshalled by Phillipe Countiho, Willian Douglas Costa, Fernandinho and Casemiro.
Marcelo, Thiago silva, Marquinhos and Danilo while Ederson would be providing safe hands at the post.
With such a squad Brazil looks like a team to bank on to win their sixth world cup title.
Before coming so close in 2006 only to lose on penalties to Italy, the one time the French have actually crested their name on the trophy was at the 1998 edition on home soil where the hammered Brazil 3 nil to run away with the trophy.
With a list of impressive names not making the final selection, the squad can still boast of youth and talent.
Didier Deschamps has two perfect backup goal keepers in the persons of Veteran Steve Mandanda and Alphonse Areola while captain Hugo Lloris is the number 1 pick. A confident defense consists of Benjamin Mendy, Adil Rami, Samuel Umtiti, Presnel Kimpembe, Lucas Hernandez and Raphael Varane.
Paul Pogba, Steve N’Zonzi, Ousmane Dembele, Corentin Tolisso, Blaise Matuidi and N’Golo Kante. This midfield is one of the tournaments best. While Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann , Kylian Mbappe and Thomas Lemar lead the attack and the Les Blues world be hoping to bring back the glory days.
These teams have a very good chance of procuring the world cup trophy but it’s the highest stage with the best of the best in contention for the number one spot .
Keep your fingers crossed…