2018 Russia World Cup Preview
With the world cup only days away, the bookmakers can’t decide on a winner, with the odds split between Germany and Brazil. We may get more of an idea as the competition progresses and we see how each team performs.
Below we detail the front runners for the trophy,
If performance’s in the South American qualifying are anything to go by then Uruguay are only second best on form to Brazil for the region. They have several genuine world class players in Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez and Diego Godin and with Oscar Tabarez in charge they have a coach who can lead Uruguay deep into the competition.
Portugal are ranked fourth by FIFA and now have the experience of winning a major tournament so will be looking to build on their 2016 European Championship success. This will realistically be Cristiano Ronaldo’s last World Cup so expect him to be on top form.
Despite the exciting Ruben Neves of Wolves not likely to seen, Portugal still have a wealth of experience with the likes of Pepe and Nani to be a good outside bet.
The Spaniards have the experience and talent to at least make the Semi-Finals although playing Portugal in the qualifying rounds will be a hindrance.
The managerial change from Vicente del Bosque to Julen Lopetegui has freshened up a side that was in clear decline after failing to defend their world title in 2014 and European crown in 2016.With an abundance of talented midfielders and forwards such as David Silva and Isco, David De Gea in goal, and Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique controlling the defence, the one possible worry will be if Diego Costa can get himself fully fit.
An enthusiastic, young and energetic French squad make them real contenders. They have the talent and pace to cause any team at the 2018 World Cup real problems, players like Mbappe and Paul Pogba cannot be ignored.
France can be their own worst enemy at tournaments though, so must remain focused and not lose concentration.
Les Bleus lost the 2006 World Cup final to Italy in a penalty shootout; lost to Germany in the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup, and lost to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final to Portugal, on their own turf so they must learn how to handle the big game pressure.
A team containing Lionel Messi has to be a force, although they really only just scraped through from their qualifying group.
Placed in a World Cup group in which they really should win and if both Aguero and Higuaín replicate their club form then Argentina can be expected to be back to the Argentina that everyone knows and loves.
This is a much improved Brazil side to the one that lost to Germany in the 2014 World Cup.
Brazil were the first team to clinch qualification for Russia and have looked a real force for some time now.
In coach “Tite” the Brazilian public have a leader who they can believe in and this could be the time that Neymar finally proves that he is now the worlds greatest player.
The World Cup holders already have experience of winning in Russia lifting the Confederations Cup last July so have to be outright favourites. With top players such as Muller, Sane and Ozil helping their cause.
World Cup qualifying was completed with 10 wins from 10 and a European-record 43 goals.
One of the favourites in many people’s eyes. This however is a country that is yet to make it into the semi-finals of a major tournament.
In Roberto Martinez, they have a coach who plays attacking football and this suits the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne.
As good as they are going forward they are also very solid in defence. Central defenders Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are some of the best in the world.
Our prediction…a French win!