With the world cup just around the corner, thousands of fans are inflating their hopes that their team can go far. Let’s take a look at some of their chances.
The Group Stage
As you can see by the draw, the group of death is clearly group E, which consists of Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.
In group A, it is most likely that Uruguay will top the group. It will be a close chase for second with Egypt and hosts Russia in the running. I would hypothesise that Russia will come second.
In group B, it is speculated that Spain will top the group with Portugal being a close second.
Group C is likely to contain a whitewash being topped by France. In second, media sources are predicting Peru will pull through, while in reality, Denmark have players such as Eriksen, Schmeichel and Christensen. They have a lot of experience too so it is also likely that Denmark will be the runners up of Group C.
Argentina are hotly tipped favourites to win this group. Second place could depend on whether Iceland can repeat Euro 2016 and cause an upset. In reality, it is likely that Croatia will finish second due to the fact that they have experience in players such as Rakitic and Modric.
Brazil, the team that have won the most world cups with five, are expected to wash out Group E with key players being Gabriel Jesus, Neymar and Coutinho. In second, it is too hard to call; it could be either Switzerland, Costa Rica or Serbia. In my opinion, I think Serbia will come second.
Germany, current champions, will be looking to defend their title with a group win. Sweden will be expected to come second, despite the fact that star player Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been left at home. Their key player will be Emil Forsberg.
Group G will consist of a race between Belgium and England to top the group. It is expected that both will dump Panama and Tunisia and it will come down to the final game of the group stage, England vs Belgium to see who will top Group G. My prediction would be England to finish top.
In group H, it is most likely Poland and Columbia will be the two nations qualifying for the round of 16. However, it will probably come down to their game against each other to see who takes the top spot. My prediction would be Poland first and Columbia second.
Round Of 16
Assuming my group stage predictions are correct, these will be the fixtures for the round of 16:
- Uruguay v Portugal – A
- Spain v Russia – B
- France v Croatia – C
- Argentina v Denmark – D
- Brazil v Sweden – E
- Germany v Serbia – F
- England v Columbia – G
- Belgium v Poland – H
Portugal will be expected to pull off a win in this game with their key players being Ronaldo, Nani and Pepe.
Spain will be expected to dismiss the home nation of the competition in the round of 16. It is expected that Russia’s key player will be talisman Smolov.
While on paper this is a relatively close matchup, France’s quality and experience in their first eleven will probably have too much class for the Croatians and see them knocked out in the round of 16.
This will likely be a very tight game, but due to players such as Messi and Pastore, it is expected that Argentina will knock Denmark out at this stage of the tournament.
Five time winners Brazil will be expected to ‘batter’ Sweden with goals from Neymar and Jesus.
Current champions Germany will be expected to pull off a victory against Serbia at the St Petersburg stadium. Serbia will not be expected to get into the game at all.
England will be hotly tipped favourites in this matchup with striker Harry Kane expected to get on the scoresheet.
Belgium will be highly favoured in this game, despite the fact that they usually flop in big tournaments.
Sticking with my predictions for the round of 16, here’s how the quarter finals will shape up:
- Portugal v France – A
- Spain v Argentina – B
- Brazil v England – C
- Germany v Belgium – D
This was the Euro 2016 final matchup, in which Portugal triumphed. However, it is unlikely that this will happen again. For that reason, I think France will go through.
2010 WC Africa winners Spain will be tipped to dump Argentina out of the competition this summer with key players including De Gea, Iniesta and Isco.
Brazil will be tipped to knock out England in this quarter final with key players being Neymar, Jesus and Coutinho.
Reigning champions Germany will be expected on paper to offload the Belgians from the competition. The two similar flags will meet in Samara and key players for Germany will be Timo Werner and Thomas Muller.
Here is how the semi finals shape up:
- France v Brazil – A
- Spain v Germany – B
This will be a very close game between two evenly matched sides. However, it is likely that France will triumph over the Brazilians in Russia with the match being a goal gallery.
This semi-final consists of the previous two tournament winners, Spain and Germany. Germany, the reigning champions, will be tipped to go onto the final in a very close game.
FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia Finals
The stage is set. Two great teams. Two great enemies. Finals day. It will be tipped to be a very close game between two excellent teams but Germany will be expected to come out on top and retain their title as world champions.
By Nathan Alexander and Dan Peart, year 7.