The excitement is building for the World Cup of 2018, and already people are starting to make their assessments of which teams and players are going to impress at the tournament.
Every World Cup seems to be a case of some things staying the same, such as Brazil being one of the favourites, and other things changing. So, as we head towards Russia 2018, what can we expect from the World Cup this time around?
There are some strong teams that will be taking part in this year’s World Cup. You could make a case for any of Brazil, Germany, France and Spain lifting the trophy, while some fans will fancy outsiders such as Belgium and Portugal to go well too. One thing is for sure, with so many teams fancying their chances, it should be a thrilling tournament.
In terms of the teams to watch out for, Brazil and Germany are the obvious favourites. Brazil are currently sweating on the fitness of star man Neymar. If he’s fit, Brazil will be a real force in Russia, especially as they have great strength in depth in key positions.
Germany are also hoping a key man will be fit in time for the tournament. Manuel Neuer is currently recovering from a broken metatarsal and his return could be key. Germany are still one of the best sides in the world, but question marks remain as to whether they are as strong as they’ve been over the last few years.
France are a nation that many are tipping to do well in Russia, especially with the players that are currently available to manager Didier Deschamps. The problem that they will face is getting the right team out on the park, as Deschamps still doesn’t seem to know his best XI. He will surely be looking for the likes of Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe to come to the fore at the tournament, as they’re very capable of giving any side problems on their day.
Spain are another side that people should keep a very close eye on, especially after enjoying a good qualifying campaign. They look strong all over the pitch, with the key decision likely to be who leads the line for them. Diego Costa is the likely candidate right now, but Rodrigo has also found himself in the mix lately. Alvaro Morata will need to build on his goal against Spurs to force his way back into the reckoning.
Argentina are always fancied by many to succeed, but with their focus always being on superstar Lionel Messi, this has at times worked against them, and it could do once again in Russia. Speaking of individuals, Cristiano Ronaldo’s performances will be integral for Portugal, and Mo Salah certainly has the ability to help Egypt enjoy a great tournament too.
England will head to Russia, but this time the pressure really seems to be off. They’re not a side people are tipping to do well at the World Cup, and this could actually work in their favour. Gareth Southgate’s side seems to have youth and energy in abundance, with a good helping of pace too. They should go well, but whether they can cause a major upset remains to be seen.