- As the football world patiently awaits the commencement of 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, this compilation is the list of top ten countries expected to make a very meaningful and outstanding impact on the mundial. The most anticipated competition in the world may end up in any of the ten teams, putting a lot of factors into consideration. Read it on, let me know the country you think should make the cut and at the same time, the country you think doesn’t deserve to be among. It’s a game of pundits now.
After 28 years of absence from World Cup, the Pharaohs have made shock comeback in this edition. If there’s nothing special about Egypt, a look at exceptional performance of Mohammed Salah this season make you think otherwise. Having, broke the record as all time highest goal scorer in the English premier league with 43 goals and winning more a decade individual accolades in a single season, he is definitely going to make his presence felt by adding expected experience to the team. Egypt came back since 1990 and they would definitely not want to make an impact but can Salah single-handedly take them to final as he took Liverpool to final?
Yes. Belgium is a country with very big World Cup expectations too. Throughout their qualifying campaign, they didn’t lose a single match which made them top the table. Having players like Kevin Debruyne who is unarguably one of the hottest and finest playmakers in the world and winning the premier league with Manchester City. As if that is not enough, Eden Hazard will also be available for his country after he scored the only goal that won Chelsea their only cup of the season. Romelo Lukaku, Maroune Fellaini and others are what make up the Belgian team. Beyond doubt, they are coming into the competition not to leave it at the end of group stage. Their group stage is even not that spectacular except for England. Panama are making debut World Cup appearance and Tunisia may not have what it takes to compete with Belgium. We should be looking at semifinal or more.
The super eagles of Nigeria have also shown the world that they’re a team to beat having qualified from the group that has the current African Champion, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon beaten them 4-nill. It will interest you to know that Nigeria first qualified for World Cup in USA 94 during the reign of the likes of late Rashidi Yekini and the rest. Since then they never missed qualification again except one in Germany 2006. Victor Moses one of the Super Eagles’ players helped the Blues to win the FA Cup against Manchester United and Alex Iwonikan are definitely going to be an inspiration for them. The crop of players that are paraded by Genot Rohr are young and agile lads whom he believe can make a significant difference in Russia. After the friendly match against Argentina which saw Nigeria releasing 4 bullets of goals into them, they’ve developed some courage and maturity and will be hoping to do the same at the competitive showpiece in Russia. Semi final for Super Eagles may not be negotiable. They’ve shown the world they can do it by the 4-2 win.
If there’s a country that hasn’t been very impressive in World Cup lately despite their participation in not less than 14 outing, the Three Lions would come to mind. As most of us enjoy the English premier league which is the most watched league in the world, we also always want to be mesmerized by the English team in World Cups but that hasn’t happened having won the tournament in 1966. However, with the level of preparation and determination of England, the easy opponents in the group stage and the crops of players at their disposal, one will say England can actually turn the tables around to the extent of winning it. So, significant impact is expected from England.
Argentina will be looking forward to adding one more World Cup trophy to make it three this year having won it on two different occasions. Argentina again ended up with Nigeria in group stage which is becoming too regular between the two nations in World Cup group stage. Messi and his fellow Argentines may not have much to do in the group stage as beating Nigeria and the rest will be so easy for them. However, they should be wary of Iceland, the smallest country by population to qualify for World Cup. Iceland surprised most teams in Euro 2016 which even Portugal that won the trophy couldn’t defeat them. And it took even France the last drop of their blood to beat the well disciplined Iceland team. Argentina should not see them as an empty threat. But all in all, Argentina should be able to sail to Final and win it too which will be a plus for Messi to better Ronaldo. It’s a possibility.
The star-studded team that are making their six straight appearance in the competition. With the likes of Manchester United winger Anthony Martial, Arsenal’s striker Lacazette, PSG’s Rabiot, Sevilla’s Ben Yeddar are among the notable names that are dropped by the technical adviser of the Les Blues despite that they all have fantastic season in their respective club. Meanwhile, they are still formidable with Pogba, Mbappe, Comman among others. With this set of players, you will agree with me the host of 1998 can actually win 2018.
Spain suffered cruel defeat in their first group stage game in the last edition of World Cup in Brazil where they were heavily massacred by Netherlands who failed to make it to this year’s. In a nutshell, it was a very disappointing outing for the country that was the defending World champion having won the first ever World Cup hosted in Africa, South Africa. Finding itself in a group that has the likes of Ronaldo’s Portugal, Iran, the first Asian country to qualify and Morroco, one won’t deny that the group is not a friendly one. But Spaniards are coming up with the main aim of restoring their lost respect and go as far as reaching the final and triumph in the end which a all their best legs except Morata. Andre Iniesta who maybe playing his last World Cup this year also made the star-studded squad.
The Brazilian team put the 7-1 defeat they suffered from the Germans in the last edition which they hosted and they’re coming on with a stronger better and more composed team ever as ever. To show how determined Brazil is in 2018 campaign, they were the first team to qualify for World Cup after the host, Russia. Neymar who couldn’t play for the rest of the season after he suffered injury during the first leg of UCL match against Real Madrid will be back in the team to add to their boost. Coutinho, Marcelo, and the others will make sure they reach final and if possible clinch the cup. Despite the fact that they lost Dani Alves to injury, they are still formidable.
The European Champions are coming to World Cup with the record of fifth consecutive time. Their wonder kid, Renato Sanchez was surprisingly dropped from the final 23-man that will make the nation shine. This may explain the level of confidence the coach has in his World Cup team. Ronaldo who is looking forward to outsmarting his counterpart, Messi with one more winning of the world best player again will be see every game in this mundial as final. Quaresma and Moutinho also made the list. If there’s any team that should go beyond semifinal, you will want to look at Portugal. I’m particularly expecting the best from them to shock the world one more time after the Euro2016 shock.
The holders and the defending champions of the competition. Germany has all it takes to go there and do what they did 4 years ago in Brazil. They’re undisputed champion in the last outing beating mercilessly any team that comes their way. With Mexico, Sweden, who are without Ibrahimovich and North Korea in their group stage, one will suggest that Germany may end up winning again. Although, they’ve not been that spectacular during their qualifying games and friendly matches, but they will definitely put that behind them and rise to the challenge when comes June. Potential World Cup materials.
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