Predicting The Group Winners of the 2018 World Cup

Predicting The Group Winners of the 2018 World Cup

The drawing of the Groups for the 2018 FIFA World Cup next summer is complete. All the countries have been placed.

Here are the groups:

Group A

Egypt will pull it off and win Group A and here’s why; Egypt is appearing in the first World Cup since 1990. Uruguay definitely has to be considered the favorite to win this group and that’s no surprise. However, Egypt is a young team. They have a trusting playmaker in Mohammed Salah. Let’s not forget that Salah is the man who sent Egypt to the World Cup when he scored the two goals in a match against Congo where if Egypt had lost, they’d be out of contention.

Of course, Salah cannot carry the whole team on his back, so everyone will need to work together. Egypt is loaded at the midfield and forward positions. Defense looks okay, but there’s always room for improvement. This is definitely a crazy prediction, but Egypt proved doubters wrong when they miraculously qualified for the World Cup tournament.

Egypt can pull off another miracle and advance to the knockout stage for the first time in the national team’s history. Uruguay seems to be the biggest challenge for the Pharaohs. However, since they were able to overcome big challenges during qualifications, there’s no doubt they can overcome challenges during the World Cup tournament. Egypt has a lot of momentum coming into Russia. With Hector Cuper as their manager, they’ll be ready.

 

Group B

Spain will win and here’s why; in 2014, Spain were the defending champions. However, during their title defense, the team fell apart after a humiliating 5-1 loss to the Netherlands, following a 2-0 loss to Chile that resulted in an early exit. While they did win their final game against Australia, it didn’t matter as Spain was out of contention, thus becoming the second consecutive defending champions to be eliminated in the group stage. Since then, Spain underwent a rebuilding process.Now, the team truly looks better. Perhaps they’re stronger than the 2010 squad. Spain’s only challenge looks to be Portugal.

Portugal pulled off the miracle of the decade, winning the 2016 Euro against all odds. However, Portugal may be no match for an aggressive team like Spain with the likes of Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Morata, and Gerard Pique. La Furia Roja is likely to win all three games to rectify their embarrassing performance in Brazil. In Portugal’s case, it would be an embarrassment to go from winning the Euro to failing to advance past the group stage for the second straight tournament.

 

Group C

France will top Group C and here’s how they’ll do it; France is loaded with unique talent. Manager Didier Deschamps is going to have a very difficult time coming up with the squad because there are many options on the table. France is currently working on improving team chemistry. Once they have a good team chemistry and the players are all on the same page, the team will acquire what they’ve not had for a long time: FOCUS. For so long, France has been regarded with a team that has the talent, but not the focus.

France is likely to pick up wins against Australia and Peru. No doubt, they can win against Denmark, but Denmark poses a threatening challenge for Les Bleus. We can expect Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, N’Golo Kante and Hugo Lloris to be part of the squad. Alexandre Lacazette, Kylian Mbappe, and Anthony Martial are all three key figures France must take with them to Russia.

With all these names, France has a legitimate attacking front and they can score goals and take home their second championship. If France has the right players and they have good team chemistry, they’ll be more focused than ever and they’ll be able to win it all again.

Group D

This group belongs to Argentina and here’s why; Argentina will not be humiliated. They won’t allow it. Their journey to qualifying was not easy. In fact, they barely qualified. On their last game, they defeated Ecuador 3-1 thanks to a hat-trick by none other than Lionel Messi. Argentina is still a mess, however. A little over two weeks ago, they were humiliated by Nigeria in a friendly exhibition game. Argentina made a big mistake; they underestimated Nigeria. Underestimating an African team is a crucial mistake because African teams are capable of pulling off upsets. Argentina has a lot of preparing to do. They have to get it together. Everyone has to work together. Argentina cannot rely on Messi to carry the whole team on his back. Everyone needs to work together.

Their competition in this group is, without a doubt, Nigeria. Nigeria is very young and talented. Nigeria currently has the youngest squad among all the qualified nations. Nigeria is a threat to Argentina. Nigeria is one of the top underdogs in this tournament. When they square off against Argentina, it’ll be a game to where the winner wins the group. Nigeria’s match against Iceland will certainly be interesting.

Group E

Brazil is easily the favorite and here’s why; Brazil is always a legitimate contender to secure the title. Of course, Brazil has not forgotten about what happened to them in 2014 on their own soil. Yes, they were thrown out of the tournament with a humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany. Brazil has gotten stronger talent wise since then, as well mentally.

Brazil should have absolutely no problem winning their three games in their group. Costa Rica may challenge them, but Brazil will prove that they’re way too much for Costa Rica to handle. Neymar is a name we can expect to make a big impact for the Brazilians.

There’s no doubt, they’re hoping to meet Germany in the knockout stage and extract revenge on the team who humiliated them in their own country in 2014. Above everything, Brazil will do everything in their power to prevent Germany from winning the title again.

 

Group F

Without a doubt, Germany wins the group and here’s why; Germany is the defending champions. As we know, in the last two World Cup tournaments, the defending champions have suffered early exits. Germany will not let that happen. Germany still has a majority of the talents they had in 2014. Only since then, they’ve all gotten better.

Germany not only has the talent, but they’ve got the focus that can take them the distance of hoisting the trophy again and tying with Brazil as the most successful World Cup nation. This Group is definitely the death group, but that doesn’t matter to Germany because Germany was in the death group in 2014 and it was no problem for them. Germany is not afraid of anyone.

In this group, Germany’s challenge looks to be Sweden. Sweden defeated Italy to qualify. If Sweden can pull off the upset of the century against the four-time World Cup champions, there’s no telling what they’re capable of doing in Russia next summer. Germany has to be ready. Sweden is likely to finish second and advance to the knockout stage. Except for this time, they’re hoping to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 1994. Last time they did, they finished third in the tournament.

 

 

Group G 

Belgium wins the group and here’s why; Belgium is loaded with talent. The likes of Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku make Belgium a terrorizing threat to Panama and Tunisia.

The group will come down to Belgium vs England: The winner of that match claims the group. England is known to fall down when under pressure, which may be the reason Belgium emerges victorious to win the group. Belgium’s young defense needs to be ready for the talented England forward attack.

Belgium is one of the biggest underdogs in this tournament as well as England. Both teams are young and talented. England’s hoping to advance to the knockout stage for the first time since 2010 while Belgium is hoping to make it as far as the quarterfinals like in 2014, only this time Belgium hopes to reach the semifinals for the first time since 1986.

When Belgium and England square off, it’ll likely be a “winner wins the group” match. Last time England went to the quarterfinals was in 2006. Next summer they’re hoping to put an end to their mediocrity.

Group H 

Poland is the favorite and here’s why; Poland’s qualification run was amazing. Eight wins, one draw, and one loss. Forward Robert Lewandowski was the top scorer in the European qualifiers. However, Poland cannot just rely on him to carry the team. Poland will need to work as a team. The midfield and forward are pretty stacked for the Polish team. Defense is not bad, however, of course, there’s always the need for improvement as they allowed 14 goals in the qualifiers.

Poland is participating in the first tournament since 2006. They’ve come a very long way and they’ve worked extremely hard building their team. They want to win the group and advance to the knockout stage for the first time since 1986.

It’s not going to be easy for Poland. Senegal is certainly capable of pulling off major upsets like they did in 2002, where they went to make it as far as the quarterfinals. Colombia is a team that is also capable of upsets and like Senegal, they’re not to be underestimated. Japan will have to fight it and hope for a miracle. However, the group very likely belongs to Poland.

 

 

 

A graduate of the University of North Texas. B.A. in Broadcast Journalism. Passionate Sports Writer with hopes of becoming a play-by-play announcer. He plans to one day do play-by-play for the French National Soccer Team….in FRENCH! His work has been featured on Fox Sports, Apple News, and Bleacher Report!