The 2018 World Cup is set
On December 1st, the Groups will be drawn. However, we are in for a World Cup that will be quite interesting and quite frankly, we’ll be in for a unique tournament.
For one thing, Iceland and Panama will be participating in their first World Cup tournament. On top of that, several teams are returning to the tournament after long exiles. Egypt qualified for the first time since 1990, Peru since 1982, Morocco since 1998, Senegal since 2002 and Saudi Arabia, Poland, Tunisia and Sweden since 2006.
However, there are several big names who are not part of the tournament;
The United States, the Netherlands, Cameroon, Ghana, Chile and Italy. But here’s the mysterious part: Cameroon won the 2017 African Cup of Nations, the United States won the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and Chile won the 2016 Copa America cup and they were the runners-up in this year’s FIFA Confederations Cup tournament. For these three teams to go from winning a major tournament to failing to qualify for a World Cup is humiliating.
For the Netherlands and Italy, it’s a different story. The Netherlands finished third in the 2014 World Cup tournament in Brazil. However, they went on to miss the 2016 Euro. Going from finishing third in a World Cup to missing the Euro and missing the next World Cup is embarrassing. But in Italy’s case, it’s different, but just as humiliating. Perhaps, even more humiliating since Italy is one of the most successful World Cup teams. The four-time World Cup champions failed to qualify for the first time since 1958!
Right now, the top three favorites look to be Brazil, Germany and France.
Brazil, there’s no doubt they’re a favorite. Not simply because they’re the most successful team with five stars on the jersey, but more of the fact that they’ve gotten stronger since 2014. Qualifying went off without a hitch for the Brazilians as they did it easily, scoring 41 goals, conceding 11, winning 12 games, drawing 5 and losing one. Brazil may be at least ten times stronger than they were in 2014.
Germany is the reigning champions. A team with a brilliant attack and a dominant defense. Going undefeated in qualifying matches, scoring 43 goals, conceding only four. Like Brazil, Germany has only gotten stronger since 2014. Germany may not only be the most talented squad in the world, but they may be the most focused. They have potential and outstanding team chemistry. They have exactly what it takes to win it all again.
France. A team that for so long has been known to be a team with the talent, but not the focus to get it done. France is a very young and very talented team. Perhaps, they’re the most talented after Germany and Brazil. France’s qualification process was tough as they did struggle despite topping their group. The team was not focused and team chemistry was very poor. Focus and team chemistry are what France are working on improving as part of their preparations for their trip to Russia.