The World Cup’s Two Most Exciting Group Stage Opening Matches

 

The World Cup is less than four months away. When it comes to a World Cup tournament, a lot of soccer followers believe that the Group stage is not very exciting compared to the knockout stage. While the Group stage is not as intense, there’s still plenty to be excited about. What’s exciting about the Group stage is that there are big matchups where upsets happen from time to time. It’s the Group stage where it’s decided which nations will advance to the knockout stage and which ones will go home early.

So which opening games should keen soccer enthusiasts be excited about?

Spain vs. Portugal

Two potential favorites to win the tournament. Portugal is the defending European Champions, and who’ll forget the odds they defied to win the Euro 16? Since then, they’ve bulked up their strength and talent, as well as their mentality. It would not look good if Portugal suffered an early exit from the tournament as the reigning European Champions. Spain is perhaps stronger than ever and they’ll do anything to rectify their humiliating run in Brazil four years ago when they suffered an early exit after losing their first two games as the defending World Champions. To leave the tournament prematurely as the defending champions is beyond embarrassing. Embarrassing ought to be considered an understatement in this situation. It ought to be a very interesting match. Both teams are stacked with talent and they’ve got mentality. We can expect this match to be hard-fought and without a doubt, we can expect both sides to frustrate each other due to being well-organized on both sides of the ball.

Prediction: Spain wins 2-1

Germany vs. Mexico

Who would’ve thought that Germany and Mexico would be placed in the same group? For those two national teams to be placed in the same group really took the soccer world by surprise. Germany, the defending World Champions, are favored to hoist the trophy again, which is no surprise since they’ve only gotten stronger and more focused the past four years. Mexico needs to be ready for this match. They need to bulk up their talent and they need to improve their mentality. They need to find a way to challenge the Germans and give them a run for their money. If Mexico was to suffer a humiliating loss, it would certainly affect their concentration and mentality in their two matches. No doubt, Germany is favored to win, but regardless, they can’t take this match lightly. Germany never does such a thing. They always take their matches seriously. Germany’s strategy to win is to simply dominate the attack, score some goals, and play strong defense. The same thing for Mexico, as they’re going to have to find a way to defend Germany’s heavy and dangerous offensive attack, as well as find a way to break through Germany’s brutal defense and score some goals. If this game ended in a 1-1 tie, it would certainly be a huge sigh of relief for El Tricolor. In Germany’s case, a tie would certainly be considered unacceptable.

Prediction: Germany wins 3-1

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!