Five World Cup Contenders
World Cup 2018
Russia World Cup 2018: How Five of the Main Contenders are Shaping Up
The domestic football season is close to a conclusion, with the champions already crowned in most of Europe’s major leagues. Although there’s still the small matter of the Champions League winner to be decided, attention will soon turn towards the 2018 World Cup. With less than 50 days to go until kick off, let’s find out how five of the main contenders are shaping up ahead of what promises to be an exciting summer of football. A lot of sports betting sites uk will be following these games closely. The winner may just be from the five world cup contenders.
Germany World Cup Winners
Few things are guaranteed in life, but Germany peaking in time for a major tournament is one of them. The holders and number 1 ranked nation look as strong as ever, refreshed by a fresh intake of young talent such as Manchester City’s Leroy Sane and Timo Werner of RB Leipzig. Werner has big boots to fill following the retirement of Miroslav Klose, the all-time top scorer in World Cup history, but there is plenty of experience in the squad to help him. The likes of Mesut Ozil, Thomas Mueller and Manuel Neuer were the new kids on the block back in the 2010 World Cup, but they’re elder statesmen now. With their mixture of youth and nous, plus an unblemished qualifying record, it’s difficult to bet against Germany.
Brazil World Cup Winners
Despite a typically competitive South American qualifying campaign that saw Argentina scrape through and Chile bow out, Brazil quietly coasted through to become the first country to qualify for this year’s World Cup. The current team lacks some of the mouthwatering star quality of the most famous Brazil teams of the past, but they are efficient – while the likes of Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus provide the magic in attack. The world will be wondering how the team deals with the baggage of their 7-1 semi-final capitulation to Germany on home soil back in 2014 but write them off at your peril.
France World Cup Winners
France’s array of attacking talent is enough to make every other country in the tournament jealous. Question marks remain, however. Is this a team of great individuals rather than a great team? Coach Didier Deschamps has faced criticism in some quarters following some decidedly dodgy results and performances. You get the feeling that he’s still searching for the perfect formula that will give the mercurial talents of Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Ousman Dembele the conditions to wreak havoc. N’Golo Kante is a solid presence but what of his midfield partner Paul Pogba following another inconsistent season with Manchester United. France could either storm the tournament or fall apart. Neither would be a huge surprise.
Spain World Cup Winners
It’s still less than a decade since Spain dominated World football with their tiki-taka football. The team suffered the ignominy of an early exit in 2014, but there are signs that they are back to their best. Any team in the World would have suffered following the exit of all-time greats like Xavi, Iker Casillas and Carlos Puyol, not to mention the decline of Fernando Torres. However, some of the younger players have developed hugely in the last year or two, while the diminutive midfield pairing of David Silva and Andres Iniesta are still capable of dictating games. They have question marks to answer up front, particularly with regard to Diego Costa, but having cruised through qualifying and then hammered Argentina in March, Spain will be a tough test for any opposition in Russia.
Belgium World Cup Winners
Few would argue that Belgium’s current golden generation have under-achieved. They huffed and puffed in 2014 before a disappointing quarter-final exit to eventual finalists Argentina. Then they were stunned by a second-half Welsh blitz at Euro 2016, which left many doubting their temperament. Fewer doubts exist regarding their talent. A team that includes Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Mousa Dembele and Dries Mertens should be considered among the contenders. If they can keep Vincent Kompany fit, they will also boast one of the most impressive backlines in the tournament, presuming he slots in alongside Tottenham pair Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Coach Roberto Martinez isn’t known for his defensive organisation though, and the side has occasionally look disjointed. It will be interesting to see if they can finally get it right.