The field for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is now set and we are less than four months away from the marquee football tournament, scheduled to be held in June and July this summer. We shall take a look at the five favourite teams to win the tournament in Russia this summer. Read on.
As they say, it is never too early or late to be thinking about this glorious competition, which brings joy to each and every country and captivates every fan who loves the game. With the 32 participating countries and the group stage encounters now decided and set, it is a great time to take stock of the World Cup picture for Russia 2018.
Teams that qualified:
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 16, 2017
5 teams favourite to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia:
Germany are the defending champions and easily the consensus chalk pick ahead of the showpiece event. Consistency is key. Joachim Low has been their head coach since 2006. The Germans have reached the semifinals or done even better at the last six major tournaments. Despite the retirements of stalwarts like Miroslav Klose, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski, Die Mannschaft will also head into the tournament in Russia with an experienced core of World Cup winners like Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Sami Khedira et al. But the scary part might just be their strength in the reserve pool of players.
Consistency has never been a trademark for the French. But Les Bleus should enter the 2018 FIFA World Cup with the tournament’s one of the most talented squads on paper. The potential is staggering. Griezmann, Kanté, and Pogba are three global icons and are at the absolute peak of their powers. At 19, Kylian Mbappe is already one of the most expensive and exciting players in world football. Head coach Didier Deschamps will also have the luxury of calling up young stars like Varane, Lemar, Tolisso, Coman and Martial for the event. Captain Lloris is easily among the top five goalkeepers plying their trades in leagues across the globe right now. Historically, France has relied on a star to step forward. Tournament triumphs come when there’s a Platini or Zidane on their roster and that might be their only concern as of now.
The Brazilian national team that played the World Cup qualifying campaign was one of the best assembled teams in country’s recent footballing history and dominated the most challenging region during the qualifiers. With an attacking personnel of Neymar Jr., Philippe Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino set to lead them at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Brazil are looking stronger than ever and will head into the marquee tournament as one of the heavy favourites to lift the cup. Head coach Tite’s side also has a solid lineup of battle-hardened veterans in defence. Brazil is the country that gave the world ‘Joga Bonito’ and don’t be shocked if the five-time world champions are the last team standing in Russia this summer. A serious recent injury to talisman Neymar might just put off their hopes a bit though.
When Spain won three straight international tournaments, including the 2010 World Cup, between 2008-2012, the world took note of their silky one-touch tiki-taka approach and started adapting to the same. Things have not been the same since then. Defending champions Spain went down in the group stage of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and only reached the Round of 16 at the Euros in 2016. The once infallible Spanish have lost four of their last seven matches at major tournaments. Master tactician Vincente del Bosque rightly called it quits and La Roja rebooted off the pitch. Julen Lopetegui, who won European U-19 and U-21 championships with Spanish youth teams came in as the new head coach and Spain managed to outscore its World Cup qualifying stage opponents 21-3. Even after underwhelming efforts at their last two major outings, one can never count the Spaniards out of the running to lift the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer.
Argentina’s football team can basically be defined as Lionel Messi and pretty much everybody else. Manager Jorge Sampaoli has a lot of thinking to do before he leads his troops out to face the world’s best at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. While there is an abundance of attacking talent in the form of Leo Messi, Sergio Aguero, Mauro Icardi, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain, there are definite problems in the midfield and concerns at the back for Argentina heading into the tournament this summer. Nonetheless, a transcendent star carrying a pedestrian group on his back to a final has always been the Argentine way of doing things. Maradona did it in 1986 and Messi almost repeated it in 2014. The Barcelona superstar is certainly capable of doing so again. If coach Sampaoli can get the defence figured out, Argentina can certainly win the 2018 FIFA World Cup.