The year 2017 is running to the end, so it’s time to look forward. 2018 is going to be the year of Manchester City’s Premier League title, a Champions League round of 16 with 5 English contenders and of course the World Cup 2018 in Russia. The group stage draw took place in the beginning of this month, so I want to share my first thoughts on the group stages. In this post I give my World Cup group stage predictions with you guys.
World Cup group stage predictions
Group A: Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay
This is going to be a very interesting group. There isn’t one big favourite amongst these countries. I think Uruguay will be the strongest team in this group. Players like Suarez and Cavani should be able to break down every defence they face. The second place in this group will be between home country Russia and Egypt. Egypt can cause an upset when Mohamed Salah is in top form.
Group B: Iran, Morocco, Portugal and Spain
This group will probably much less exciting. Their are two obvious favourites to continue to the next round. Spain is in my eyes the favourite to win this group, Portugal will finish second. The reigning European Champion won’t be strong enough to beat Spain. Iran and Morocco will play for the third and fourth place.
Group C: Australia, Denmark, France and Peru
I won’t shock anyone when I say France is by far the favourite to win this group. The French side is one of my favourites to win this entire tournament. The battle for the second place will be an interesting one. I rate the remainder three teams pretty equal, but I think Denmark can get the second place when Eriksen steps up.
Group D: Argentina, Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria
Lionel Messi’s Argentina will win this group. This tournament will be Messi’s last change to win the World Cup with his country and I’m sure he will do everything he can to achieve this. With the likes of Higuain, Di Maria and Dybala, he can count on some very strong players besides him. Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria will play for the second place. I think Croatia will be the strongest of these three teams.
Group E: Brazil, Costa Rica, Serbia, Switzerland
This is another group with one big favourite. Brazil, with the most expensive players in the history of football (Neymar), should be too strong for Costa Rica, Serbia and Switzerland. The other three sides will fight together for the second place. I really can’t choose any of these three at the moment.
Group F: Germany, Korea Republic, Mexico and Sweden
The reigning World Cup champion will be the favourite for this group. Germany has such a strong team, that they should be considered for another title. They will have no problems in this group. I think Mexico is going to take the second place about Sweden and Korea Republic.
Group G: Belgium, England, Panama and Tunisia
The battle for the first place in group G will go between England and Belgium. Personally I rate Belgium a little bit stronger than England. I think the Belgium team has the potential to play for the trophy this time. England always seem to struggle on the big tournaments.
Group H: Colombia, Japan, Poland and Senegal
This is another very exciting group. There is no big favourite to win this group and all four teams can go trough. Colombia has Falcao, Poland has Lewandowski, Liverpool has Mane and Japan has Kagawa. I think Colombia is the strongest team in this group, with Poland as number two. These two teams will qualify for the next round.
These are mine World Cup group stage predictions. Do you agree on this, or do you think I’m wrong? Let me know in the comments.