Football

Six top teams to watch out for at the FIFA World Cup 2018

Russia 2018 promises to be a treat for football fans around the world. With the World Cup less than 100 days away, football fans around the world are getting excited about how this edition of the FIFA World Cup is going to pan out. 32 teams divided into 8 groups are going to battle on the football field in the name of glory. Many world class players have emerged on the stage of football and this World Cup promises to be a big treat for football fans around the world. Sportskeeda reports that the national teams represented have more depth and quality than ever before.
France:
The quality in the French national team is simply amazing. They are definitely the team to watch out for this summer in Russia. The kind of talent they have at their disposal right now is really unrealistic. Didier Deschamps’ team roster is filled with so many world-class players, it not only is unrealistic but it’s frightening aswell for other teams participating in the tournament. Not only are they the favourites right now, but they should be the favourites in the 2022 tournament aswell considering the average age of players they can call upon.
With so much talent available Deschamps has not selected any particular style of play. He could use the pace of the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele or he could use the technical ability of the likes of Thomas Lemar and Antoine Griezmann. But whatever style of play he uses, it promises to produce wonder. It looks like they have buried the pain of losing Euro 2016 and will look to clinch the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.
Spain:
After enjoying unprecedented success on the international stage, with two back to back European championship wins and a World Cup in between, things haven’t gone well for the Spanish national team since then. They were humiliated by the Dutch in the 2014 World Cup opening match, a 5-1 defeat. They were knocked out of the tournament in the group stage. They have a plethora of word class players and resilience in the ranks. Their defence is as solid as ever, with Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique at their peak. In goal, they have David De Gea who on current form is probably the best goalkeeper in the world. Their full-backs Jordi Alba and Carvajal are both excellent in attack aswell as defence. La Roja’s midfield comprises of Isco, Thiago, Iniesta, David Silva, Saul Niguez and Koke. Their forward line is being led by the dynamic Diego Costa. The managerial change from Vicente del Bosque to Julen Lopetegui has rejuvenated the side. Under Lopetegui the Spanish national team was unbeaten in the qualifiers. Their current roster does not include several stars such as Alvaro Morata, Javi Martinez, Cesc Fabregas and Pedro but they are more than capable of handling things without them.
Germany:
Germany, a blend of youth and experience. In recent times the German national team has performed exceptionally well on the international stage. They were in the semi-final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, semi-finalists in the 2012 Euros, won the 2014 World Cup and again emerged as semi-finalists in the 2016 Euros. One of the most common characteristic of the Germans national team has been that they are always able to have a perfect mix of youth and experience in their squad. Defending the World Cup is never g oing to be an easy task but with Joachim Löw as their manager and the kind of squad they have, Die Mannschaft certainly look up to the task. The German team is so good that in last year’s Confederation Cup they sent their B team and they still managed to win the tournament. Young players such as Leroy Sane, Joshua Kimmich, Timo Werner and Julian Draxler are already top players in their respective clubs, playing each week. They also have experienced players such as Toni Kroos, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil. Joachim Löw uses a 3-4-3 formation. The goalkeeper has a clear role of being a sweeper keeper, this allows the defenders to take more risk. His attacking style of play is also very flexible, this helps every player flourish in his position. Again with the perfect blend of youth and experience, Germany look deadlier than ever and will definitely look to defend their trophy in Russia.
Brazil:
Whenever there is a World Cup, Brazil are always one of the favourites. They have all the necessary attributes required to be champions and they will be looking for redemption in this edition since the humiliating 1-7 defeat at home to Germany. They have an abundance of attacking talent at their disposal such as Neymar, Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus, Willian, Roberto Firmino and Douglas Costa etc. Midfield also looks strong with Casemiro, Paulinho, Renato Augusto and Fernandinho. Their defence should stay tight with likes of Marcelo, Thiago Silva, Dani Alves, Marquinhos and Miranda. They also have two world-class and in form goalkeepers Ederson and Alisson. With Tite at the helm, Brazil has once again regained its elite status. They either use a 4-1-4-1 or a 4-4-3 formation. Fullbacks play high up the pitch and Casemiro plays as a third centre-back, while the remaining 7 players attack the ball. Tite is also credited with bringing in a more meticulous approach to Brazil’s game. The Seleção have quality, depth, experience, a strong back-line and a glorious history which should motivate them to be champions again.
Argentina:
The South American team is so much more than Lionel Messi. Though there is no doubt that Messi is their best player and very much single-handedly took Argentina to the FIFA World Cup 2018 via qualifiers, the team has many other deadly players as well. The crop of forwards which Argentina has right now is arguably better than any other National Team’s right now. Though they don’t have as much depth as other teams in departments such as midfield and defence, but their experience of 3 finals at on the international stage should come in handy. If they successfully manage to get the likes of Messi, Dybala, Aguero, Higuain, and Di Maria link up their play, no team in the world can stop them. Jorge Sampaoli uses man-oriented high press to disrupt the ability of the opposition to build from the back. Though the toughest task for him is to find a position from where he can get the best out of Messi, he has mainly used the talisman so far as a ‘number 10’ who collects the ball from deep and runs at the opposition.
Belgium:
The Belgian national team over the past few years has produced some real world-class talent. They have so many quality players not just in one position, but in every position on the pitch. With Eden Hazard as their talisman, they will look to mount a serious challenge for football’s most prestigious prize. Though they have under-performed in previous international tournaments such as the World Cup 2014 and Euros 2016, they would certainly like to change that. Apart from Eden Hazard, they have many players who are more than capable of changing games single-handedly. The likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens, and Mousa Dembélé can destroy any defence. Their defence also looks rock solid with the likes of Vincent Kompany (when fit), Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Thomas Vermaelen and in between the sticks is Thibaut Courtois. Roberto Martinez’s tactical changes have been effective as Belgium now uses a 3-4-2-1 formation, this has helped bring out the best in Eden Hazard and their talented attackers have more freedom now. Their use of drone positioning is a relatively new footballing tactic but it has proven to be effective. They are definitely a team no-one would like to face in Russia.

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