Starting from next week, club football action in Europe will come to an end, climaxing with the UEFA Champions League final.
Then all eyes will be firmly fixed on the FIFA World Cup.
In just one month, the mundial kicks off. And while fans are getting ready to enjoy the festival of football, national team managers are getting ready to start working for the pay they earn.
With 30 days to go to kickoff, several managers have started releasing their squad lists for the tournament. While some have opted to release a provisional/preliminary squad, others – like the Brazilian coach – have gone straight to announce their 23-man squad for the World Cup.
While we wait for the 32 teams to release their lists, let’s take a look at each group:
This group consists of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay.
With Edison Cavani and Luis Suarez in their ranks, Uruguay will be one of the teams to beat in this group.
Mohamed Salah will be hoping to make it as far as possible in the competition. And if he can, he will have made a strong case for himself to be crowned the Player of the Year (both Ballon d’Or and FIFA’s The Best).
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What more can be said about a group that has both Spain and Portugal in it? We can quickly conclude that Iran and Morocco should as well start packing their bags as they won’t make it through the group stages…
BUT no…this is the World Cup, where underdogs sometimes thrive.
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Peru will have to find a way past France, Denmark and Australia in this group without their captain who was banned for 14 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for doping.
As for France, they’re favorites (on paper) to finish top of the group. But they will be wary of the likes of Denmark and the underdogs that will be wearing the Australian national colors.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles will again play against Argentina in a World Cup tournament. They’re joined in the same group by Iceland and Croatia, two of Europe’s top teams.
For the neutrals, this is one group that will produce a lot of good football and plenty of entertaining games.
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The Brazilians, yesterday, released their 23-man World Cup squad, a squad so good it has already been labeled by some as a potential World Cup winning squad. But they have to get the better of Serbia, Costa Rica and Switzerland to qualify out of Group E.
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Welcome to the group that has the current champions of world football in it. Germany has been paired alongside Mexico, South Korea and Sweden. The question is NOT whether or not the Germans can qualify out of this group.
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England, Belgium, Tunisia and Panama have been paired together in this group. The English side will be looking to make good use of all the potential in the squad and possibly win the trophy.
Belgium will also have that goal in mind, with the other two teams set to cause upsets and create space for themselves in the knockout stages.
Colombia, Poland, Japan and Senegal. Of these four teams, only Poland has released their 35-man provisional squad for the competition – as of the time of writing. The Senegalese team will be looking to recreate the glory days of the 2002 World Cup.
Poland will be looking to make all that European club experience count while Colombia and Japan will be looking to make sure the top two spots in this group is theirs.
Which of these teams do you think will qualify out of their group? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts with us.