Later this week, the biggest football festival will kick off in Russia.
With 32 teams, divided into eight groups, set to go head-to-head against each other, we continue our countdown and build-up towards the tournament by looking at each group and asking one question about each group.
Group A (Russia, Egypt, Uruguay, Saudi Arabia)
The group of both the host country and players like Edison Cavani, Igor Akinfeev, Luiz Suarez and Mohamed Salah, amongst other names. Of course there’s plenty at stake, including qualification out of the group.
Except for a miracle, it’s expected that the Saudi Arabians will finish the group rock-bottom. If this happens, this leaves three teams in the running for only two qualification spots. The question is:
Group B (Iran, Morocco, Portugal, Spain)
Just like Group A, it’s easy to say that Iran will be the whipping boys of this group. But football is still a funny sport and anything can happen.
That said, it looks like there will be a straight battle between Portugal and Spain for the top spot in this group. And it might all depend on the game between these two countries. This leads us to our Group B question:
Group C (Australia, Denmark, France, Peru)
It’s a group full of dark horses, with names like Peru and Australia capable of springing up surprises within a short notice. Of course it seems France are favorites to qualify out of the group, with their caliber of players. But:
Group D (Argentina, Croatia, Iceland, Nigeria)
This group has been nicknamed the “group of death.” All four teams seem to stand equal chances of making it out of the group. There seem to be no favorites in this one. So instead of asking who will qualify, we’re asking:
Group E (Brazil, Costa Rica, Serbia, Switzerland)
The Brazilians have not won the World Cup since 2002 and will be looking to win the trophy for a sixth time. But they will have to combat these three other teams for a place in the round of 16. Do you think Brazil can defeat all three teams?
Group F (Germany, Mexico, South Korea, Sweden)
Germany starts the defense of their World Cup title against these three other teams. These three other teams will also be fighting for a chance to get out of the group and stake their claim for the FIFA World Cup trophy.
Group G (Belgium, England, Panama, Tunisia)
Two of Europe’s most talented football sides have found themselves in the same group with a football powerhouse from Africa and Panama, a team that qualified for the World Cup ahead of the U.S Men’s National Team.
Group H (Colombia, Japan, Poland, Senegal)
Another group of death, with all four teams strong contenders to qualify out of the group. Each team represents different continents which makes things even more interesting. But one question hovering over this group:
As the countdown to the World Cup continues, which games are you looking forward to? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts with us.