2018 FIFA World Cup Preview
The 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup is on our doorstep. The most publicized sporting event in the world… Yes, yes, even before the Olympic Games, will once again bring together the countries of the planet around the same passion. THIRTY-TWO nations have qualified for this great tournament, some for the first time, others are accustomed and some that… will shine by their absence. Over the next few weeks, before the start of the “beautiful game” tourney, FanPicks will cover every nation participating in the group stage. Don’t forget to enter the World Cup contests at fanpicks.com
It was a tough loss against Portugal in the 2016 Euro. But France celebrates this year the 20th anniversary of its triumph in the World Cup (while they were in group C) and brings for the occasion a team that has the potential to go far. Qualified at the top of their group, although they had to wait until the last day and a short victory of 2-1 on Belarus to validate it’s place, their ambition is to reach at least the semi-finals. Group C’s top spot is certainly within reach. It is later that the real challenges should come. The team has talent at all positions with the likes of Antoine Griezmann, although he has an average season at Atlético Madrid, Paul Pogba, who still has yet to make his mark in national selection, and Kylian Mbappé, the young sensation of the hour. Let’s not forget Raphael Varane, N’Golo Kante, Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny… talent, we tell you!
Even if they are less popular in Australia than the Wallabies, the rugby team, the Socceroos, will try to make it a beautiful figure at this World Cup. But it will not be easy… Already, the qualification has been complicated. They had to go through two roadblocks, eliminating Syria and Honduras in turn, to win their place in Russia. Their coach did not survive the trip and Dutchman Bert Van Marwijk was put in place since last February only. A short period of time to organize his team whose star is a 38 year old player, Tim Cahill, who could become one of the few players to score in four editions of the World Cup. On the condition that Australia can even score goals.
Peru makes a big comeback in the World Cup after a last showing in 1982. There are only a few known players with little experience in this team that could still play spoilsport behind France. The experience of Jefferson Farfan, who plays in Russia with the Locomotiv Moscow, will certainly be very valuable.
An interesting detail… During the team four previous entries, Peru has always faced the team that was going to win the title.
This will be Denmark’s 5th participation in the world. Absent during the last World Cup and the last Euro, they had to “revamp” their game after deceptions at the beginning of the qualifying course which forced them to go through the play-off to eliminate Ireland. They have solid players which includes Kasper Schmeichel, Peter’s son who follows the footsteps of his illustrious father in the net, and Christian Eriksen, a brilliant game leader with Tottenham. And lets not forget that this team had created a surprise in Euro 1992, which it had won while it had been called to replace Yugoslavia excluded for cause of war. It’s been a long time since, it’s true, but it’s the kind of story that inspires players…