World cup preview by each group

russia 2018
Group A

Russia

Home team will do everything to catch next round. Coach Cherchesov called most of the players from domestic teams. Russia is very balansed team with players similar qualiity. Their strength lies in breaks and air duels. Home field is plus for them too. Speed and creating chances are far from elite. Smolov will lead them in front, Kokorin is injured and thats big blow. Place in the group: 2nd

Uruguay

“La Celeste” is 1st favorite of group A. Coach Tabarez has solid attack with Suarez and Cavani, great defense(Godin, Jimenez) and not impressive midfield. Top individuals, breaks and aggressiveness are plus for them. Indiscipline can be the problem like for every South American team. Place in the group: 1st

Egypt

Hector Cuper’s team = Mo Salah! “The Pharaohs” are disciplined team with good defense organization, solid midfielder Elneny from Arsenal but their success will depend of Salah’s injury situation. Penetration and play one on one arent on high level. Possible surprise in this group. Place in the group: 3rd

Saudi Arabia

Former Chile selector Pizzi will have lot of work! Not much quality in this squad. Players from domestic clubs(just 3 from foreign teams) arent impressive at all. Air duels, ball control and creating chances are their big weaknesses. No chance for next round. Place in the group: 4th

Group B

Portugal

European champion is coming with big ambitions on this WC. Team is playing together for years and thats big plus for Ronaldo & co. Penetration and creating chances should be their main weapon. Coach Santos counts on free kicks and other breaks for some goals. Slow central defenders, old defense, short bench and thin attack are things where their opponents will try to punish them. Place in the group: 2nd or 3rd

Spain

Champion from 2010. wants to get back on track. “La Furia” has deep roster, strong defense and creative midfield. Moreno and Aspas had great season and thats great news for coach Lopetegui. Spain is without real striker( Costa isnt bad but not elite) and coach doesnt have experience from big tournaments( Lopetegui led only youth team so far). They have quality, no doubt. Tiki-taka is main favorite of group B. Place in the group: 1st

Morocco

Africans are back on WC after 20 years. Coach Renard has solid team. Captain Benatia leading defense, offensive midfield with Bousssoufa, Belhanda and El Ahmadi are capable to score vs every team. Boutaib is very dangerous in front. Goalies are their weakness, air duels and indiscipline too. Very aggressive team and potential “dark horse” of the tournament. Place in the group: 2nd or 3rd

Iran

Carlos Queiroz leading Asians from 2011. and he managed to qualify for another WC( Iran played in Brasil 2014. too). Their strenght is duel play, defensive organization and good midfielder Jahanbakhsh from AZ Alkmaar. Thin defense is 1st problem. Other issues are creating chances and not much talent. Tough to the next round. Place in the group: 4th
Group C

France

“Les Tricolores” are one of main favorites. Another deep team with covers on every position. Griezmann will lead them in front, together with experienced Giroud and young Mbappe. Dembele can be dangerous too. Penetration, solid individuals, athleticism and good transition should be their strength. Pressure will be on coach Deschamps, he left home some big names like Benzema and Lacazzete. Expectations are high. Place in the group: 1st

Denmark

Interesting squad. Lot of depends of Christian Eriksen and his mood. Solid goalie Schmeichel, captain Kjaer, midfielders Delaney and Schone, strikers Jorgensen and Poulsen…are good but Tottenham’s player is the main star. Their power are offensive duel play and shots from distance. Creativity, not much tactics and play one on one arent good spots of their game. Place in the group: 2nd or 3rd

Peru

“Los Incas” managed to qualify on WC after 36 years! The Peruvians playing strong with lot of duel plays. Main players are well known Querrero and Farfan but Cuevas and Ruidiaz can be dangerous in front too. Play one on one, good transition and shots from distance are their plus, while combinatorics and indiscipline are big problems. South Americans will be tough nut for everyone. Place in the group: 2nd or 3rd

Australia

Coach van Marwijk has great experience from WC 2010.(made it to the finals with Netherlands) but it will be tough this time! He is too short on the bench for some big changes. “The Socceroos” positive sides are: breaks, air duels and strenght. Their issues are defense, talent and creativity in front. Long ball to Cahill will be main tactic. Place in the group: 4th
Group D

Argentina

Runners-up from last WC will try to make it better but it wont be easy. “La Albiceleste” had lot of troubles in qualifications. Coach Sampaoli is good tactician but there is lot of questions around this team. Defense isnt impressive, midfield too. Lot of quality in front with Messi, Aguero, Di Maria, Higuain, Dybala…Play one on one and offensive talent are their plus while unequal squad and too much talent can be issue. Place in the group: 1st or 2nd

Croatia

“The Blazers” are packed with experienced players from elite Euro leagues. Defense with Vida and Lovren isnt powerful and coach Dalic will have lot of work there. Left side of defense with Strinic is vulnerable too. Midfield is their main power: Modric, Rakitic, Kovacic, Brozovic…are solid options. Kramaric had good season and he will be threat in front. Air duels and high pressure are other qualities of this team. Offensive creation isnt on high level. Place in the group: 1st or 2nd

Iceland

Surprise from Euro 2016. again on big scene! Tough group for them. They arent team with deep roster. Defense cant be trusted. Lot of things depends of midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson but he wont be ready 100%. Their power are air duels and breaks while transition, creativity and talent arent their better sides. Iceland is slow team which can be dangerous for them in this group. Place in the group: 3rd or 4th

Nigeria

Africans managed to qualify for the 2nd round three times so far on World Cups but it will be hard this time. “Super Eagles” are young squad with few experienced additions. Goalies are far from great. Air duels and creativity arent their advantage. Duel play, transition and atleticism are their plus. Place in the group: 3rd of 4th

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13 thoughts on “World cup preview by each group

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