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World Cup 2018 Russia - Team Predictions

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We can have this a year early, do one now and do one next year to see how things change. Make it any length you want.

What is the most you expect from the team?

1. Russia

2. Brazil

3. Iran

4. Japan

5. Mexico

6. Belgium

7. South Korea

8. Saudi Arabia

9. Germany

10. England

11. Spain

12. Nigeria

13. Costa Rica

14. Poland

15. Egypt

16. Iceland

17. Serbia

18. Portugal

19. France

20. Uruguay

21. Argentina

22. Colombia

23. Panama

24. CONCACAF/AFC playoff

25. CONMEBOL/OFC playoff

26. Africa Group A (Tunisia/DR Congo)

27. Africa Group D (Senegal/Burkina Faso/South Africa/Cape Verde)

28. Africa Group C (Morocco/Ivory Coast)

29. Europe Playoff Winner 1

30. Europe Playoff Winner 2

31. Europe Playoff Winner 3

32. Europe Playoff Winner 4

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1. Russia

Group stage

I think Russia will struggle here even if they are at home

2. Brazil

Champions

They are playing top football but I still think they will be missing something. Semi-finals before losing to a better team, albeit not 7-1 haha

3. Iran

Group stage

Very good team tactically but I think their defensive style will only work in a knockout stage. They'll probably draw 2 games and lose the 3rd.

4. Japan

Round of 16

There's talent in there. It will depend on who they get in the groups I feel.

5. Mexico

Round of 16

They will lose in the round of 16 again. Its not that I think they don't have talent, I don't like their rotation policy and they have stagnated for me. This will let them down again. I fully expect them to pass the groups though.

6. Belgium

Semi finals

At most, they can reach semi's. I highly doubt it will happen though.

7. South Korea

South Korea

Quarter finals

They can go as far as the quarters for me. I don't think they'll do it but if they click they will be dangerous. Will be interesting to see this side next year.

8. Saudi Arabia

Group stage

Saudi Arabia will be a fun side to watch at the World Cup. Very fast paced and some players with lovely dribbling technique. I think their end product will let them down though.

9. Germany

Champions

I don't think much needs to be said here to be honest.

10. England

Group stage

They will need a really shit group to go through this time. Granted, I'm part English and I like it when they do well.

11. Spain

Champions

Another one of the favourites. I think some people are overrating them just a bit, but that's not to say I think they are bad and they have ridiculous depth. Definitely one of the favourites next year but still below Germany and Brazil.

12. Nigeria

Group stage

Think tactics will let them down again

13. Costa Rica

Round of 16

Costa Rica were class in the last World Cup, but I think they won't reach those heights again. That was a one time thing that won't happen again here.

14. Poland

Quarter finals

At most, I expect quarters from them. Lovely squad but is more quality over quantity for me.

15. Egypt

Round of 16

Lots of good players in the Egyptian league, its not just the ones in Europe. They can surprise, for sure.

16. Iceland

Round of 16

Don't think they'll go as far as quarters. They are good but I think the round of 16 is as far as they'll go.

17. Serbia

Group stage

They have a young side and are really in a bit of a transition. I expect them to have the same problems as Croatia though. Lack of work ethic.

18. Portugal

Champions

I actually have Portugal as one of the favourites. Great squad and it won't be in a pretty way but Portugal have a great defence and that will work in a knockout round to get them far.

19. France

Semi-finals

A bit of an unpopular one but France have individuals, not a team.

20. Uruguay

Round of 16

Uruguay are never a team you can rule out. In this case though, they have really awful tactics with a stubborn manager. I see them either going out in the group or right after.

21. Argentina

Champions

I think they will click and make a proper challenge for the World Cup next year. One of the favourites for sure.

22. Colombia

Semi-finals

If Colombia play anything like they did in the qualifiers, they will do awfully. However, I think they'll click. Pekerman will find a style and if he doesn't he'll make it out of his group and then play a pragmatic style in the knockouts.

23. Panama

Group Stage

I will be very surprised if Panama can make it past the groups.

24. Australia

Group Stage

I like Australia, but this is the worst socceroos side in a long time. Good players, completely stubborn tactics.

25. Peru

Round of 16

I can see Peru going as far as quarters depending on the opponents, but I realistically expect them to go as far as the round of 16. They'll make it past their group and then go out. Again, the mission here is to market Peru as a football nation.

26. Tunisia

Group stage

Tunisia is a coin toss for me. I don't know a whole lot about them and a lot of players play in Tunisia, which isn't a bad thing. They do have one of the best leagues in Africa, I don't think it will be enough though.

27. Senegal

Round of 16

Tactics will let Senegal down, but they have some cracking players like Mane, Keita, Gueye and Koulibaly. They can go as far as quarters, but I expect round of 16 from them.

28. Morocco

Round of 16

Not a bad squad at all but I don't think they'll make a huge impact to be honest.

29. Croatia

Quarter finals

To be honest, if Croatia clicks then they are realistically one of the favourites to win the World Cup. They have the typical yugoslavian problem though and still do. Its a coin toss for them. They can go out in the groups in the same way they can go out in quarters.

30. Italy

Semi-finalists

Italy are a tournament team, but I don't rate Ventura and they don't have as good a squad as the top teams so I think semi-finals at most.

31. Sweden

Quarter finals

Sweden have a canny side and they can go as far as the quarters if they really want it.

32. Ireland

Group Stage

Don't expect much from the Irish to be honest.

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Sampaoli has a tough task. Still think he needs to utilise the chemistry Dybala and HIguain built with Juve.

Also, now more than ever under the radar Argentine central midfielders should be trying to impress at club level, considering there are 2 vacant spots for Sampaoli to choose from. Biglia, Perez, Banega are just not good enough. 

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1 minute ago, Cicero said:

Sampaoli has a tough task. Still think he needs to utilise the chemistry Dybala and HIguain built with Juve.

Also, now more than ever under the radar Argentine central midfielders should be trying to impress at club level, considering there are 2 vacant spots for Sampaoli to choose from. Biglia, Perez, Banega are just not good enough. 

He took a huge gamble in taking the job at that stage in qualifying. It payed off and now he has time to work. I think Argentina will be fine come the World Cup.

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1 minute ago, Blue said:

He took a huge gamble in taking the job at that stage in qualifying. It payed off and now he has time to work. I think Argentina will be fine come the World Cup.

Kranevitter and Paredes should really be considered over Biglia. As for the more traditional CM, it's hard to not look past anyone than Banega unfortunately 

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Why not just wait til all teams are confirmed before starting threads like this xD

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9 hours ago, Cicero said:

Sampaoli has a tough task. Still think he needs to utilise the chemistry Dybala and HIguain built with Juve.

Also, now more than ever under the radar Argentine central midfielders should be trying to impress at club level, considering there are 2 vacant spots for Sampaoli to choose from. Biglia, Perez, Banega are just not good enough. 

Perez did a great job against Ecuador and has delivered when he was called. I think he would be one of the midfielders. I'd also like to give a chance to Paredes, Ocampos and Rigoni.

This would be my team:

 

Mercado - Pezzella - Funes Mori/Mammana - Rojo/Ansaldi

 

Perez - Mascherano - Paredes

 

Messi -  Higuain - Di Maria

 

Or

 

Mercado - Pezzella - Funes Mori/Mammana - Rojo/Ansaldi

 

----------------------------------- Perez - Paredes --------------------------------

 

Rigoni-------------------------------Messi---------------Ocampos-----------

-----------------------------------------Higuain---------------------------------------

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