The excitement for World Cup 2018 has reached fever pitch, with fans from all over the world travelling to Russia for the tournament. The rest of us will be watching the spectacle from afar, with the tournament set to be the most watched event in the world. There are 32 different nations competing against each other, but only a few can seriously be considered as potential winners. We have taken a look at some of the big favourites to lift the World Cup in Russia:
France are one of the red-hot favourites to win the World Cup as they boast a star-studded squad with players from some of the most elite clubs in Europe. 2 years ago, France made it to the Euro 2016 final and were surprisingly knocked out by a lucky goal in extra time by Portugal. This time round, they have an even more improved and experienced squad, and were able to leave out players such as Anthony Martial, Dimitri Payet and Karim Benzema. Now their hopes are firmly placed on the shoulders of PSG superstar, Kylian Mbappe and Atletico Madrid forward, Antoine Griezmann.
It’s hard to mention a potential World Cup winner without including Brazil, who have won it a record 5 times. Many people thought that the previous tournament was destined to be a success for them, as they were the host nation, but it ended in nightmare fashion after they lost 7-1 to Germany in the semi final. This time round, Brazil is playing with confidence and fluidity, and easily finished in number 1 spot in the qualifying rounds. The Brazil coach, Tite, also has players such as Gabriel Jesus that he can call upon, which means that Neymar Jr. has less burden and more of a chance to flourish.
Argentina were the runners up in the last World Cup, losing out to Germany in extra time. They were on the brink of missing out on this tournament due to a very shaky qualification process, but somehow managed to get there by winning the final game thanks to Lionel Messi. Argentina don’t have the best defence but they have arguably the greatest player on the planet to rely on for inspiration. They also have a number of other world class attackers such as Sergio Aguero, Di Maria and Gonzalo Higauin, and on their day, they can beat anyone.
Many people will raise their eyebrows at seeing England included in this list, but for once, the pressure is off the team and there really isn’t much expectation for them to do well, probably because of their shocking performances at Euro 2016! This time round however, there seems to be a good group dynamic between the players, and they have been comfortably winning the games that were put in front of them. They will also be hoping Harry Kane can replicate his form for Tottenham this season, while Dele Alli is capable of moments of brilliance, and even has the swagger of a Brazillian, according to Roberto Carlos!