In each edition, there is someone who has a glorious prospect who must soon make suitcases, returning home after a group that was planning to “win in a carriage”. We know something, unfortunately, but we are not alone. Spain four years ago kept us company, with England (in our group) and Portugal. In South Africa, always with us, it was France. This time we went ahead with the work, so do not look at us. But before the big players get on the pitch, you can evaluate who is most likely in the group.
GIRONI HURS – Argentina’s has been indicated by many as the most complex group: there are no easy races, there are two teams that aim to make the surprise, counting on physical and enthusiasm (Nigeria), or organization and solidity (Iceland ), there is a credible talent-level rival like Croatia. With Messi in superstar mode he makes nine points, otherwise he can get bogged down. The Fifa Ranking indicates that of Brazil as the most competitive group, but the team of Tite seems more ready to use, without needing to find form and certainty with the passing of the races.
DOUBLE BIG – Then there are the groups in which we start with two “big” and two designated victims: the B of Portugal and Spain, the G of Belgium and England. Here is the calendar to count: if Kane and Lukaku will only meet on the last day, potentially already with a pass to the World Cup in hand, the immediate confrontation of the two Iberians can put in difficulty the possible defeat. Starting the World Cup is never a good idea, anxiety can play bad jokes even when you face weaker teams.
LESS RISKS – Germany does not run risks by definition, in large tournament groups; France seems superior to direct competition, the H with Poland, Colombia and Senegal does not have a real big, even if hurried greetings from Lewandowski or James Rodriguez would make noise. Then there is the grouping of landlords: a Russia in line with Putin’s ambitions could also put Uruguay in difficulty.