With the World Cup in Russia now in full swing, take a look at our analysis of four teams who could potentially lift the most sought-after trophy in world Football when the tournament meets its end in Moscow.
Didier Deschamps was spoilt for choice when selecting his 23-man squad to go to Russia, leaving out some big names including Anthony Martial and Karim Benzema in particular. However, the depth of the French squad is nothing short of ridiculous and is undoubtedly one of the strongest teams in the tournament. Emphasised by the attacking options of Griezmann, Mbappe or Dembele, all of whom will cause opposition defences chaos in Russia.
France’s first game against Australia was hardly their best performance, however, they are one of the only ‘big teams’ to have ground out a result, winning their opening game, with Hugo Loris’s performance standing out most, with the keeper making several huge saves against the Socceroos. With the calibre of players and depth this French squad has, it is hard to see them not progressing into the latter stages of the tournament
Having not won the World Cup since 2002, Brazilian people will be expecting big things from their players, meaning that the likes of Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Phillipe Coutinho will need to perform at their very best if they want to bring the World Cup back to Brazil, a nation that has won the prestigious trophy five times. Their campaign so far has been very unconvincing, unlike many Brazilian sides of the past, drawing 1-1 against Switzerland and taking 90 minutes to score against Costa Rica. Their third game against Serbia is crucial to ensure they make a statement to the remaining international sides.
This young England side is exciting a nation for the first time in many years at a major tournament with many believing England can actually win the World Cup. Lead by talisman Harry Kane who currently has five goals in the tournament, it’s paramount England keep him firing if they want to progress. England’s most recent game against Panama sent out an emphatic message, however, the squad and the nation cannot get on top of themselves. England face Belgium on Thursday and this will be the first big test for the three lions. Southgate says his teams go out to win every game, even if it could be beneficial for England to finish second in the group, potentially avoiding Germany or Brazil later in the tournament, some tactical nouse from Southgate could be important for England who currently top Group G.
Arguably the most convincing team of the World Cup group stages, Belgium’s performances against Panama and Tunisia have been nothing short of brilliant, playing with confidence and a swagger that could beat any team in world Football. Roberto Martinez’s side have a number of world-class players, most notably Eden Hazard who has two goals and one assist so far and Manchester United forward, Romelu Lukaku is firmly in the race for the Golden Boot with four goals already to his name.
It will be interesting to see if they are able to keep up their impressive form against the bigger footballing nations, if so Belgium could prove to be dark horses to lift the World Cup this year, ensuring they keep their top players fit and focused.
Let us know your thoughts on the front-runners in the World Cup by commenting down below. Can one of these four teams clinch the trophy, or will a dark horse steal the glory on the biggest stage of all? You can also tweet us at @AllOutFootball_ using the hashtag #AOF.