All sides to qualify from their groups:
Uruguay – Group A
Portugal – Group B
Denmark – Group C
Croatia – Group D
England – Group G
This World Cup Group Qualifier Acca has five countries down to qualify from their group with some safer shouts than others but all with a superb chance.
In group A, there is a slight battle between head and heart. The host nations tend to do well but Russia looked less than impressive at the Euros. The Russians will be tricky to beat but we can’t see them qualifying from this group. The Uruguayans, with Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, are the favorites of the group, and they’re the side we’re tipping. In qualification, Uruguay looked a class act and don’t forget they finished above the much-fancied Argentina. Egypt, with a firing Mo Salah, and Saudi Arabia will give the Russians a headache for second place.
Group B looks strong with Spain and Portugal the two favourites to qualify. Spain is a bit of a no-brainer – world champions in 2010 and one of the favourites to win the whole thing again. We’re tipping Portugal to scoop up the second qualification spot. They were impressive in qualification and with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gomes, Bernado Siva and Nani in their ranks, they should cruise through to the knock-outs. The other two countries, Morocco and Iran certainly won’t be pushovers though.
Group C looks to be a walkover for a strong French side. Second spot is up for grabs and we’re going for a decent priced Denmark. Peru and Australia are the other two in the mix and they look average at best. The Premier League witnessed Denmark’s Christian Eriksen in full flow this season and if he is firing, chances will be created for Denmark to score. They have some talented young strikers in Ajax’s Kasper Dolberg and Leipzig’s Yussuf Poulsen.
Group D seems like another one team group with Argentina huge odds on favourites to top the group. Slightly controversial when you look at their qualification struggles. However, they are packed with quality with arguably the best player in the world, Lionel Messi, leading the front line. Iceland have gone from strength to strength in recent years and will no doubt play their direct style with an organised defence. Are they good enough to keep out Croatia though? We think not. Croatia have two guns in Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, plus plenty of experience and that’s why we expect them to do well. Nigeria are the other side in the group and they have a couple of familiar faces in their side, such as Mikel Obi and Victor Moses, but they lack the quality and organisation of the other two.
Last up is Group G and we’re backing England to get one of the top two spots. It shouldn’t be too difficult with Panama and Tunisia in the group. Two of the smallest nations to ever play in a World Cup, and Panama playing their first ever, England have the experience and quality to wipe these two aside. The big game will be Belgium who are favourites to top the group. With men such as De Bruyne, Hazard, Courtois and Lukaku in their starting line-up, they will be hard to stop. England will be organised defensively and have decent attacking options in Kane, Sterling, Rashford, Alli and co. They should have qualification to the knock-outs in the bag.
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