There are four main favourites to win the World Cup. One of those teams in France who are coming to Russia with one of the strongest squads.
Having just hosted Euro 2016 but losing out to Portugal in the final, coach Didier Deschamps is under pressure to deliver a title, particularly with the recently departed Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane being linked with the job. France play open, expansive football and will most certainly be easy on the eye.
Another side also high up in the charts is Spain. The country ruled international football between 2008 and 2012, winning three major tournaments in a row, but crashed horribly at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, suffering elimination at the group stage.
A younger generation, featuring exciting talents Thiago Alcantara and Marco Asensio will be ably supported by the likes of Andres Iniesta and David Silva. Having been drawn in Group B, Spain’s battle with Portugal could be the highlight of the group stage, with the Spanish
Spain are currently enjoying a 19-game unbeaten streak stretching back almost two years, and their slick passing game and supreme technical quality is likely to be too much for the likes of Morocco and Iran, their other opponents in Group B. Spain may not be quite as strong as they were 10 years ago but they still boast some of the finest midfield players in the game today, and they will take some stopping – they could just make it two World Cup crowns in three attempts.
Meanwhile, the side who took Spain’s crown in 2014 was Germany with the World Cup set to kick off with favourites ready to battle for cup Coach Joachim Low can still count on a number of players who helped the side to glory in 2014, and the likes of Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos will be instrumental in helping to guide the next generation of youngsters in leading the current world champions to glory.
Low sent a fairly experimental squad to last year’s FIFA Confederations Cup and, despite some shaky early performances which saw the defence leak goals, the experiment was a success with the Germans winning the tournament. The champions will be defending their crown and there will be more than a few backing them to do so.
There looks to be an almost perfect balance to the German set up. Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng are rock solid in defence and, while the country may not boast a top class striker, there are more than enough options across the front line to worry defences.