2018 World Cup Guide, Groups A-D

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The greatest sporting event in the history of the human race is upon us, and I couldn’t be more excited. It is somewhat bittersweet as this will be the first time in my life that the US will not be in the tournament which obviously sucks, but I’ve convinced myself that we were never invited anyway so it doesn’t even matter that we’re not in it. (It’s kind of worked).

But I’m still here to pick every match this tournament as well as provide you with this guide which will include a preview for each group, a preview for each team, best bets in each group and best bets for who’s gonna win it all. It will be split into two parts, Groups A-D and Groups E-H. Let’s do the damn thing!

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18 carats of the sexiest gold known to man

How The Tournament Works
Each continent went through rigorous qualifying for almost two years until 32 teams were left from every continent in the world. Those 32 teams are broken up into 8 groups where each team plays every other team in their group once (3 matches). The team with the most points and second most points advance to the round of 16, with the tiebreaker being goal differential. From there on, it’s a single elimination tournament all the way to the World Cup Final where over 1.5 billion people will watch a new champion be crowned on July 15th.

GROUP A

Russia (+5000 to win, +175 to win group)

Overview: We get started with the hosts, in one of the easier groups of this World Cup. Only one host nation has not made it out of the group stage (South Africa, 2010) and Russia has been somewhat gifted a group of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay. If they can win their first match against Saudi Arabia and get at worst a point against Egypt, advancing to the next round is a serious possibility.

Strengths: Home field advantage. Host nations play well in the World Cup in the group stage and usually pull of a shock result or two. If they can get the country behind them out of the gate (and if they can get their fans to not be racist), they can get the points needed to move on.

Weaknesses: No goal scorer. Goals are hard to come by in this tournament in the first place, but can be even harder without a proven goal scorer on your squad. Unlike a few other teams in this group, I wouldn’t expect too many goals from Russia.

Key Player: Goalie, Igor Akinfeev.

WC History (Post USSR): Have never made it out of the group stage in three appearances since 1994.

Fun Fact: Russia is the largest country in the world, approximately 1.8 times bigger than the United States.

Uruguay (+2500 to win, -130 to win group)

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Suarez scoring in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Overview: This Uruguayan squad may be the most underrated team in the entire tournament and if they can win Group A, I can see them making the Quarterfinal. This team went 9-4-5 in Conmebol (South America) qualifiers. That is better than Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Chile and they scored the second most goals (32) only behind Brazil (41). They deserve to be more than -130 favorites and I absolutely love their odds to be top spot in Group A.

Strengths: Obviously having Cavani and Suarez up top will be their strengths as they’re two of the best strikers in the world, but I actually think it’s their experience that gives them the edge here. They are returning 10 players from their World Cup 2014 roster and 6 from their World Cup in 2010 where they came in 4th place.

Weaknesses: Their midfield sadly only returns 1 player from their last World Cup and is decently young compared to the rest of their squad with an average age of 26. If they can’t supply Suarez and Cavani it could force one of them to drop back to receive the ball, limiting their poaching ability.

Key Player: Striker, Luis Suarez. From biting Italian defenders to blocking a shot purposely with his arm to prevent a goal in the 2010 Quarterfinals (enabling Uruguay to go through to the Semifinal), Luis Suarez does more than score goals in the World Cup. If he can avoid trouble and score the goals expected, he can help push Uruguay to the Quarterfinals this summer.

WC History: Two championships (1930, 1950), Three 4th place finishes.

Fun Fact: Over half of the country’s 3.3 million people live in the capital city of Montevideo.

Good Bet: Uruguay to win the Group (-130)

Egypt (+15000 to win, +600 to win group)

Overview: In only their third ever World Cup Qualification, Egypt find themselves as (+125) underdogs to come out of group A. The only issue is that it just so happens that all of this rests on one man’s shoulders (literally). Mohammed Salah got them to this point scoring a game-winning penalty in the last match of qualifying with the last kick of the match as well as scoring 5 goals in the last 5 matches of the final stage. The Premier League Player of the Year looks to continue his run of form into the World Cup but there is a problem; he suffered a shoulder injury in the Champions League Final and may not be able to play in Game 1 of the Group Stage. It quite literally, rests on his shoulders.

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Salah being carried off the field, seconds after scoring his penalty against Congo which sent Egypt to their third ever World Cup

Strengths: There is a theme here that you will notice; Mohammed Salah. He needs to carry this team if it wants any chance to sniff the Round of 16.

Weaknesses: Almost everybody but Mo Salah. They are banking on El Mohamady in the back and Elneny in the midfield, and you can’t rely on one player at each position in a tournament like this. Another concern is that the World Cup will be beginning during Ramadan, and for most of the weeks leading up to the tournament the Muslim players have been fasting. They have been granted a break from the fast for the World Cup but going from sunup to sundown without eating or drinking, specifically water, for a few weeks can’t help prep the body.

Key Player: Forward, Mo Salah a.k.a. The Egyptian King.

WC History: Three Appearances, have never made it out of the Group Stage.

Fun Fact: The Egyptians invented the 365-days a year calendar.

Saudi Arabia (+100000 to win, +5000 to win group)

Overview: I’m going to be completely honest here and tell you that I know absolutely nothing about this team. Being +100000 to win anything is just absolutely absurd and there’s a good chance might not even earn a point in this group.

Strengths: Almost all of these players play domestically in Saudi Arabia and I couldn’t name you one of them. I’ve heard that Fahad Al-Muwallad is supposed to be their next wonder boy (relative to how good a Saudi Arabian wonder boy cold possibly be).

Weaknesses: None of these players would make the roster on any other team in the tournament and any one of them could be considered a weakness for this team.

Key Player: Midfielder, Fahad Al-Muwallad

WC History: Four appearances, One Round of 16 appearance.

Fun Fact: The national team’s nickname is the Green Falcons, which is really badass.

Group A Prediction: 1st. Uruguay, 2nd. Russia, 3rd. Egypt, 4th. Saudi Arabia

Group B  

Portugal (+2800 to win, +200 to win group)

Overview: The reigning European champions come into this tournament with surprisingly low expectations. They have a ton of experience, they’re coming off a European title and have one of the best players in the history of the game on their team, so why the disrespect? Well there are two reasons; they’re old(ish) and they have not been a convincing team the last few years. Their European title two years ago consisted of only having 1 win in regulation in the whole tournament and they almost didn’t qualify for this World Cup in the first place. The road to the quarterfinal isn’t too bad for the Portuguese though, as they will play either the winner or the runner-up of Group A.

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Cristiano holding the Euro 2016 trophy

Strengths: Having a 5-time Balon d’Or (world player of the year) winner on your team doesn’t hurt, but this team can be more than that. Underneath Ronaldo Portugal have Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, and Ricardo Quaresma proving the creativity which can ease the pressure of playmaking for Ronaldo and allow him to focus on finishing in and around the 18 yard box.

Weaknesses: Age. They have 6 players ages 33 and up including Ronaldo and 4 other possible starters in a tournament where youth is often crucial if you want to make a run. Depth is also a problem for Portugal and could make a run past the Quarterfinals unlikely.

Key Player: Striker, Cristiano Ronaldo. Since May of 2016 Ronaldo has won 3 Champions League titles, a European title and back-to-back Balon d’Ors.

WC History: One Third Place, One Fourth Place, Four straight World Cup appearances.

Fun Fact: The Portuguese eat more fish and shellfish per head of population than any other country.

Iran (+50000 to win, +3300 to win group)

Overview: Iran, much like Saudi Arabia, is one of those teams that I have no idea about and has little chance to make a big impact in this tournament. They do have a chance to make a slight impact, though. If they can get a point or even a shocking upset win against either Spain or Portugal, it completely changes the dynamic of who could come in first in Group B.

Strengths: The coach, Carlos Quieroz, helped send fellow group members Portugal through to the knockout round in 2010. His experience will be greatly needed if they want to be successful.

Weaknesses: They have to have a good defense if they want to contend against Spain and Portugal if they want to have any shot out of the group and the only defender that plays against respectable competition got 5 appearances in the Belgian First Division.

Key Player: Sadar Azmoun has scored 23 international goals by the age of 23 which is very impressive no matter what nation you come from. If he can nab a crucial goal or two against Spain or Portugal, you never know what could happen.

WC History: Four appearances and they have never made it out of the group stage.

Fun Fact: You are allowed to have up to four wives in Iran.

Spain (+600 to win, -170 to win the group)

Overview: We now reach our first serious contender for this year’s World Cup, with Spain reloading its talent after not making it out of the group in 2014. Spain is included in my 5 teams that have the best chances to win the tournament (which I will get in my Group E-H preview) and I think they have a very strong chance of making the Quarterfinal if they win the group. They have 20 players that start or feature prominently on Real Madrid (7), Barcelona (4), Atletico Madrid (4), Man City (1), Chelsea (1), Arsenal (1), Bayern (1) or Man United (1). They are no joke and should be taken extremely seriously by the rest of the field.

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Spain lifting the 2010 World Cup Trophy

Strengths: Their defense and midfield are almost unstoppable. They will probably start Isco, Silva, Busquetes and Thiago/Koke with Iniesta, Lucas Vasquez and Asensio probably coming off the bench which is hands down one of the best midfields in this year’s World Cup. Add that with Ramos, Pique and Azpilicueta in the back and you now have possible the most complete team I’ve seen in years.

Weaknesses: There aren’t any true weaknesses in this side but there is a slight concern. Although Spain won the 2010 World Cup with essentially no striker, it’s not the same team as 8 years ago and they may not be able to win in high-scoring matches with Costa and Aspas. Aspas has had an amazing year for Celta Vigo scoring 22 goals in 34 matches but it will be his first World Cup and Costa only appeared in 15 matches for Atletico this season.

Key Player: Goalkeeper, David De Gea. Although I was raving about the defense and midfield, that’s not necessarily where I find the key player for Spain in this tournament. Coming off of a Golden Glove season in the Premier League, David De Gea had 18 clean sheets in 37 matches and now comes into this tournament as the best goalie in the world. Spain won the World Cup in 2010 by letting in only 2 goals in 7 matches and they will need him to step up if they want to make a run.

WC History: One championship (2010), ten straight qualifications

Fun Fact: According to the 2013 OECD report, on average Spaniards devote 16 out of every 24 hours to leisure, eating, drinking and sleeping.

Good Bet: Although the odds aren’t great and they may have to get a win in the opening match against Portugal, it’s hard to pass up on Spain at (-170) to win the group.

Morocco (+50000 to win, +1600 to win the group)

Overview: As the other odd team out in this group, Morocco don’t stand much of a chance against the giants of Spain and Portugal and have little to no shot at advancing out of the group. Other than having Juventus defender Benatia, the team doesn’t have any stars that can carry them which makes their job that much worse.

Strengths: Having a veteran defender like Benatia will help them tremendously at the back. He’ll lead a back line that is usually somewhat organized and if organized enough, can maybe steal a point from Spain or Portugal and can hinder one of their chances at winning the group. But that is still very, very unlikely.

Weaknesses: I genuinely don’t know where the goals are going to come from in this squad and having no clear striker is a recipe for disaster.

Key Player: Defender, Mehdi Benatia

WC History: Four appearances, one Round of 16 appearance

Fun Fact: Morocco is only 8 miles away from Europe across the Strait of Gibraltar. For comparison, Manhattan Island is 13 miles from top to bottom.

Group B Prediction: 1st. Spain, 2nd. Portugal, 3rd. Morocco, 4th. Iran

Group C

Peru (+20000 to win, +1000 to win group)

Overview: There is some serious value in Peru to get out of the group at (+260), although it will be hard to get the top spot in a group with France. There is a massive story line following this Peru team as well, as captain and top goalscorer Paulo Guererro has gone through a series of suspensions from FIFA due to traces of cocaine when getting drug tested. Long story short, he argued that it came from a popular tea in Peru that uses a leaf that has traces of cocaine in it and his suspension was just recently overturned a few weeks before the start of the tournament. He will be available and he gives a Peru team that escaped Conmebol qualifying over Copa America champions Chile, even more firepower going into the tournament.

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Peruvian players shortly after qualifying for the World Cup

Strengths: Their offense was spectacular in Qualifying, scoring 27 goals which was the third most in the South American qualifying campaign. With Paolo Guererro back in the lineup, expect this team to be a threat going forward.

Weaknesses: Although they scored the third most goals, they let up the most of anyone who qualified from Conmebol qualifying. They may need rely on their goalscoring to get them out of the group, which is not the most ideal strategy in the World Cup if your defense can’t hold its weight.

Key Player: Striker, Paolo Guererro (on cocaine or not, he’s still really good).

WC History: Five appearances, one Quarterfinal appearance.

Fun Fact: There are over 3,000 different varieties of potatoes grown in Peru.

Good Bet: Peru to advance out of the group (+260). If they can beat Denmark in the first match, (+260) to advance looks pretty great to me.

Denmark (+10000 to win, +450 to win group)

Overview: Led by their star man Christian Eriksen, Denmark come into this World Cup with hopeful intentions. The squad also includes Leicester goalie Kasper Schmeichel, Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen and young star Kasper Dolberg. Their defense has solid experience in top leagues around Europe and although they had to go through the playoff round to get in to the World Cup, they have the ability to play up to most teams in this tournament’s level.

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Christian Eriksen after scoring a hat trick in the playoff against Ireland, sending them to the World Cup

Strengths: The Danish defense boasts 4 defenders with at least 20 caps for clubs like Chelsea, Sevilla, Udinese and Huddersfield. They were stingy in qualifying and will hope to stay stingy against the attacks of France and Peru in Group C this summer.

Weaknesses: Outside of Eriksen who provided Denmark most of their goals in qualifying and a hat trick in the playoff, they don’t have any prolific goalscorers. Only one striker on this squad scored more than 10 goals for their respective club teams.

Key Player: Attacking Midfielder, Christian Eriksen. He got them here and if they want to get points out of matches in this group, they will need him to step up. He has fantastic vision, he’s a top passer in the Premier League and can score from inside and outside the box.

WC History: Five appearances, One Quarterfinal appearance.

Fun Fact: The Danish monarchy is the oldest continuing monarchy in the world and has existed for over 1,000 years.

France (+650 to win, -350 to win the group)

Overview: I am in love with this team. They don’t have a glaring hole in their starting 11 and their young, eccentric talent makes it almost impossible to root against them. From 19-year old wonderboy Kylian Mbappe to Paul Pogba this team is not short of personality or talent. Coming off of a heatbreaking loss in Euro 2016 in the final to Portugal on home soil, this team is on a bigtime redemption tour. They went 7-2-1 in a qualifying group of Sweden and the Netherlands and are coming off of a big 3-1 tune up win against Italy (yes, an Italian squad built for 3 years from now but they absolutely ran through them). France has the second youngest team in the tournament, but also may have some of the most talent and depth. Their starting XI is likely to be  Lloris (gk, capt), Mendy, Varane, Umtiti, Sidibe, Pogba, Kante, Matuidi, Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe with Giroud/Lemar/Kimpembe coming off of the bench.

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French players doing their trademarked Fortnite celebration

Strengths: I’m going to have to name a few here. For starters this team is young and easily has the most confidence and swagger going into this World Cup. It may not sound substantial but for a French team to be this together is unusual along with the fact that often the most confident favorite ends up on top in these tournaments. Another strength is their attack. Griezmann and Mbappe alone could take you very far in this tournament, but they also have super sub Oliver Giroud and Dembele can play both in the midfield and on the wing. Their creativity is mesmerizing and I can’t wait for this team to capture the hearts of the rest of the world.

Weaknesses: History. Since their triumph in 1998 on home soil, they have only gone past the Quarterfinal once where they lost on penalties to Italy in the 2006 Final. In 2010 the team quit on the manager and refused to practice, leading them to be the laughing stock of the tournament. This team has a lot of weight on their shoulders and can’t deserve to let their nation down once again.

Key Player: Forward, Kylian Mbappe. This is the Kylian Mbappe coming out party, mark my god damn words. He’s arguably the most dynamic young player in the world right now and his form with the PSG was phenomenal this season. 13 goals in 25 matches along with 7 assists and if it wasn’t for Neymar and Cavani he could’ve scored upwards to 25 goals this season. He’s only 19 years old, his trajectory is scary and the World Cup is where we find the legends of tomorrow. He has unbelievable skill and he is ignorant to his own potential (in a good way).

WC History: One championship (1998), one 2nd place, two 3rd place and fourteen appearances.

NEUTRAL FAN ALERT: If you’re looking for a favorite to root for it should be this French team. As the second youngest team in the tournament, they relate to the 18-25 year old demographic really well. They’re fun, they’re good, they love Fortnite and they might just win the whole damn thing.

Fun Fact: There is only one stop sign in the city of Paris.

Good Bets: France to win the World Cup (+650). If France win their group (which they should) and if Argentina win their group (which they should), the French have the easiest road to the semifinal. They will avoid Brazil, England, Germany, Spain and Argentina until the semifinal (Brazil or England most likely). Another good bet would be Kylian Mbappe to win Golden Boot (+2500). If he begins to catch fire early and this team goes to where they could go, he could be top scorer in this tournament.

Australia (+30000 to win, +2500 to win the group)

Overview: There is only one player on this roster that anyone would know and it’s Tim Cahill, who produced one of the best goals in World Cup history in 2014. He’s 38 years old though and likely won’t produce much this summer. This team barely escaped Asian qualifying, a relatively easy continent to qualify from (for comparison Japan, Saudi Arabia and Iran did better in qualifying).

Strengths: This is a team and country that has a lot of grit and usually causes teams trouble in the World Cup every four years. It won’t be easy to break this team down defensively.

Weaknesses: I’m sorry but there’s nobody on this team, other than the 38-year old Cahill, that they can go to on offense and there’s no defender or goalie to prevent from conceding. They will be in trouble this summer.

Key Player: Striker, Tim Cahill. If he can poach and find a couple goals, it may help this team nab a result or two although it’s hard to expect anything from a 38-year old in a World Cup.

WC History: Four straight qualifications, One Round of 16 appearance.

Fun Fact: Australia is the driest of any continent on earth other than Antarctica.

Group C Prediction: 1st. France, 2nd. Denmark, 3. Peru, 4. Australia

Group D (Group of Death?)

Nigeria (+20000 to win, +1100 to win group)

Overview: The ‘Screaming Eagles’ of Nigeria come into this tournament much like France; with youth, confidence, swagger and a very likeable squad. Although they don’t nearly have the quality that France has, they have the opportunity to advance out of this group if they can squeeze a result against either Croatia or Argentina. Nigeria’s midfield and attack include 4 Premier League regulars, but their defense may be what comes back to haunt them in this tournament. What’s one thing they really have going for them? Their kits. Look below at the absolute drip on these jerseys and warmups they will be wearing during the World Cup this summer. The home green and white jersey broke the record for most sales for a World Cup jersey and sold out in 15 minutes.

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Home jersey (front left), Away jersey (top left) and the others are the warmups and regular wear for the squad. Sheesh.

Strengths: The midfield combination of national team legend John Obi Mikel, Chelsea starter Victor Moses and Leicester stud Ndidi will not only stifle opponents going forward but can provide for their poachers up top. The front line above those three will include Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi.

Weaknesses: The only keeper they have that has some respectable playing time is 19-year old Uzoho who had 2 appearances in La Liga in Spain. He might not even be their #1 keeper either. Not ideal when going up against teams like Croatia and Argentina.

Key Player: Striker, Kelechi Iheanacho. You can argue Moses is the best player on this team, but Kelechi Iheanacho will need to score goals for the Screaming Eagles if they want any shot at advancing. The 21-year old Iheanacho only needs a few opportunities, as his goals per minute record in the Premier League and for the national team is stellar.

WC History: Six appearances, three Round of 16 appearances.

NEUTRAL FAN ALERT: The Screaming Eagles are the youngest team in the tournament and have one of the cooler jerseys in World Cup history. Hop on this bandwagon, even if it’s just for the group stage.

Fun Fact: It is the most populous country in Africa, 8th most populous in the world and has over 250 ethnic groups.

Good Bet: (+240) to advance out of the group. Croatia are favorites to finish second, but if Nigeria can win or get points in their first match against Croatia then I can see them finishing second in Group D.

Croatia (+3300 to win, +225 to win group)

Overview: This Croatian team has the 10th best odds of winning this World Cup, and for good reason. Their midfield is the best in the group by far and overall they don’t have too many glaring holes. They let up only 4 goals in 10 matches in qualifying and defeated a Greece team 4-1 on aggregate on the playoff round.

Strengths: Croatia’s midfield consists of Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic, Real Madrid’s Luca Modric, Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic and Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic. That’s just a litany of wealth in the middle of the park and they may pick teams apart.

Weaknesses: Their defense isn’t that bad, but definitely will need to step up in an offensive-oriented group. Only one of their defenders has substantial experience in the top 5 leagues (Lovren for Liverpool) and he was not that impressive this season.

Key Player: Midfielder, Luca Modric. He is known as one of the better central midfielders in the world and he will captain this side during this World Cup. His creativity will allow him to control the entire game and he will be looking to feed his big man up top Mario Mandzukic all tournament.

WC History (as independent nation): Five appearances, one semifinal appearance.

Fun Fact: The city of Dubrovnik is used as the filming location for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones.

Good Bet: Croatia to win Group D (+225). I don’t think it will happen per se but if Argentina’s leaky defense allows them to slip up in a game and they lose to this Croatian side, Croatia has a path to winning the group. Plus it has a decent amount of value at (+225).

Argentina (+950 to win, -165 to win group)

Overview: This team, this group and this tournament may come down to one thing; Lionel Messi. Arguably the greatest player of all time has one thing left on his to-do list to guarantee himself as the GOAT and that’s to win a World Cup. The story of Messi is a complicated one, as he’s been one of the most accomplished players ever while having a God-like set of skills but he has come up short in every international final he’s been apart of. In 2014 his Argentina team lost to Germany in the World Cup Final where he won player of the tournament, in 2015 that same team lost to Chile in the final of the Copa America where he won player of the tournament but refused to accept it and in 2016 they lost again to Chile in Copa America Centenario. The craziest part is that he is only part of clearly the best attack in recent World Cup history. So why are they not bigger favorites? I’ll get into that in a bit.

Strengths: Lionel Messi (34 goals, 12 assists), Sergio Aguero (21G, 6A), Angel Di Maria (11G, 6A), Pablo Dybala (22G, 5A) and Gonzalo Higuain (16G, 6A) are all top 10-15 attacking players in the world and they will be spearheading an offense that will leave the rest of the competition shaking in their boots. The supporting cast was nowhere to be found 4 years ago and they made Messi carry the load, but this year all of these players are in tremendous form. They didn’t even include Mauro Icardi on the roster even though he led the Italian Serie A in goals this season, that’s how good this offense is.

Weaknesses: Remember how I mentioned that they’re not as big of favorites as one would expect? They are as unbalanced of a favorite as we’ve seen in the World Cup in years as their defense is the massive weakness for this squad. Going into the tournament it was a huge worry for them and then matters got worse once they lost their #1 keeper in Sergio Romero to injury. Although Mascherano, Otamendi and Fazio are decent defenders, they’re mostly shorter than your average defenseman and have never played well together in a major tournament.

Key Player: Everything and everywhere, Lionel Messi. He’s the reason they’re even here after scoring a hat trick in the playoff to get them through qualifying and he will be the exact reason why they may be lifting the trophy on July 15th.

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The GOAT, Lionel Messi after scoring a hat trick to propel Argentina to the World Cup

WC History: Twelve straight appearances, two championships (1978, 1986), two 2nd place finishes.

Fun Fact: Diego Maradona has his own religion, practiced by many Argentines.

Good Bet: Argentina to win the World Cup (+950). That’s an absurdly high number considering how many goals this team can score and the fact that they have the best player in the world on their side. Yes their defense needs work and they may have to go through Spain and Germany, but the odds of (+950) may be too good to pass up.

Iceland (+20000 to win, +1200 to win group)

Overview: After beating England and making the Quarterfinal at Euro 2016, Iceland has made everyone aware that they aren’t minnows anymore. The country with just 330,000 people (which is smaller than the Bahamas) is back in international play and sadly has been placed in what most likely is the group of death. They’re stingy on defense and have a couple good players but sadly are the worst team in this group and I don’t see them progressing.

Strengths: They have a few well-known players but that’s not what I’m going to pick as their strengths. These Icelandic guys are the epitome of brute force. They have 2 players on the entire team that are under 6 feet and they play a very physical, hard to break down style of soccer.

Weaknesses: In a group where there will be plenty of goals, Iceland don’t have a goalie that will be up for it. All other 3 teams in the group could put 3 in on this team in any of the games and a poor keeper could be the reason they don’t make it out.

Key Player: Attacking Midfielder, Gylfi Sigurdsson. Even tho his transfer to Everton was somewhat unsuccessful, he’s still by far and away the most quality player on the squad. He should be the captain and he was one of the main reasons why that team progressed to the Quarterfinals in Euro 2016.

WC History: First ever World Cup appearance.

NEUTRAL FAN ALERT: Great team if you’re looking for an underdog story. Plus their Icelandic Viking clap is badass.

Fun Fact: The country itself is smaller than the attendance at the Indy 500 by almost 100,000 people.

Group D Prediction: 1st. Argentina, 2nd. Croatia, 3rd. Nigeria, 4th. Iceland

Thanks for reading my first of two previews for this summer’s World Cup. Expect the second edition by Wednesday, June 13th! This is the best month of sports and it brings the world together no matter what is going on around us. I hope you enjoy the 2018 World Cup!!

Groups E-H preview HERE. 

Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.

Twitter: @nicodegallo // @canikickitblog 

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Nico

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