4 teams who could cause a shock at this summer’s World Cup

The 2018 World Cup in Russia is just around the corner and the 32 nations taking part are busy putting the finishing touches to their preparations.

The likes of Brazil and Germany are favourites to lift the trophy, but major tournaments invariably have a habit of throwing up a surprise or two along the way and this one is likely to be no different.

Read on as we take a look at four teams who could cause a shock at this summer’s World Cup.

Egypt

Egypt haven’t qualified for the World Cup since 1990. They were runners-up at the 2017 Africa Cup and could surprise a few teams in Group A.

Mohamed Salah is undoubtedly their star man after enjoying a stellar season in the Premier League with Liverpool.

He faces a race against time to be fit for the tournament after suffering an injury in the Champions League final against Real Madrid, but he has already said that he is determined to play in Russia.

Egypt’s first match, against Uruguay, takes place on the second day of the tournament and the South American side would be well-advised not to underestimate their opponents if Salah is in the line-up.

Nigeria

Victories in friendlies over Argentina and Poland had boosted the hopes of Nigeria’s fans that this young side are capable of going beyond the country’s best performance of a last-16 finish in 1994, 1998 and 2014.

A defeat by Serbia brought the Super Eagles back down to earth, but they remain capable of being competitive in Group D.

Argentina should win the group if they show their best form, but Nigeria should not fear facing either Croatia or Iceland in their games during the opening phase. Use this Sportingbet promo code if you fancy Nigeria to progress to the last 16.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica surprisingly reached the quarter-finals in 2014 before losing against Netherlands in a penalty shoot-out.

They beat both Uruguay and Italy in the group stages, but bookmakers are tipping them to finish bottom of Group E.

Brazil look nailed on to claim top spot, but it Costa Rica can repeat their form from four years ago there is no reason why they can’t challenge Switzerland and Serbia for second place.

England

England might seem an unusual choice to be a surprise package, but they have been woeful at the last two World Cups and expectations are fairly low this time around.

However, they qualified with ease for Russia and can take plenty of heart from recent performances in friendlies against Netherlands and Italy.

Gareth Southgate’s side should progress alongside Belgium from Group G and their potential opponents in the knockout stage don’t look too daunting.

Brazil or Germany would be the likely opposition in the last eight, but the Three Lions did draw with both sides in friendlies last November.

It would be a big shock if the England squad made it through to the semi-finals, but stranger things have happened in football.

4 teams who could cause a shock at this summer’s World Cup

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