Russia will throw up a whole heap of surprises this summer. The host nation themselves will be desperate to cause a stir in Group A and make it to the latter stages, while elsewhere it’ll be a battle between the big boys, with the odd shock in between.
While the World Cup is far from predictable, there are some things that are written in the stars…
England will lose a shootout
For all those fans using the bookies sign up offers that’ll be all over the web, one of the first things people will be having a punt on is England losing on penalties. It seems inevitable.
Unlike previous years, they should have enough to navigate Group G, setting up a tie with Colombia or Poland in the Round of 16. It’s perhaps here where we may see England have to go head-to-head from 12 yards out.
A Quarter Final tie could see them face Brazil. England have already drawn with them in recent times, again, potentially leading to another shootout defeat.
A new star will be announced on a global stage
Four years ago James Rodriguez made his mark on Brazil and earnt a mega move to Real Madrid. Every tournament it happens and there’s no doubt that will happen again. There are plenty of players who could step up, a number of those from South America.
Brazil midfielder Arthur could make a real mark while Uruguay centre back Gaston Silva will be looking to help his nation reach the latter stages once more. For England Dele Alli or Jesse Lingard could significantly boost their reputations on a world stage, particularly if the Manchester United man can carry his domestic form into the summer.
A huge side will go out in the Group Stage
2014 sent a number of big teams packing early and it will undoubtedly happen again. It’s a little difficult to predict exactly which nation it’ll happen too. Portugal could be slightly vulnerable in Group B alongside Spain. Despite being European champions, they drew far too many games at Euro 2016 and if the same happens again, it could see them knocked out.
Croatia or Argentina may see themselves struggling in a group that involves tough ties with Nigeria and Iceland. Group D certainly has the potential to cause the biggest upset.
One side will come out and shock everyone
All eyes will be on Iceland and Costa Rica following their exploits in recent tournaments. For the former, it’ll be their first appearance in a World Cup and they’ll go into a group where they can really upset the applecart.
Sides struggle to play against the Icelandics back in 2016, and Nigeria and Argentina could suffer the same fate. Will the Viking Thunder Clap be out in full force? We certainlyg ope so.
Brazil will get revenge over Germany
The biggest shock of 2014 was the manner in which Brazil rolled over to Germany in the Semi Final. That 7-1 defeat sent shockwaves through the nation and they will be desperate to make amends this summer and lift the trophy.
The two favourites for the tournament could meet as early as the Round of 16 should one top their group and the other finish second, otherwise it would be the final. Brazil have beaten the Germans recently, but they’ll want their revenge in a fixture as important as 2014.