With the World Cup starting tomorrow, everyone has one question on their minds: who will be the champions? The rational choices include Germany, who of course won the previous World Cup back in 2014, France, who made it to the Euro 2016 final but lost out to Portugal, Spain, who have just hired Fernando Hierro as their manager going into this tournament, & Brazil, who will definitely not want a repeat performance of their 7-1 defeat in the last World Cup, and will be looking for more this time round. These teams have definitely got some of the greatest football players in their squads, but are there any squads this year who could give the top teams a run for their money?
Many people will be waiting to see what England can do, and with a fairly disappointing history in tournaments, it would be unlikely that England go on to win the competition. With players like Harry Kane, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford & Raheem Sterling, it appears that England have a great attacking force. Trent Alexander-Arnold received, in my opinion, a well deserved spot in the England squad, and has had a crucial role in Liverpool’s back line, playing extremely well in their Champions League run. Some players were a surprise inclusion, such as Gary Cahill, who will have earned his place due to experience, while there were also surprise exclusions, such as Joe Hart, who has not been playing particularly well at West Ham and Jack Wilshere, who could really bring creativity to the team, but is not very reliable when it comes to injuries. We will have to wait and see if the players will be able to work together against the teams in group G: Tunisia, Panama & more importantly, Belgium.
I think if any team is going to be a dark horse (although they should not really be classed as a dark horse, they should be challenging) in this tournament, it is going to be Belgium. They definitely have talented players in their squad, including Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Mousa Dembele, Romelu Lukaku, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen & Vincent Kompany, all of whom would be able to challenge the greatest teams at the World Cup.
However, I do believe that the team which will win the World Cup 2018 has got to be Germany. Germany has a squad of motivated, talented players with a winning mentality. Almost every player in this squad consistently plays well and delivers in every game, and have an near perfect mix of experience and youth. There are other teams which offer youth, experience, a great defence, a great attack, but I do not think any of them compare to what Germany has to offer. For these reasons, I believe Germany will win the World Cup once again.