- Published: 29 May 2018
We apologise in advance if you hate football, but as the 2018 FIFA World Cup is just two weeks away, we thought we’d have a World Cup themed top 5.
It seems like World Cup fever is starting to grip the office (even more so now the football season has finished) and the majority of people are kind of excited about it – even Karen and Gemma are slightly optimistic about England’s chances in Russia.
So that’s why we thought we’d give our (non) expert opinions about the teams we’ll be supporting at this summer’s tournament.
Dan’s pick - England
“Surely there is no way that the other teams at the world cup will be able to stop England, especially with Heskey and Owen upfront.”
But then we reminded Dan that Heskey and Owen played at the 2002 World Cup and retired from International football some 10-15 years ago. However, we can’t help but get behind our home nation during international tournaments. On paper you would fancy them to make it out of Group G which contains Belgium, Tunisia, and World Cup debutants, Panama.
If the senior team can perform as well as our youth teams have done recently, then England could be in for a good World Cup… Probably just jinxed them.
Dan’s prediction - Winners
Gemma’s pick – Iceland
“I’m all about the underdog and cheering on the small nations! Also, didn’t Iceland beat England during the last tournament?”
Yes, thanks for reminding us Gem. Certainly one of the best results in Iceland’s footballing history, but can the nation with a population of no more than 340,000, perform again in Russia? Iceland has been drawn in Group D along with Argentina, Croatia, and Nigeria, so it may be tricky to progress. But just like Panama, Iceland will be making their world cup debut, so whatever happens, it will be a tournament to remember.
Gemma’s prediction – Round of 16
Ash’s pick - Egypt
“There is only one reason to follow Egypt this summer – the Egyptian God, Mohammed Salah.”
A bad shoulder injury in the Champions League final has slightly over shadowed a record-breaking goal haul for Liverpool in the Premier League this season. However, Salah will be doing everything he can to ensure he is fit for the World Cup. Egypt’s Group A opponents, Uruguay, Saudi Arabia, and the hosts, Russia, will surely be sweating over his fitness.
Champions of Africa a record 7 times, Egypt will be looking to make an impact at this World Cup, especially after missing the last two. They have every chance of making it out of the group, and could be a very entertaining to watch, as long as their main Giza is fit and on form. (that was really bad).
Ash’s prediction - Quarter Final
Justin’s pick - Portugal
“You simply cannot ignore a team that has the best player in the world in it.”
Justin is firmly team-Ronaldo, rather than team-Messi, and you can see why after another impressive goal scoring season and ANOTHER Champions League medal with Real Madrid. Ronaldo only needs to score one goal at the tournament to equal the record, set by Brazilian Pele, and Germans Miroslav Klose and Uwe Seeler, of scoring at four World Cups.
Portugal will expect to progress from Group B, which contains Iran, Morocco, and rivals Spain, and will have their sights set on becoming the fourth team in history to win back-to-back European Championship and World Cup, after their success in France in 2016.
Justin’s prediction – Finalists
Karen’s pick – South Korea
“Just a complete pick at random, but I’m supporting South Korea. I know they’ve been to pretty much every World Cup since I can remember, and their emblem on their badge is a tiger, and I love cats.”
Exactly right, South Korea has the best World Cup pedigree of any Asian nation and will be competing at their 9th consecutive World Cup. Drawn alongside current World Champions, Germany, Mexico, and Sweden, the Taegeuk Warriors will have their work cut out if they want to progress to the knockout stages. But as we saw at the last two World Cups, the defending champions (Italy in 2006 and Spain in 2010) were both knocked out during the group stages, so anything could happen!
Karen’s prediction – Round of 16