It comes to no surprise that Germany and Brazil are the clear favorites to win this year’s World Cup, but this tournament is any country’s game.
If Germany wins, they would become the first nation to win two World Cups in a row since Brazil in 1958 and 1962. Germany has a great chance of winning again because over half of their team is under the age of 30. Their only issue going into the World Cup will be to define who their main striker will be. Germany has not been gifted at having proven strikers since Miroslav Klose, and he was part of a dying breed of poachers. Thomas Muller is an important part of the group, but he will have to prove himself and Germany might have to bet on Timo Werner. Werner’s young, but he had a great 2016-2017 season with RB Leipzig, and proved his importance at the last Confederates Cup.
Brazil is the only country to have been featured in the tournament since it began. Brazil also holds the bragging rights of winning the tournament five times. Brazil’s current team isn’t one to mess with, and if Neymar is fully t from his broken metatarsal injury, then there’s a possibility that they might win with Tite as manager.
When there is a World Cup, Brazil will always have its name as a contender. Other than that, there’s a huge positive in that Tite has brought air back to Brazil’s team. Brazil is a nation that possesses one of the fastest, most technical players in the tournament, and they’re also quite young. The likes of Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino can wreak havoc up front with Willian and Neymar on the wings. Having mid elders like Fernandinho and Casemiro will also be important as Brazil struggles defensively and neither Marcelo or Miranda will do much to change that.
Realistically, other than Brazil and Germany, it would not be surprising if France or Spain get very far. Although it’s true that Spain’s current roster isn’t the same as the 2014 World Cup winning team, they still have the likes of Andres Iniesta, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Isco, David de Gea, and others to lead the team. Sergio Busquets will be vital to Spain’s run given that he shines with their style of play, also it’s a positive when you’re regarded as the world’s best defensive mid elder.
Same goes for France, where youngster Kylian Mbappe will prove his worth on the World Cup stage and they can always rely on Antonio Griezmann to be their goal scorer. The center back duo of Samuel Umtiti and Raphael Varane will be important if they don’t want to concede as they’ve been of late. Their only problem will be if they’ll crash and burn, a bit like when they fell short at the Euro 2016 Final.
The same can be said for Argentina as they might get far solely for the Messi factor. The pressure is worse this time for Messi as they got to the final in 2014 and lost to an extra time goal in the 113th minute. 2014 might have been his last chance, but who’s to say that 2018 won’t be his last chance as well?
Although Brazil looks hungry to mark their name in the World Cup once again, Germany might just edge them out if they were to face in a final this year. Their ruthlessness and experience will be an important factor for the World Cup. Also, let’s not ignore their vast potential in mid field and rock-solid defense. They say defense wins titles, but it’s more for this Germany team. They have players who are used to winning, both in club and internationally. A strong mentality will be important once they reach Russia. They’re winners and they know it.