2018 World Cup Predictions – Group Forecast Accumulator
With Uruguay favourites to take top spot and us agreeing with the bookies there, it’s then a case of who will qualify alongside them. For us, Egypt look the most likely candidate. With African qualifying top scorer and Ballon d’Or candidate Mo Salah in their ranks, anything is possible for the Egyptians in what will be their first World Cup finals since 1990.
We believe the hosts, Russia, may struggle to get out of their group this time around and 67th ranked Saudi Arabia will do well to get any points on the board at all.
At 1/5 not to qualify, we can discount Australia from the running in this one. France have a great squad and we expect them to top the group meaning Denmark and Peru will battle it out for 2nd place.
Peru come into the World Cup amid turmoil after their talismanic captain, Paolo Guerrero, had his doping ban extended. He will now miss out, and their squad is already lacking in star quality.
Denmark finished behind Poland in qualifying but went on to hammer Ireland 5-1 in the playoffs, and boasting players such as Christian Eriksen, Andreas Cristensen, Simon Kjaer and Yussuf Poulsen they have a lot of talent in their ranks and should qualify to the knockout stage.
It’s hard to see this group going any other way. Brazil are obviously a class above their opponents in this one and should easily top the group.
While Switzerland may be far behind the favourites, they are still in a great position to progress considering the players they have. They are currently ranked 6th in the world and should have enough to pip 35th ranked Serbia to 2nd.
Costa Rica are odds-on not to qualify and the same to finish bottom. Their star player is their goalkeeper, Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas who is expected to be quite busy throughout their 3 group matches.
Germany are clear favourites to win the group and rightly so when you take into account their pedigree and the squad they currently have. This leaves Mexico, Sweden, and South Korea to fight for the one remaining qualifying spot.
Sweden are definitely worth mentioning after knocking out Italy in the playoffs and 2nd spot is likely to be between them and Mexico. We’re picking Mexico to beat Sweden though and grab a place in the knockout stage. The Central Americans qualified top of their section and their team is littered with stars. PSV’s Hirving Lozano, Portugal-based attackers Raul Jimenez and Jesus Corona are all in the squad alongside 39-year-old former Barcelona man Rafa Marquez. That’s not to mention Carlos Vela, Javier Hernandez, the Dos Santos brothers, and Andres Guardado either.