Running down the weaknesses of the 4 World Cup favorites
While winning football matches does require a team to show-off the firepower in their repertoire, but winning a whole tournament requires a team to do that and also hide their weaknesses in one way or another.
And with the FIFA World Cup fast approaching this summer, the favourites for the footballing extravaganza won’t just have to focus on proving their strengths, but they’ll also look at ways to cover up for their shortcomings- one way or another.
And every team in the World Cup has a fair share of strengths and weaknesses that the opposition will look to target in order to beat them in the upcoming tournament. While it won’t be easy at all, but knowing about that weakness will let us know as to where a team can go wrong or where it must improve.
We run down the weaknesses of the favourites to win the World Cup in Russia this summer.
The Spaniards of Julen Lopetegui left behind Alvaro Morata, Cesc Fabregas and Marcos Alonso at Chelsea, preferring to take only one Blues’ star in Cesar Azpilicueta to Russia. But if there’s anything that can harm Lopetegui, then its a lack of quality team depth and bench strength.
While the issue of quality in depth relates to a comparison with their sides of 2010, a bigger issue is a lack of a proper forward who fits the system. This was a problem that Spain had faced in the 2016 Euros too, as Morata failed to live up to his usual standards and Costa wasn’t even selected for the tournament.
This time around, with Morata not in the side, Spain have just a single proper striker in the squad. That striker is Diego Costa and his goalscoring record for Spain isn’t too impressive at all. While he has scored eight times in 17 appearances for the national side, he’s hardly been the animal for them that he is for the clubs that he has played for- remarkably Chelsea. A lot of times, he hasn’t been called up and at other times, he has failed to earn a call-up because of his persistent injury problems.
On top of that, Costa isn’t someone who thrives on a possession-oriented system that Spain play, with him more suited to a direct style of play.