World Cup 2018: 4 teams that need to win the World Cup this year
The WC 2018 is now just days away and the participating teams are making their way over to Russia in readiness for the start of the tournament. The teams go in with different levels of expectations. Some teams are expected to go all the way and take home the coveted trophy. Some have already exceeded expectations by making it this far. Some will be aiming to prove that they are better than they have been made out to be.
While all eyes will be on who will end up lifting the trophy in the end, there will be a couple of sub-plots in play. Can Germany become the third country to defend the title? Italy won it in 1934 and 1938 and Brazil in 1958 and 1962. Can Germany equal Brazil's record of five title wins? Can a team from outside the dominant continents of Europe and South America make it to the final for the first time? Can we have a ninth different World Cup winning country?
There will be varying amounts of pressure on different countries. This increases the chances of seeing a couple of upsets with some countries going into games with nothing to lose against others that have everything to lose. Ultimately, every country participating in Russia wants to win the World Cup but for these four countries, they just absolutely need to win it.
England have really struggled to impress and live up to expectations at the World Cup. The English Premier League is considered by many to be the most competitive (certainly the most watched) league in the world. World class stars from home and abroad ply their trade in the Premier League. The Championship, the second tier of English football, is also brimming with talent.
It is somewhat strange, therefore, that the national team has failed to constantly deliver on the big stage. Their World Cup win in 1966, though impressive, remains the only one to date. In fact, that win aside, the Three Lions have only made it past the quarterfinals once and even that was some 28 years ago when they got knocked out in the semifinal.
England need to win a World Cup to shake off that tag of perennial underachievers. Russia 2018 presents a good opportunity. They have a young, energetic squad with a lack of injuries to key players. There is unlikely to be a conflict of egos with the players across the squad held to a similar standard. A goalscoring machine in captain Harry Kane who is at the top of his game also presents them with a lethal weapon.
Time for England to make their mark once more on the grandest stage by lifting the big one for the second time.