World Cup 2018: 5 South American teams who could win in Russia
The FIFA World Cup 2018 is right around the corner, and once again the South American teams look strong going into this one. Four years ago in Brazil, the hosts, Columbia, Argentina and Chile were all stand out teams.
South American sides excelled in the last World Cup - Chile's fluid attack consisting of Sanchez, Valdivia and Vargas saw past Spain in the group stages.
Columbia's potent attacking threat which included the excellent James Rodriguez got them to the quarter-finals without their talisman Radamel Falcao. Argentina reached the final conceding just 3 goals en route.
Brazil with star man Neymar looked to go all the way before falling apart against Germany in the semi-final. Honorable mention also goes to Uruguay who despite losing their first group game to Costa Rica, defeated England and Italy to advance in the group stages before being knocked out by fellow South Americans Columbia.
The fact that the winners of the last two Copa América's, Chile, did not qualify, tells you a lot about the strength of the other South American sides that advanced at their expense from the CONMEBOL section.
Whether the South Americans can flourish outside their continent has always been a question put to them, a team from this region has never won a World Cup in Europe, but this tournament could be a first.
There are some very good reasons to expect that a team from South America could go all the way this time around, here are 5 of them.
Peru are a team that should not be underestimated. A progressive, possession based side who like to play it out from the back and work angles for each other, they have gained a reputation for being one of the most attractive sides to watch.
They were excellent in qualification, and with 27 goals were the third highest scorers in the CONMEBOL section, a stat which helped rank them as FIFA’s 11th most dangerous attacking side.
Peru have their captain and all-time leading goalscorer, Paolo Guerrero back after his drugs ban was overturned.
At 34-years-old, Guerrero provides vast experience for La Blanquirroja and alongside Luis Advincula and Nilson Loyola at the back, Peru posses a tremendous amount of know-how.
Peru certainly do not boast of star power compared to other South American sides, but what they lack in this area they more than make up for in team ethic and being a well drilled outfit.
They posses the tactical flexibility and a brave style of play that saw them finish above Chile in qualification and that is something that can give them the belief to go far in Russia.
Despite being drawn with France in group C, Denmark and Australia are two sides they are capable of outplaying and beating. Even France could struggle against the potent attacking threat that Peru pose.