World Cup 2018: Predicting Every Game in the Round of 16
The 2018 World Cup is just over a week away and excitement for the tournament is at an all-time high. After a fairly mediocre tournament in Brazil in 2014, fans are expecting the World Cup to bounce back in Russia and be the festival of football that we all know it can be.
Predicting a winner for the World Cup is always a difficult task, and given some of the talents that will be on display in Russia over the coming weeks, the 2018 edition of the tournament may be the most difficult to call yet.
Reigning champions Germany look like strong candidates to retain their prize, while 2014 hosts Brazil will be out for revenge after being humiliated on their home soil last time out. 2010 champions, Spain are heading into the tournament riding a wave of momentum, while Euro 2016 finalists France will be hoping to do away with their 'bottlers' tag and summon the spirits of 98.
Of course, though, the World Cup rarely pans out as fans predict, and even attempting to predict what should be a fairly straightforward group stage is an impossible task. That being said, let's give it a try anyway, and try and predict who will be advancing from each of the groups, and predict what matches we will see in the tournament's first knock-out stage.
Uruguay Vs Portugal (A1 Vs B2)
Uruguay’s success in Group A will largely depend on their opening fixture against Egypt. Both teams have a shot at winning the group if they can get the most out of their star players, but with Mo Salah set to miss the opening game, it seems likely that Egypt will have to rely on victories against Russia and Saudia Arabia to advance out of the group.
While Uruguay’s top players are showing signs of aging, the likes of Edison Cavani and Luis Suarez should see them comfortably through one of the tournament’s easier groups, and the South American’s had a solid qualification campaign.
European Champions Portugal face a slightly trickier task in their group, as they will come up against 2010 champions, Spain. While they should pick up easy victories against Morroco and Iran, the Portuguese will likely slip against Spain, which will see them slide into second place.
Portugal has an experienced squad, and they will be riding a wave of momentum heading into the tournament after their 2016 success in France. This will likely be Cristiano Ronaldo’s last chance of winning a world cup, but it seems unlikely that they will be able to repeat their success from Euro 2016 in Russia.