World Cup “Group of Death” and which teams should be afraid in Russia 2018?

 

WORLD CUO COUNTDOWN—17 DAYS

 

The 2018 World Cup will feature some of the best teams in the world, but is there a 'Group of Death'?

 

The sinistrous moniker is used to describe a group that is felt to be particularly difficult and there have been plenty of instances in various competitions over the years.

 

The draw for the 2018 World Cup threw together some fascinating match-ups, pitting some of the tournament's contenders head-to-head in the early stages.

 

The 2018 World Cup features some interesting match-ups across the 8 groups and there are a number of batches that could be considered to merit the 'Group of Death' tag.

 

Perhaps the most obvious 'Group of Death' in Russia is Group D, which features Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria. While there are varying degrees of talent present in each squad they all have the capacity to take points off each other and push for a top-two finish.

 

Two-time World Cup winners Argentina, who were finalists in 2014, possess Lionel Messi in their ranks and they will be favourites to win the group, but they will not have an easy run at it. 

 

Croatia may not have achieved much at the World Cup since finishing third in 1998, but they are undoubtedly one of the best technical teams in Europe, equipped with players such as Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.

Similarly, Nigeria are one of the strongest teams in Africa and they have reached the last 16 of the tournament on three occasions, most notably at the last World Cup, where they qualified from a group that also contained Argentina.

 

Iceland are competing in a World Cup for the first time in their history and they are not likely to reach the final, but they did finish ahead of Portugal in the group stage of Euro 2016. Indeed, they actually finished top of their World Cup qualification group, ahead of none other than Croatia.

 

Other possible 'Groups of Death'

 

Group D stands out on paper as being one of the toughest to advance from, but there are some other groups which could reasonably be deemed a 'Group of Death'.

 

It may not seen immediately obvious, but Group B should be incredibly competitive. Iberian rivals Spain and Portugal will be favourites to progress, but they are joined by Morocco and Iran, who will not be pushovers.

 


Another intriguing collection of teams exists in Group E, which includes Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia. Neymar and co. will be expected to progress, but both Switzerland and Serbia will be difficult to beat, while Costa Rica actually reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 tournament after topping a group containing England, Uruguay and Italy, so they cannot be written off.


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