Archive for the ‘2018 World Cup’ Category

World Cup 2018 quarter-finals: Belgium can shock Brazil, England can progress

England dreaming of World Cup glory in Russia

England have named their 23-man squad for this summer’s World Cup in Russia and manager Gareth Southgate has certainly not been afraid to make some big calls.

Goalkeeper Joe Hart and midfielder Jack Wilshere have been left out, along with left-back Ryan Bertrand.

Uncapped Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold is in the squad, while there are also places for Nick Pope and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

England start their Group G campaign against Tunisia on June 18, before games against Panama and Belgium.

The Three Lions are priced at 16/1 to win the tournament and you can use this free World Cup bet to wager on the outcome.

Read on as we look at England’s squad and assess their chances of success this summer.

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley).

Joe Hart’s exclusion is the biggest news, although the stopper shouldn’t be surprised after a woeful season with West Ham United. Pickford is likely to be first choice in Russia, although there’s probably little to choose between the trio of goalkeepers selected.

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Man City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Kyle Walker (Man City), Ashley Young (Man United).

The selection of Alexander-Arnold at just 19-years-old underlines Southgate’s confidence in the nation’s younger players. Left-back Young is deservedly included after an impressive season with United. Cahill’s experience will prove useful and Kyle Walker’s versatility will come in handy, but Rose’s inclusion ahead of Bertrand is a surprise after his injury troubles.

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Man United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea).

There were calls for Jonjo Shelvey to be included, but for all the fuss about his passing ability the Newcastle United playmaker has created just three goals this season and his omission is the correct decision. Wilshere’s suspect fitness has seen him left out, meaning England will rely on Alli, Lingard and Loftus-Cheek to provide creativity from midfield.

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Man United), Raheem Sterling (Man City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).

There were no real surprises up front, with Theo Walcott failing to make much impression at Everton and injury-prone Daniel Sturridge out of the running. Kane will undoubtedly lead the line, while Vardy, Sterling and Rashford are useful impact players to have in the squad.

The post England dreaming of World Cup glory in Russia appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

Predicting ultimate 23-man World Cup squad with one player per country

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is fast approaching. Coaches must begin to seriously evaluate the 23 players they will take to Russia for the world’s greatest sporting event.

Squad selections are imminent. Let’s get experimental and select a 23-man squad from players who will feature at the tournament.

First of all, there’s one small caveat. Only one player per team made the squad. This ensures the squad isn’t a mixture of only three countries. Nine nations did not have a player selected, due to there only being 23 players and 32 teams.

Those countries with no player representation are: Saudi Arabia, Japan, Iran, Peru, Australia, Tunisia, Panama, Korea Republic and Australia. The squad breaks down by position with 3 goalkeepers, 7 defenders, 10 midfielders and 3 forwards.

The Final 23-Man World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers (3):

  1. Keylor Navas, CR: The unquestioned number one goalkeeper. Notably, since the last World Cup, Navas has been Real Madrid’s primary shot stopper. He has two Champions League titles to show for it. The Costa Rican was hard to beat in the Ticos’ surprise run to the quarterfinals in 2014.
  2. David Ospina, COL: A serviceable deputy for Arsenal and with World Cup experience to boot. Ospina is a strong choice as back up to the number one.
  3. Igor Akinfeev, RUS: The host nation had to feature in this team. Akinfeev is a veteran shot stopper with World Cup experience. He is first choice for his country and rounds out the goalkeeper hierarchy here.

Defenders (7):

  1. Sergio Ramos, ESP: A World Cup and two-time European Champion, Ramos is one of world football’s finest central defenders. It was difficult to pick him over David de Gea and Andres Iniesta. The defense needed Ramos’ experience, his defensive abilities and an areal threat from set pieces.
  2. Diego Godin, URU: Godin joins Ramos in this all La Liga center back pairing. It was difficult to pick him over Cavani and Suarez, but the defense was in need of his steadiness. He was also chosen for his leadership and overall ability.
  3. Ricardo Rodriguez, SWI: The AC Milan left back is terrific going forward. He is one of the best left backs at the tournament. It helped that no other Swiss player had any real shot at making the squad.
  4. Kyle Walker, ENG: The defender has been a revelation for Manchester City this season. Walker has thrust himself near the top of the right back hierarchy in world football. While Kane and Sterling would have been shrewd additions, Walker’s two way ability and sheer pace made him essential.
  5. Victor Moses, NGR: A utility player who can play at right back, right wing back and right midfield. Moses is a useful squad player.
  6. Medi Benatia, MOR: A Strong central defender with experience at both Bayern Munich and Juventus. He is selected to provide cover for both Ramos and Godin.
  7. Diego Reyes, MEX: Provides depth at the central defender position. Additionally, Reyes has terrific potential for El Tri.

Midfielders (10):

  1. Lionel Messi, ARG: Obviously. Messi is the world’s best player and fit right into our team. His ability to drop deep made him quite useful in opening up a spot for one of our forwards.
  2. Neymar, BRA: See above. Neymar’s creativity and sheer talent made him an essential selection for the squad.
  3. Paul Pogba, FRA: Pogba’s terrific two way ability squeezed him into the squad over N’Golo Kante and Antoine Greizman.
  4. Christian Eriksen, DEN: The Danish playmaker has enjoyed a fantastic season at Tottenham; his passing ability and long range shooting expertise made him an essential pick for the squad.
  5. Gylfi Siggurdson, ISL: Which other Icelandic player could conceivably make the squad? Siggurdson is a good creative attacking player who thrived with no real weapons at Swansea. Imagine what he could do with a bevy of world class attackers at his disposal!
  6. Nemanja Matic, SRB: Provides steel and defensive cover in the midfield. An especially relevant skill is his ability to unleash a long range belter as we saw against Tottenham last year in the FA Cup.
  7. Luka Modric, CRO: Real Madrid’s #10 is most effective from deep lying positions. He can operate right in the middle of the attack.
  8. Toni Kroos, GER: See above. Kroos can pass from deep lying positions. This ability squeezed him into the squad over a bevy of his supremely talented countryman. His once Bayern Munich teammate Thomas Mueller, has quietly scored ten goals in two World Cups, just misses out.
  9. Kevin De Bruyne, BEL: The presumptive Premier League POY (not ruling out Mo Salah quite yet) has become a world class player. It was an easy selection for the team. His ability to play as a deep lying playmaker or a no. 10, make him both valuable and versatile.
  10. Sadio Mane, SEN: Capable of playing on either wing, Mane will inject pace and excitement into the side. Additionally, the only Senegal player that warranted selection.

Forwards (3):

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo, POR: See Messi. No questions asked.
  2. Robert Lewandowski, POL: Arguably the world’s best pure #9. Lewa is a dark horse to win the Golden Boot this summer. This may depend on how far his team are able to take him.
  3. Mohamed Salah, EGY: 28 goals for Liverpool made him an easy selection. What a transcendent talent!

Projected Starting XI:

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Big guns set to crank up their preparations for the 2018 World Cup

Preparations for the 2018 World Cup in Russia ramp up in earnest at the end of March, with all of the top nations facing international warm-up games.

England are one of the more fancied teams in the betting for the tournament, and they are set to face two major nations who failed to qualify for Russia.

The Three Lions travel to face the Netherlands on March 23, before returning to Wembley Stadium to play Italy four days later.

Gareth Southgate’s side can be backed at 9/5 to beat the Dutch and 6/5 to defeat Italy, and fans can compare football tickets online if they fancy travelling to either game.

Two strong performances by England could see their odds of 16/1 to win the World Cup slashed, but it remains to be seen whether they can cope without injured Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane.

Tournament favourites Germany face two massive friendlies as they get ready to defend the World Cup in Russia.

Home games against Spain and Brazil will be big tests for Joachim Low’s side, but they will head into the matches full of confidence after an impressive qualifying campaign.

The Germans won all ten games in Group C, scoring 43 goals and conceding just four. They are currently priced at 9/2 to win the World Cup for a fifth time.

Brazil are 5/1 second favourites behind Germany and they also comfortably progressed through their qualifying campaign.

The Samba Kings won 12 and drew five out of 18 matches and they are strongly fancied to make their mark when the tournament begins in June.

Brazil are in action before the Germany game as they face Russia in Moscow on March 23. The hosts also face France four days later and they will be eager to build on an impressive performance in their last friendly.

The Russians drew 3-3 with a strong Spain side back in November and their fixtures against Brazil and France will show whether they have the quality to make an impact at the World Cup this summer.

Spain will follow up their game in Germany with a mouth-watering home match against Argentina. The 2010 champions are priced at 7/1 to win their second ever World Cup, while Argentina look an interesting bet at 8/1 to lift the trophy for a third time.

Star man Lionel Messi has been in stunning form for Barcelona this season and he will be eager to carry that forward into Friday’s friendly against Italy and the subsequent game against Spain.

France are also in action before they visit Russia with a home game against Colombia, while Euro 2016 champions Portugal have two home fixtures against Egypt and Netherlands.

The Portuguese pipped Switzerland to top spot in Group B during the qualifiers and they could be overpriced at 25/1 to emerge victorious at the World Cup.

There will be a further round of internationals at the start of June as the teams put the final touches to their preparations for the tournament that gets underway in Moscow on June 14.

The post Big guns set to crank up their preparations for the 2018 World Cup appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

With less than one hundred days to go, what are the best bets to make right now, on the World Cup

It is not always advisable to have a bet a long time before an event starts. You don’t exactly what is going to happen and you can find that, the person of team you bet on has something happen to them that greatly reduces the odds of your bet coming in. However, it can also really be worth making a bet far out, as your odds can be superb as the bookmakers are unsure of how to set them. You take a risk but you might gain a big reward.

This used to be particularly risky in the old days where you had few levers to pull if your bet was going wrong or if you wanted to place a wager that was as low risk as possible. However, we now have things like cash out, request a bet and free bets, which allow us to take longer terms bets, to bet on events a little ways away, without risking our own money. If you were to bet on say, Rafael Nadal to win Wimbledon and he got injured before, if you used a free bet then it doesn’t really matter, you haven’t risked any of your own money and you’ve lost nothing.

However if he was to win, since you bet a while before the event, you are likely to have got great odds and picked up more money than if you had bet a few days before or even during the event. With that in mind, we thought it would be fun to look at some bets around the World Cup. Though it is around 90 days away, there are some trends and things which look likely to happen even if we cannot be sure right now. Placing a bet in the weeks leading up to the event could well net you a tidy profit, so here are two ideas for World Cup bets you can make right now.

Egypt to make it the furthest of the African Teams

Egypt have a strange relationship with the World Cup, having long failed to qualify despite dominating their own continental competition, winning a lot of African cup of nations titles but failing in world cup qualification. Now though they have an ace in the hole, Mohamed Salah, the Liverpool player, is one of the Premier League top scorers and can light up the World Cup. They have a group featuring Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia which they can make it out of. Uruguay are good but nothing special, Russia are a very poor team and Saudi Arabia have no one close to Salah, they could well be Africa’s best team.

South Korea to get out of their group

Group F has a clear winner, in Germany, who as the current world champions, will be confident of progression. Then there are three teams who seem very evenly matched in South Korea, Sweden and Mexico. What sets them apart though is that, in Tottenham’s winger Son Heung-min, Korea have a world class player. Put you money on them to take second place in this tight group.

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