FIFA World Cup 2018 is less than 14 days away from us and we are all excited and hyped with anticipation to see our favourite teams and favourite stars scoring goals and lifting trophy in Russia. Just like in every world cup there are many 2018 world cup surprises waiting for us. Russian confederation is all ready with the preparations with 12 stadiums alloted specifically for FIFA World Cup 2018 Matches. The biggest football tournament starts on 14th June and will run as long as 15th of July. Over the course of next month, 32 nations will clash against one another to determine who is the greatest of them all and to be called the World Champions. Some big and noticeable names like Netherlands and Italy couldn’t make it through the qualifying phase leaving space for some new entries this year. There are some names that are being considered as the world cup 2018 underdogs and could go futher than the expactations.
Millions of fans are firm believers of the European domination this year too. They believe just like almost in every world cup, the European teams will dominate the tournament and lift the trophy this season. The absence of Italy, Netherlands has made countries such as Germany, France, Spain, Belgium the top contenders to win this competition. The tournament is about to start and let’s see what 2018 world cup surprises are waiting for us.
We are expected to see a lot of 2018 world cup surprises. Every time some new entries or some underdog team surprises everybody. Like, in 2014, the 2010 Champions Spain couldn’t even make it to the Round of 16. There are rumours that the same could happen to Germany this year, but that’s highly unlikely considering the rampage mode that they have shown recently.
According to football experts, teams from Asia and certain countries from Europe are being considered as underdogs but they could be the 2018 world cup surprises and turn the events upside down.
They are highly anticipated not to cross the group stages but they could still surprise everyone.
We put a list of the top 5 underdogs who could be the probable 2018 world cup surprises.
Colombia could be one of the 2018 world cup surprises. They have got all the elements to pull a surprise. Colombia and Poland are the top two teams in group H. They reached the quarter-finals in the last World Cup 2014 in Brazil and they finished third in the Copa-America Cup recently. They may not have the same consistency as the last time and there may have been some replacements, but Colombia is still good to bag a few surprises and make some noise in Russia.
The former Real Madrid star James Rodriguez will be carrying Colombia’s campaign in the world cup 2018. He was the center of attraction in the World Cup 2014 where he scored 6 goals to win the Golden Boot. At the 2014 world cup, James should everyone exactly what he is capable of but his time in Real Madrid couldn’t convert him into a star that everyone hoped he would be.
Now, that he has been transferred to Bayern Munich, he is probably amongst their top players and he has to carry the campaign of Colombia in this world cup and how he plays will determine the success of Colombia in the World Cup 2018. Although, he will have the support of Juan Cuadrado and Radamel Falcao.
Colombia’s strength is their attack whereas they have to work on their defence and keeping clean sheets. If they continue to score goals they will have no problem passing this group. Who knows if the 2018 world cup surprises contenders could even go further this time, all the way to semi-finals.
Denmark could probably be another 2018 world cup surprises. Although, they had been a rough recent history, they couldn’t make it to the group stage in the last world cup and in the 2010 World Cup, they were eliminated after the group stage. Fortunately, they will be playing in the World Cup 2018 Russia with their best squad.
The 12th ranked team in the world-Denmark has been put in Group C where the only team above them is France, so they should not have any difficulties passing the group stage. They have some well known players like leicester city’s Kasper Schmeichel who along with Christian Eriksen played an integral role in ensuring that Denmark enters the World Cup 2018.
Their manager Åge Hareide has been keeping this team together and focused since he joined them in the year 2016. He has a winning percentage of over 52% and his style is pretty non-traditional. He prefers his team plays Offense and put pressure on the opposition rather than crumbling under the pressure focusing on defence and that has worked well for them so far.
Denmark has made long passes their strength. They have experimented on putting long shots to work to transit the ball from the defence to attack position quickly which is a good strategy to increase the chances of goal scoring in important phases.
They have a talented and determined squad and if they could pull it together, they could be one of the 2018 world cup surprises. Danish team has the capability to stun their opponents and leave them with open mouths.
The presence of Mohamed Salah has made Egypt the probable 2018 world cup surprises. This will be Egypt’s first participation in the World Cup after the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Thanks to Mohamed Salah who led his country to the World Cup after 28 years. Making a comeback after so long, Egypt could perform miracles with Mohamed Salah who is their most prized possession.
In the last two years, Salah has proved that he is one of the most valuable player in the world and has been compared with the likes of Messi and Ronaldo. Egypt is being considered as world cup 2018 underdogs but they have been put with Saudi Arabia and Russia and it seems like quite a manageable group for Egypt.
There are uncertainties regarding the quality of Egypt’s squad but with a player of Salah’s caliber they could really pull it off and could be one of the 2018 world cup surprises. He could take his team to the Round of 16, maybe even further.
Another Egyptian star, their goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary is going to be the oldest keeper to play in a World Cup tournament. He is 45 years old and has won African cup of nations four times. Although he will be playing the World Cup for the first time, his experience and skill-set is essential for Egypt and that makes him a valuable player for the national team.
Egypt’s coach Hector Cuper believes that his team is strong enough to survive in the collision against big names out there. The former Argentine has a record of almost 60% winning percentage.
Egypt has a good combination of attack and defence and they will be playing in the formation of 4-3-2-1. Unfortunately, Salah couldn’t led his club Liverpool to Champions League glory following the injury, this is the best chance he has got and he along with his squad could become 2018 world cup surprises.
Iceland is included in the probable 2018 world cup surprises because of their consistency and team integrity. The country with the lowest population Iceland has qualified for world cup. They have been put through numerous obstacles and challenges but they overcome them all and impress everyone in the Euro Cup 2016 and they are ready to make an impact and surprise everyone this world cup.
The greatest weapon Iceland possess is their team strength and unity. They have a great combination when they play and their flexibility is unmatched. Although, the odds are against them, they refuse to let themselves down and are very confident and believe in each other.
Their Coach Heimir Hallgrímsson has a winning percentage of 62.75%. He has been working with Iceland since 2013 and he knows all the ins and outs. He is a serious motivator and his team put their confidence upon him.
Although, their best player Gylfi Sigurdsson could not be taking part in the World Cup following his knee injury. Sigurdsson is one of the best attacking mid-fielder in the world and he still remain hopeful to play for his country in the World Cup.
Guðmundsson is another weapon they posses, he is in fine form and he can convert set-piece into goals plus he has also a strong defence game. These players could be the key in making Iceland the 2018 world cup surprises.
They has been put in an arguably tougher group with Argentina, Nigeria and Croatia. It will be tough for Iceland to get past them, but not impossible. And we have seen wonders happening before, so if Iceland hold their position and play on their strengths and team-work they could create history advancing to the next stages and become the 2018 world cup surprises.
Poland has the maximum chances to become the 2018 World Cup surprises, why? Becasue they have Robert Lewandowski. Robert Lewandowski is unarguably one of the best strikers in the world, if not the best. Too often have we heard the commentator shouting- its Lewandowski because he scores that match. He is the ultimate goal scoring machine.
He has scored 39 times in 43 games this season. The Polish striker has scored a massive 20 goals in the world cup qualifying matches, more than any other player. He is a complete player, very persistent and very efficient.
They have one of the best goalkeeper in Wojciech Szczesny who will be Juventus goalkeeper from now on replacing the great Gianluigi Buffon.
In the last 20 times he has played for Juventus, he has only been scored agianst 10 times. Factually, he is one of the best goalkeepers in this World Cup 2018.
Although their midfield and defence isn’t very impressive but they could still pull it off if Lewandowski brings his Bayern game to the World Cup and score some wonders while Szczesny resists the opposition plan of attack. Poland reached the quarter-finals in the 2016 Euro Cup and they could do it again or maybe even better in the World Cup 2018 Russia.