Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
My bold prediction for the World Cup group stage comes from this group, which consists of France, Australia, Peru and Denmark. France has high hopes this summer at World Cup and looks to go far in the tournament with their talented squad led by Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe. But the French do have a lot of questions coming into the tournament. History does show us that the French do know how to crash out of the tournaments in the group stage, even when favorited to advance; like at the 2002 and 2010 World Cup. Australia always gives their opponents tough games and is never to be underestimated. Peru qualifying for the World Cup for the first time since 1982 will look to return on the world’s biggest stage after a long absence. Denmark will also have shot at advancing out of the group led by their best player in Christian Eriksen.
Prediction: 1. Denmark, 2. Peru, 3. France, 4.Australia
Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
The biggest storyline in this group is will Lionel Messi be able lead Argentina to World Cup glory and also could be playing at his last World Cup. Along with Argentina, this group also consists of Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria. Argentina is the favorite to win the group especially with their talented attacking depth at their disposal. Lionel Messi was close to delivering the title at the last World Cup in 2014, losing 1-0 to Germany in extra time of the World Cup final. At age 30 (will turn 31 during the tournament) Lionel Messi knows this is probably his last shot at World Cup glory, with a World Cup title under his belt he might be considered the best to ever play the game in many people’s eyes. Argentina will be looking to win its first World Cup since 1986. Iceland, making their World Cup debut this summer, will look to build on their EURO 2016 Cinderella run to the quarter finals. Croatia will look to advance out of the group stage at a World Cup for the first time since 1998, where Croatia made it to the semi-finals and finished third. Croatia definitely has one of the best midfields in the world with the likes of Luka Modrić and Ivan Rakitić leading the way in the midfield. Croatia will look to make a deep run this summer in Russia. Nigeria comes into the tournament with the youngest squad at the World Cup; it will be interesting to see how Nigeria reacts when this young squad gets into tough situations.
Prediction: 1. Argentina, 2. Croatia, 3. Nigeria, 4. Iceland