2018 FIFA World Cup Group Stage Preview and Predictions

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

Brazil comes into the tournament as one of the favorites to win it all; they are grouped with Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia. Brazil looks much better than they did four years ago at the 2014 World Cup which they hosted. With the likes of Neymar, Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus leading the attack, lots of goals will be expected from this Brazilian side. Brazil will be coming into the tournament looking to win the World Cup for the first time since 2002. Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia are all capable of advancing out of this group with Brazil. Switzerland had a nice run two years ago at EURO 2016 reaching the round of 16 and going out on a penalty shootout against Poland. Costa Rica will look to build off their successful 2014 World Cup run when they reached the quarter-finals; also to note they were able to top the “Group of Death” at the 2014 World Cup, which consisted of Uruguay, Italy, and England. Serbia looks to return to the World Cup stage after missing out in 2014; also to note they were able to beat Germany in the 2010 World Cup in the group stage showing they can play with the best sides in the world.

Predictions: 1. Brazil, 2. Serbia, 3. Costa Rica, 4. Switzerland

Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea

The reigning World Cup champions Germany will look to repeat this summer as champions in Russia. This German squad does not have the old familiar faces most people are used to when thinking of the German national team. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose and Philipp Lahm have all retired since the last World Cup. But this German still has quality and depth to advance out of this group and could make another deep run; the Germans have made it to at least the semi-finals in each of the last four World Cups. The battle for second place will between Mexico and Sweden, leaving South Korea to finish last. Mexico have made it to the round of 16 each of the last six World Cups, they have had a tough time getting to the quarter finals as they lost all six of those round of 16 matchups. Mexico will be looking to get to their first quarter-finals since 1986, where Mexico was the host nation. Sweden got here by knocking out four time champions Italy in the European playoff round, which was shock to most people to see Italy not going to the World Cup. The Swedes play together hard as a unit, with no big name star on the squad since Zlatan Ibrahimović retired after EURO 2016.

Predictions: 1. Germany, 2. Mexico, 3. Sweden, 4. South Korea

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Phil Veasley
Phil Veasley is a resident of Atlanta who has been a die-hard Hawks fan since 2005. He is Civil Engineer student at KSU. Currently, Phil writes for Atlanta Hawks Talk while also managing all ATLSportsHQ sites. He can be reached on Twitter at @_ATLPhil

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