The Euro 2016 finalists coming into this group expecting to walk it as they should. France fell just short of becoming European champions in their back yard as Eder’s extra time strike lead a Cristiano Ronaldo absent Portugal to European glory at the Stade de France. That was two years ago France are a different team now make no mistake about it France are here to win it. France in my opinion have the most depth squad in the world they are deep at every position with a team filled with veterans and young super stars this France team has all the intangibles to go to the bitter end. In this group they wont be threatened by anyone as they quality they have largely out shadows anything their opposition has to offer. France has an solid attack midfield and defence they don’t have very many flaws in their team not to mention some of the young talent that will be in Russia as well. The depth of this squad is really next level their reserves could make the last eight. Up front with their lethal strike force as we see so many options with Antoine Griezmann,Alexandre Lacazette, and the young superstar Kyillian Mbappe as well as many others. France with everything they have should have no issues what so every getting past every team in this group and are the likely favorites. There depth is incredible teams will have serious issues breaking down France with Pogba and Kante in defensive midfield everything will run through Pogba and Kante if they are both fit throughout the World Cup they will provide scoring chances for Griezmann and the French attack. Along with a very strong defensive line and Spurs Hugo Lorris it will be very hard to score against them. The fact of the matter is they have a perfect combination of experience and youth I fully expect them to fly through this world cup and I suspect they have the best chance out of the lot to lift the trophy at the end of the summer. With the young guns of Lamar,Dembele, Mbappe they will be a relentless force and extremely hard to stop. France have struggled in the last few tournaments not c the euros France have a real chance to be champions of the world once again in this new era of French football the French will top the group this is a very easy group and don’t expect France to be challenged once they should advance quite easily.
Manager: Didier Deschamps
Qualifying Place: Top of UEFA Group A
Key Player: N’golo Kante, Chelsea
Last World Cup: 2014 Brazil, Quarterfinals
2.Runners Up: Peru
Peru qualified by the World Cup playoff as they victory against New Zeeland insured Peru’s return to the world cup for the first time in 36 years. The Peruvians haven’t been to a world cup since Espana 1982 a huge moment for the country having to go through the very tough CONMEBOL despite finishing 5th forcing to go through the Playoff this Peru side managed a draw with Messi’s Argentina. Despite Peru being unable to qualify through the group needing the play off to advance despite all that CONMEBOL is a tough reign and they actually have a chance to get out of their group. Denmark and Peru are pretty neck and neck for that second spot Peru get the edge here due to a boast coming from controversial circumstances. it was revealed that Guerrero tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, including cocaine and metabolite benzoylecgonine. As a result, Guerrero was banned from international competition for one year, meaning that he could not participate in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. However, on 20 December 2017 after appeal, FIFA reduced the ban to 6 months, making Guerrero eligible for the World Cup. This drastically changes things this Peru team has quality at it was shown two years ago making the quarterfinals of the Copa America a big part of that was Paolo Guerrero. He will be 34-Years old by the time the world cup comes but make no mistake he knows and understands what it means to win his leadership alone give Peru a great chance to advance. He spent 8 years in the Bundesliga he has done it at club level as well as on the biggest International stage he is the countries all time leading scorer. His ban gives Peru a shot at the knockouts along with Veteran Jefferson Farfan who has had success in many leagues and has 23 goals to his name for hos country. Farfan and Gurrerro are both in their mid 30’s and are their heavy hitters but and some may look at it as a negative thing but they have performed well and the team gels well together around them. They defense is also very strong and I feel like big picture Peru have the slight advantage I see them going through in what will surly be a very tough battle for second.
Manager: Ricardo Gareca
Qualifying Place: 5th in CONMEBOL (Playoff)
Key Player: Paolo Guerrero,Flamengo
Last World Cup: 1982 Espana, Group
Denmark returns to the world cup once again after an eight year absence after failing to get out of the group in South Africa. Denmark much like Peru had to go though a World Cup playoff to get to the tournament. There 5-1 demolition of Ireland confirmed their place in Russia this summer. Denmark prior to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa Denmark made it out of the group in their first three world cups as they looked as if they were going to be a team to be reckoned with in the future after the Danish side made Round of 16 in 1986 and 2002 as well as a quarterfinals trip back in 1998. However this is a different Denmark team then the 1998 team that could of gone the distance. This team does have the promise to do well they are capable of performing at this high level their 4-0 win over Robert Lewandowski’s Poland showed their quality. With Peru and Demark very similar in ability it will be a fight for that second spot. A large part of getting through will be Tottenham’s Christen Erikson Denmark is very much a one man team in my opinion what happens with Denmark in Russia will come down to how Erikson performs if he is at his best Denmark could very well go through but if he is inconsistent it could spell doom for the Danish side. Christen Erikson has the entire country of Denmark on his shoulders the pressure he will have to deliver is immense I’m just not really sure he can do it all by himself. If he isn’t at his best the entire thing could come down Erikson isn’t just a scorer is a high rated passer if he has a poor game Denmark wont get any where near the amount of chances they would get otherwise. Denmark also have current leading goal scorer Nicklas Bendtner but he is often hit and miss. Erikson is very capable of putting in the performances necessary but I think Peru has the more complete team Denmark having to count on one man will be their down fall it will come down to the end but I believe Peru will beat them to the punch.
Manager: Åge Hareide
Qualifying Place: 2nd In UEFA Group E (Playoff)
Key Player: Christen Erikson, Tottenham
Last World Cup: 2010 South Africa, Group
Australia after finishing 3rd in their respective qualifying group the Aussie’s beat Syria and then beating Honduras over two legs to punch their ticket to Russia. Australia have been knockout in the group 3 of the last 4 World Cup’s I see them going out in the group once again. I don’t think they actually lack quality they are a decent team but they will have an uphill battle going forward in this tournament beyond the group stage. Having to rely on 38-Year old Tim Cahill could be quite problematic for the Australians the Former Everton Striker scored 11 goals in qualifying for this tournament including the dramatic game winner against Syria in the playoff to get them into the final playoff round. Cahill is the most dangerous scoring option the Australians have to their disposal however if your best player is 38 years old that can be a problem. An older body cant take the same that a younger one can the team is very much built around Cahill he is their closer that fact that this team revolves around him will play into the advantage of the defenses they will face. I think it will be very tough of them epsically against their opponents in this group. I wouldn’t go as far to say they don’t have a chance because with Aaron Mooy who has had a wonderful season with Huddersfield he could make some noise but he has yet to made an impact on the international level if he is able to shine in Russia they maybe have a chance to finishing 3rd but advancing is just not going to happen the level of difficulty is just too high. However with Matt Ryan in goal who has been brilliant for Brighton we could see a good performance for the defense it could make it harder to breakthrough but at the end of the day they have a mountain to climb in this group.
Qualifying Place: 4th in AFC (Playoff)
Key Player: Tim Cahill, Melbourne City
Last World Cup: 2014 Brazil, Group