It is now just three days until the World cup kicks off on Thursday afternoon with hosts Russia taking on Saudi Arabia in the Luzhniki Stadium, like you didn’t already know! The Football INDEX has been gearing up for the biggest tournament in the world for some time with analysis on the runners and riders all over social media. The media will of course rightly focus upon who will likely end up lifting the cup on July 15th but who are some of the underdogs who could go on a barnstorming run and offer several opportunities to traders, there are potentially a couple of options in Group A and Group H.
Starting with Group A, it looks wide open between hosts Russia, Egypt and Uruguay on who will be qualifying for the next phase. Yet seemingly flying under the radar is La Celeste who don’t seem to be in a lot of people’s minds as threats in Russia. Yet they have a very strong spine to their team. Leading the front line for Oscar Tabarez is arguably one of the best attacking forces in World football with Barcelona’s Luis Suarez (£2.41) and Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani (£1.98). Uruguay also have a very settled defensive unit who both play together for Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, who are well renowned for their qualities. Step forward Diego Godin (£1.13) and Jose Gimenez (£1.30). Whilst in the middle of the park it’s a Serie A affair with Inter Milan’s Matias Vecino (£0.92), Juventus’s Rodrigo Bentancur (£1.71) and the young talent from Sampdoria Lucas Torreira (£2.27) all battling for starting spots. They look like favourites to get out of Group A but how far can they go?
Another intriguing group is Group H, which sees representation from four different continents. There is Colombia from South America, Japan from Asia, Poland from Europe and Senegal from Africa, but the battle for who can qualify to potentially take on England from Group G, looks a straight battle between Colombia, Senegal and Poland.
Colombia were the breakout team back in Brazil in 2014 being driven by James Rodriguez (£4.46) and his Golden Boot winning six goals. The Bayern Munich man will, of course, be leading their efforts in 2018 with former Manchester United striker, Radmael Falcao (£1.27) looking to fire in the goals. The Colombians are surely favourites to top the group but the battle to also qualify between the others is very intriguing.
For Poland they also have one of the best strike forces in World Football with Robert Lewandowski (£3.47) and Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik (£1.62) being a fine understudy. Whilst in midfield they have Milik’s club mate Piotr Zielinski (£2.01) who is being touted as one of the talents to watch out for in Russia this summer. For Senegal there are several household names who could make some impact on how Group H is shaped. You have Liverpool’s Champions League finalist, Sadio Mane (£3.01) leading the attacking threat whilst at the back is Napoli’s defensive lynchpin, Kalidou Koulibaly (£2.10) who will have several clubs watching his every move. All eyes will be on the Spartak Stadium when Senegal and Poland face off against each other in matchday 1.
Could the first and last groups, deliver the underdogs of the tournament?
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