World Cup Groups: A-D

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

Group A: Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay

Two huge unknowns torment us in this group, notably how good (or otherwise) will Russia be when push comes to shove, and how fit is Mo Salah. Uruguay are certain to qualify, and Saudi Arabia are certain not to. It is the second qualifying spot that interests us. We can’t foresee Russia falling at the first hurdle, not if Putin has anything to do with it, so we would advise the 1.48 on the hosts getting through.

Group B: Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Iran

Don’t expect too many goals in this one, with Morocco and Iran both containing the best defences on their respective continents, Portugal managing to bore their way through Euro 16, and Spain never opting for excitement when a 1-0 with 82% possession will do. With so little separating the teams, the key game will be Portugal vs Morocco to decide second place behind Spain. And we can see an upset here. Take the value on Morocco at 4.3 to get through.

Group C: France, Australia, Denmark, Peru

Peru may suffer stage-fright in their first world cup in a generation, whilst we can’t see Australia picking up too many points. First place in the group could come down to the final match between Denmark and France; with Deschamp’s penchant for peculiar things, the temptation to rest a few players may overwhelm him. The Danes are 5.7 to win the group.

Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Nigeria, Croatia

Ah, welcome to the group of death, a concept Argentina (and Nigeria) struggled with in 2002, and where we fear they may fall short again. We can’t see Nigeria doing much, but Iceland and Croatia represent real threats to Messi’s men. Threats that we suspect Fazio and Caballero aren’t quite equipped for. Iceland are tournament savvy now, and we would like to lay Argentina to get out the group at 1.18.

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