We’re midway by Matchday 1 on the World Cup and some groups already appear to be sure-fire contenders for the title.
Alexi Lalas ranked his top-10 groups of the match to this point — this is who made the minimize.
Denmark did not begin have the begin to the match many thought it could, however it’s too early to say it isn’t a contender. A good consequence in opposition to France on Saturday (11 a.m. ET on FS1 and the FOX Sports activities app) would put it proper again into the dark-horse dialog.
[Related: 3 takeaways from Denmark’s scoreless draw with Tunisia]
Cristiano Ronaldo would be the discuss of the Portuguese males’s nationwide group till he retires from worldwide soccer. So long as Portugal can maintain its deal with the pitch, it is going to be a menace within the match, with or with out its star man.
Spain doubtless will not be true contenders till 2026, however its ceiling is as excessive as any group within the match with FC Barcelona stars Gavi, Pedri, Alejandro Balde and Ansu Fati main the cost for the brand new era. Plus, when Luis Enrique is on the sideline and managing the sport, something is feasible.
Even with the absence of key gamers akin to Marco Reus and Timo Werner, Germany has the standard and expertise to make its match extra memorable than it was in 2018, when it was knocked out within the group stage.
The Netherlands must be feeling assured after its 2-0 win over Senegal on Monday. Its protection was nearly as good as marketed, Cody Gakpo lived as much as all of his pre-tournament hype and its path to the knockout stage ought to be clear with the Lions out of the way in which.
[Related: 3 takeaways from the Netherlands’ clutch win vs. Senegal]
Argentina’s worst nightmare got here true when it was upset by 51st-ranked Saudi Arabia on the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday. It is not over for La Albiceleste, although. It has all of the expertise to get six factors in its remaining two video games and advance to the knockout stage. Counting Argentina out is counting Lionel Messi out, and that is by no means a good suggestion.
[Must-read: Mighty Messi, Argentina open World Cup with stunning loss, now face uphill climb]
England dispelled among the issues surrounding its pre-tournament kind with a convincing 6-2 win over Iran on Monday. The query that lingers is whether or not it could possibly look as dominant in opposition to the highest groups on the match. Monday’s consequence suggests it could possibly.
[Related: England has upper hand in Group B after USA-Wales draw]
Expertise is not every thing on the World Cup, however it counts for lots and Belgium has loads of it on its roster to go together with its world-class expertise. It is true the window is closing for its golden era, however in the meanwhile, it is as open as some other group’s.
Brazil has the deepest and most proficient squad on the World Cup, however till it has factors on the board, it is arduous to name them the most effective group on the World Cup.
The World Cup hangover does not appear to use to France, who beat Australia 4-1 in its group stage opener on Tuesday. Accidents have tried to derail Les Bleus from repeating, however it is perhaps too deep and wealthy in expertise — each younger and previous — to matter. Be very cautious of the French.
[Related: Kylian Mbappe sparks France as reigning champs start title defense with rout]
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