Russia, Saudia Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Russia are easily one of the weakest hosts (save for South Africa in 2010, who, credit to them, certainly punched above their collective weight) to kick things off for the World Cup. Many of its footballers play domestically, in a weak league. While they should beat Saudi Arabia in the opening match, I do not see them making it out of the group. One reason is the Uruguayan striker-partnership of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. They are incredible with their respective clubs, but are lethal when playing together. Additionally, given that they are both in their early 30s, this competition could well be their swan-song, so expect them to bang in some goals. The second; Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian had a phenomenal season with club Liverpool, breaking all sorts of records along the way, but is currently not 100% fit, having picked up a shoulder injury in the Champions League final following a rather shameful foul by Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos. Should Salah be fully fit by Egypt’s first game, the Pharaohs will devastate defenses. Uruguay 1st. Egypt 2nd.
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