Germany, Sweden, Mexico, South Korea
Korean Son Heung-min had a fantastic season with Tottenham, but we need not speak any further regarding his country’s chances. They may not finish dead last in the group, but they will not make it out. As for Germany, no country has won consecutive World Cups since Brazil in the late 50’s and early 60s. That being said, the country is a footballing powerhouse and certainly possesses the quality to achieve the aforementioned. What is somewhat puzzling many pundits, however, is their goalkeeping situation. Manuel Neuer, regarded by the majority of the footballing community as the world’s best, missed the majority of the Bundesliga season due to injury and has only within the last month returned to playing. Still, die Mannschaft have world class players essentially everywhere else on the pitch, so the keeping issue may be nil. (At least for the group stage!) The attention will, therefore, be on the runner-up spot. Sweden, who will have a different look to them for this tournament due to the fact that Zlatan Ibrahimovic was not called into the squad, has some talented and experienced players. Emil Forsberg of R.B. Leipzig is a tricky winger while Sebastian Larsson is a set-piece specialist. As for Mexico, the CONCACAF country, who often enjoys spectacular traveling support wherever they play, will look to frustrate their opponents with dogged teamwork. The tenacity of El Tri usually goes unnoticed given the lack of consistent global coverage for North American qualifying games, and if the rest of the world is not careful, they could go on a run. Germany 1st and Mexico 2nd.
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