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Mixed fortunes for the big guns at the 2018 World Cup

Date Added: June 22, 2018 07:50:57 PM
Author: David
Category: Competitions: Soccer World Cup
With a week of the 2018 World Cup completed it's fair to say that some of the fancied teams have had a mixed time of things in Russia.

Pre-tournament joint favourites Germany and Brazil both failed to win their opening games, while Spain were held to a 3-3 draw by Portugal.

Lionel Messi fluffed his lines for Argentina by missing a penalty against Iceland, but England got off to a winning start courtesy of Harry Kane's late goal versus Tunisia.

Read on as we look at how some of the big nations have fared in the World Cup so far.

Germany

A 1-0 defeat against Mexico doesn't suggest that Germany are likely to retain the trophy they won in 2014, but it would be dangerous to write them off just yet.

Further group games against Sweden and South Korea won't be easy, although the Germans should win them both to progress to the knockout stage.

Germany are still prominent in the online betting market to win the World Cup and they are certainly capable of bouncing back from their disappointing result against Mexico.

Brazil

The Samba Kings were unfortunate not to beat Switzerland in their first match, having been on the end of some questionable refeering decisions.

Steven Zuber pushed defender Miranda before heading the Swiss level, while Brazil also could have had a second-half penalty for a challenge on Gabriel Jesus by Manuel Akanji.

Brazil can see off Costa Rica and Serbia in their remaining group games and they are strongly fancied to reach at least the semi-finals in Russia.

France

France have been functional rather than spectacular against Australia and Peru, although that will probably please manager Didier Deschamps.

Les Bleus have imploded at previous major tournaments, but they have ground out two wins and should improve as the World Cup progresses.

France have a vast array of attacking talent and they are capable of being a successful football team in Russia this summer.

Spain

Cristiano Ronaldo's one-man show stopped Spain recording a victory in their opening game as his hat-trick helped Portugal secure a deserved 3-3 draw.

Spain were then wasteful in their second match against Iran, with Diego Costa's lucky second-half goal all they had to show despite dominating possession.

However, Spain have displayed enough attacking prowess during those two matches to show that they will be a force to be reckoned with at the World Cup.

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