What To Look Out for At The World Cup

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It’s that time again – the sporting spectacle which makes even the most disinterested viewers football fans for one month. But, if you’re struggling to decide what to look out for at the 2018 World Cup, which kicks off in Russia on 14 June, here’s a quick run-down.

Last chance for the greats?

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been wowing fans for over a decade, and will perhaps go down as the two greatest players of all time. But there’s one thing missing from each of their trophy cabinets – a World Cup. Messi came close last time when he led Argentina to the final only to lose late on to Germany, and Ronaldo is fresh from a Euro 2016 success with Portugal. But this could well be the last chance for these two ageing superstars – Messi is 30 and Ronaldo 33, so both players will be hoping to bow out from the World Cup stage in style. Oddschecker are offering nice prices on Argentina taking home the trophy, so why not make things more interesting with a wager?

Source: Fifa world cup 2018 – Коля Саныч via Flickr

Underdogs on the big stage

Part of the World Cup’s magic is the opportunity it provides to get behind teams you might never normally root for – and this year, plenty of minnows have made it onto the biggest stage of all. Iceland are playing at their first World Cup and captured the hearts of neutrals at Euro 2016 with their impressive performance. Their fans are known for their ground-shaking ‘thunderclap’ – and how could you not get behind a country with just over 300,000 inhabitants? And watch out for Panama, who will also be making their first-ever appearance in a World Cup.

Source: Harry Kane – enviro warrior via Flickr

How will England do?

Supporting England at major tournaments is certainly a stressful experience but that doesn’t stop the country getting behind the team every couple of years. Will this tournament be different? Well, Gareth Southgate has taken a young and energetic squad to Russia, with several players taking part in their first World Cup – and he has a bona fide superstar striker in Harry Kane. England have also been dealt an easier group than last time, so we can at least expect them to make it to the knockout stages for the first time since 2010. Perhaps best not to hold your breath about the trophy coming home, though.

Regardless of how England do, the World Cup promises to be an exciting, nail-biting month of football – so book that time off work now and settle into your sofa.

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