IRAN • MOROCCO • PORTUGAL • SPAIN
Morocco vs. Iran
Portugal vs. Spain
Portugal vs. Morocco
Iran vs. Spain
Spain vs. Morocco
Iran vs. Portugal
Looking at the Group B of FIFA 2018 World Cup, it may seem very clear who is going to qualify in the next round – Spain and Portugal have some of the best players in the world in their national squads. However, lets not underestimate Iran and Morocco.
IRAN FIFA RANKING: 32
The coach of the Iranian team is the Portuguese CARLOS QUEIROZ. Under his command, the Iranian team won all the games in the qualification round, as well as the friendly games.
The team playing strategy is very defensive and they are great at quick counterattack . Even if they don’t score a lot of goals, their playing strategy has been very successful. The Iranians don’t have many football superstars in their squad. The most important player is the 22-year-old striker Sardar Azmoun. He’s is compared with Lionel Messi; having the same playing style and skills. He is the one that can help the team the most towards qualifying for the next round.
MOROCCO FIFA RANKING: 40
The coach of the Moroccan team is French HERVÉ RENARD. He lead the team past the qualifications this year, their last participation at the World cup was in 1998. The team probably had the best defence in the qualification rounds; they did not concede a single goal those rounds. Spain and Portugal will definitely find it very difficult to score against Morocco. The most important player is the veteran and team captain Medhi Benatia from Italian club Juventus, who is a key player in the defence. His skills and experience will bring confidence to the team. The younger midfielders, Hakim Ziyech from Ajax and Nordin from Watford, will have the goal of scoring and sending passes to forward Ayoub El Kaabi from RS Berkane – another key player.
PORTUGAL FIFA RANKING: 3
The coach of Portugal’s national team is the Portuguese FERNANDO SANTOS.
Being the last Euro Cup winner, Portugal is one of the favourites set to qualify to the next round of the competition.
With some top players in their team, they have a big chance of going far in this year’s tournament. The team has a weak defence compared with the other teams that are competing against them . They have, of course, Cristiano Ronaldo in their squad, who is considered along with Lionel Messi as the greatest players in the world at the moment. Cristiano Ronaldo the Real Madrid player, with 81 goals scored for his national team, is the player who has the mission of leading the team.
Their midfield and attack is very strong – having some of the best attackers in Europe like Ronaldo, Ricardo Quaresma, Gelson Martins. In defence, however, they have some problems; even if they have very strong defenders like the veteran Pepe, ex Real Madrid and Beshiktas defender, their defence isn’t nearly as strong as that of other teams. Generally, the Portuguese team is quite aged, with a lot of players over 30 years old, in their first 11 – especially in defence. Let’s hope that age brings experience and they will have a good performance. Based on predictions, they are set to reach the quarter finals based on the team they currently have.
SPAIN FIFA RANKING : 6
The Spanish national team coach is JULEN LOPETEGUI. The 2010 World Cup winner is one of the favourites to win this year.
Their team has some of the greatest players in the world that are playing for some of the best clubs in Europe. With such players in their squad, there is no doubt that they have a high likelihood of winning this year’s World Cup.
Starting with David de Gea, from Manchester United, who is probably the best goalkeeper in the world; and central defenders like Sergio Ramos, Gerard Piqué; and fullbacks like Daniel Carvajal and Jordi Alba, we can say that they have the best defence at this World Cup.
In the midfield, they also have some of the best: Sergio Busquets, Andrés Iniesta, Nacho Monreal, Isco, and Thiago Alcantara; who are very strong midfielders that will greatly help the strikers David Silva and Diego Costa towards scoring goals. Another aspect that gives them a lot of hope of winning are their reserves, who are top players and offer them a lot of options compared with the other teams competing.