Sorare World Cup Special - Part 3
Updated: Jul 20
Do the south American teams have an advantage with the warmer weather?
Well, I've looked it up. The average is 28°C, that's about 80 °F. Not that hot compared to the Qatari summer. That being said, all stadiums will have air conditioning.
The warm or conditioned weather won't help Costa Rica get past the group phase. Read the round-up for Group E and F.
Don't sleep on our other Sorare articles in the World Cup Special:
Part 4: Group G & H
Part 5: The Conclusion
"You want to know the name of my balls?" Seems a bit personal but the World Cup official ball is named Al Rihla, it means The journey and it will be the fastest ball in World Cup history. Look out goalkeepers!
Another good question I got: "When does the World Cup start?" You'll have to imagine the TV series 24 sound effect.
The Group stage:
Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan.
This group seems an open-and shut-case on the first view, but is it really that simple?
Germany seems a logical contender to go through the knock-out phase of the tournament. A team of superstars, a new coach (Hansi Flick), and one of the world's best goalies, Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munchen). "Give them the cup already!" But let's not forget the World Cup in Russia where die Mannschaft only got three points in the group stage and got to go home very early in the competition. However, I don't see this happening again. Maybe one name drop then, keep an eye out for Karim Adeyemi (Dortmund)
La Furia Roja or Spain is another contender for the World Cup. A team on the rise. They have an amazing balanced team, Rodri (Man City), Sarabia (PSG), and Asensio (Real Madrid) just to name a few. Also loads of quality with two world-class goalkeepers: Unai (Atletico Madrid) and De Gea (Man U.), with the goalkeeper from Atletico Madrid being the first choice. The rise of prospects such as Ferran Torres, Pedri, and Ansu Fati (all Barcelona) bodes well for the future, but it remains to be seen whether Spain will be strong enough to go all the way in Qatar. That said, the Nations League run, beaten in the final by France, is another good indication.
Japan, or Samurai Blue. The goalkeeper position is fairly uncertain. The notion is that Gonda (Shimizu) has won the position from Kawashima (Strasbourg) and will be the starting goalkeeper for the World Cup. Before throwing your money at Gonda, make sure you follow the situation in the J-League, as there is a chance Shimizu might relegate. However, the chances are high his utility for the World cup will end in three games, where he conceived a fair amount of goals. Japan's football is on the rise in Europe, with an invasion of players. Kubo (Real Sociedad), Minamino (Liverpool), and Ueda (Cercle Brugge).
Costa Rica barely made the World Cup after the inter-confederation play-offs. They will have a hard time competing in this group and even a great goalkeeper like Keylar Navas (PSG) won't be saving (pun intended) them. Unfortunately, I predict a swift exit from the World Cup stage.
David: 1. Spain, 2. Germany, 3. Japan, 4. Costa Rica.
Tom: 1. Germany, 2. Spain, 3. Japan, 4. Costa Rica.
Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia.
An open group for sure as it could go either way. The form of the day will decide everything. Belgium is at a pivotal point as their 'golden generation' is getting older and the younger players aren't yet on the same level if they'll ever get there. Bondscoach Martinez seems reluctant to make the switch to make a new and young team. The Belgian goalkeeper is without a doubt Courtois (Real Madrid), firm as number one. The second goalkeeper is Mignolet (Club Brugge). The middle axle is still world-class, Lukaku (Inter) and KDB (Man City), and they'll probably win the group stage. Despite their countless world-class players, they always seem to fall short on the biggest stages. I'll add two players to watch for: Jeremy Doku (Rennes), a lightning-fast left winger, if he's fit that is. And Leandro Trossard (Brighton), both replaced Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) with verve. I suspect Canada is a real contender to survive the group stage. Back in the World Cup after 36 years of absence. They have a very talented team with Jonathan David (Lille), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munchen), and especially Cyle Larin (Club Brugge). Their goalkeeper is less known, Milan Borjan, no cards minted. The second goalkeeper, Maxime Crepeau (LAFC) is in good form. They'll be underestimated by the large public and that makes them dangerous. Croatia, a finalist in the last World Cup, they'll probably won't repeat that scenario but you'll never know if Luka Modric (Real Madrid) turns on. Dominik Livaković (Dinamo Zagreb) is the starting goalkeeper, and second in command is Lovre Kalinić (Hajduk Split). Croatia impressed in qualifying and lost just once but despite being hopeful of getting out of the group stage, it is difficult to envisage them having another long run in the competition.
Morocco, the Atlas Lions, have a large fan base in Qatar, their fans are football crazy and their games will feel like home games. They have a very good team just based on their line-up. Hakimi (PSG), Youssef En-Nesyri (Sevilla), and even one of their best players, Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea), isn't being called up because of an ongoing dispute. However, that dispute might be resolved with the firing of coach Halilhodzic. Their goalkeeper is late-bloomer Yassine Bounou (Sevilla), but chances are high that he might be limited to only three games in this World Cup.
David: 1. Morocco, 2. Croatia, 3. Belgium, 4. Canada.
Tom: 1. Belgium, 2. Canada, 3. Croatia, 4. Morocco.