FIFA WORLD CUP GROUP G
With the world cup just days away expect no shortage of drama. Players would be seeking to make a name for themselves. Coaches would look to show their tactical prowess. This is the big stage and everything done here is for national pride. We take a look at Group G and assess the chances of the teams.
Over the past few years they have been described as perennial under achievers. Their latest fiasco was when they were bundled out by Iceland at the EURO 2016. This English team lacks the needed experience at the world stage but with the array of talents at their disposal, they are expected to cause a stir. Focus would be turned to Harry Kane who has been in phenomenal form for his club Tottenham Hotspurs. His eye for goal and hunger for success might just propel England to greater things. Manager Gareth Southgate would look to work some magic and bring England’s name into the limelight. This year just certainly has to be the year of the three lions. A second place finish is my pick.
• Manager Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane
Star studded Belgium would look to put mediocrity past them and forge ahead for the ultimate. Their last world cup saw them exit at the quarter finals. This crop of players has been described as the golden generation of Belgian football. Most of them ply their trade in the English Premier League. Leading the line in attack is Manchester United target man Romelu Lukaku. He is expected to provide the Red Devils the cutting edge they much need. The trickery and flair of Eden Hazard would certainly be a vital tool for Belgium in their quest to annex the trophy. Former Everton and Wigan manager Roberto Martinez would hope to steer Belgium to a semi-final berth. This world cup is there for the taking. Belgium need to put their acts together, play as a unit and hope for the very best.
• From left: Kevin de Bruyne, Nacer Chadli, Axel Witsel, Eden Hazard and captain Vincent Kompany. These players are expected to come to the party in Russia.
The Carthage Eagles as they are rightly called come into the world cup as one of Africa’s favourities. They would look to emulate previous African successes at the FIFA World Cup. Coming of the back of an easy qualification, the north Africans are expected to pose a huge threat. Their star man Wahbi Khazri of Sunderland has a huge responsibility of guiding his team to unlikely victories against England who they take on in the group opener and Belgium. They might fancy their chances against world cup debutants Panama. From how things look I expect the north Africans to beat Panama but not progress to the next stage with the hurdles of England and Belgium in their way.
- All hopes rest on Wahbi Khazri to deliver at the world stage.
Los Canaleros feature in the world cup for the very first time. Their hopes and aspirations rest on Roman Torres of Seattle Sounders. Although the defender played 5 games for the American side, his popularity seems to be the driving force motivating the central American country. Panama is nestled in a fiery furnace with heavyweights like Belgium and England. Is the plan to just savour every moment of the world cup or go for major upsets? It looks like it is the former. Captain Torres said, ‘’The goal of Panama is to enjoy the World Cup and have a good performance”. Coach Hernan Dario Gomez would hope the never ending miracles of football would visit them.
- The Panama National Team
• Captain Roman Torres