Nigeria qualified for Russia 2018, and will be going against top football nations of the world next year.
The draws for the tournament will be on the 1st of December in Moscow.
Below is a compilation of each country’s odds for gold next year. Right beside the names of each country is their rank according to FIFA World Ranking.
Nigeria (41): After appearing in series of world cup tournaments, without much to show for it, it would seem this set of players in the Super Eagles squad can take Nigeria into the semi finals.
With the likes of Skipper Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi, the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, has upped Nigeria’s game and has formed a more technical, organized and balanced team that can be lethal, moving forward.
The Super Eagles went unbeaten in the CAF final round of qualifiers and scored an average of two goals per game. The team also faced off the number 4th team on the FIFA world ranking in an international friendly and dismissed them 4:2 with an amazing comeback after a two goal lead from the Argentines.
Germany (1): Germany won 10 out of there 10 games in their group qualifications stage with a team asset like no other country, so much that the country took a team B to the confederations cup and beat a fully equipped Chile and Mexico to the title.
The defending Champions are looking to take home the trophy next year to win the title back to back despite, the teams they may face. They are favorites to win the title alongside Brazil, but we can’t be very certain of this, as we’ve seen miracles happen on the field over time and next year’s matchups may just be yet another proof of this.
Brazil (2): After former Corinthians manager, Tite, took charge of the country’s national team in June 2016, Brazil won nine competitive matches and qualified for Russia before any other non-host. This team is on fire and ready to breathe it down on every one they’ll face next year. With world class players like Alisson, Ederson, Dani Alves, Joao Miranda, Marquinos and Marcelo. Casemiro, Philippe Coutinho, Paulinho, Renato Augustoand Neymar, Gabriel Jesus, William, Roberto Firmino, Thiago Silva, Fernandinho and Douglas Costa, Brazil is definitely the team to beat if you want to win the title.
Spain (8): Spain had a hard time in the last World Cup that saw the team being the first to be eliminated in 2014. But they are back to redeem themselves having arguably the best goalkeeper in the world right now, David de Gea and trio defenders Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos and Serio Busquets, the team is definitely one to look out for next year.
France (7):France is laden with more proven talents that anywhere else in the world. A look at the multiple choice of players the team’s manager would have to pick out for next year would also tell that their fate, and would also rests on his tactics and decisions making skills.
The team has a star studded midfield and forward pool of choices; Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Anthony Martial, Alexandre Lacazette, Blaise Matuidi, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Thomas Lemar, Dimitri Payet, Ousmane Dembele, Adrien Rabiot, Corentin Tolisso, Kingsley Coman, Nabil Fekir and Olivier Giroud. Only such of these players can be on the pitch at a time. I think it’s right to say that the manager can actually destroy any chance the team has if he doesn’t choose wisely. Other than that, this team has a huge chance of winning the world cup next year.
Argentina (4): Despite their player resources, Argentina almost did not qualify for the world cup, and in 17 games had scored only 16 goals. A team with the likes of Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala and other top notch players found it hard to win any match in the qualifiers. With their loss to Nigeria in the international friendly on Tuesday, it is more proof that if this team will return to it’s former glory, it must fix whatever issue is ailing the team at the moment.
Belgium (5): The Belgians had an easy qualifiers run, but like other years, have failed to make the best out of their chances. The Belgian team boasts of Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens and Kevin De Bruyne, all full on attackers. The least we should see for this team is the semi final rounds.
England (12):Expect England to stun you with a great performance next year, but also expect an under performance from the team, it’s a 50:50 chance for them.
Portugal (3): With having the current FIFA world’s best player, Christisno Ronaldo, and the brightest forwards yet; Bernardo Silva (Man City), Gelson Martins (Sporting CP), Bruma (RB Leipzig) and Goncalo Guedes (Valencia), the European team will definitely dazzle you in Russia next year.
Uruguay (17): They dud not ultimately fair well during the qualifiers, so it’s possible that they may be eliminated in the second round or even the first.
Columbia (13): Columbia has a lot to prove to the world and little to go on with. They’ll most definitely need to reorganize if they want a shot at the second rounds at least.
Mexico (16): Just maybe if the manager makes the right decisions ,then this team will make it into the finals. El tri possesses an unarguably good mix of talents, yes, there are some loop holes here and there, but this team can meet any team at all and stand their own.
Croatia (18): Croatia are definitely going to pull some weight in next year’s tournament ad it would be unwise for any team at all to not take the seriously.
Poland (6): Talk about a hidden card and you can talk about Robert Lewandowski for Poland. The player has,single handedly, driven the Polish team to the finals next year and will be a threat to any team he faces. He’s not alone in this as he has the likes of Napoli’s Piotr Zielinski and West Brom’s Grzegorz Krychowiak who leads a sturdy midfield. Monaco’s Kamil Glik at back.
Switzerland (11): They may well be among the middle class at the World Cup or they may be the lowest of the best, but Switzerland is sure to be a threat for a while next year.
Peru (10): Arguably the least ranked of the South American teams, they just recently qualified and have went unbeaten in 12 months. Nevertheless, this is not enough to put this team as a top contender for the title next year.
Serbia (38): Regardless of their low ranking and qualification process, Serbia is not a team any one should over look.
Sweden (25): They faced France, Holland and Italy in the group Qualifiers and fared really good with Ibrahimovic. It is worthy of note that the Swedes will be a tough nail to crack in any group they draw in against next year.
Senegal (32): From pot 3 will definitely be a pain for whoever they face. Sadio Mane runs at a remarkable speed, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly is one of the most unheralded center backs in the world. Everton’s Idrissa Gana is a midfield pest. And Monaco’s Keita Balde Diao can expose teams that focus on Mane from the opposite flank.
Denmark (19): Speak of a spring that is drawn to it’s limit but can still come back and you speak of Denmark. The team centers around Tottenham star Eriksen, and just maybe he can pull then into the second rounds.
Russia (65): There is not much to say about the 2018 World Cup hosts. They found it pretty hard to scale through an easy group stage and the lot of their players are domestic.
If Russia wasn’t the host of the World Cup, they probably wouldn’t be at the Window next year. They get to be in Pot 1 as hosts and will most definitely face an easy side for the first round, but there’s no saying if the team will move on to the second rounds.
Iceland (21): For Iceland what can I say, they are not the worst team in Europe seeing as they finished in top 8 at last year’s EURO 2016 tournament, but I’m skeptical that they’ll make it past the first round.
Japan (44): With more talents than any other Asian side and a knack for proving themselves, Japan will definitely be a tough one to break but it’s also very possible that they will be drummed out in the first round.
Iran (34): Iran went through the final stages of qualifications without conceding a goal until their last Match day, after which they had already qualified averaging one goal per match. Iran is your typical show stopper. They are not the best in the world but they can hold down any team. It’s not feasible that the Asian team will go past the first rounds but they can also pull a one goal stunt to bump them ahead.
Egypt (30): Egypt is going to the World Cup finals for the first time since 1990. They are one of the best teams in Africa with the likes of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah who propelled the team through the qualifications stage, Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny, West Brom center back Ahmed Hegazi, Stoke winger Ramadan Sobhi. Just maybe Egypt can advance into the second round.
Morocco (48): Will we see a slightly fierce Morocco at the world cup? Yes.
Costa Rica (22): Maybe FIFA needs to rearrange it’s ranking system because I don’t think we’ll see anything close to a stunning performance for Costa Rica in next year’s tournament.
South Korea: This may sound a bit harsh, but from their previous performances, South Korea is not exactly World Cup material yet. They’ll have to up their game before the tournaments begins or risk being the first team to crash out in the group stage.
Australia (43): There is not much to say for the Socceroos who are currently in an all time bad form for the World Cup. Maybe, next year will be different for the Australians.
Tunisia (28): The top African country in the FIFA ranking, but are not the best in the 5 teams that qualified for next year. Only a miracle can prevent them from leaving next year’s tournament in the first round.
Panama (49) & Saudi Arabia (63) are unarguably in the list of worst teams that qualified for the World Cup. We do not expect to see much of this two in next year’s tournament.
Featured Image Credit: Fifa.com