With mere hours to go until World Cup 2018 officially kicks off, the excitement has reached fever pitch here at DailyFantasyUK HQ! We’re not gonna lie, we got a little carried away this month— what with all the decorating, fridge stocking, flag waving and line-up perfecting in preparation for our favourite competition. Sadly, that meant we ran out of time to complete our Get To Know series.
But worry not, DFS fans! We would never leave you out in the cold with no knowledge of the difference between Group A and F. Nope, today we’re launching our Closer Look series, so you have a handy guide to every group in the contest.
Enough waffling, let’s get to it. Up first: Group A of course!
Manager: Stanislav Cherchesov
FIFA ranking: 70
This year’s hosts aren’t exactly famed for their football skills. Don’t discount them though—they have that home nation advantage and Russians aren’t exactly short of self-belief. Plus, given the amount of effort and money the country has invested, there’ll be a lot of determination to at least advance beyond the group stage.
History isn’t exactly on their side, though—their best result was in 1966 when (as the Soviet Union) they managed to finish in 4th place. It will be an interesting measure of how far the home soil advantage can propel a team. Up to now, South Africa is the only home nation in a World Cup to fail to reach the knockout stage.
Player(s) to watch: A couple of Russia’s strikers (Fyodor Smolov and Aleksandr Kokorin) have been racking up the goals lately. Plus, keep an eye on midfielder Aleksandr Golovin—he has the potential to do great things.
Manager: Juan Antonio Pizzi
FIFA ranking: 63
This is a team that lacks international experience, which is not exactly ideal when you’re about to enter a World Cup. A few of their players have popped up in La Liga this past season though, so they are obviously making moves to right that wrong.
For a more detailed rundown of the Saudi football team and their prospects for World Cup 2018, check out our dedicated article.
Manager: Hector Cuper
FIFA ranking: 31
Egypt is another country lucky enough to make it onto our Get To Know series. In a nutshell: passionate fans, patchy World Cup record but still one of the best teams in Africa, one of their players is in the running to set a world record. If that hasn’t piqued your interest, we don’t know what will! Take a closer look here.
Manager: Óscar Tabárez
FIFA ranking: 21
Uruguay were the hosts of the first World Cup and have been victorious in the competition twice. They also currently boast a host of great players with significant experience on the international stage. This is definitely a team that could make their mark on the competition. Want to know more? You know the drill by now: explore our post dedicated to Uruguay’s World Cup prospects.
Have we mentioned that we’re excited?! It’s so close now we can almost smell the freshly laid turf. Your line-ups should be beginning to take shape, so don’t forget to check in with DailyFantasyUK for a quick rundown of the remaining groups.
Until then: organise your snacks, nab the best spot on the couch, and settle in for what should be an incredible month of football!