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Tunisia fall to England – 2018 FIFA World Cup

Tunisia started their 2018 FIFA World Cup Group G  campaign with a 2-1 defeat to England at the Volgograd Arena in Russia on Monday.

The victory took the 3 Lions to next place on the Team G standings following match day a single, while the Carthage Eagles are placed 3rd on the table.

The 3 Lions dominated the game from the start off with their inspirational captain Harry Kane top their assault.

The very first likelihood of the game fell for England midfielder Jesse Lingard, who unleashed a very low shot which was saved by Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen four minutes into the game.

On the other hand, the France-primarily based shot-stopper was then crushed when John Stones’ header was saved by Hassen and Kane pounced and fired home the rebound to make it 1- to England.

The Carthage Eagles then experienced a further blow in the 14th minute as they had to make an early substitution with Hassen wounded and he was replaced by Farouk Mustapha.

Mustapha turned a busy man as he had to cease Jordan Henderson’s prolonged-vary shot in the 18th minute, before denying Harry Maguire, who was seeking to score with a header just following the first half mark.

Tunisia then grew self-assurance and they pushed forward in numbers, with Fakhreddine Ben Youssef seeking lively upfront for the 2004 African champions.

The towering centre-forward was fouled by Kyle Walker within the England box and Tunisia was being awarded a penalty in the 33rd minute.

Ferjani Sassi then stepped up and made no error from the spot-kick as he beat England shot-stopper Jordan Pickford to make it 1-1 for Tunisia.

The 3 Lions then piled tension on the Carthage Eagles defence and they virtually scored in the 39th minute via Stones, who fluffed his left-footed effort from close vary.

The last likelihood of the first half fell for Lingard, who was unfortunate as he managed to beat Mustapha, but his effort strike the upright and Tunisia survived a scare just before the half-time split.

Tunisia and England were being locked 1-1 at the interval subsequent a motion-packed very first half.

The 3 Lions were being the superior facet in the early levels of the next half and they virtually scored from a properly-taken corner-kick by Kieran Trippier.

The diminutive full-back again managed to find his England team-mate Harry Maguire, whose header was conveniently saved by Mustapha seven minutes into the next half.

England head coach Gareth Southgate determined to make a transform 8 minutes following the hour-mark – pulling out the ineffective Raheem Sterling and he released marksman Marcus Rashford.

The Carthage Eagles were being content to sit back again and launch brief-counter assaults, but they could not examination Pickford, who had a tranquil next half in England’s goal-posts.

On the other hand, the Tunisia defence, which was led by Syam Ben Youssef, looked reliable and organised with England attackers battling to penetrate the backline in the closing levels of the game.

On the other hand, England retained probing and they deservedly snatched a late winning goal via Kane, who scored with a header from the blind spot in stoppage time, with the Tunisia defence exposed, and finally, England emerged 2-1 winners.

Tunisia (1) 1 (Sassi 35′)

England (1) 2 (Kane 11′, 90’+1)

Tunisia: Hassen (Mustapha 15′), S. Ben Youssef, Meriah, Maaloul, Sassi, Sliti (Ben Amor 73′), Skhiri, Bronn, Khazri (Khalifa 85′), Badri, F. Ben Youssef.

England: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Young, Trippier, Henderson, Alli (Loftus-Cheek 80′), Lingard (Dier 90’+2), Sterling (Rashford 68′), Kane.

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Xabi Alonso tipping Spain and Germany for World Cup results

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso believes Germany will be the team to defeat at this summer’s FIFA World Cup, although latest Bayern string-puller Thiago Alcantara knows he will have to prevent several of his Bundesliga rivals if he is to arise triumphant with Spain this summer months.

Alonso lifted the World Cup in 2010, sandwiched in amongst European Championship triumphs in 2008 and 2012, and with 3 Bundesliga titles and two Champions Leagues to his identity, the 36-year-old certainly knows what it takes to be thriving.

Talking to FIFA.com forward of the World Cup, he admitted that Joachim Löw’s men – immediately after his possess region – are kinds to observe out for in Russia.

“I am not just stating it, but I would set [Spain] among the favourites because I never see any facet that’s far better than Spain proper now,” he explained. “I do not know what is heading to transpire in the games although. Germany is yet another of the large favourites. They are an extremely robust facet and they’re often there or thereabouts.”

Alonso observed initial hand the number of remarkable new potential customers rising via the Bundesliga in current yrs and he feels that although the likes of Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and For every Mertesacker may no extended be all around, Germany has succeeded in replacing them adequately, although also lowering the regular age of the squad.

Timo Werner, Julian Brandt, Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich are all set to play essential roles in an energetic facet Alonso fancies for at the very least a remaining 4 berth.

“The way they have been playing, it would be a significant surprise if they never make the semis, because they’re the champions and because of the new era who’ve to appear into the team,” he explained, incorporating that “Brazil is also proper in there – I feel those people 3 are above the rest. Then you can find Argentina, France and it’s possible a surprise or two. Why not?”

Spain’s hopes will be pinned on the shoulders of Bayern midfielder Thiago, who claims he is prepared to fill an important job on the field for his region in Russia – a person he has honed in the Bundesliga, proper at the coronary heart of the motion.

“It can be a job I am ready for because I’ve performed in it with Bayern,” Thiago explained. “Of system it is really an important position for the organisation of the team and I hope to fill it properly. We are a facet who like to keep the ball, like to push, shift all around and we take pleasure in playing the way we play – we would like to get this World Cup begun tomorrow.”

Germany and Spain could meet up with at the earliest in the semi-finals.

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Group F World Cup,Germany, Mexico, Sweden & South Korea

Reigning and four-time World Cup champions Germany face a tough obstacle from Mexico, Sweden and South Korea in Group F at Russia 2018, but Joachim Low’s facet will nonetheless be predicted to progress emphatically into the final 16.

Germany, who returned to the leading of world football four yrs in ago in Brazil, is arguably even more powerful now, with their depth aptly demonstrated in 2017 when they sent a next-string team to the Confederation Cup (a costume rehearsal for the World Cup) and nonetheless claimed the trophy relatively comfortably.

‘Der Mannschaft’ can nonetheless call on players in their primary this sort of as Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller, but their facet is evolving into an even more thrilling line-up with the emergence of youngsters this sort of as Timo Werner and Joshua Kimmich. Their 100 per cent history in their UEFA qualifying team underlines the class and electric power of this German team.

Their fellow Europeans Sweden will extravagant their likelihood of joining the world champions in the knockout rounds. The ‘Blue-Yellow’ completed behind France (but in advance of the Netherlands) in their qualifying team and went on to defeat Italy in the playoffs – they have experienced loads of hard matches in the earlier eighteen months and will be fight hardened for the obstacle which awaits them in Russia. On the other hand, they can no for a longer time call on ‘X-factor’ player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whose retirement from worldwide football leaves this team on the lookout for a chief and talisman.

Mexico is also a team to be reckoned with, having dominated the CONCACAF qualifiers. But ‘El Tri’ have under no circumstances truly lived up to their probable when it comes to the World Cup, and their ageing team may wrestle to match their Group F opponents for rate and electricity. They will seem to Javier Hernandez to carry on his outstanding scoring history at a worldwide stage and hope it would make up for their shortcomings.

South Korea did not take pleasure in the most prosperous qualification campaign, as they completed effectively off the rate of Iran in their AFC team, and can be regarded as the outsiders in this foursome. But they nonetheless boast some gifted players, in particular, forward Son Heung-min. The Tottenham Hotspur man is tough-doing the job, adaptable and has a keen eye for goal. If he can set the bar higher sufficient for his teammates, the ‘Taegeuk Warriors’ may just spring a surprise or two.

Group F fixtures (all times CAT)

17 June 2018, 17h00 – Germany v Mexico – Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
eighteen June 2018, 14h00 – Sweden v South Korea – Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod
23 June 2018, 17h00 – South Korea v Mexico – Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don
23 June 2018, 20h00 – Germany v Sweden – Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
27 June 2018, 16h00 – South Korea v Germany – Kazan Arena, Kazan
27 June 2018, 16h00 – Mexico v Sweden – Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg

Group F head-to-heads (as for each FIFA stats database, in reference to ‘home’ team)

Germany v Mexico – P11 W5 D5 L1 GF24 GA10
Sweden v South Korea – P4 W2 D2 L0 GF17 GA3
South Korea v Mexico – P12 W4 D2 L6 GF15 GA24
Germany v Sweden – P36 W15 D9 L12 GF70 GA6
South Korea v Germany – P3 W1 D0 L2 GF5 GA5
Mexico v Sweden – P9 W2 D3 L4 GF5 GA8

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Germany vs. Mexico: FIFA World Cup Group F – possible line Ups

World champions Germany get the defence of their title underway against Marco Fabian’s Mexico at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday (kick-off: 5 pm CEST/4pm BST/11am ET) with captain Manuel Neuer returning to form and physical fitness at just the correct time.

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The Bayern Munich shot-stopper broke his foot two times in the 2017/18 campaign and was restricted to just three Bundesliga appearances – each and every one of them clean sheets – as the champions sealed their 28th German major-flight title. Getting played a put together 135 minutes in Die Mannschaft’s latest friendlies with Austria and Saudi Arabia, the 32-year-old will guide his team out against Mexico with Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen acting as the 1st understudy. Leroy Sane was perhaps the most surprising omission when coach Joachim Löw announced his ultimate 23-man squad for the match, but with Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus – like Neuer – again to his finest, the Manchester City winger’s absence could perfectly prove to be negligible.

If Germany had been impressive in winning all 10 of their games in UEFA qualifying portion, Mexico had been not far behind. El Tri only missing a single of their twelve games in the CONCACAF zone – their ultimate a single, against Honduras, when qualification was already assured. In Fabian and Carlos Salcedo, Mexico boasts two players who lifted the DFB Cup with Eintracht Frankfurt, at Bayern’s expenditure, in May. The pair is anticipated to begin, with previous Bayer Leverkusen favourite Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez primary the line.

Possible line-ups

Germany: Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector – Kroos, Khedira – Müller, Özil, ReusWerner
Subs: ter Stegen, Ginter, Plattenhardt, Rüdiger, Süle, Brandt, Draxler, Goretzka, Gündogan, Rudy, Gomez, Trapp
Absentees: N/A
Mentor: Joachim Löw

Mexico: Ochoa – Salcedo, Reyes, Moreno, Layun – Marquez, Guardado (c) – Vela, Herrera, Fabian – Chicharito
Subs: Telavera, Alvarez, Ayala, Gallardo, Aquino, G. dos Santos, J. dos Santos, Corona, Jimenez, Lozano, Peralta
Absentees: N/A
Mentor: Juan Carlos Osorio

Match stats

  • Bayern forward Thomas Müller has 10 World Cup goals to his title, the most of any lively player.
  • Germany has played Mexico 13 times, winning 6, with 6 attracts and just a single defeat.
  • The last time the sides satisfied was in the Confederations Cup semi-finals in Russia past June. Germany gained 4-1, with Fabian scoring Mexico’s consolation.
  • The teams have satisfied when just before at the World Cup, with Germany prevailing 2-1 at France ’98, previous United States of America coach Jürgen Klinsmann and latest Germany Team Manager Oliver Bierhoff scoring in Montpellier.
  • This is Germany’s 19th World Cup and they have reached at the minimum the quarter-finals in each and every of the earlier 9 editions, producing it to at minimum the semi-finals at each and every opposition as of 2002.
  • Previous Leverkusen ahead Chicharito is Mexico’s all-time primary goalscorer with 49 goals.
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    2018 World Cup: Group H preview

    2018 World Cup, Group H

    Dates – 19-28 June 2018

    Venues – Saransk, Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Volgograd, Samara

    West African aspect Senegal will glimpse to revive reminiscences of their breathtaking World Cup debut in 2002 when they battle for ascendancy in a large open up Group H at Russia 2018. Colombia, Poland and Japan full a sturdy foursome which promises to be one of the most unpredictable at this year’s tournament.

    Senegal shocked the world sixteen decades back when they initially beat reigning champions France in their opening game before obtaining as far as the quarterfinals – a feat no other African team has bettered before or given that. The ‘Teranga Lions’ are led by manager Aliou Cisse – a veteran of that 2002 team – and boast an admirable array of expertise, nevertheless Liverpool ahead Sadio Mane is the clear celebrity of their team.

    Poland is not the initially identify that arrives at mind when one thinks of Europe’s strongest football nations, but the ‘White Eagles’ arrive into Russia 2018 positioned in the best 10 of FIFA’s world position and they appreciated a good qualification campaign.

    Not only did they best their team forward of Denmark, but they also produced the co-primary scorer in the world-large level of competition: Robert Lewandowski’s sixteen goals ended up matched only by Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al-Sahlawi and UAE’s Ahmed Khalil. Adam Nawalka’s aspect is perfectly-organised, rough-to-beat and boasts loads of practical experience.

    The same can be explained of South American heavyweights Colombia. They finished fourth in the notoriously complicated CONMEBOL qualification zone and have saved alongside one another the core of the team which reached the previous 8 of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

    Their star in that tournament was attacker James Rodriguez – the 26-year-old has not long gone on to just take the world by storm, as was envisioned soon after his incredible displaying four decades back and subsequent transfer to Real Madrid (he’s now on the books of Bayern Munich), but he stays a vital cog in Jose Pekerman’s aspect.

    Japan finished best in their AFC qualification team and arrive into Russia 2018 searching to improve on their team phase exit from four decades back. Managed by Akira Nishino, the ‘Samurai Blue’ has a workmanlike team dotted with the occasional standout expertise, these types of as Leicester City’s Shinji Okazaki, Borussia Dortmund playmaker Shinji Kagawa and Eintracht Frankfurt defensive midfielder Makoto Hasebe, who also serves as the national side’s captain.

    Group H fixtures (all times CAT)

    19 June 2018, 14h00 – Colombia v Japan – Mordovia Arena, Saransk

    19 June 2018, 17h00 – Poland v Senegal – Otkritie Arena, Moscow

    24 June 2018, 17h00 – Japan v Senegal – Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg

    24 June 2018, 20h00 – Poland v Colombia – Kazan Arena, Kazan

    28 June 2018, 16h00 – Japan v Poland – Volgograd Arena, Volgograd

    28 June 2018, 16h00 – Senegal v Colombia – Cosmos Arena, Samara

    Group H head-to-heads (as for each FIFA stats database, in reference to ‘home’ team)

    Colombia v Japan – P3 W2 D1 L0 GF5 GA1

    Poland v Senegal – No preceding matches

    Japan v Senegal – P3 W0 D1 L2 GF2 GA5

    Poland v Colombia – P5 W2 D0 L3 GF8 GA7

    Japan v Poland – P2 W2 D0 L0 GF7 GA0

    Senegal v Colombia – P1 W0 D1 L0 GF2 GA2

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    2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Five Russia players to enjoy

    Russia is not able to boast of any world-renowned stars at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and only two reserve players in the squad, Denis Cheryshev and Vladimir Gabulov, ply their trade abroad. Even so, this does not necessarily mean the Host Country is not able of causing a number of surprises at the event. FIFA.com names the players who have it in them to lead the team and inspire the fans each domestically and abroad.

    Igor Akinfeev, goalkeeper, 32

    Akinfeev’s unshakeable self-self-assurance and charisma are qualities that authorized him to make his intercontinental debut aged only eighteen. At any time due to the fact, he has been the Sbornaya’s, undisputed initial-alternative goalkeeper. Of program, no one is invincible or immune to the occasional mistake, but when Igor is in the zone, finding the ball past him is nigh on extremely hard. Many pundits all around the world are thinking whether the hosts will be ready to offer with the strain at the World Cup on home soil, but this worry will not have crossed Akinfeev’s brain after.

    Sergei Ignashevich, centre-back again, 38

    As stunning as it may seem, the oldest player in the Russian national team is also one of the most inimitable. All through Russian and Soviet football history, no one else has continued playing intercontinental football to such an age. Soon after originally retiring from the Sbornaya two a long time ago, Ignashevich answered the call to return from head coach Stanislav Cherchesov and will again be an essential determinant in defence. In his own words and phrases, “my work is basic: to win back again the ball, give it to my team-mates, present address, play the ball out of defence and assist the team.” Ignashevich does this superior to anyone else in the squad.

    Aleksandr Golovin, attacking midfielder, 22

    At just 22, Golovin is the youngest member of the squad but has now proved himself important to the team’s attack. The agile midfielder is a normal modern player who loves to play in a totally free part, typically dropping deep into midfield or drifting into a centre-forward. He possesses a superb shot, which includes from selection, and is able of scoring some genuinely sublime goals. In spite of his relative deficiency of experience, Russia fans are relying on him previously mentioned all to be their creative spark at the World Cup. The event will also be a prospect for Golovin to place himself in the shop window, as a number of best European clubs are rumoured to be interested in him.

    Fyodor Smolov, striker, 28

    Smolov was in the working to pick up his 3rd consecutive Russian best-scorer award appropriate till the conclusion of the final season, just before at some point losing out to Dutch forward Quincy Promes by a solitary strike. The Sbornaya have a short while ago found goals challenging to occur by, so Smolov is their most important hope in this respect. Throughout Cherchesov’s time at the helm, Smolov has scored 7 goals, which includes a brace against Spain. He is intent on introducing to that tally at the World Cup, wherever he is probable to be deployed as a lone striker.

    Aleksandr Samedov, appropriate winger, 33

    Talking to Samedov, you are remaining in no question as to how fired up he is for Russia 2018. He a short while ago declared, with no a trace of hyperbole, that “it’s the major event of my life.” While not assured a starting place at club level, his part for the national team is not able to be overestimated. In excess of the final number of a long time, his output in conditions of goals and assists put together has been greater than anyone else in the squad. The player made his Sbornaya debut in 2011, played at the World Cup throughout Brazil 2014, but has only a short while ago founded himself as an initial-team normal. He has that scarce ability to arrive in the appropriate place at the appropriate time, an excellent that could assist the team to fulfil the anticipations of tens of millions of fans this summertime.

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    2018 FIFA World Cup Russia- The favourites

    With Russia 2018 just days away, it is currently being greatly prompt that this could be the most open up and unpredictable FIFA World Cup in a long time.

    But while there is a prolonged list of possible winners, discussion of pre-match favourites has tended to focus on 4 star-studded sides. With that in the brain and the massive kick-off looming, FIFA.com takes a nearer search at this quartet of leading contenders.

    BRAZIL

    A team transformed below the astute leadership of Tite, Brazil has been the to start with the country – aside from the hosts – to book their place at Russia 2018. The ghosts of 2014 and that 7-1 walloping by Germany have been exorcised by some exceptional performances, like a current 1- win above the world champions in Munich. Gabriel Jesus, the goalscorer in that match, Alisson and Coutinho have also risen to prominence considering the fact that the very last World Cup, and number among numerous exceptional players in a solid, well-well balanced and united Seleção squad.

    Crucial player: Neymar

    There was a collective consumption of breath when Brazil’s talisman endured a season-ending foot personal injury for Paris Saint-Germain in February. But Neymar, who at 26 now has fifty-four goals for his country and is closing in on Romario, Ronaldo and Pele in the all-time list, is now back again in action. His comeback against Croatia, which featured an excellent specific goal, reminded every person of this superb player’s capability for the remarkable.

    Coach’s watch

    “Brazil is a favourite at the World Cup. By the football introduced, the campaign completed, by level, performance as well as results… we are 1 of the groups [who can win the Trophy], sure.”

    FRANCE

    Didier Deschamps comes at Russia 2018 with a squad crammed entire of specific talent. A mere search at their 23-man list, which incorporates names this sort of as Pogba, Griezmann, Mbappe and Dembele, assures a degree of expectation. Need to Deschamps settle on a method that brings out the very best of this stunning array of stars, he could turn out to be just the 3rd man – soon after Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer – to win the Trophy as coach and player.

    Crucial player: Antoine Griezmann

    Superb for the French at UEFA EURO 2016, and the hero once all over again for Atletico Madrid in their current UEFA Europa League last, Griezmann has proved himself to be a man for the massive occasion. Dynamic and fatal, this speedy ahead will all over again be predicted to spearhead Les Bleus’ multi-gifted assault.

    Coach’s watch

    “We have a large amount of ambition but if we search at the other nations, there are two in Europe (Spain and Germany) who are in advance of us, and 1 in South The USA (Brazil).”

    GERMANY

    Retaining the World Cup is notoriously challenging, and no-1 has managed it considering the fact that Brazil in 1962. Germany, on the other hand, gets there at Russia 2018 with a group of players that is arguably even stronger than the 1 that brought them glory 4 many years ago. Their victory at the FIFA Confederations Cup with a youthful squad heralded the arrival of youngsters this sort of as Timo Werner, Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich, all of whom are all set and ready to contribute to the team’s impending title defence.

    Crucial player: Mesut Ozil

    Good on his day, and a stalwart of Low’s Germany, Ozil has been criticised in current many years for his inconsistency for both of those clubs and country. He stays as gifted and inventive as ever, nevertheless, and if the holders are to retain their Trophy, they will have to have their assist king at his creative very best.

    Coach’s watch

    “Germany will be hunted like never ahead of, and near-superhuman forces will be desired if we want to stop up getting world champions all over again.”

    SPAIN

    After early exits at Brazil 2014 and UEFA EURO 2016, Spain has rediscovered their swagger and approach Russia 2018 in wonderful fettle. In mixing heroes of the team that won three successive major titles between 2008 and 2012 with a new technology of exciting players, Julen Lopetegui appears to be like to have found the fantastic blend. Superb showings in qualifying, and against massive-name friendly opponents, have strengthened the belief that this is hungry and hugely gifted Spain facet is all set to go the length.

    Crucial player: David Silva

    However a veteran of well above 100 internationals and a member of Spain’s golden technology, Silva tended to play a supporting job throughout that aforementioned, silverware-laden 4- year time period. Now, aged 32, he is 1 of the team’s undisputed stars, with sparkling performances and five goals throughout qualifying getting cemented the Manchester City hero’s place at the coronary heart of Julen Lopetegui’s designs.

    Coach’s watch

    “You generate the title of the favourite when you win. Spanish football has lived through a remarkable time period in 2008, 2010 and 2012, but soon after that, the team has not found the exact consistency or success. We have the major ambitions but we get there at this World Cup experience humble and seeking to verify ourselves.”

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    MLS stars to watch at the World Cup

    As you might have heard, the U.S. men’s national team will not be taking part in this month’s World Cup, getting by some means unsuccessful to receive the single point expected of it against final-place Trinidad & Tobago this past autumn.

    And even though that will undoubtedly diminish interest from informal American sports fans, close followers of Major League Soccer should really not fret: There is a good deal of intriguing storylines to monitor in the coming weeks.

    Down below are five MLS players to watch when the 2018 World Cup kicks off in Russia on June 14.

    Carlos Vela| Mexico | LAFC

    Vela has been on a tear considering the fact that arriving in MLS before this 12 months, tallying seven goals and five assists in 12 league matches and assisting lead the expansion club toward the prime of the Western Meeting.

    Vela’s expertise has under no circumstances been of concern. Getting received the Golden Boot as Mexico received the title at the 2005 Under-17 World Cup, Vela signed with Arsenal when he was even now in his mid-teens. And if he hasn’t pretty lived up to the early buzz, the 29-year-old has carved out a pleasant career for himself, representing El Tri in La Liga for the better element of this 10 years.

    No, the issue has usually been his emphasis and his total kind. Vela can be inconsistent, able of extensive valleys as properly as brief peaks. Based on how he’s actively playing ideal now with LAFC, though, never be stunned if he sets Group F alight.

    Roman Torres | Defender | Panama | Seattle Sounders

    Torres is a residing folks hero for his club and national groups. Getting netted the penalty that received Seattle’s first MLS Cup in 2016, Torres scored the goal this past Oct that clinched Panama’s first World Cup appearance.

    These feats would’ve been spectacular more than enough for a ahead, enable alone a large, lumbering middle back again. To this day, he swears to his Sounders coaches and teammates that he played as a striker in his youth prior to a teenage growth spurt, but they have under no circumstances been ready to explain to regardless of whether he’s major.

    Laurent Ciman | Defender | Belgium | LAFC

    LAFC’s captain might not have the title recognition of teammates Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku. Scrolling down the listing of club groups represented on Belgium’s roster, his stands out like a sore thumb: Barcelona, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain … Los Angeles? In truth, Ciman is unlikely to see a lot of motion, given the stars in advance of him on the in-depth chart.

    But coach Roberto Martinez trusts him, and he supplies trusted defensive depth, and injuries occur. Even if Ciman struggles to get on the field, he is by far the MLS player likeliest to actually hoist the trophy on July fifteen in Moscow.

    Omar Gaber | Defender/Midfielder | Egypt | LAFC

    If you happen to be seeking for a sleeper to toss your rooting interest behind, Egypt is a great wager — assuming superstar Mohamed Salah recovers from the shoulder injuries he endured in final weekend’s Champions League remaining in time to play. Its team of Uruguay, Russia and Saudi Arabia is manageable, and Salah is a legitimate game-changer.

    Gaber, who performs for former Egypt coach Bob Bradley at LAFC, has earned 22 caps, featured intensely in qualifying and was named to the preliminary squad.

    Rodney Wallace | Midfielder | Costa Rica | New York Town FC

    Wallace is unlikely to have the most important impact on MLS players at this World Cup, but he might be the most uplifting tale.

    Four decades back, he was pressured to watch from his sofa in Portland as Costa Rica turned the underdog darling of the event via its surprising run to the quarterfinals. Wallace experienced wounded his knee actively playing for the Timbers, and even though he was content for his national teammates, he was dismayed to have missed out on his country’s deepest-at any time World Cup run.

    Some players would have been damaged by the put together bodily and psychological toll of that 12 months, but Wallace stayed at it, bouncing from Portland to Portugal to Brazil to New York Town, controlling to maintain himself on Costa Rica’s roster and earning himself a place on the aircraft to Russia.

    “You’ve got acquired to cherish these moments,” Wallace informed in an interview, “simply because you under no circumstances know when a thing could occur.”

    He appreciates that better than anyone, and will hence embrace these impending weeks much more than just about any other player in the event.

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    2018 World Cup – Group A preview: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay & Egypt

    Group A at the 2018 World Cup will function a Russian team on the lookout to stay clear of the shame of an initially-spherical exit, although Egypt will be hopeful of advancing in their initial appearance at the event in almost 3 decades.

    Hosts Russia will open the event and the team with a clash against Saudi Arabia in Moscow on 14 June. Although it is barely the most engaging of opening matches for these a significant event, it is a crucial clash for the Russians, who will need to have a sturdy start off to ease fears that they will stick in the footsteps of South Africa in 2010 and come to be just the 2nd host nation to fall at the initial hurdle.

    South American heavyweights Uruguay appear to be the dominant pressure in the team, with Oscar Tabarez’s facet 2nd to only Brazil in the notoriously complicated CONMEBOL qualifying event. Boasting the likes of Diego Godin, Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, two-time champions ‘La Celeste’ have a very good combination of youth and encounter and ought to have no issues ending in the major two.

    The team most likely to join Uruguay in advancing could properly be Egypt. The North Africans are returning to the World Cup for the initially time since 1990, but they have a talented, multipurpose team and a manager in Hector Cuper whose pragmatism is properly suited to the do-or-die mother nature of event football.

    But the query mark above the fitness of talisman Mohamed Salah is a significant worry, with the Liverpool man in a race against time to be suited for the finals immediately after suffering a severe shoulder personal injury in the UEFA Champions League remaining the final month.

    Saudi Arabia is returning to the World Cup immediately after lacking the final editions in 2010 and 2014, and their reliable displaying in qualifying (they finished runners-up to Asian powerhouses Japan in their team) indicates they are not to be underestimated. The Eco-friendly Falcons are capable of disheartening a lot more talented groups, but they lack the real attacking potency necessary to contend at the maximum amount.

    Group A fixtures (all times CAT)

    14 June 2018, 17h00 – Russia v Saudi Arabia – Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow

    15 June 2018, 14h00 – Egypt v Uruguay – Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg

    19 June 2018, 20h00 – Russia v Egypt – Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg

    20 June 2018, 17h00 – Uruguay v Saudi Arabia – Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don

    25 June 2018, 16h00 – Uruguay v Russia – Cosmos Arena, Samara

    25 June 2018, 16h00 – Saudi Arabia v Egypt – Volgograd Arena, Volgograd

    Group A head-to-heads (as per FIFA stats databases, in reference to ‘home’ team)

    Russia v Saudi Arabia – P1 W0 D0 L1 GF2 GA4

    Egypt v Uruguay – P1 W0 D L1 GF0 GA2

    Russia v Egypt – No preceding matches

    Uruguay v Saudi Arabia – P2 W0 D1 L1 GF3 GA4

    Uruguay v Russia – P8 W1 D2 L5 GF5 GA14

    Saudi Arabia v Egypt – P6 W1 D1 L4 GF7 GA19

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    2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ – News – Vintage Kawashima aims to scale new heights with Japan

    Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima heads to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ with an obvious goal to realise: to make up for their coronary heart-breaking Round-of-16 exit at South Africa 2010.

    8 yrs ago, Kawashima was selected into the Japan squad as a backup to Seigo Narazaki. With the competition kicking off, however, he emerged as the surprise starting off goalkeeper in the choice to the initial-alternative custodian because of to some standout performances in the course of pre-match friendlies. He duly seized the alternatives, excelling throughout as the Samurai Blue progressed from a team which also highlighted the Netherlands, Denmark and Cameroon.

    That marked Japan’s initial development to the knockout phase on foreign soil. Though it is surely an achievement to be happy of, it was their loss against Paraguay in the second spherical meeting that Kawashima nonetheless laments. In simple fact, Kawashima and Co impressed against the South Individuals by keeping them goalless after a hundred and twenty minutes, only to lose out 5-3 in the penalty shoot-out.

    “We have been so unhappy by the result in 2010,” the 35-year-old explained to FIFA.com in a unique interview. “We came so close to achieving the last eight. But in the conclude we skipped the prospect. Hunting back, I believe that some specifics made the difference and made a decision the result.”

    A collection of star players from that 2010 squad, like Kawashima, highlighted for Japan at Brazil 2014 where they failed to progress past the team phase. 4 yrs on, these similar cogs continue being in the skilled core of the recent squad heading to their third FIFA World Cup. Kawashima believes that they will never let the prospect slip away this time all around.

    “The recent team have much more skilled players than before,” he mentioned. “Various of us will play in our third World Cup. Meanwhile, there are a host of younger players who has made rapid progress. These children boast greater self-assurance. So with a mix of skilled veterans and talented youth players, I am self-assured that we are able of building heritage in Russia.”

    Vintage goalkeeper
    Japan will open their Russia 2018 campaign by reacquainting on their own with none other than team favourites Colombia, who dealt them their last blow at Brazil 2014 in a 4-1 defeat. Past them lie encounters with Senegal and Poland. In spite of the overwhelming tasks in advance, Kawashima maintains that they have bought on their own organized to fare far better than 4 yrs ago.

    “I believe this team is huge open and each team have chances of their very own. Our team goals are easy – to concentrate on how to progress to the next spherical. We failed to conduct nicely in the last World Cup in Brazil so we are particularly determined to do our work far better this time,” he extra.

    The common check out is that a goalkeeper’s worth improves in excess of the yrs like a vintage wine. So it is with Kawashima, who stays Japan’s undisputed No1 even, however, he is the oldest member of the squad.

    “I am fortuitous to have contributed to the national team for so numerous yrs. Now I am the oldest of the team. As a veteran, I will consider to direct the team in a good way and to get the finest doable outcomes.”