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World Cup 2018: Messi v Ronaldo? Hazard for Neymar? Mr Live Wire looks at Russia draw

Finally, Russia does not have to share a news headline with United States President Donald Trump! The 2018 World Cup is around the corner, is going to be huuuge and Mr Live Wire has got the ‘covfefe.’ Naturally.

Warning: Italy, Netherlands and United States fans, please look away now. (Soca Warriors supporters should be used to this by now—let’s keep it real!)

Photo: United States goalkeeper Tim Howard reaches for the ball in the back of his net during 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Trinidad and Tobago at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 10 October 2017.
Cry me a river, Timmy!
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

First up, there will be no genuine group of death at the Russia tournament—this is, after all, a generation that doesn’t exactly thrive on open confrontation. But there will be some, cough, exotic match-ups and the odd inconvenience when the greatest single sport event on the planet kicks off in Moscow on 14 June, 2018.

Russia lift the curtain on the 2018 edition when they tackle Saudi Arabia on Thursday 14 June. And, to be honest, football fans are probably looking forward to that clash as much as they would a trip to the dentist!

But, on Friday 15 June, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal square off against Sergio Ramos’ Spain in a “battle of the hair gel” and—whoop whoop!—we have lift-off!

KFC Munch Pack

The opening groups are not too taxing—deep breaths for Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar and everyone else with dodgy accountants—but it will get mighty interesting from the quarterfinal round when Argentina, should they advance, will almost certainly be pitted against either Portugal or Spain.

Dammit. Someone please make sure Messi packs his cape!

Photo: Wait… Is the referee photobombing Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo?

Brazil could end up facing Belgium in the quarter-final round too, should both teams top their groups. Will Casemiro turn Eden Hazard into a casserole? Or will Marouane Fellaini use Neymar as a toothpick?

Meanwhile, defending champions Germany could easily advance all the way to the semi-finals without playing anyone more challenging than Colombia. So extra siesta time for Mesut Ozil then… Yeah!

Who is your money on?!

Photo: Spain’s defender Gerard Pique (right) trips Brazil’s forward Neymar during the 2013 Confederations Cup final in Rio de Janeiro.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Christophe Simon)

World Cup groups

Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark

Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

Group F: Germany, Sweden, Mexico, South Korea

Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

Photo: Don’t. Come. Back.
Germany playmaker Mesut Özil (standing) tries to escape a desperate challenge from Austria midfielder Paul Scharner during a Euro 2012 qualifier.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Joe Klamar)

Knock-out stage

[Bracket One]

A1 v B2; C1 v D2

E1 v F2; G1 v H2

[Bracket Two]

B1 v A2; D1 v C2

F1 v E2; H1 v G2

Editor’s Note: Each Bracket represents half of the knockout schedule with the overall winner on each line meeting in the quarter-final. The dominant team from each Bracket meets in the final… Isn’t maths fun?!

Photo: Germany defender and captain Philipp Lahm (second from right, front row) lifts the 2014 World Cup trophy with his teammates.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Fabrice Coffrini)

About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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  1. Lasana, how does Argentina face either Portugal or Spain in the second round? You mean the quarter finals!

  2. I now starting to enjoy the thing and it finish yes. Lmao

  3. This is the real Group of Death. Everybody in it dead already. Lol

  4. ..Steups. At the end of the day, if you want to win ANY World Cup you have to beat The Gods of Thunder. O Brasil!!..

  5. Hannibal Najjar

    Belgium ought to be a serious contender. Germany is always a beast. Brazil is always my heart and soul horse and the talent, last Olympic’s win, Neymar’s youth tied to his maturity and very sizable experience – I am pleased for a great chance this go-around. Argentina has a dead focused Messi who has to leave his best-ever player legacy with a WC gold-place. Portugal is a good, top second tier contender.

  6. Lasana,I like this article ,especially when you said Ronaldo vs Ramos ,The battle of the hair gel lol

  7. Terence William Fenwick, you have faith in Southgate’s boys?

  8. There are some groups which are tougher than others but then football can be unpredictable sometimes. Who knows?

  9. Group B only has 2 teams? 🙂 🙂

  10. I think Groups D (ARG, ICE, CRO, and NIG) and F (GER, MEX, SWE, and KR) are two very tricky groups. We’ll likely see some upsets coming from these two groups. And we are guaranteed to see upsets in any group that England is in. England – the perennial chokers:-)

  11. Perfect, England & Belgium 1 & 2 in Group ‘G’ and don’t meet each other again until the FINAL!

  12. At this stage in terms of current strength I’d put Germany and France in my first tier, closely followed by Spain and Brazil. Then comes the team which shall peak at the right time…Argentina.

  13. I hope Sweden put a good cuta$$ on Brazil
    (runs away)

  14. Once you have Messi, you have a ticket. Not so Amery and Brian? Lol. Who’re you supporting Mel?

  15. You putting shitty Spain over Les bleus

  16. Germany and Spain with Poland as a dark horse…they have a suckeye group to advance from and could build some momentum.