2018 FIFA World Cup starts in Russia on June 14. The first match of the tournament starts at 9 p.m. Baku time tomorrow as the team of Russia will face Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow.
The referee of the match is already known – Argentinean referee Nestor Pitana. A total of 32 teams will compete in the world championship in 8 groups. The key issue in the focus of attention of football fans is about the team that will win the championship this time. World experts concur that the likely winners include the regular frontrunners, such as Germany, Argentina, Brazil, France and Spain.
“Most frequently, if the World Cup is held in Europe, a European country wins the tournament. As an exception, we can cite the championship held in Switzerland, which was won by Brazil. If we take into account this statistics, we may assume that the national team of one of the European countries will become a champion at the tournament in Russia as well. Germany is likely to confirm its title, and France has a strong team this year too. In addition, the Portuguese national team, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, may assert itself as well,” sports commentator Rovshan Binnatli said.
However, an unexpected turn is possible as well. For example, Iceland is taking part in the world championship for the first time this year, having displayed a sensational performance at the European championships in 2016.
“The World Cup is one of the tournaments where surprises can be expected from the teams. For instance, very few people expected Portugal to be the winner in 2016. Something similar may happen at the world championship,” sports commentator Ibrahim Jafarov said.
Among the countries that previously claimed the world title, Italy did not rank in the top 32 teams. Also, Panama will take part in the tournament this year for the first time, just like Iceland.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup final will be played on July 15 this year in Moscow.