The World Cup is less than a week away, which means the world will be watching this spectacle. The common favorites (Germany, Spain, Argentina, and Brazil) will be there, but some notable absences (United States, Italy, and the Netherlands) will be felt. Who will make it to the finals and win it all.
Germany has a balanced attack. There isn't a single superstar on the team that stands out. Yet their all-around balance can prove to be a problem for teams considering there's no particular weakness(es) to exploit. If you're looking for a German player to watch, keep an eye on Manuel Neuer. The Golden Glove recipient will be tough for opponents to score on.
If Neymar and Brazil are to win the World Cup, it can't just be Neymar doing the work. Luckily, Brazil will have help in the form of Phillipe Coutinho and will hope Coutinho will be a success in the midfield. The Brazilians are hoping that a new manager (Tite) will bring a change of scenery for the team.
Cristiano Ronaldo will be someone to watch for Portugal. However, he'll be without much of assistance on the team as Portugal will have to rely on Ronaldo's brilliance to get him a World Cup.
Spain will look to rebound after a disappointing 2014 World Cup session. Controlling the pace of play will be key for the Spaniards along with the play of David Silva and recent call-up Alvaro Morata.
Like Germany, Switzerland has a fairly balanced team. Roy Hodgson has turned this team from an anonymous group into a force, propelling them all the way to the top ten in the world rankings. Can the Swiss live up to their ranking when the World Cup rolls around?
You know Argentina for Lionel Messi, but you should know that this may be his last chance at a World Cup. This may also be his best chance yet, for Argentina plays in a fairly favorable group. Argentina is strong at the forward position with the likes of Messi, Sergio Aguero, and Gonzalo Higuain carrying La Albiceleste.
France must not get overconfident in this World Cup. Otherwise, they may suffer a serious letdown this season. Olivier Giroud and the French have to play with a purpose in Russia.
Will this be the year Belgium breaks through? Romelo Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne will try and will the Belgian team to victory. Also watch for Thibaut Courtois in the World Cup; he is one of the more underrated goaltenders the World Cup has to offer.
Other squads to keep an eye on: England, Uruguay, South Korea, Egypt, Croatia, Poland, Mexico.
So who will win it all? I like the balance that Germany carries and Brazil always seems like a threat to go all the way. However, I'm inclined to go with Lionel Messi and Argentina. This has been the one trophy that has eluded Messi for his entire career. He and the Argentinian team will have enough hunger in them to win the World Cup.
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