Oyibo wall, Jet Li for South Korea and Star Wars at Russia 2018

The Oyibo Wall may be a factor for the Super Eagles
Oluwafemi Balogun

Well it’s no longer breaking news that the World Cup draw has been done unless you are way under a rock. A lot of people really are, though.

My first reaction as a Nigerian was “Argentina again” well Nigeria have played the Albiceleste Five (5) times in (6) World Cups but I will come back to this, first of:

Group A

I consider this one an easy group, I think Egypt one of Africa’s representatives at this year’s World Cup would do well.

Host Russia need Akinfeev, their goalkeeper to just keep a clean sheet, Uruguay needs Suarez back on form quickly and luckily Cavani is scoring goals for PSG, some
might say aging team that’s another story.

For the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia they basically have to enjoy their World Cup experience because they unfortunately find themselves in in a rather not smooth group. Well you expect the host Russia to get to the next round and maybe Uruguay and Egypt
battle for the next slot.

Group B

The opening game of this group will just make you exclaim. Portugal against
Spain not going to be an easy game but I think they will both you qualify
from this group.

Morocco, another representative from Africa I don’t think they would have wanted this group but some people called them the strongest team from Africa going to Russia. Iran “hmm” hope they don’t turn to the weeping boys.

Group C

This one has a mixture of everything including the smallest continent Australia.

The fire powers of France should be too much for the other teams, Peru, Denmark and Australia just have to struggle for who comes second but I’m tipping Peru for greatness as they have a peculiar play pattern similar to every South American team.

Group D
Who can forget the Viking chant of Iceland?

Well I started my analysis with this group. Do Argentina need an introduction? I don’t think so.

They are once again paired with one familiar team in Nigeria and Lionel Messi would want to finally clinch that World Cup Trophy.

For Nigeria there is so much belief among the fans at home that their team can go as far as the semi final round with a young squad, a powerful attack and a famous “oyibo wall” in defence.

Iceland making their World Cup debut would be hoping to bring their Euro Cup success to Russia.

Croatia a team with midfield maestro, Luka Modric and a potent attacking set
up a lot of people expect to cause damage.

Group E
How many goals will Neymar score?

First game sees the Samba boys take on the Swiss National Team and then Costa Rica against Serbia.

Honestly, this group doesn’t excite me as I would have loved stiffer opponents for the Brazilians.

I just keep dreaming about the number of goals Neymar would score.

For the Serbians, familiar weather and faces might be an advantage to them if they can make use of it.

For Costa Rica, I honestly see them taking maybe just a point or two out of this group.

Group F
Sadly, Jet Li will not play for Korea

Germany, Sweden, Mexico and Korea Republic in one group, so how many goals do you think the Machines will score here?

Maybe Klose should be brought back to increase his World Cup tally.

Sweden? Well they stopped Italy from jumping on a plane to Russia so you expect them to make the other teams notice them, right?

So should Zlatan come back? I don’t know, maybe you do. For Mexico first I
want to see the famous Mexican wave and the huge mariachi hats but then the Mexicans are not ticking all the right boxes for me right.

However, we must remember their goal keeper, Ochoa who was rumoured to have six fingers but he didn’t.

It’s another World Cup and he could inspire his compatriots to a round of sixteen stage.

Korea Republic? Yes! Beautiful people and No! Jet Li doesn’t play for them but I expect them to cause an upset in this group.

You can probably call them underdogs and true to it, the Koreans would surprise a lot of
People.

Group G

May the Force be with Tunisia and Panama
The Red Devils of Belgium qualified easily for the World Cup and they will
still easily qualify out of this group.

Apart from the three lions of England, maybe they can win the World Cup this time around.

The three lions are the only tough opposition the Belgians would face. Tunisia and Panama may the force be with them( If you watch Star Wars you will understand).

Group H

This is one group that excites me. Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan play an
exciting brand of football.

Senegal a star studded African team known for its fast paced attackers would need a fully fit Sadio Mane.

Colombia? Remember their last World Cup where James Rodriguez was a shinning light well he could reignite that light for the Colombians.

Japan are no minnows in the Asian continent and will be a hard nut for any team in this group to crack.

Top on the table Poland a high scoring team and no strangers to the big stage, they have quality upfront and well as behind.

Honestly I can’t tell who tops or comes second in this group.

Well, at this point it would be foolhardy to think you can predict who wins the World Cup or who tops each group because surprises are part of the game.


Let us enjoy the banter for the next six months and most of all remember that in Russia, there will be the football, the cold, the fans interaction (thank Goodness England and Russia are not in the same group) and of course a winner eventually.
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