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World Cup 2018; Round 2 Review

World Cup 2018; Round 2 Review

With two weeks gone of this year’s World Cup, the groups have started to take shape and we have a better understanding of who’s likely to progress through to the knockout rounds. With upsets galore and screamers aplenty, it’s been a great couple of weeks to remember. As we approach the third round, it’s worth being reminded of what we’ve seen so far and what’s still to come.

Group A

Source: Telegraph

When the tournament began back on the 14th June, few would have expected Russia to be the joint top scorers after round two. This is the case, however, with two comprehensive victories over Saudi Arabia and Egypt that has seen their knockout qualification secured. Uruguay have also claimed maximum points with two efficient performances, scoring 1 goal in each game including an emotional late header from Jose Gimenez in Round One. Russia and Uruguay must now battle it out for first place in the final Group A fixture

Round 3

Saudi Arabia v Egypt | 25th June | 15:00

Russia v Uruguay | 25th June | 15:00

Group B

Source: Telegraph

A fascinating 3-3 draw between Portugal and Spain kicked off the action in Group B with both teams level on points at the top of the table. Iran find themselves just 1 point behind the two teams and a win against Portugal would see them go through to the knockouts ahead of their European counterparts. Spain, meanwhile, face a slightly easier task as they go up against an already eliminated Morocco side. Nonetheless, Spain must secure a win to ensure progression past the group stage. Round 3 looks to be a tense finale to this competitive group.

Round 3 Fixtures

Iran v Portugal | 25th June | 19:00

Spain v Morocco | 25th June | 19:00

Group C

Source: Telegraph

Group C sees France at the top after two wins from two despite shaky performances that saw them edge past Australia 2-1 and Peru 1-0. Denmark, spearheaded by Christian Eriksen, also look likely to proceed through to the knockouts with the Spurs midfielder instrumental in their first two matches. The top two clash in Round 3 with France’s qualification secured, and a draw enough for Denmark to claim second. A win for Australia against Peru could seem them progress but a negative goal difference may be the cause of their downfall.

Round 3 Fixtures

Australia v Peru | 26th June | 15:00

Denmark v France | 26th June | 15:00

Group D

Source: Telegraph

A major upset in Group D means Argentina sit at the foot of the table off the back of a 3-0 loss to Croatia in Round 2. Their fate rests in their own hands with a win against Nigeria necessary to progress to the knockout rounds. A shock win for Iceland against Croatia could put Messi’s Round of 16 hopes in doubt. With Croatia yet to concede a goal, they’ll head into the knockouts as potential dark horses, having swept aside their opponents thus far.

Round 3 Fixtures

Nigeria v Argentina | 26th June | 19:00

Iceland v Croatia | 26th June | 19:00

Group E

Source: Telegraph

Brazil have seemed to struggle to find top gear in Russia with a 1-1 draw against Switzerland in their opening fixture before leaving it late against Costa Rica. A comprehensive victory against Serbia may well see them top the group but they face stiff competition from Switzerland and a loss will signal a premature end to their World Cup campaign, depending on results elsewhere. Another truly close group with little between the top 3 teams.

Round 3 Fixtures

Switzerland v Costa Rica | 27th June | 19:00

Serbia v Brazil | 27th June | 19:00

Group F

Source: Telegraph

A dramatic Toni Kroos free-kick was enough to keep Germany’s knockout dreams alive as they beat Sweden 2-1. After suffering a shock Round One defeat to group leaders Mexico, Germany must now defeat South Korea and hope Mexico can do the same when they play Sweden. Mexico, meanwhile, have cruised through the group with 22 year old Hirving Lozano the standout player.

Round 3 Fixtures

Mexico v Sweden | 27th June | 15:00

South Korea v Germany | 27th June | 15:00

Group G

Source: Telegraph

Ask any England fan their thoughts on the 2018 World Cup so far and they’ll all tell you the same thing; “Football’s coming home’. Following a nervy last minute victory against Tunisia, the Three Lions produced a merciless performance against Panama firing 6 goals past their North American counterparts. Level on both points and goals with Belgium, Round 3 sets up a exciting battle for first place.

Round 3 Fixtures

England v Belgium | 28th June | 19:00

Panama v Tunisia | 28th June | 19:00

Group H

Source: Telegraph

Two losses from two has seen Lewandowski’s Poland crash out of the tournament early with just one point separating the top 3. Japan look the strongest of the three teams but face serious competition from Colombia and Senegal for the top spot. Japan play Poland whilst Senegal go head to head with Columbia in a perfectly poised final round. It is simply too close to call.

Round 3 Fixtures

Senegal v Columbia | 28th June | 15:00

Japan v Poland | 28th June | 15:00

Make sure you catch all of the Round 3 action live at your local Last Orders pubs!

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