Students Voice Their Opinions And Predictions On World Cup Group Stages
After a long series of qualifications for the World Cup, 32 international teams are set up for the group stage. There are eight different groups — Groups A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H — and four teams in each group. Each team is grouped depending on what seed they are ranked and play each other once, which accumulates to three total games. A win is worth three points, a tie is worth one point, and a loss is worth no points. The last game for each group is this week and the two teams with the most points at the end of the group stage advance to the Round of 16.
Group A - The teams in Group A are the Netherlands, Senegal, Qatar, and Ecuador, with the Netherlands predicted to win this group. Currently the standings are the Netherlands in first place with four points, Ecuador in second place with four points, Senegal in third place with three points, and Qatar in fourth place with zero points. Since the Netherlands and Ecuador are tied with four points each, a win from both of them in their final group stage game will send them off to the Round of 16. At 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 29th, Ecuador faces Senegal while the Netherlands are matched with Qatar. Sophomore Jackson Cerniglia-Rapavi said, “I’m rooting for Brazil to win the whole World Cup, but for Group A I would like to see Ecuador go to the round of 16.”
Group B - The teams in Group B are England, USA, Wales, and Iran. England is currently predicted to win this group stage, as they stand in first place with four points. Behind them is Iran with three points, the United States with two points, and, lastly, Wales with one point. Although they are sitting in third place, the United States is the team that is forecasted to go to the Round of 16 with England, not Iran or Wales. Sophomore Jayson Li said, “I honestly think England is going to win Group B because I feel like statistically they are the strongest team in that group. The United States has a bunch of MLS players who are all 20 years old, so I feel like the experience is going to catapult them very far in this tournament.”
Group C - The teams in Group C are Argentina, Mexico, Poland, and Saudi Arabia. From the get-go, Argentina was anticipated to go all the way through in the tournament, and possibly even win the World Cup. However, there was a huge upset in the beginning of the tournament when Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina 2-1. This now leaves Poland in first with four points, Argentina in second with three points, Saudi Arabia in third with three points, and Mexico in fourth with one point. Sophomore Amanda Scaperotta said, “Out of Argentina, Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia, I want Argentina to win because I love [Lionel] Messi and would love to see him go far in this tournament as this might be his last ever World Cup”
Group D - The teams in Group D are France, Denmark, Tunisia, and Australia, with the 2018 reigning World Cup Champions France predicted to win the group stage and be a contender for the finals once again. France is in first place with six points, Australia is in second place with three points, Denmark is in third place with one point, and Tunisia is in fourth place also with one point. Junior Elizabeth DeSantis said, “I think once again France is going to win Group D and continue to advance in the World Cup. They’ve had such a strong team for so long and their games are so exciting because they score so much, so it would be fun to see them go far.”
Group E - The teams in Group E are Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, and Japan, with Germany originally predicted to win but quickly changing once Spain took the field. Spain is in first place with four points, Japan in second with three points, Costa Rica in third with three points, and Germany in dead last with only one point. Junior Abby Rufino said, “It’s so crazy because not only did I want Germany to do well, but I expected them to do better than any other team in Group E. Spain has always had a pretty strong team, but this year they really turned it on and it’s been fun to watch them play. I’m disappointed that Germany didn’t do better.”
Group F - The teams in Group F are Croatia, Morocco, Belgium, and Canada, with Belgium initially thought to win the group stage, but Croatia taking a huge lead. Croatia is in first place with four points, Morocco shockingly in second with also four points, Belgium in third with three points, and Canada in fourth with zero points. Sophomore Anthony Oramas said, “Group F has two really good teams, Croatia and Belgium, so right from the start I thought it was going to come down to those two teams. If I had to pick one I’d probably say that I want Belgium to win because I like one of their players Kevin De Bruyne. He’s also getting a little older so after this World Cup he might only have one left, so I’d like to see him win before his career is over.”
Group G - The teams in Group G are Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, and Cameroon, with the number one team in the world, Brazil, seeking to win Group G. Brazil is in first place with six points, Switzerland is in second with three points, Cameroon is in third with one point, and Serbia is in fourth also with one point. Sophomore Melanie Slattery said, “I think this is one of the most entertaining groups to watch solely for the fact that Brazil is in it. They are such a prolific team and being ranked number one in the world, expected to go very far. I love watching Neymar play and I hope his ankle gets better so he can get the job done in the World Cup.”
Group H - The teams in Group H are Portugal, Ghana, South Korea, and Uruguay, with Uruguay instantly projected to win, but the international powerhouse Portugal quickly taking over. Portugal is in first place with six points, Ghana in second with three points, South Korea in third with one point, and Uruguay in last with one point. Junior Bryanna Martins said, “I’m definitely a bit biased because I’m Portuguese and Ronaldo is my favorite player in the world, but I want Portugal to win. They are such an amazing team and with him being 37, I’d love to see him go out on top with a World Cup championship.”
The group stages will be finalized this Friday and the two teams with the most points from each group will advance to the Round of 16. The teams that win in the Round of 16 will go onto the quarterfinals, then the semi-finals, and lastly the final which dictates the first and second place team, while a game for third and fourth place will also take place on the same day.