By Steve Dellar  |  06-27-2018   World Cup
Photo credit: Fun For Kids

Before the start of the World Cup tournament in Russia some two weeks ago now, there were five teams expected to play for the final win: Spain, Brazil, Argentina, France, and Germany.

As some of those teams have underperformed so far (Germany and Argentina come to mind), the shadow favorites Uruguay, Portugal, England, Belgium and (unlikely but still) Russia look on gleefully given that the current standing means that four of the major five are set to play each other and thus knock two of the five out of the tournament.

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Lionel Messi’s first-half stunner and Marcos Rojo’s goal five minutes before the end means that Argentina is through to the next round, where they’ll meet France in the knock-out game.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Team Soccer AM have predicted the remaining group games at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldCup</a>…<br><br>😳 If England finish 2nd in Group G, this will be our draw!<br><br>🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Football&#39;s coming home! <a href="https://t.co/HtOEdcHgjp">pic.twitter.com/HtOEdcHgjp</a></p>&mdash; Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) <a href="https://twitter.com/SoccerAM/status/1011637492586614785?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 26, 2018</a></blockquote>

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This afternoon Germany takes on an already eliminated South Korea and is dependent on the result coming out of Mexico-Sweden to know whether it will go through. Most pundits don’t doubt that the German machine will roar again and come through in the end. In their knock out game afterward, given that they’ll likely end up second in their group, they are bound to meet Brazil, meaning another final favorite is sure to get knocked out.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Martin Kemp believes England can win the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldCup</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ItsComingHome?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ItsComingHome</a> 🏆🏆 <a href="https://t.co/kiDCPXPNbS">pic.twitter.com/kiDCPXPNbS</a></p>&mdash; Good Morning Britain (@GMB) <a href="https://twitter.com/GMB/status/1011875162981928961?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 27, 2018</a></blockquote>

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England meanwhile has continued to impress. Playing with a very young team they currently have the tournament’s best striker with Harry Kane and have conceded only two goals in two matches, having scored eight.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Ok this will blow your mind! England to win the World Cup? The statistics are lined up perfectly. This is a MUST WATCH!!! ⚽️🏆<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldCupRussia2018?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldCupRussia2018</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/football?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#football</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Martybruce?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Martybruce</a> <a href="https://t.co/QR3dm0cuI9">pic.twitter.com/QR3dm0cuI9</a></p>&mdash; JK (@jkjasonking) <a href="https://twitter.com/jkjasonking/status/1011866558128443392?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 27, 2018</a></blockquote>

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They’ll field a B-team against Belgium tomorrow as both countries know that their result only matters to determine who finishes first in the group. Their next round opponent is called Colombia, Senegal or Japan.

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The British press, which was not expecting anything remarkable from this year’s team before the tournament started (a quarter-final would have been fine) is slowly starting to dream. Could this be the year ‘football comes home.’

Twitter: <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%40TheGoldWaterUS%20%23The100 ">#The100 </a> <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%40TheGoldWaterUS%20%23Crowley ">#Crowley </a> <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%40TheGoldWaterUS%20%23Loveis ">#Loveis </a> <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%40TheGoldWaterUS%20%23Halo2 ">#Halo2 </a> <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%40TheGoldWaterUS%20%23QAnon ">#QAnon </a> <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%40TheGoldWaterUS%20%23JavyBaez ">#JavyBaez </a> <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%40TheGoldWaterUS%20%23Mittromney ">#Mittromney </a> <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%40TheGoldWaterUS%20%23Trump ">#Trump </a>

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