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Thread: 2018.....World Cup.

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    Defending champs with a run through.

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    Gotta give the best dressed award to the Nigerians.

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    The stars of the 32 teams.

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    Welcome England.

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    Here we go.

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    Paul Mariner gives his predictions for 2018 World Cup.

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    Live It Up (Official Video) - Nicky Jam feat. Will Smith & Era Istrefi (2018 FIFA World Cup Russia)

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    for some reason i really get into the world cup every time it happens... other than that i dont watch a minute of soccer again for 4 years... I see USA aint in it this year, guess im rooting for england or mexico .. do they have a shot ?
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    I'll do a preview for every team.

    Later on
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    Russia


    Ilya Sokolov
    Moscow can... surprise you every day. Itís an ideal city for sports fans as it has 11 professional football teams and four in the Russian Premier League. Expectations are pretty low for the hosts. Fans donít consider Stanislav Cherchesov a good coach and we are worried about Russiaís inexperienced defence.

    Russia will... qualify from the group. But only if Cherchesov finds a way to get the best from a talented squad and understands how to defend without the retired Berezutski brothers. If Russia can avoid Spain in the first knockout match, there is a chance we can go even further.

    Keep an eye out for... Alexey Miranchuk, an intelligent player who can create the moments that matter. Striker Fyodor Smolov could have a decent tournament too. He wants to leave Krasnodar and move abroad, so he needs good performances this summer.
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    Egypt


    Ahmed Aly
    The general mood is... one of excitement. Egypt haven’t been at a World Cupsince 1990, so we seem to have forgotten how to celebrate qualification. The streets are draped in red, white and black, and everyone has now become a football analyst. We should just be happy we are at the party.

    Egypt is... not Liverpool. Mo Salah reached the final of one major tournament this year, but no one seriously expects him to reach another. We just want to see our team play exciting football as representatives of Africa. I would be content if we can get out of the group.

    Look out for... Ahmed Hegazi and Ramadan Sobhi. Relegated with West Brom and Stoke this season, they will be keen to redeem themselves on the international stage. Legendary 45-year-old goalkeeper Essam El Hadari will hopefully fulfil his dream of captaining Egypt in a World Cup.
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    Uruguay




    Natalia, her son Mateo and Edinson Cavani.
    The country’s emotional state is... euphoric and anxious. Great things are expected. Businesses around Montevideo have decorated their offices in light blue colours and there are World Cup sweepstakes taking place everywhere.

    Uruguay has... A good chance. There’s a healthy mix of experienced professionals and promising young talents. Luis SuŠrez and Edinson Cavani carry most of the weight of expectation but we have a very united team and the country has a lot of faith in them.

    When I was younger... I promised myself that if I ever had a daughter, I would name her Celeste in honour of the national team. Last year Micaela Celeste was born.
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    Saudi Arabia




    Sarah Algashgari Photograph: Sarah Algashgari/Twitter
    Allowing us to watch football was... about women finally achieving one of their demands. Next up we’ll be able to drive. It’s so amazing to finally see all this empowerment for girls in Saudi Arabia.

    The country is... very excited about taking part in the World Cup again. Twelve years is a long time to wait for another chance.

    The Saudi player I’m most excited by is... all of them. We don’t have any star players and go into the tournament with a group mentality. This unity will be the key if we are to go through.

    Saudi Arabia should be targeting... the heroics of USA 94. Reaching the second round in our first World Cup was incredible. The three group-stage exits that followed were so disappointing in comparison.
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    Iran


    Payam Kalantar
    The World Cup... means a lot to us. We have a large population with a strong sense of identity and history, but as a footballing nation we are still relatively inexperienced. Young Iranians feel oppressed and isolated at home, while also constantly misunderstood and stereotyped around the world. Cheering on “Team Melli” is an opportunity to express ourselves.

    We will... go past our group for the first time. The superb talents of Sardar Azmoun, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Saman Ghoddos and Masoud Shojaei should give us a chance. It’s hard to look beyond the 2-1 win over USA at France 98 as my favourite World Cup memory. There aren’t that many to choose from.
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    Morocco

    The last time we qualified... I was 10 years old. Back in 1998 we were so close to progressing to the last 16, but Brazil somehow lost to Norway.

    I fancy our chances... against Portugal and Iran but Spain will be on their own planet. Making it out of the group would be a huge success, but not much of a surprise.

    Our key player will be... Hakim Ziyech, an attacking midfielder who plays for Ajax.
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