The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will be the 21st FIFA World Cup!

 

 

32 teams will be competing in this tournament to get their hand on this coveted trophy. It is scheduled to take place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018. For detailed schedule click here.

 

 

The 32 teams are divided into 8 groups of 4 each.

Group A :

Uruguay and Egypt are the favourites to progress from Group A. But hosts Russia will certainly not give up easily and Saudi Arabia can always pull off a surprise or two. That makes for a fascinating contest.

 

  • RUSSIA

Russia, automatic qualifiers by the virtue of being the host nation, are 70th on the Fifa rankings. They are not really expected to create ripples in this edition of the worls cup.

Squad – Igor Akinfeev, Vladimir Gabulov, Andrey Lunev; Sergei Ignashevich, Mario Fernandes, Vladimir Granat, Fyodor Kudryashov, Andrei Semyonov, Igor Smolnikov, Ilya Kutepov, Aleksandr Yerokhin, Yuri Zhirkov, Daler Kuzyaev, Aleksandr Golovin, Alan Dzagoev, Roman Zobnin, Aleksandr Samedov, Yuri Gazinsky, Anton Miranchuk, Denis Cheryshev, Artyom Dzyuba, Aleksei Miranchuk, Fyodor Smolov.

Coach – Stanislav Cherchesov

Player to watch out for

Best finish – Semi finals 1996

2014 result – Group Stage

 

 

  • EGYPT

Egypt have appeared in only two World Cups till date – 1934 and 1990 – and have never won a match in this tournament. But this time with Mohammed Salah and a strong defensive line they have a great chance to turn the statistics.

Squad – Essam El Hadary, Mohamed El-Shennawy, Sherif Ekramy; Ahmed Fathi, Abdallah Said, Saad Samir, Ayman Ashraf, Mohamed Abdel-Shafy, Ahmed Hegazi, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Elmohamady, Omar Gaber; Tarek Hamed, Mahmoud Shikabala, Sam Morsy, Mohamed Elneny, Mahmoud Kahraba, Ramadan Sobhi, Trezeguet, Amr Warda; Marwan Mohsen, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Elwensh.

Coach – Hector Cuper

Player to watch out for –

Best Finish – Group stage : 1934 and 1990

2014 result – Did not qualify

 

 

  • URUGUAY

Uruguay are two time world champions, but their last triumph came a long time back in 1950.

Squad – Fernando Muslera, Martin Silva, Martin Campana, Diego Godin, Sebastian Coates, Jose Maria Gimenez, Maximiliano Pereira, Gaston Silva, Martin Caceres, Guillermo Varela, Nahitan Nandez, Lucas Torreira, Matias Vecino, Rodrigo Bentancur, Carlos Sanchez, Giorgian De Arrascaeta, Diego Laxalt, Cristian Rodriguez, Jonathan Urretaviscaya, Cristhian Stuani, Maximiliano Gomez, Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez

Coach – Oscar Tabarez

Player to watch out for –

Best Finish – Champions : 1930 and 1950

2014 result – Round of 16

 

 

  • SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia reached Russia 2018, to qualify for their fifth FIFA World Cup and first since Germany 2006. They are on 67 FIFA Ranking position.

Squad – Mohammed Al-Owais, Yasser Al-Musailem, Abdullah Al-Mayuf; Mansoor Al-Harbi, Yasser Al-Shahrani, Mohammed Al-Burayk, Motaz Hawsawi, Osama Hawsawi, Ali Al-Bulaihi, Omar Othman; Abdullah Alkhaibari, Abdulmalek Alkhaibri, Abdullah Otayf, Taiseer Al-Jassam, Hussain Al-Moqahwi, Salman Al-Faraj, Mohamed Kanno, Hatan Bahbir, Salem Al-Dawsari, Yahia Al-Shehri; Fahad Al-Muwallad, Mohammad Al-Sahlawi, Muhannad Assiri

Coach – Juan Antonio Pizzi

Player to watch out for –

Best Finish – Round of 16 : 1994

2014 result – Did not qualify

 

 

 

Group B :

Powerhouse Spain are set to test European champions Portugal’s grit as the two fight for dominance in Group B. Morroco, back in the World Cup after 20 years, will also leave their mark, while Iran are determined to do better.

 

 

  • PORTUGAL

Portugal head to Russia as the European champions. There is little doubt that captain and tailsman Cristiano Ronaldo is eager for his team to follow in the footsteps of neighbours Spain by winning two consecutive major tournaments.

Squad – Anthony Lopes, Beto, Rui Patricio, Bruno Alves, Cedric Soares, Jose Fonte, Mario Rui, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, Ricardo Pereira, Ruben Dias, Adrien Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Mario, Joao Moutinho, Manuel Fernandes, William Carvalho, Andre Silva, Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gelson Martins, Goncalo Guedes, Ricardo Quaresma

Coach – Fernando Santos

Player to watch out for – 

Best Finish – Third 1996

2014 result – Group Stage

 

 

  • SPAIN

La Roja are still a force to reckon with, despite their dismissal shows in Brazil 2014 and France 2016. And they look good enough this time to land their hand on the trophy once again.

Squad – David de Gea, Pepe Reina, Kepa Arrizabalaga; Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Cesar Azpilicueta, Jordi Alba, Nacho Monreal; Sergio Busquets, Saul Niquez, Koke, Thiago Alcantara, Andres Iniesta, David Silva; Isco, Marcio Asensio, Lucas Vazquez, Iago Aspas, Rodrigo, Diego Costa

Coach – Julen Lopetegui

Player to watch out for –

Best Finish – Champions 2010

2014 result – Group Stage

 

 

  • IRAN

Iran was the first team to qualify from Asia. They were unbeaten in 18 matches in the two qualifying rounds.

Squad – Alireza Beiranvand, Rashid Mazaheri, Amir Abedzadeh; Ramin Rezaeian, Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh, Morteza Pouraliganji, Pejman Montazeri, Seyed Majid Hosseini, Milad Mohammadi, Roozbeh Cheshmi; Saeid Ezatolahi, Masoud Shojaei, Saman Ghoddos, Mehdi Torabi, Ashkan Dejagah, Omid Ebrahimi, Ehsan Hajsafi, Vahid Amiri; Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Karim Ansarifard, Mahdi Taremi, Sardar Azmoun, Reza Ghoochannejhad

Coach – Carlos Queiroz

Player to watch out for –

Best Finish – Group stage : 1978, 1998, 2006, 2014

2014 result – Group stage

 

 

  • MOROCCO

The Atlas Lions are roaring again. After 20 years the African nation is back again with a team high on defensive abilities.

Squad – Mounir El Kajoui, Yassine Bounou, Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti, Mehdi Benatia, Romain Saiss, Manuel Da Costa, Badr Benoun, Nabil Dirar, Achraf Hakimi, Hamza Mendyl; M’bark Boussoufa, Karim El Ahmadi, Youssef Ait Bennasser, Sofyan Amrabat, Younes Belhanda, Faycal Fajr, Amine Harit; Khalid Boutaib, Aziz Bouhaddouz, Ayoub El Kaabi, Nordin Amrabat, Mehdi Carcela, Hakim Ziyech

Coach – Herve Renard

Player to watch out for –

Best Finish – Second round 1986

2014 result – Did not qualify

 

 

 

Group C :

The ambitious French would be aiming high this time with a young and immensely talented team. But Denmark, Australia and Peru can never be underestimated and thus fierce contests are expected in Group C.

 

  • FRANCE

France are a young and vibrant side packed with some promising players.

Squad – Alphonse Areola, Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda; Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe, Benjamin Mendy, Benjamin Pavard, Adil Rami, Djibril Sidibe, Samuel Umtiti, Raphael Varane; N’Golo Kante, Blaise Matuidi, Steven N’Zonzi, Paul Pogba, Corentin Tolisso, Ousmane Dembele, Nabil Fekir; Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Thomas Lemar, Kylian Mbappe, Florian Thauvin

Coach – Didier Deschamps

Player to watch out for –

Best finish – Champions 1998

2014 result – Quarter finals

 

 

  • DENMARK

Not only did a World Cup qualifying campaign end successfully for Denmark for the 1st time since 2010 but the public fell in love with the team.

Squad – Kasper Schmeichel, Jonas Lossl, Frederik Ronow; Simon Kjaer, Andreas Christensen, Mathias Jorgensen, Jannik Vestergaard, Henrik Dalsgaard, Jens Stryger, Jonas Knudsen; William Kvist, Thomas Delaney, Lukas Lerager, Lasse Schone, Christian Eriksen, Michael Krohn-Dehli; Pione Sisto, Martin Braithwaite, Andreas Cornelius, Viktor Fischer, Yussuf Poulsen, Nicolai Jorgensen, Kasper Dolberg

Coach – Age Hareide

Player to watch out for –

Best finish – Quarter finals 1998

2014 result – Did not qualify

 

 

  • AUSTRALIA

Australia will be in the World Cup final rounds for the 5th time in their history.

Squad – rad Jones, Mat Ryan, Danny Vukovic; Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Matthew Jurman, James Meredith, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury; Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, Robbie Kruse, Massimo Luongo, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic; Daniel Arzani, Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric, Mathew Leckie, Andrew Nabbout, Dimitri Petratos, Jamie Maclaren

Coach – Bert van Marwjik

Player to watch out for –

Best finish – Round of 16 : 2006

2014 result – Group Stage

 

 

  • PERU

Peru is back in the World Cup after 36 years. Short passes and possession are part of the football DNA of Peru again.

Squad – Carlos Caceda, Jose Carvallo, Pedro Gallese, Luis Advincula, Pedro Aquino, Miguel Araujo, Andre Carrillo, Wilder Cartagena, Aldo Corzo, Christian Cueva, Jefferson Farfan, Edison Flores, Paolo Hurtado, Nilson Loyola, Andy Polo, Christian Ramos, Alberto Rodriguez, Raul Ruidiaz, Anderson Santamaria, Renato Tapia, Miguel Trauco, Yoshimar Yotun, Paolo Guerrero

Coach – Ricardo Gareca

Player to watch out for –

Best finish – Quarter finals 1970

2014 result – Did not qualify

 

 

 

Group D :

Argentina will love to believe that as long as you have the best player in the world, you have a chance. They have Lionel Messi, for whom this might be the last World Cup. Croatia are also pretty sure to qualify for the next round. But Iceland and Nigeria will give them a tough fight.

 

  • ARGENTINA

Argentina made it to the World Cup at the last moment and for Lionel Messi – the captain and the main reason they reached Russia – it is also a pretty much case of now or never.

Squad – Nahuel Guzmán, Willy Caballero, Franco Armani; Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi, Federico Fazio, Nicolas Tagliafico, Marcos Rojo, Marcos Acuna, Cristian Ansaldi, Eduardo Salvio; Javier Mascherano, Angel Di Maria, Ever Banega, Lucas Biglia, Manuel Lanzini, Gio Lo Celso, Maximiliano Meza; Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Cristian Pavon

Coach – Jorge Sampaoli

Player to watch out for –

Best finish – Champions : 1978 and 1986

2014 result – Runners up

 

 

  • CROATIA

Luka Modric is 32 and most of the other likely starters are 29 and older. So this tournament may well be the last realistic shot at something big for this extraordinary generation.

Squad – Danijel Subasic, Lovre Kalinic, Dominik Livakovic; Vedran Corluka, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic, Dejan Lovren, Sime Vrsaljko, Josip Pivaric, Tin Jedvaj, Duje Caleta-Car; Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mateo Kovacic, Milan Badelj, Marcelo Brozovic, Filip Bradaric; Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Nikola Kalinic, Andrej Kramaric, Marko Pjaca, Ante Rebic

Coach – Zlatko Dalic

Player to watch out for –

Best finish – Third 1998

2014 result – Group stage

 

 

  • ICELAND

Iceland are the smallest nation to qualify. And this is their DEBUTANT year in the World Cup.

Squad – Hannes Thor Halldorsson, Runar Alex Runarsson, Frederik Schram; Kari Arnason, Ari Freyr Skulason, Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Sverrir Ingi Ingason, Hordur Magnusson, Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson; Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Arnor Ingvi Traustason, Emil Hallfredsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Olafur Ingi Skulason, Rurik Gislason, Samuel Fridjonsson, Aron Gunnarsson; Alfred Finnbogason, Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Albert Gudmundsson

Coach – Heimir Hallgrimsson

Player to watch out for –

DEBUTANTS

 

 

  • NIGERIA

The first side from Africa to reach Russia 2018, Nigeria continue their impressive run of appearances at the finals.

Squad – Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi, Francis Uzoho; William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo, Bryan Idowu, Chidozie Awaziem, Abdullahi Shehu, Elderson Echiejile, Tyronne Ebuehi; John Obi Mikel, Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Joel Obi; Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Simeon Nwankwo.

Coach – Gernot Rohr

Player to watch out for –

Best finish – Round of 16 : 1994, 1998 and 2014

2014 result – Round of 16

 

 

 

Group E :

Brazil’s young team has quality and balance and will be aiming for their 6th title. But the road to glory isn’t easy and Switzerland, Serbia and Costa Rica would love to make it even tougher. A tantalising battle is on the cards.

 

  • BRAZIL

Brazil’s worldwide fame in football is not really misplaced when one looks at their incredible World Cup history. The only team to appear in each edition and champions five times, Brazil epitomises the ‘jogo bonito’ or the ‘beautiful game’. This time they would like to forget their 7-0 humiliating loss in the hand of the eventual champions, Germany in the last World Cup and aim for their 6th title.

Squad – Alisson, Ederson, Cassio; Danilo, Fagner, Marcelo, Filipe Luis, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Miranda, Pedro Geromel; Casemiro, Fernandinho, Paulinho, Fred, Renato Augusto, Philippe Coutinho, Willian, Douglas Costa; Neymar, Taison, Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino

Coach – Tite

Player to watch out for –

Best finish – Champions : 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002

2014 result – Fourth

 

 

  • COSTA RICA

This will be Costa Rica’s 5th World Cup appearance. Brazil 2014 quarter-finalists Costa Rica earned their return thanks to claiming one of the automatic qualifying spots from the CONCACAF region.

Squad – Keylor Navas, Patrick Pemberton, Leonel Moreira, Cristian Gamboa, Ian Smith, Ronald Matarrita, Bryan Oviedo, Oscar Duarte, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Francisco Calvo, Kendall Waston, Johnny Acosta, David Guzman, Yeltsin Tejeda, Celso Borges, Randall Azofeifa, Rodney Wallace, Bryan Ruiz, Daniel Colindres, Christian Bolanos, Johan Venegas, Joel Campbell, Marco Urena

Coach – Oscar Ramirez

Player to watch out for –

Best finish – Quarter finals 2014

2014 result – Quarter finals

 

 

  • SWITZERLAND

Ranked 6th in the world right now, they have appeared in 10 world cups.

Squad – Roman Burki, Yvon Mvogo, Yann Sommer; Manuel Akanji, Johan Djourou, Nico Elvedi, Michael Lang, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Jacques-Francois Moubandje, Ricardo Rodriguez, Fabian Schaer; Valon Behrami, Blerim Dzemaili, Gelson Fernandes, Remo Freuler, Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka, Steven Zuber, Denis Zakaria; Josip Drmic, Breel Embolo, Mario Gavranovic, Haris Seferovic

Coach – Vladimir Petkovic

Player to watch out for –

Best finish – Quarter finals : 1934, 1938 and 1954

2014 result – Round of 16

 

 

  • SERBIA

This is Serbia’s 2nd appearance as an independent nation after 2010. Before they used to play as Serbia and Montenegro state union.

Squad – Vladimir Stojkovic, Predrag Rajkovic, Marko Dmitrovic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Antonio Rukavina, Milan Rodic, Branislav Ivanovic, Uros Spajic, Milos Veljkovic, Dusko Tosic, Nikola Milenkovic; Nemanja Matic, Luka Milivojevic, Marko Grujic, Dusan Tadic, Andrija Zivkovic, Filip Kostic, Nemanja Radonjic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Adem Ljajic; Aleksandar Mitrovic, Aleksandar Prijovic, Luka Jovic

Coach – Mladen Krstajic

Player to watch out for –

Best finish – Fourth : 1930 and 1962

2014 result – Did not qualify

 

 

 

Group F :

Germany, the defending champions, go to Russia as the No. 1 ranked team in the world. Their consistency is legendary and so is their never-say-die attitude. Sweden and Mexico, in all probability will battle to finish second in the group.

 

  • GERMANY

This time the Germans are once again the favourites and many polls resulted in a Germany-Brazil final. Germany have appeared in 18 World Cups and won the title 4 times. No wonder Germany have set their sights firmly on the title defence with Loew saying they will be the hunted ones.

Squad – Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Kevin Trapp; Jerome Boateng, Matthias Ginter, Jonas Hector, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Marvin Plattenhardt, Antonio Rudiger, Niklas Sule; Julian Brandt, Julian Draxler, Mario Gomez, Leon Goretzka, Ilkay Gundogan, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Marco Reus, Sebastian Rudy, Timo Werner

Coach – Joachim Loew

Player to watch out for –

Best Finish – Champions : 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014

2014 result – Champions

 

 

  • SOUTH KOREA

South Korea has featured in every World Cup since 1986. They are Asia’s most successful World Cup nation.

Squad – Kim Seunggyu, Kim Jinhyeon, Cho Hyeonwoo, Kim Younggwon, Jang Hyunsoo, Jeong Seunghyeon, Yun Yeongseon, Oh Bansuk, Kim Minwoo, Park Jooho, Hong Chul, Go Yohan, Lee Yong, Ki Sungyueng, Jeong Wooyoung, Ju Sejong, Koo Jacheol, Lee Jaesung, Lee Seungwoo, Moon Sunmin, Kim Shinwook, Son Heungmin, Hwang Heechan

Coach – Shin Tae-Yong

Player to watch out for –

Best finish – Semi finals 2002

2014 result – Group stage

 

 

  • SWEDEN

Sweden booked their spot at Russia 2018 thanks to a 1-0 aggregate play-off win over Italy, having finished second in Europe’s Group A.

Squad – Robin Olsen, Karl-Johan Johnsson, Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist, Martin Olsson, Ludwig Augustinsson, Filip Helander, Emil Krafth, Pontus Jansson, Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg, Gustav Svensson, Oscar Hiljemark, Viktor Claesson, Marcus Rohden, Jimmy Durmaz, Marcus Berg, John Guidetti, Ola Toivonen, Isaac Kiese Thelin

Coach – Janne Andersson

Player to watch out for –

Best finish – Runners Up 1958

2014 result – Did not qualify

 

 

  • MEXICO

Mexico have been regulars at the World Cup, but always come up just short.

Squad – esus Corona, Alfredo Talavera, Guillermo Ochoa; Hugo Ayala, Carlos Salcedo, Diego Reyes, Miguel Layun, Hector Moreno, Edson Alvarez; Rafael Marquez, Jonathan dos Santos, Marco Fabian, Giovani dos Santos, Hector Herrera, Andres Guardado; Raul Jimenez, Carlos Vela, Javier Hernandez, Jesus Corona, Oribe Peralta, Javier Aquino, Hirving Lozano

Coach – Juan Carlos Osorio

Player to watch out for –

Best finish – Quarter finals : 1970 and 1986

2014 result – Round of 16

 

 

 

Group G :

Belgium and England look set to qualify from this group.

 

  • BELGIUM

They are high in hopes this time with a very young and talented squad. This is their golden generation.

Squad – Koen Casteels, Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet; Toby Alderweireld, Dedryck Boyata, Vincent Kompany, Thomas Meunier, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen; Nacer Chadli, Kevin De Bruyne, Mousa Dembele, Leander Dendoncker, Marouane Fellaini, Youri Tielemans, Axel Witsel; Michy Batshuayi, Yannick Carrasco, Eden Hazard, Thorgan Hazard, Adnan Januzaj, Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens

Coach – Roberto  Martinez

Player to watch out for –

2014 result – Quarter finals

 

 

  • ENGLAND

In reaching Russia 2018, England sealed their spot at their sixth consecutive FIFA World Cup.

Squad – Jack Butland, Nick Pope, Jordan Pickford; Fabian Delph, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill; Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ashley Young, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling; Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford, Danny Welbeck

Coach – Gareth Southgate

Player to watch out for –

2014 result – Group stage

 

 

  • PANAMA

Panama qualified for their first FIFA World Cup with a dramatic 2-1 win over Costa Rica on the final matchday of CONCACAF’s qualifiers.

Squad – Jose Calderon, Jaime Penedo, Alex Rodríguez; Felipe Baloy, Harold Cummings, Eric Davis, Fidel Escobar, Adolfo Machado, Michael Murillo, Luis Ovalle, Roman Torres; Edgar Barcenas, Armando Cooper, Anibal Godoy, Gabriel Gomez, Valentin Pimentel, Alberto Quintero, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Abdiel Arroyo, Ismael Diaz, Blas Perez, Luis Tejada, Gabriel Torres

Coach – Hernan Gomez

Player to watch out for –

DEBUTANTS

 

 

  • TUNISIA

Tunisia booked their return to the FIFA World Cup after a 12-year absence, topping Africa Group A, to head to their fifth edition of the tournament.

Squad – Farouk Ben Mustapha, Moez Hassen, Aymen Mathlouthi, Rami Bedoui, Yohan Benalouane, Syam Ben Youssef, Dylan Bronn, Oussama Haddadi, Ali Maaloul, Yassine Meriah, Hamdi Nagguez, Anice Badri, Mohamed Amine Ben Amor, Ghaylene Chaalali, Ahmed Khalil, Saifeddine Khaoui, Ferjani Sassi, Ellyes Skhiri, Naim Sliti, Bassem Srarfi, Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, Saber Khalifa, Wahbi Khazri

Coach – Nabil Maaloul

Player to watch out for –

2014 result – Did not qualify

 

 

Group H :

Colombia and Poland in all probabilities look to go through but Senegal and Japan would give them a tough test.

 

  • COLOMBIA

They finished fourth in the CONMEBOL standings for Russia 2018 qualifying, reaching the tournament on the final matchday.

Squad – David Ospina, Camilo Vargas, Jose Fernando Cuadrado; Cristian Zapata, Davinson Sanchez, Santiago Arias, Oscar Murillo, Frank Fabra, Johan Mojica, Yerry Mina; Wilmar Barrios, Carlos Sanchez, Jefferson Lerma, Jose Izquierdo, James Rodriguez, Abel Aguilar, Juan Fernando Quintero, Mateus Uribe, Juan Guillermo Cuadrado; Radamel Falcao Garcia, Miguel Borja, Carlos Bacca, Luis Fernando Muriel

Coach – Jose Pekerman

Player to watch out for –

2014 result – Quarter finals

 

 

  • POLAND

Poland booked their return to the World Cup after a 12-year absence, topping European Group E in their final game.

Squad – Bartosz Bialkowski, Lukasz Fabianski, Wojciech Szczesny; Jan Bednarek, Bartosz Bereszynski, Thiago Cionek, Kamil Glik, Artur Jedrzejczyk, Michal Pazdan, Lukasz Piszczek; Jakub Blaszczykowski, Jacek Goralski, Kamil Goricki, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Slawomir Peszko, Maciej Rybus, Piotr Zielinski, Rafal Kurzawa, Karol Linetty; Dawid Kownacki, Robert Lewandowski, Arkadiusz Milik, Lukasz Teodorczyk

Coach – Adam Nawalka

Player to watch out for –

2014 result – Did not qualify

 

 

  • SENEGAL

Senegal booked their return to the FIFA World Cup after a 16-year absence, topping Africa Group D, to head to their second edition of the tournament.

Squad – Abdoulaye Diallo, Khadim Ndiaye, Alfred Gomis, Lamine Gassama, Moussa Wague, Saliou Ciss, Youssouf Sabaly, Kalidou Koulibaly, Salif Sane, Cheikhou Kouyate, Kara Mbodji, Idrisa Gana Gueye, Cheikh Ndoye, Alfred Ndiaye, Pape Alioune Ndiaye, Moussa Sow, Moussa Konate, Diafra Sakho, Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr, Mame Biram Diouf, Mbaye Niang, Diao Keita Balde

Coach – Aliou Cisse

Player to watch out for –

2014 result – Did not qualify

 

 

  • JAPAN

Japan reached Russia 2018 after their 2-0 win against Australia on 31 August 2017, which sealed progression from Asia’s Group B.

Squad – Eiji Kawashima, Masaaki Higashiguchi, Kosuke Nakamura, Yuto Nagatomo, Tomoaki Makino, Maya Yoshida, Hiroki Sakai, Gotoku Sakai, Gen Shoji, Wataru Endo, Naomichi Ueda, Makoto Hasebe, Keisuke Honda, Takashi Inui, Shinji Kagawa, Hotaru Yamaguchi, Genki Haraguchi, Takashi Usami, Gaku Shibasaki, Ryota Oshima, Shinji Okazaki, Yuya Osako, Yoshinori Muto

Coach – Akira Nishino

Player to watch out for –

2014 result – Group stage