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Favourites are Struggling after the first round in Russia

It all started with Argentina against Iceland, followed by Germany's against Mexico and Brazil failed to overcome the Swiss challenge.

Last updated: 19.06.2018
Ozil, Neymar, Messi | Sports Social Blog

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All three heavyweights and pre-tournament favourites have struggled in their respective opening matches in Russia. It all started with the Argentina dropping points against Iceland, followed by Germany's shock defeat against Mexico and Brazil failed to overcome the Swiss challenge.

Lionel Messi's missed penalty is the talk of the town among the football fans around the world. However, it is unfair to criticise Messi, we have seen in the past that a lot of great players had missed penalties. It’s a part and parcel of the game. Apart from that missed penalty, Messi had a decent game against Iceland.

Argentina will take on Croatia in their next match on Thursday, going into this match Jorge Sampaoli's side will feel the pressure. Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, and Mario Mandzukic led Croatian side are tough to beat. And having already won their first game, they will go in with a lot of confidence against the Argentines. Ivan Rakitic will definitely pass on some crucial tips to the Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic about his Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi. If Sampaoli's side has to win against the well-organized Croats, they have to play as a team, over dependency on Messi could lead to another debacle for Argentina.


The German camp is in turmoil after their shock defeat against Mexico. They looked out of sorts in their opening match and ran out of steam against the fast-paced Mexicans. Germany will play their next match against Sweden on Saturday. Before this do or die game, Loew's side is facing a stiff challenge from an unseen opponent called criticism. The German's fans are not happy with the team, that was picked by Joachim Loew in their opening game, many felt that Dortmund star Marco Reus should have played from the beginning against Mexico. But all is not lost for Germany as yet if they can fine tune few things, they definitely have it in them to make a comeback in the tournament. Likes of Mesut Ozil, Matt Hummels, Kimmich has to bring their A game against Sweden.

Brazil, on the other hand, started on a positive note against Switzerland, took the lead courtesy Philippe Coutinho's brilliant strick within 20 minutes of the game. But they lost the grip on the match in the 2nd half, as Switzerland scored an equalizer to hold Brazil for a 1-1 draw. Brazil had lost control of the midfield against Switzerland. The absence of Dani Alves was quite evident. All the attack of Brazil came from the left wing as Marcelo created all the moves from the left- hand side of the field. There was a big void on the right wing. Neymar not looked match fit and was holding the ball unnecessarily. He should have passed the ball quickly to his teammates. The Brazilian defender Miranda was out of his position when Zuber scored the equalizer. Tite has to rectify these mistakes of his team before Brazil play their next match against Costa Rica on Friday.

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