From the moment that the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ was made, fans around the globe have been poring over each of the groups and contemplating who might face who in the knockout rounds.
As they will no doubt have noticed there are some classic matches potentially in store from the Round of 16 onwards. Yet though the sport of football continues to develop at pace, it remains as unpredictable as ever. Anything can happen over the course of 90 minutes and nothing can be taken for granted in the group phase, where many a favourite has found themselves struggling just to make it through to the next round. For example, few would have tipped Costa Rica to advance from a Brazil 2014 pool also containing England, Italy and Uruguay. And yet Los Ticos progressed as group winners, while the English and Italians caught the first plane home.