FIFA World Cup 2018 is just a few months ago and we couldn’t help but keep our eyes off of the exciting matches that await us at this year’s edition of football’s most prestigious tournament.

With some juggernaut clashes and player vs player duels, it’ll be interesting to see which teams and players turn it up in Russia on the big stage and keeping that in mind, we took the liberty of highlighting and analyzing the prospective top matches for you.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 5 matches to watch out for in the FIFA World Cup 2018 group stage:

1. Portugal vs Spain

We start off with the big boy! The reigning European champions Portugal take on the 2-time European champions and 2010 World Cup winners Spain in the most awaited clash of the FIFA World Cup 2018 group stage.

The teams have been seeded in Group B and it’ll be interesting to see as Portugal will look to settle scores with La Roja after they suffered elimination at the hands of Spain in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and EURO 2012.

But ever since then, Portugal has shown tremendous resilience and it was in 2016 that they conquered Europe and won the EURO 2016.

Spain, on the other hand, had a dismal 2014 World Cup and a mediocre EURO 2016 because of which, they’ll have added motivation to do better in this year’s edition of the FIFA World Cup.

Key Players:

Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Quaresma, Pepe

Spain: Lucas Vasquez, Sergio Ramos, David de Gea

2. Belgium vs England

Another top-drawer clash awaits us in the group stage with Belgium taking on England.

Both the teams haven’t had a lot of luck in FIFA tournaments except England winning the World Cup way back in the 1950’s, which serves as enough motive to succeed for both of them.

Led by the talent of major Premier League superstars, England will rely on their front-man Harry Kane (currently injured but expected to return soon) and midfielder Dele Alli whereas Belgium will rely on the brilliance of their attacking midfielders Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne.

With both the teams playing a largely attacking game, you might just witness a goal-fest in this one. So don’t rule out these underdogs, just yet!

Key Players:

Belgium: Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelo Lukaku

England: Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling

3. Argentina vs Croatia

Argentina will look to emerge as Group D winners if they manage to defeat a feisty Iceland squad and a fiery Croatian side but out of their 2 major challenges, Croatia will prove to be a rather exciting and more of an uphill battle.

With an attacking line-up boasting of some of the finest forwards in the world, Argentina still has nothing to show for it as they’ve bottled 4 major finals of different international tournaments, including the FIFA World Cup 2014 final.

Croatia might be heavily rated as underdogs but with the right tactics and the presence of the world’s best midfielder right now (Luka Modric), they might just give a hard time to Argentina.

Key Players:

Argentina: Lionel Messi, Paolo Dybala, Angel Di Maria

Croatia: Luka Modric, Mario Mandzukic, Mateo Kovacic

4. Poland vs Colombia

Battle of the underdogs? Probably.

James Rodriguez made headlines worldwide after his devastating scoring run at the FIFA World Cup 2014 and he’ll be looking for more than just a Quarter Final appearance at the FIFA World Cup 2018.

What stands in his way and a rather fiery Colombian side with the likes of Radamel Falcao in the attacking line-up is an equally balanced Polish side boosted by the presence of Bayern Munich’s leading scorer this campaign, Robert Lewandowski.

This match could well and truly witness both the squads at their best.

Key Players:

Colombia: James Rodriguez, Radamel Falcao, Carlos Bacca

Poland: Robert Lewandowski, Jakub Błaszczykowski, Łukasz Piszczek

5. Brazil vs Mexico

Not much to say about this one as it can go either way.

Brazil, on their day, is capable of playing some scintillating football and if Mexico can bring their fiery attitude and playing style at the forefront against them, it’ll be an exhilarating clash.

Both these teams will surely look to bring their best form at the FIFA World Cup 2018, especially Brazil who’d want to forget the 7-1 semi-final defeat in the 2014 edition against Germany. Led by Neymar (who has been injured as part of a PSG side that has struggled in Europe but is speculated to return in time for the World Cup), Brazil will yet again to look to add another World Cup trophy to their cabinet.

Flair, style and aggression. It’s gonna be an exciting clash between these 2 teams!

Key players:

Brazil: Neymar, Casemiro, Marcelo

Mexico: Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, Guillermo Ochoa, Andrés Guardado

Think you can add more to this article? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: ForbesFirst Post + more

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