Next Year in Moscow

Soccer Confed Cup Russia New Zealand

And so we are here just less than a year fron the Super Bowl of world football-the FIFA World Cup.With the Confederations Cup going on underway in Russia which serves as a general rehersal for next summer’s big event,there are many questions still not solved in the qualifications groups.Only two countries together with the host of the tournament which is Russia have made it to the World Cup.As expected Brazil qualified for its 21st consecutive tournament,a record which no other nation will ever match it and there is Iran which is the first country to qualify from the Asian qualification zone before the final qualifiers in late August and early September which could see the return of Saudi Arabia to the World Cup which was absent from the last two previous tournaments in South Africa and Brazil.The Saudis biggest competitor is Australia which is looking to knockout the Saudis from the 2nd place which leads to an automatic qualification.Both the Green Falcons and the Socceroos will face Japan in the last two matches of the qualifiers.First the Socceroos will go to Tokyo before finishing the qualifications at home against Thailand,while the Green Falcons face their Arab neighbors before closing the qualifications at home against the Blue Samurais.In any ways in the second Asian qualifying group there will be a lot drama until the final whistle blows.Africa has been absent from the World Cup qualifiers played last November,however the end of August and early September are marking for a comeback of the African qualifiers.And someone will not see Moscow when in Group B of the African qualifiers both African powers Nigeria and Cameroon will face one another in Lagos for the crucial qualifiying match which will determine who will go to Moscow and who will stay at home.Meanwhile there is a possibility to see a new debutant in the World Cup with Burkina Faso leading Group D and it would be another sensation that the Stallions make to the first ever World Cup,meanwhile Egypt’s dream of finally making to the World Cup stage for the first time since the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy has been threatened by Uganda which is trying to make an underdog upset.In late August both teams will play a crucial match in Cairo which will determine the fate of the group.In Group A,Congo DR will try to fend off a challenge from Tunisia to make to their first World Cup since the 1974 FIFA World Cup in then Western Germany,they will meet each other in early September in a crucial World Cup match.In Europe there is no clear team which will qualify except for Germany,Switzerland,Poland and Belgium which are marching to Moscow.While with Sweden’s victory against France at home it complicated the situation in Group A where the Oranje,les Blues and the blue-yellows are engaged in a threeway race,the same can be said in Group I where Iceland’s victory over Croatia in Reykjavik it is race wide open where four teams participate and no one has a right make any mistakes while in Group G the only question will be who will between the La Furia Roja and the Azzurri go to Moscow from the automatic spot while who will go to the playoffs and that question might be answered in early September when both teams face each other.The race is also open because there is only a 4 point difference between Colombia which stis on 2nd place and Ecuador which sits at 6th place.But the most notable news is the hiring of Jorge Sampaoli at the bench of Argentina,this round of qualifiers didn’t went as planned for the Albicelestes and changes were necessary in other to avoid a potential nightmare if Messi and rest of the Argentinian team didn’t make to the World Cup next summer,since it would probably represent Messi’s final chance to win a World Cup with his country.The Albicelestes face Uruguay in a very crucial match to avoid the intercontinental playoffs and make their 12t consecutive World Cup.And this is where we stand a year from the Super Bowl of world football with a lot of questions and very few answers which will be more clear in late August and early September as we then say goodbye to the summer season.

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