Published: Mon, December 04, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Darrell Mcdonald

Portugal Coach Santos Cautious About Iran, Morocco

Portugal Coach Santos Cautious About Iran, Morocco

Fernando Santos acknowledged European champions Portugal and 2010 World Cup winners Spain assume favouritism in Group B, though he refused to underestimate Morocco and Iran.

A fairly balanced draw left the 6,000 dignitaries assembled at the State Kremlin Arena in Moscow with no standout "group of death" to mull over, although some intriguing matchups do lie ahead once the tournament kicks off next summer.

"Portugal current European champion and with a host of top-level footballers". "Whatever the group, the French team have to qualify for the knockout round and have to finish first in the group", Deschamps told BeIN Sport.

Team Melli, headed by Carlos Queiroz, will be participating in the World Cup for the fifth time but the team have never gotten past the group stage.

Neymar's Brazil meanwhile will have to negotiate a group including Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia as they seek a sixth title.

Ronaldo will be 33 come next year's finals, meaning this will probably be his last shot at World Cup glory.

Ronaldo's battle against Spain and many of his Real Madrid teammates in Sochi on June 15 is mouthwatering to say the least.

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Lionel Messi and his Argentina team which struggled to qualify will play World Cup debutants Iceland as well as a risky Croatia outfit and Nigeria. "They are going to demand the best of us", he added.

Host nation Russian Federation will face Saudi Arabia in the tournament-opening match on June 14 in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. "I hope they avoid each other because it would probably make a good semi or final".

If the allegations have been a negative for Russian Federation, the football squad is likely to be positive with the draw, the host pitted with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay in Group A. Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia were the two lowest ranked nations in the proverbial hats.

With a potent attack featuring teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe and Atletico Madrid hotshot Antoine Griezmann and a midfield stuffed with talent, France should be among the World Cup favourites.

A side that looks like it benefited from an easy group is England, one of only eight countries to have won the World Cup but which bagged its lone title in 1966.

"The majority of their players compete in Europe", Lopetegui said.

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