World Cup Energy Rankings: France nonetheless appears like group to beat

We’re midway by means of Matchday 1 on the World Cup and some groups already appear to be sure-fire contenders for the title. 

Alexi Lalas ranked his top-10 groups of the match to date — this is who made the lower.

10. Denmark

Denmark did not begin have the begin to the match many thought it could, but it surely’s too early to say it is not a contender. A positive outcome in opposition to France on Saturday (11 a.m. ET on FS1 and the FOX Sports activities app) would put it proper again into the dark-horse dialog.

[Related: 3 takeaways from Denmark’s scoreless draw with Tunisia]

9. Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo would be the discuss of the Portuguese males’s nationwide group till he retires from worldwide soccer. So long as Portugal can preserve its give attention to the pitch, it will likely be a risk within the match, with or with out its star man.

8. Spain

Spain possible will not be true contenders till 2026, however its ceiling is as excessive as any group within the match with FC Barcelona stars Gavi, Pedri, Alejandro Balde and Ansu Fati main the cost for the brand new era. Plus, when Luis Enrique is on the sideline and managing the sport, something is feasible.

7. Germany

Even with the absence of key gamers similar to Marco Reus and Timo Werner, Germany has the standard and expertise to make its match extra memorable than it was in 2018, when it was knocked out within the group stage.

6. Netherlands

The Netherlands must be feeling assured after its 2-0 win over Senegal on Monday. Its protection was pretty much as good as marketed, Cody Gakpo lived as much as all of his pre-tournament hype and its path to the knockout stage needs to be clear with the Lions out of the best way.

[Related: 3 takeaways from the Netherlands’ clutch win vs. Senegal]

5. Argentina

Argentina’s worst nightmare got here true when it was upset by 51st-ranked Saudi Arabia on the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday. It is not over for La Albiceleste, although. It has all of the expertise to get six factors in its closing two video games and advance to the knockout stage. Counting Argentina out is counting Lionel Messi out, and that is by no means a good suggestion.

[Must-read: Mighty Messi, Argentina open World Cup with stunning loss, now face uphill climb]

4. England

England dispelled among the issues surrounding its pre-tournament kind with a convincing 6-2 win over Iran on Monday. The query that lingers is whether or not it could actually look as dominant in opposition to the highest groups on the match. Monday’s outcome suggests it could actually.

[Related: England has upper hand in Group B after USA-Wales draw]

3. Belgium

Expertise is not every part on the World Cup, but it surely counts for lots and Belgium has loads of it on its roster to associate with its world-class expertise. It is true the window is closing for its golden era, however for the time being, it is as open as another group’s.

2. Brazil

Brazil has the deepest and most gifted squad on the World Cup, however till it has factors on the board, it is laborious to name them one of the best group on the World Cup.

1. France

The World Cup hangover does not appear to use to France, who beat Australia 4-1 in its group stage opener on Tuesday. Accidents have tried to derail Les Bleus from repeating, but it surely is perhaps too deep and wealthy in expertise — each younger and previous — to matter. Be very cautious of the French.

[Related: Kylian Mbappe sparks France as reigning champs start title defense with rout]

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