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Predictions for 2018 World Cup

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It is time to make our 100 percent correct  outrageous predictions for the 2018 World Cup.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Below is a look at how each of our writers thinks the entire tournament will pan out. We encourage you to also have a crack at this in the comments section below.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

We will reset and release our updated predictions for the knockout rounds after the group stage ends, but for now, this is what we we are going with…

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.


JOE PRINCE-WRIGHT

Group A
1. Uruguay
2. Egypt
3. Russia
4. Saudi Arabia

Group B
1. Spain
2. Portugal
3. Morocco
4. Iran

Group C
1. Denmark<
2. France
3. Peru
4. Australia

Group D
1. Argentina
2. Croatia
3. Iceland
4. Nigeria

Group E
1. Brazil
2. Serbia
3. Costa Rica
4. Switzerland

Group F
1. Germany
2. Sweden
3. Mexico
4. South Korea

Group G
1. Belgium
2. England
3. Tunisia
4. Panama

Group H
1. Poland
2. Senegal
3. Colombia
4. Japan

Round of 16
Portugal beat Uruguay
Denmark beat Croatia
Brazil beat Sweden
Senegal beat Belgium
Spain beat Egypt
France beat Argentina
Germany beat Serbia
England beat Poland

Quarterfinals
Portugal beat Denmark
Brazil beat Senegal
Spain beat France
Germany beat England

Semifinals
Brazil beat Portugal
Spain beat Germany

Third-place match
Germany beat Portugal

Final
Brazil to beat Spain


NICK MENDOLA

Group A
1. Uruguay 
2. Russia
3. Egypt
4. Saudi Arabia

Group B

1. Spain
2. Morocco
3. Portugal
4. Iran

Group C

1. France
2. Peru
3. Denmark
4. Australia

Group D

1. Argentina
2. Croatia
3. Nigeria
4. Iceland

Group E

1. Brazil
2. Serbia
3. Costa Rica
4. Switzerland

Group F

1. Germany
2. Mexico
3. South Korea
4. Sweden

Group G

1. Belgium
2. England
3. Tunisia
4. Panama

Group H

1. Senegal
2. Poland
3. Colombia
4. Japan

Round of 16
Morocco beat Uruguay
France beat Croatia
Brazil beat Mexico
Belgium beat Poland
Spain beat Russia
Argentina beat Peru
Germany beat Serbia
Senegal beat England

Quarterfinals
France beat Morocco
Brazil beat Belgium
Spain beat Argentina
Germany beat Senegal

Semifinals
Brazil beat France
Germany beat Spain

Third-place match
Spain beat France

Final
Germany beat Brazil


KYLE BONN

Group A

1. Uruguay
2. Egypt
3. Saudi Arabia
4. Russia
Group B
1. Spain
2. Portugal
3. Morocco
4. Iran
Group C
1. France
2. Peru
3. Denmark
4. Australia
Group D
1. Argentina
2. Nigeria
3. Iceland
4. Croatia
Group E
1. Brazil
2. Switzerland
3. Costa Rica
4. Serbia
Group F
1. Germany
2. Mexico
3. Sweden
4. South Korea
Group G
1. England
2. Belgium
3. Panama
4. Tunisia
Group H
1. Columbia
2. Poland
3. Japan
4. Senegal
Round of 16
Portugal beat Uruguay
France beat Nigeria
Brazil beat Mexico
England beat Poland
Spain beat Egypt
Peru beat Argentina
Germany beat Switzerland
Belgium beat Columbia
Quarterfinals
France beat Portugal
Brazil beat England
Spain beat Peru
Germany beat Belgium
Semifinals
Brazil beat France
Germany beat Spain
Third-place match
Spain beat France
Final
Germany beat Brazil

ANDY EDWARDS

Group A
1. Uruguay
2. Russia
3. Egypt
4. Saudi Arabia

Group B
1. Spain
2. Portugal
3. Iran
4. Morocco

Group C
1. France
2. Peru
3. Denmark
4. Australia

Group D
1. Croatia
2. Argentina
3. Nigeria
4. Iceland

Group E
1. Brazil
2. Switzerland
3. Costa Rica
4. Serbia

Group F
1. Germany
2. Mexico
3. South Korea
4. Sweden

Group G
1. England
2. Belgium
3. Tunisia
4. Panama

Group H

1. Colombia
2. Japan
3. Senegal
4. Poland

Round of 16
Spain beat Russia
France beat Argentina
Croatia beat Peru
Brazil beat Mexico
Germany beat Switzerland
England beat Japan
Belgium beat Colombia

Quarterfinals

France beat Uruguay
Brazil beat England
Spain beat Croatia
Germany beat Belgium

Semifinals
France beat Brazil
Spain beat Germany

Third-place match
Germany beat Brazil

Final
Spain beat France


MATT REED

Group A

1. Uruguay
2. Egypt
3. Russia
4. Saudi Arabia

Group B

1. Spain
2. Portugal
3. Morocco
4. Iran

Group C

1. France
2. Peru
3. Denmark
4. Australia

Group D

1. Argentina
2. Croatia
3. Nigeria
4. Iceland

Group E

1. Brazil
2. Costa Rica
3. Serbia
4. Switzerland

Group F

1. Germany
2. Mexico
3. Sweden
4. South Korea

Group G

1. Belgium
2. England
3. Tunisia
4. Panama

Group H

1. Colombia
2. Senegal
3. Poland
4. Japan

Round of 16
Portugal beat Uruguay
France beat Croatia
Brazil beat Mexico
Belgium beat Senegal
Spain beat Egypt
Argentina beat Peru
Germany beat Costa Rica
Colombia beat England

Quarterfinals
Spain beat Argentina
Germany beat Colombia
France beat Portugal
Belgium beat Brazil

Semifinals
Spain defeats Germany
Belgium defeats France

Third-place match
France defeats Germany

Final
Spain defeats Belgium


DAN KARELL

Group A

1. Uruguay
2. Egypt

3. Russia
4. Saudi Arabia

Group B

1. Spain
2. Morocco
3. Portugal
4. Iran

Group C

1. France
2. Peru
3. Denmark
4. Australia

Group D

1. Croatia
2. Nigeria
3. Argentina
4. Iceland

Group E

1. Brazil
2. Costa Rica
3. Switzerland
4. Serbia

Group F

1. Germany
2. Mexico
3. Sweden
4. South Korea

Group G

1. Belgium
2. England
3. Panama
4. Tunisia

Group H

1. Colombia
2. Poland
3. Senegal
4. Japan

Round of 16
Uruguay beat Morocco
France beat Nigeria
Brazil beat Mexico
Belgium beat Poland
Spain beat Egypt
Croatia beat Denmark
Germany beat Costa Rica
England beat Colombia

Quarterfinals
Uruguay beat France
Brazil beat Belgium
Spain beat Croatia
Germany beat England

Semifinals
Brazil beat Uruguay
Germany beat Spain

Third-place match
Spain beat Uruguay

Final
Brazil beat Germany

Report: Newcastle activates $12m release clause of ex-Arsenal youth

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Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.

The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.

Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.

Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.

Like the move for Newcastle?

Lukaku pens inspiring post on hard-scrabble upbringing

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Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has an inspiring and emotional post in The Players’ Tribune which tugs at the heart strings and explains his competitive fire.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Lukaku talks about how his family’s poverty caused him to become a fierce competitor in the hopes of meeting his dreams head-on and providing for his family.

The Belgian, 25, scored twice in his side’s 3-0 World Cup-opening win over Panama earlier this week, and is now far removed from his youth, but he tells his story as if it lives fresh in his mind.

From The Players’ Tribune:

There were even times when my mum had to “borrow” bread from the bakery down the street. The bakers knew me and my little brother, so they’d let her take a loaf of bread on Monday and pay them back on Friday.

Lukaku also talks about racism in football, his debut for Anderlecht, and that aforementioned competitive drive. It’s 100 percent worth the read.

West Ham signs club record center back from Toulouse

whufc.com
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West Ham has reportedly set a club record with its latest signing under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Issa Diop is the player, the 21-year-old Toulouse captain and center back costing the Irons around $29 million.

[ MORE: Arsenal signs Leno ]

Diop scored three goals with an assist and eight yellow cards in 31 Ligue 1 matches this season, giving the young defender 95 apps, six goals, three assists, and 23 yellows since debuting with the senior team at 18.

Capped by France at every level below the senior team, Diop’s 2.2 interceptions per game ranked sixth in Ligue 1.

Toulose finished 18th in Ligue 1, but won its promotion/relegation playoff to stay in the French top flight.

From WHUFC.com:

“I am very happy to sign for such a historic, English club, and I hope to show my best here. I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”

Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show: Episode 3

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In the third episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England pulls out a massive win while VAR finds its way into the World Cup spotlight.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

There will be plenty more to come over the next few weeks, with the show coming via the Men In Blazers.

Click play on the video above to watch the first episode in full.