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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.

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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. Colombia
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 Colombia
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: Borussia Dortmund enters race to sign Hudson-Odoi

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In what could look like a nightmare to Premier League sides, Borussia Dortmund could potentially play next season with two of England’s top young wingers.

[READ: Pogba “happy” at Man United]

After multiple failed attempts to sign Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi on a transfer last summer and in the January transfer window, Bayern Munich now has competition for Hudson-Odoi from Dortmund, according to a report in the Telegraph. With Christian Pulisic heading the opposite direction to Chelsea this summer, Hudson-Odoi could look at Dortmund and feel that his chances for first team minutes are better than at Stamford Bridge.

The 18-year-old, who has been called-up to the current England squad, is yet to start a Premier League match this season. Of course, Hudson-Odoi is behind the likes of Eden Hazard and Willian, who would start ahead of most players. But surely Hudson-Odoi will see how his England teammate Jadon Sancho has made 35 appearances, including starts in the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League.

Sancho has also been subject to huge transfer speculation, especially from Manchester United, which could look to make a big splash this summer under new (or current) management. If he leaves on a $100 million-plus deal, Hudson-Odoi could be Sancho’s replacement as well.

Ultimately, should Hudson-Odoi leave the Premier League, it’s a lost opportunity for both Chelsea and the league to not only develop young players but provide them with playing time, assuming they’re deserving of it from practice.

Watch: A-League referee mic’d up during match

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Soccer around the globe is pretty transparent. We can see with our own eyes goals, fouls and red cards, as well as frame-by-frame slo-mo replays again and again. But the one aspect most people never get to see is about the referee. We never hear what the referee is saying to players, what’s in their mind as they’re consulting with the video assistant referee, or why they decided to make a certain decision. Until now.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

In his final A-League match before moving to England to be in the League Championship pool of referees, Jarred Gillett agreed to be mic’d up by local broadcasters so that fans could hear the game through his senses. The result is an incredible display of communication, knowledge, confidence and refereeing expertise that gives the viewers a new-found respect for referees.

It may not be great in every circumstance, but getting to hear what referees are saying to players or coaches could certainly help endear them to fans and the media, instead of the standard bashing treatment most referees are afforded.

Watch the video below.

Beasley to miss 4-6 weeks with knee injury

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One of Major League Soccer’s elder statesman could have used this injury as a sign it’s time to hang up the boots. Instead, it will just be a brief spell on the sidelines.

DaMarcus Beasley posted a post-operation photo after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, according to the Houston Dynamo. Beasley said “I’ll be back in a flash” in his Instagram post after the surgery. The Dynamo did not specify when Beasley suffered this injury, but the 36-year-old has not played for the club in its first three league matches this season.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

If Beasley returns within the next four to six weeks, it would put his return around the middle to end of April. The Dynamo have a pair of home games at the end of April into May, against the Columbus Crew and FC Dallas, which may be a good time to bring Beasley back.

Sane, Low play down injury fears after horror tackle for Germany

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Leroy Sane suffered a tackle so graphic on video that in most cases would have ended up with a broken leg. Thankfully, Sane says he’s just fine.

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Late in Germany’s 1-1 friendly draw with Serbia on Wednesday evening, Serbia’s Milan Pavkov went over the ball and hit Sane’s leg directly with the studs of his cleats. Pavkov was shown a straight red card and Sane limped off the pitch. However, after the match, Sane assured fans that he’s doing all right.

“The foul looked worse than it was, everything is fine with my ankle,” Sane said after the match. “I’m very happy, we had a few good moves. We had good phases where the final pass was lacking, but I think that will come with time. Everyone could see that we got better and better.”

With the start of Euro 2020 qualifiers ahead and the announcement last month that Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, and Thomas Muller would no longer be with the national team, Joachim Low has started pushing a youth movement in the German National Team. Timo Werner started up top with Sane, 19-year-old Kai Havertz, and 22-year-old Julian Brandt in the three attacking midfield positions.

“It was a vicious foul,” Low said after the match, via Sky Sports. “Sane was lucky and got away with not getting hurt but such fouls can break bones.”

The news about Sane is a huge boost to Manchester City, which is still in the run for the quadruple in England and Europe. Sane will certainly play a big role with Pep Guardiola‘s side down the stretch.