Brazil | Following the 7-1 drubbing by Germany on their home turf in the 2014 World Cup semi-finals, Brazil have worked hard to lift the dismal mood towards football in the country. They were the first team to qualify for the World Cup with memorable 3-0 wins against arch-rivals Argentina and Chile. With 26-yr old Neymar now at the peak of his powers, this should be an exciting campaign for the Selecao. Germany | It’s difficult to remember the last time current World Champions Germany entered an International tournament without being labelled as favorites. Four time champions and the number one team in the world Germany even won the 2017 Confederations Cup with a second string team and remained unbeaten in all games that year. They secured qualification with 10 wins from 10 games after scoring a European record of 43 goals. Spain | Julen Lopetegui has invigorated a side that was in decline after conquering the World in 2014 and following that up with a second consecutive European championship in 2016. Spain are a side that have never faced a dearth of talent in midfield. This time however they look a much more balanced side with a solid defensive line with the likes of Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique providing cover for David De Gea in goal. The only worry for the ‘La Roja’ is the lack of a robust strike pair with Alvaro Morata failing to impress and Diego Costa only getting back to playing after several months of inactivity. Argentina | While the narrative has mostly revolved around Messi and his return from retirement to guide the team through the qualification stage, yet the current Argentina squad has a rich crop of talented forwards. With the likes of Dybala, Aguero, Higuain and Di Maria up front along with the talismanic Messi, Argentina can be unstoppable on their day. With a shift to a high press tactic, it will be interesting to watch how they face off against teams like Germany which similarly look to apply pressure higher up the pitch. Belgium | For all the talent that the Belgium national team has churned out in the recent past, it has always fallen short of success on the international stage. Belgium boast of likes of the supremely talented Hazard and De Bruyne in the middle of the park with Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku and Micky Batshuayi ready to run at the opposition’s defense in front of them. Even their defense looks solid with players like Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Vincent Kompany providing cover to Thibaut Courtois in goal. We’ll have to wait and watch if Belgium finally out-grow the tag of Dark Horses that has been consistently slapped onto them in recent years. France | In spite of leaving out talented players such as Alexander Lacazette and Anthony Martial, Didier Deschamps was able to name a squad with such depth that a like for like replacement is available in almost every position. With the wealth of talent at his disposal, the only problem for Deschamps is finding a system that he could consistently deploy. After a heart wrenching defeat to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final in front of their home crowds, Les Blues will be hoping to give their fans something more than just a runners up medal to cheer about in Russia. England | The Three Lions have always entered the World Cup with high expectations only to end up disappointing with their uninspired performances. This time however, England come into the tournament with former under-21s manager Gareth Southgate at the helm leading a much younger and hungrier squad. Southgate has made bold moves leaving the likes of Jack Wilshere, Adam Lallana and Joe Hart back in England and backing inexperienced players such as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. With a switch to a back three providing a more solid look to the team, there could be exciting times ahead for the English fans making the trip to Russia.