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The giants prone to miss out on 2018 World Cup

Argentina, Ghana, Netherlands & all giants prone to miss Russia 2018

September 6, 2017 By Ali M.
Many big names in Europe, Africa, and South America are struggling to qualify for the upcoming World Cup. We take a look at those nations.

Eight teams have already booked their ticket to the 2018 World Cup –seven, excluding the hosts Russia. The likes of Brazil, Belgium, Japan, Korea Republic, and Mexio have sealed their spots.

However, the same cannot be said for other giants. There are several big names in danger of missing out on the World Cup. Here we take a look at those nations.


Can we imagine a World Cup without Lionel Messi? This could soon become a reality, as disappointing back-to-back draws. The 2014 runners-up are in fifth place, and as things stand, La Albiceleste will earn a spot in the play-offs.

However, the South American powerhouse have shown time and time again that they are overly dependent on La Pulga. A bad game for the Barca star translates into a bad game for the entire nation. As a result, they have only 24 points from 16 qualifiers.

Sampaoli, who faces Peru and Ecuador in their next two qualifiers, is yet to win a competitive game since replacing Edgardo Bauza.


Could we see the two Copa America finalists miss out? Sadly, yes. Back-to-back defeats against Paraguay and Bolivia has seen them drop to sixth. With 23 points, they are a point behind fourth and fifth-placed Peru and Argentina. 

Alexis Sanchez and Co. face Peru in their next qualifier before traveling to Brazil for the final game.


Africa’s giants are fighting for their lives to make the 2018 World Cup. With only two qualifiers remaining, the Black Stars are in third – four points behind leaders Egypt.

Ghana take on Uganda in their next game. Victory would see them move into second, but Salah and Co. must drop points against Congo to push things into the final Matchday. Three more points for Egypt and it’s goodbye for Ghana.


First they failed to qualify for Euro 2016. Missing out on the 2014 World Cup will be a huge embarrassment for the greatest footballing nation to never win the title.

With two games remaining, Arjen Robben and Co. trail leaders France by four points and second-placed Sweden by three. The likeliest option is to snatch second place and earn a play-off. Oranje can pull this off, as they host the Scandinavian side on the final day.


USMNT are one of two powerhouses in CONCACAF – alongside Mexico – but in the qualifiers, they are in fourth. With two wins from only eight games, they have nine points and hold the play-off spot. Honduras, in fifth, are tied on points but trail on goal difference.

Other powerhouses that could miss out on the 2018 World Cup

Wales: Not a powerhouse hearsay, but their golden generation that won everyone’s heart at Euro 2016 could miss out on the next big tournament. They are in second, but may lose the play-off position to Republic of Ireland, who are third and a point behind the Dragons.

Portugal and Italy: Both are destined to earn a spot in the play-offs. Unfortunately, heartbreak might await as they are several other quality second-placed sides.

The big-names already eliminated

Cameroon and Algeria: With three points and one respectively, they will not qualify for Russia. The race in Group B is between leaders Nigeria and Zambia, with the Super Eagles boasting a three-point lead.  



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Group A
Jun 14 11:00amMoscow
Russia vs Saudi Arabia
Jun 15 8:00amYekaterinburg
Egypt vs Uruguay
Jun 19 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
Russia vs Egypt
Jun 20 11:00amRostov-on-Don
Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia
Jun 25 10:00amVolgograd
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt
Jun 25 10:00amSamara
Uruguay vs Russia
Group B
Jun 15 11:00amSaint Petersburg
Morocco vs Iran
Jun 15 2:00pmSochi
Portugal vs Spain
Jun 20 8:00amMoscow
Portugal vs Morocco
Jun 20 2:00pmKazan
Iran vs Spain
Jun 25 2:00pmSaransk
Iran vs Portugal
Jun 25 2:00pmKaliningrad
Spain vs Morocco
Group C
Jun 16 6:00amKazan
France vs Australia
Jun 16 12:00pmSaransk
Peru vs Denmark
Jun 21 8:00amSamara
Denmark vs Australia
Jun 21 11:00amYekaterinburg
France vs Peru
Jun 26 10:00amSochi
Australia vs Peru
Jun 26 10:00amMoscow
Denmark vs France
Group D
Jun 16 9:00amMoscow
Argentina vs Iceland
Jun 16 3:00pmKaliningrad
Croatia vs Nigeria
Jun 21 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
Argentina vs Croatia
Jun 22 11:00amVolgograd
Nigeria vs Iceland
Jun 26 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
Iceland vs Croatia
Jun 26 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
Nigeria vs Argentina
Group E
Jun 17 8:00amSamara
Costa Rica vs Serbia
Jun 17 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
Brazil vs Switzerland
Jun 22 8:00amSaint Petersburg
Brazil vs Costa Rica
Jun 22 2:00pmKaliningrad
Serbia vs Switzerland
Jun 27 2:00pmMoscow
Serbia vs Brazil
Jun 27 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
Switzerland vs Costa Rica
Group F
Jun 17 11:00amMoscow
Germany vs Mexico
Jun 18 8:00amNizhny Novgorod
Sweden vs Korea Republic
Jun 23 11:00amRostov-on-Don
Korea Republic vs Mexico
Jun 23 2:00pmSochi
Germany vs Sweden
Jun 27 10:00amKazan
Korea Republic vs Germany
Jun 27 10:00amYekaterinburg
Mexico vs Sweden
Group G
Jun 18 11:00amSochi
Belgium vs Panama
Jun 18 2:00pmVolgograd
Tunisia vs England
Jun 23 8:00amMoscow
Belgium vs Tunisia
Jun 24 8:00amNizhny Novgorod
England vs Panama
Jun 28 2:00pmKaliningrad
England vs Belgium
Jun 28 2:00pmSaransk
Panama vs Tunisia
Group H
Jun 19 8:00amSaransk
Colombia vs Japan
Jun 19 11:00amMoscow
Poland vs Senegal
Jun 24 11:00amYekaterinburg
Japan vs Senegal
Jun 24 2:00pmKazan
Poland vs Colombia
Jun 28 10:00amVolgograd
Japan vs Poland
Jun 28 10:00amSamara
Senegal vs Colombia
Knockout Stage

Round of 16
Jun 30 10:00amKazan
[1C] vs [2D]
Jun 30 2:00pmSochi
[1A] vs [2B]
Jul 1 10:00amMoscow
[1B] vs [2A]
Jul 1 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
[1D] vs [2C]
Round of 16
Jul 2 10:00amSamara
[1E] vs [2F]
Jul 2 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
[1G] vs [2H]
Jul 3 10:00amSaint Petersburg
[1F] vs [2E]
Jul 3 2:00pmMoscow
[1H] vs [2G]
Quarter Final
Jul 6 10:00amNizhny Novgorod
[W49] vs [W50]
Jul 6 2:00pmKazan
[W53] vs [W54]
Jul 7 10:00amSamara
[W55] vs [W56]
Jul 7 2:00pmSochi
[W51] vs [W52]
Jul 10 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
[W57] vs [W58]
Jul 11 2:00pmMoscow
[W59] vs [W60]
Third place match
Jul 14 10:00amSaint Petersburg
[L61] vs [L62]
Jul 15 11:00amMoscow
Final: FIFA World Cup 2018