Traditionally, the team who defends the title often struggles, but similar to Brazil, German character is remarkable as they just never give up. Germany made it to the Quarter-Finals in previous 16 appearances at the World Cup, and it tells a lot about both their mentality and soccer skills.
The Red Fury has a large base of world-class players, so the new manager Fernando Hierro has plenty of options in his squad. Interestingly, Spain sacked Julen Lopetegui just two days before the opener against Portugal, replacing him with Hierro, so the current situation looks quite turbulent.
The bookies still consider Spain as one of the strongest contenders to win the title, but plenty of bettors and pundits will be skeptical after this affair with Lopetegui who was fired after announcing he will train Real Madrid next season.
If they find the right form in Russia, the Blues should easily reach the Quarter-Finals, but they will need guts for anything more. At the front, Messi will have a support in Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria, and Gonzalo Higuain who are all top-class players, but there are some issues at the back, whilst the lack of creativity in the middle of the park could be an unsolvable problem for Messi and co.
Looking ahead to general election. New Hampshire primary election results. SJC rejects Rick Green's union 'loophole' lawsuit.
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