Rocco Forte Hotels

With the World Cup in full flow in Russia, and the last 16 all but finalised, we’ve made our predictions as to who might clinch the title in 2018. If you didn’t manage to get a ticket to see a match in St Petersburg, you’ll still be able to keep up with all the action with live screenings at our hotels.

The biggest shock of the tournament so far was the exit of Germany—one of the favourites. They had been underperforming for most of 2018 but were beginning to show a little of their old spirit in the warm up games. Sadly, two defeats to Mexico and South Korea saw them book their tickets home.

So, who will win this year?

For the first time in decades, the cup seems to be anyone’s. Brazil struggled through their group, drawing with Switzerland and looking unconvincing against both Serbia and Costa Rica. Argentina only scraped through the group stage courtesy of a late winner from the mercurial Messi, who has been largely anonymous in the tournament so far.

Ronaldo, by contrast, has been scoring freely for Portugal, but the team look like they are struggling and were only able to eke out a draw with Iran. Spain, while remaining undefeated, leaked goals to Portugal and Morocco and had a tense encounter with Iran.

Elsewhere, Croatia and Uruguay are the only teams to have won all three of their matches, showing a kind of cohesion that has been largely absent from the tournament.

England and Belgium have both looked convincing, albeit against weak opposition (Panama and Tunisia). Nevertheless, they both have as good a chance as any.

With a young team led by the prolifically scoring Harry Kane (five in two games so far), England have been playing strong attacking football and creating chances and opportunities at will. However, they might just lack the consistency and experience to win the tournament this year.

Belgium have a strong team with big names like Hazard, Lukaku and De Bruyne, all of which have had an exceptional season in the Premier League in England and have won every one of their group games. France, rather like Belgium, have a team of strong names: Pogba, Griezmann, Mbappe and Dembele, to name a few. But they haven’t looked overly convincing so far in the tournament, and much could depend on the erratic Pogba’s performance on the day.

So, who do we think will win the World Cup? It’s too close to call, but as we have hotels in England and Belgium we will stick with them. If either win, there’s going to be quite a party.

In the heart of St Petersburg on the elegant St Isaac’s Square, the illustrious Hotel Astoria is perfectly positioned to access St Petersburg Stadium, just 20 minutes away. To enquire or make a reservation call  +7 812 494 5757 or email reservations.astoria@roccofortehotels.com

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