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Friday's clash between the two Iberian nations in Sochi should be one of the highlight clashes of the group stage and is likely to determine who finishes top of Group B.

EA Sports recently predicted that France will beat Germany 4-3 on penalties in the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, however. In 1994 World Cup hosted by the US, Saudi Arabia reached round 16.

Before the tournament starts, Federation Internationale de Football Association will be deciding the host of the 2026 World Cup.

The nation was scarred, at their lowest point and forced to rebuild once again in sight of Russian Federation 2018. They have created an incredible duopoly on top of the football world, sharing the last 10 Ballon d'Or awards among them (5 apiece).

Qatar is building eight stadiums to host the Middle East's first World Cup and 12-14 venues would be required to accommodate 48 teams. "The FIFA administration will discuss with the hosts and then we will see. Although he deserves to win the World Cup I want Brazil to win it", he conceded with a smile.

Yet, the 57-year-old coach remains little-known outside his own country where he has spent almost entire career, coaching more than 10 teams, and including three stints at Corinthians where he made his name.

Looking at our seven remaining sides, Poland had by far the leakiest defence during qualifying, conceding 1.4 goals per game.

With 54 caps to his name to date, the General should also be a vital cog in the Argentina defensive machine as they first look to navigate their way out of Group D where the South Americans are pitted alongside Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria.

Three of the six experts have the Brazilian national team hoisting the trophy when it's all said and done.

Brazilian optimism must, however, be tempered in the reality that Brazil enters nearly all major tournaments as favourites.

"We are drawn to machine learning models because they can sift through a large number of possible explanatory variables to produce more accurate forecasts than conventional alternatives", a group of strategists from Goldman's worldwide research team wrote in a client note. Argentina (9/1), who last won a World Cup in 1986 and have one of the world's best players in Lionel Messi, and Belgium (11/1), whose roster includes Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among other stars, are considered the tournament's dark horses.