Most Anticipated Group Stage Fixtures at the FIFA World Cup

The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off exactly 14 days from now. Nations will be at war to claim the ultimate prize. Blood and sweat will be put to the test to clinch the most revered title in sports history. Using the round leather as the only weapon, Nations will put one another to the sword on the green turf. 

The last FIFA world cup ended with France putting up a scintillating display to clinch their second world cup title, beating first-time finalist Croatia 4-2. Russia 2018 did come with lots of fun, surprises, and upsets. 

However, this year’s fixtures and groupings have left football fans anticipating certain matches at the group stage of the world cup. If you would be watching the world cup, here are five matches you might not want to miss.

1. Spain Vs. Germany

The 2010 and 2014 world cup winners will face each other in their second group game on the 27th of November. The last time the two European giants faced off at the world cup was in the semi-finals in South Africa in 2010. The match ended 1-0, with Spain progressing to the final and later winning the final with the same scoreline against the Dutch National team. The Germans, on the other hand, are four times world champions with a solid record at the FIFA world cup. They have reached the Quarter Finals in 17 of their 19 appearances at the world cup. This fixture will feature many young first-timers at the world cup looking to write their names on the sands of time.

The tiki-taka style of football is the style of playing both teams use. The game promises nothing short of pure excitement.

2. Ghana Vs. Uruguay

Every Ghanaian and a couple of Africans would be anticipating the game that seems to be revenge for the Black stars. Both teams faced off in the Quarter final of the 2010 world cup in South Africa. The match had a lot of drama as the Black stars put up a good display against the Uruguyians, holding them to a 1-1 draw till extra time. However, in the extra time, Ghana was awarded a penalty after veteran striker Luiz Suarez was sent off for clearing the ball off the line with his hand. Unfortunately, Asamoah Gyan could not convert the penalty, and the Ghanaians could not rewrite the history books to become the first African team to proceed to the World Cup semis. The Black stars went on to lose the match during the penalty shootout.

The black stars will be looking to settle old scores against the south American side on the 2nd of December.

3. Croatia vs. Belgium

The Belgian “Golden generation” will be looking to give all it takes this year. For some of them, this might be the last world cup appearance. Although both teams are favourites to qualify from the group. The game may decide who tops the group or probably who qualifies. This game will also see two of the best midfielders in modern football history, go toe-to-toe. Luka Modric and Kevin De Bruyne will go head-to-head for the first time at the World Cup finals. Although, both players have played against each other a couple of times for their respective clubs. They sure would deliver nothing short of an entertaining display again.

4. Portugal vs. Uruguay

This game will be one of the most anticipated matches at the world cup group stages. It would be featuring three of the world’s most prolific strikers, Christiano Ronaldo, Luiz Suarez, and Edison Cavani. They would most likely be playing in their last world cups. The last time both teams faced off at the world, the game ended 2-1 in favour of Uruguay. The game may be a deciding fixture for one team to secure a spot in the round of 16.

5. Senegal Vs. Netherlands

Both teams have never faced each other in FIFA world cup history. The African champions would love to make a statement this year by beating the Netherlands in their opener. The Dutch side is rebuilding after missing out on the 2018 FIFA world cup in Russia. Both teams are popular for their physical, aggressive, and direct approach to the game. The match will be filled with many talking points; you should be ticking that on your calendar.

While you are enjoying club football and gradually counting down to the break. It is high time you started looking forward to the most-watched sporting event in the world. 

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