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A Tottenham Hotspur fan’s guide to the World Cup

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Spurs are well represented in Russia. Here’s how it all breaks down.

Germany v Argentina: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The World Cup kicks off in 10 days! Today is the day that national teams must finalize their 23-man rosters for who they are taking to Russia, which makes it a good time to take a look at the field from a Tottenham Hotspur perspective. Not every team has submitted their roster at the time of this writing, but it’s complete as far as Spurs interest is concerned.

And there’s a lot to like! Group G is the obvious group to pay attention to as a Spurs fan, but there are a handful of current players in this field in other groups, and a bunch of former Tottenham players who you will remember from years past.

Here’s a breakdown of the groups, along with any Spurs-centric players that are featuring.


Group A

  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Uruguay
  • Egypt

Tottenham players: 0

Former Tottenham players: 0

While Egypt has the Premier League’s best performer in Mohamed Salah (assuming he recovers from Sergio Ramos’ dark arts in the Champions League finals), Group A is pretty evenly balanced. It’s been a long time since a host nation has failed to escape Group A, but Russia could be challenged by Egypt.

Menno’s prediction: Uruguay, Russia


Group B

  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Morocco
  • Iran

Tottenham players: 0

Former Tottenham players: 0

It’s hard to look at this group and see any teams emerging other than Spain and Portugal. The Spaniards are absolutely LOADED with talent, and Portugal still has Cristiano Ronaldo, and is a side that usually shines on the world stage. But if you want a deep sleeper, Iran should be deceptively good behind Carlos Quieroz and could surprise a team or two.

Menno’s prediction: Spain, Portugal


Group C

  • France
  • Australia
  • Peru
  • Denmark

Tottenham players: Hugo Lloris (France); Christian Eriksen (Denmark)

Former Tottenham players: Massimo Luongo (Australia)

France, of which Spurs’ keeper Hugo Lloris is captain, is not only the heavy favorite to escape the group — they’re one of the favorites to win the entire World Cup. This France team is stacked but they’ll need to be wary of complacency — none of the other three teams are pushovers. Christian Eriksen’s Denmark, Australia, and Peru each could put together a string of results and escape behind Les Bleus. Keep an eye on Australia’s Massimo Luongo, who was a Spurs academy graduate.

Menno’s prediction: France, Peru


Group D

  • Argentina
  • Iceland
  • Croatia
  • Nigeria

Tottenham players: 0

Former Tottenham players: Federico Fazio (Argentina); Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland) ; Vedran Corluka & Luka Modric (Croatia); William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria)

Hoo boy, is this group fun! Argentina comes in as clear favorites as they always do, but this is a group where it wouldn’t be shocking to see any of the four advance. Croatia tanked in qualifying but they are loaded with talent. Nigeria might be one of the better sleeper teams in the competition. And Iceland? Well, we saw what they can do in the Euros. No Spurs players in this group, but a handful of former players.

Menno’s prediction: Argentina, Croatia


Group E

  • Brazil
  • Switzerland
  • Costa Rica
  • Serbia

Tottenham players: 0

Former Tottenham players: Paulinho (Brazil); Milos Veljkovic (Serbia)

Like in most World Cups, this group is Brazil’s to lose. They are heads and tails above anyone else in Group E and should advance easily. Switzerland have made the Round of 16 in each of the past two World Cups but still somehow fly under the radar. Costa Rica were the darlings of 2014 but will still be underdogs in this group. And Serbia come to Russia with a host of young talent including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. Also, Spurs academy graduate Milos Veljkovic is a notable defender for this Serbian side. Another World Cup for Milos!

Menno’s prediction: Brazil, Serbia


Group F

  • Germany
  • Mexico
  • Sweden
  • South Korea

Tottenham players: Son Heung-Min (South Korea)

Former Tottenham players: Giovani Dos Santos (Mexico)

Another super fun group to watch if you like good soccer. Germany is another team that’s stacked to the rafters with talent — they actually left out Leroy Sane from their squad! — but behind them is where the real interest lies. Mexico lost to Germany in the Confederations Cup and will probably want another crack at the reigning World Cup champions. Sweden have Zlatan Ibrahimovic. And based on their warm-ups, Korea look like they’re going to all-out attack and hopefully surprise a few people behind Son Heung-Min. Germany’s going to win the group, but this should still be a group to keep an eye on.

Menno’s prediction: Germany, Mexico


Group G

  • Belgium
  • England
  • Panama
  • Tunisia

Tottenham players: Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele (Belgium); Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose (England)

Former Tottenham players: Nacer Chadli (Belgium); Kyle Walker (England)

As a Tottenham Hotspur supporter, this is obviously the group to watch. Eight Spurs players are in this group alone, and two former Spurs players, making the match-up between the two a must-watch game. Belgium and England are both expected to advance, but Tunisia went undefeated in World Cup qualifying. Panama snuck into the field on the backs of USA flaming out of World Cup qualifying, and probably won’t make too much noise this summer.

Menno’s predictions: England, Belgium


Group H

  • Poland
  • Senegal
  • Colombia
  • Japan

Tottenham players: Davinson Sanchez (Colombia)

Former Tottenham players: 0

This group is wide open and has even been called the Group of Death — not because any of the four is that great, but because all of them are pretty close in terms of talent and performance. Thus, it’s difficult to make any kind of predictions as to who might advance. So, I picked two teams at random. Spurs fans will of course be pulling for Davinson Sanchez and Colombia.

Menno’s prediction: Senegal, Poland