From his lofty vantage point as expert pundit for Russia Today, Jose Mourinho has bestowed unto the world his predictions for the group stages of the upcoming World Cup. The Indomitable Lions and Roger Milla were the first African team to make a big impact at the World Cup back in 1990, but after appearing at seven of the last nine tournaments they missed out after finishing third in their group behind Nigeria and Zambia.

Since 1930 20 world cup has taken place and 8 different teams has won the competition with Brazil winning record 5 times, Germany and Italy won 4 titles each followed by Uruguay and Argentina who won it twice. The forward scored nine goals to finish as the tournament's top scorer, netting in all but one game.

They scored 43 goals in qualifying, the joint-highest tally along with Germany, and only conceded six. The group winners progressed to the semifinals. The knockout stage of the World Cup was the single-elimination portion of the tournament with the 16 teams who advanced from the Group stage.

Unbeaten in qualifying, Belgium's hugely talented squad will be hoping to build on their quarter-final appearance four years ago, having reached the same stage at Euro 2016. The top two teams in each group will progress to the round of 16 and there will be many World Cup group betting markets available, including who will make it out of the dreaded ‘Group of Death'.

2026 - TBC - 48 TEAMS - 80 MATCHES: As well as 16 groups of three followed by a 32-team knockout, a proposal remains in place to decide all drawn matches via penalty shoot-outs. Italy beat West Germany 3-1in the final to win their record third World Cup title.

Germany holds the current title, winning the final game in 2014. Despite drawing to Croatia in a game where Messi scored a fantastic goal on a tornado-like skill move you would only see in video games, Argentina picked win over Iceland (3-0) and Nigeria (1-0) to advance as group stage winners.

WORLD CUP fixtures - the draw for the 2018 World Cup finals takes place on Friday. They have games against England and the Czech Republic to get them ready for Russia. Croatia went undefeated in Group D, including a convincing 3-0 hammering of Argentina, then beat both Spain and Russia in matches that lasted 2 hours each and both went to penalty kicks.

History: Have appeared at 14 World Cup finals, winning the tournament on home soil in 1966. Packed with stars, Croatia were forced to squeeze into the finals via the playoffs for the second Cup in a row. In December of 2009, FIFA announced that prize money for the 2010 World Cup would increase 61 percent from that awarded at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

This is how predictions to win the World Cup 2018 have come about. Mario Gotze would score the winner with a brilliantly taken goal to give Germany a 1-0 victory and their fourth World Cup victory. Step up Tim Cahill, who netted twice in five minutes before an injury-time John Aloisi goal sealed a famous 3-1 win, in what was their first ever victory at the finals.

The West African country was close to fulfilling the dream of Africans to finally advance to World Cup semi-finals. 5. FIFA 2018 FACT: A fun foodie FIFA fact: The official partner of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, McDonald's is garnering quite some attention in the host country, thanks to the official FIFA website.

It's hard to see them getting so close this time with such a difficult group to negotiate but if they can beat the USA in their opening game (and they did beat the USA in the last third two World Cups) then they should go into their final match with Portugal with at least a chance of qualifying.

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