(WVUE) - With the 2018 World Cup on FOX 8 kicking off June 14th from Russia, we are previewing ten storylines that are worth keeping an eye on as the tournament goes on.
#3 – Cinderella Stories
In a sport that recently saw Leicester City defy 5,000-to-1 odds to win the English Premier League, the variability of low-scoring games allows for the unthinkable to occur. Each tournament, there are upsets and usurpings and this World Cup already figures to have plenty of possibilities.
The host country's frailty means Group A, consisting of Russia (#70 in FIFA World Rankings), Egypt (#45), Saudi Arabia (#67) and Uruguay (#14) could give a previously unheralded side like Egypt a chance to advance, despite having never won a World Cup game in their history.
2016's European Cup saw Iceland (#22) advance through the group stage to dramatically upset England in the first round of knockout play. They have perhaps the toughest group in the tournament, going up against Argentina (#5), Croatia (#20) and Nigeria (#48.)
Costa Rica (#23) made it to the quarterfinals at Brazil 2014 at the top of a group that featured three countries with World Cups to their names in Uruguay, England and Italy. They've got another tough task this year with Brazil (#2), Switzerland (#6) and Serbia (#34.)
Ironically, the biggest underdog, according to FIFA's World Rankings, is Russia, whose rank of #70 is three lower than the next-lowest, Saudi Arabia.
FOX 8 will broadcast 38 games from Russia, from first kick to final trophy presentation. The first five games on FOX 8 are:
Thursday, June 14th at 10 AM – Russia vs Saudi Arabia
Friday, June 15th at 10 AM – Morocco vs Iran
Friday, June 15th at 1 PM – Portugal vs Spain
Saturday, June 16th at 10 AM – Argentina vs Iceland
Sunday, June 17th at 7 AM – Costa Rica vs Serbia