Neymar, Brazil
Eyes firmly on the prize for Neymar and BrazilBuda Mendes/Getty Images

The FIFA World Cup 2018 promises to be an exciting tournament, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar and more set to dazzle the watching audience with their incomparable skills.

While individuals will, no doubt, make their mark in this year's tournament, the team that wins the title will be, well, the one that plays like a team, as Germany showed so wonderfully-well four years ago.

One of those "teams" could be from Groups E or F. Here is a look at how the sides in those two groups stack up, along with the entire squads of all the eight counties – four each from the two groups.

Group E:

Brazil, Swizerland, Costa Rica, Serbia:

The Selecao might have been far and away the best team in the South American qualifiers, but, in many ways, they are still trying to move on from that 7-1 pasting they took at the hands of Germany in the 2014 World Cup, and that too on home soil. As well as Tite has them functioning at the moment, Brazil's stardust, goalscorer and main inspiration remains Neymar. Which is why the PSG man getting back to full fitness and firing on all cylinders as quickly as possible is crucial – he did a glimpse that he could already be back to his best with a nice goal against Austria in a friendly.

The two European nations – Serbia and Switzerland – should pose the biggest threat to Brazil in this Group E. Neither Switzerland nor Serbia have the big stars in their lineup, but they do have a strong and experienced squad, who know how to perform on a big stage.

Group A and B squad lists

Costa Rica are regulars now in the World Cup, and while they have created a few upsets in the past – they topped a group which consisted of Uruguay, Italy and England in the 2014 World Cup – they might find it difficult to break through this time around.



Goalkeepers: Alisson (Roma), Ederson (Manchester City), Cassio (Corinthians).

Defenders: Thiago Silva (PSG), Miranda (Inter Milan), Marquinhos (PSG), Danilo (Manchester City), Fagner (Corinthians), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Pedro Geromel (Gremio).

Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Paulinho (Barcelona), Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Willian (Chelsea), Douglas Costa (Juventus).

Forwards: Neymar (Paris St-Germain), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk).


Goalkeepers: Roman Burki (Borussia Dortmund), Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach), Yvon Mvogo (Leipzig).

Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Fabian Schar (Deportivo La Coruna), Johan Djourou (Antalyaspor), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Monchengladbach), Michael Lang (Basel), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Arsenal), Ricardo Rodriguez (Milan), Jacques-Francois Moubandje (Toulouse).

Midfielders: Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Valon Behrami (Udinese), Blerim Dzemaili (Bologna), Gelson Fernandes (Eintracht Frankfurt), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City), Steven Zuber (1899 Hoffenheim), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Monchengladbach).

Forwards: Josip Drmic (Borussia Monchengladbach), Breel Embolo (Schalke), Mario Gavranovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Haris Seferovic (Benfica).

Nemanja Matic Manchester United
Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic is one of the key players for Serbia at the World CupBryn Lennon/Getty Images


Goalkeepers: Vladimir Stojkovic (Partizan Belgrade), Predrag Rajkovic (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Marko Dmitrovic (Eibar).

Defenders: Aleksandar Kolarov (Roma), Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St Petersburg), Dusko Tosic (Guangzhou R&F), Antonio Rukavina (Villarreal), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen), Milan Rodic (Red Star Belgrade), Uros Spajic (Krasnodar), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina).

Midfielders: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace), Marko Grujic (Liverpool), Adem Ljajic (Torino), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Filip Kostic (Hamburg), Andrija Zivkovic (Benfica), Nemanja Radonjic (Red Star Belgrade).

Forwards: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK Salonika), Luka Jovic (Benfica).

Costa Rica:

Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid), Patrick Pemberton (Liga Deportiva Alajuelense), Leonel Moreira (CS Herediano).

Defenders: Oscar Duarte (Espanyol), Cristian Gamboa (Celtic), Ian Smith (Santos de Guapiles), Bryan Oviedo (Sunderland), Ronald Matarrita (New York City), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Bologna), Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps), Johnny Acosta (Rionegro Aguilas).

Midfielders: Bryan Ruiz (Sporting Lisbon), Rodney Wallace (New York City), David Guzman (Portland Timbers), Daniel Colindres (Deportivo Saprissa), Yeltsin Tejeda (Lausanne-Sport), Celso Borges (Deportivo La Coruna), Randall Azofeifa (CS Herediano), Christian Bolanos (Deportivo Saprissa).

Forwards: Joel Campbell (Real Betis), Johan Venegas (Deportivo Saprissa), Marco Urena (Los Angeles FC).

Ozil Germany
Mesut Ozil and Germany will expect to reach the round of 16 without too many problemsAlexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

Group F:

Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea:

Obvious favourites again in this group, with the defending champions Germany, even if they haven't had the smoothest of preparations coming into this World Cup, expected to ease through to the round of 16. The strength in depth that Germany have was evident when Leroy Sane, who was one of the best players in the Premier League this season, was left out by Joachim Low, with the manager preferring the equally exciting Julian Brandt.

Group C and D squad lists

Mexico are always a dangerous side, with plenty of steel and verve in their squad, and even without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden have quite a few weapons up their sleeve, chief of them being RB Leipzig's Emil Forsberg.

Group G and H squad lists

South Korea will be the team that many tip to finish bottom of the group, but they do have World Cup pedigree, and in Son Heung-min a forward coming off a brilliant club season with Spurs.



Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre Ter-Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (PSG).

Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin).

Midfielders: Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern Munich), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (PSG), Leon Goretska (Schalke), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal).

Forwards: Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Mario Gomez (Stuttgart), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig).


Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard Liege), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul).

Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Miguel Layun (Sevilla), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (America), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey).

Midfielders: Rafael Marquez (Atlas), Hector Herrera (Porto), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Jesus Corona (Porto).

Forwards: Javier Hernandez (West Ham), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Oribe Peralta (America), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Hirving Lozano (PSV Eindhoven).

Sweden: Goalkeepers: Robin Olsen (Copenhagen), Karl-Johan Johnsson (Guingamp), Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Swansea).

Defenders: Victor Lindelof (Manchester United), Filip Helander (Bologna), Mikael Lustig (Celtic), Andreas Granqvist (Krasnador), Martin Olsson (Swansea), Ludwig Augustinsson (Werder Bremen), Emil Krafth (Bologna), Pontus Jansson (Leeds United).

Midfielders: Emil Forsberg (RB Leipzig), Sebastian Larsson (Hull City), Albin Ekdal (Hamburg), Gustav Svensson (Seattle Sounders), Oscar Hiljemark (Genoa), Viktor Claesson (Krasnador), Marcus Rohden (Crotone), Jimmy Durmaz (Toulouse).

Forwards: Marcus Berg (Al Ain), John Guidetti (Alaves), Ola Toivonen (Toulouse), Isaac Kiese Thelin (Waasland-Beveren).

South Korea:

Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-gyu (Vissel Kobe), Kim Jin-hyeon (Cerezo Osaka), Cho Hyun-woo (Daegu FC).

Defenders: Kim Young-gwon (Guangzhou Evergrande), Jang Hyun-soo (FC Tokyo), Jung Seung-hyun (Sagan Tosu), Yun Yong-sun (Seongnam FC), Oh Ban-suk (Jeju United), Kim Min-woo (Sangju Sangmu), Park Joo-ho (Ulsan Hyundai), Hong Chul (Sangju Sangmu), Go Yo-han (FC Seoul), Lee Yong (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors).

Midfielders: Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea), Jung Woo-young (Vissel Kobe), Ju Se-jong (Asan Mugunghwa), Koo Ja-cheol (Augsburg), Lee Jae-sung (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Lee Seung-woo (Hellas Verona), Moon Seon-min (Incheon United).

Forwards: Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Hwang Hee-chan (Red Bull Salzburg), Kim Shin-wook (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors).