World Cup Power Rankings (2)

Here are the updated power rankings based on the first 2 games of the World Cup, this doesn’t mean Russia are favourites but it does reflect performances to date.

World Cup Power Rankings


  1. Russia (+1) Excellent again, Egypt minus Mo Salah aren’t the toughest opponents but Russia’s pace and fearless attacking play has taken everyone by surprise. Now for the ultimate party poopers of Uruguay- a challenge that should tell us how far this side can truly go.
  2. England (+4) A record breaking afternoon against Panama in which England scored as many goals in the first half as their last 2 World Cups combined. Far bigger challenges await but for the first time in a decade England truly believes in its team again.
  3. Belgium (+3) Like England it remains to be seen if they can do it when it truly counts but Belgium have thrilled in a way their golden generation never did under Marc Wilmots. It’s hard not to see them at least making the quarter-finals.
  4. Mexico (-3) It was always going to be a case of ‘after the lord mayors show’ against South Korea but Mexico got the job done with a minimum of fuss and Hernandez grabbed his half century of goals, but remarkably they still need a point to be sure.
  5. Croatia (+9) The performance of the round against Argentina after that stodgy start against Nigeria. Their dynamic midfield trio played as a unit whilst the front 3 constantly tormented Argentina’s back line. With the group now won expect a lot of changes against Iceland.
  6. Spain (-4) A little ragged against Iran but got the job done. Diego Costa is back to his best and when in trouble Iniesta can dig them out. But the star is Isco who looks unplayable behind Costa. Still the favourites but remain surprisingly suspect at the back.
  7. France (+9) They haven’t played well but they’re through. A wonderfully gifted side seemed more settled with Giroud as the focal point and that could be the go to formation for thr knock out phase with M’Bappe and Griesmann either side of the big man. Starting slowly but winning is usually a formula for winning the whole thing.
  8. Colombia (+14) Much improved and even better: Their creative players have found some form. James looked back to his best and Cuadrado terrified Poland with his pace. It’s hard not to feel happy for Falcao after missing out in Brazil- darkhorses.
  9. Switzerland (+3) 2 brilliant goals got them back on track and despite getting away with a blatant penalty their second half performance against Serbia merited the win. But will Xhaka and Shaqiri be facing a ban for those eagle gestures?
  10. Brazil (-3) Made to wait far longer than anyone expected by Costa Rica and some of Neymar’s antics were pathetic but Coutinho is pushing them forward. The bigger worry for Brazil is can they rely on someone who gets that emotional in a group game?
  11. Portugal (-8) After the thriller against Spain they went back to their defualt win ugly setting against Morocco. Ronaldo scored yet again but this is a side that was outplayed for long spells- a worry.
  12. Germany (+8) They did it again- never ever write them off! The Kroos goal may have a galvanizing effect but the wider picture shows a shockingly slow defence a ‘keeper in questionable form and senior players dumped amid rumours of a split camp. Could they be facing a last 16 rematch with Brazil?
  13. Uruguay (+4) The Portugal of South America have their 6 points and qualification but rarely thrill. Suarez was better against Saudi and although they’re as tough as ever there’s enormous room for improvement.
  14. Nigeria (+17) What a difference a game makes! Nigeria looked energetic and dangerous throughout their win over Iceland and Musa loves a World Cup. If they play with the same endeavour against Argentina that overdue World Cup win over the South Americans is on.
  15. Denmark (-2) Started brightly against Denmark but didn’t get the second goal or much luck with VAR and now need a point against France.
  16. Japan (-1) Fought back for a point against Senegal and with Honda finding some form they look favorites to grab a last 16 spot from Group H.
  17. Senegal (-6) Again played well but this time it looked like they’d been worked out and their lack of creativity in central midfield is a worry not to mention their coach’s reluctance to pick Balde Keita. I suspect they’ll be the one left without a chair when the Group H music stops.
  18. Serbia (-10) Great first half against Switzerland before getting outplayed in the second. Yes Mitrovic should have got a penalty but Serbia threw this one away and now need to beat Brazil to stay alive.
  19. Sweden  (-1) For 94 minutes a place in the last 16 was theirs for the taking and then…Whilst the reaction on social media to Jimmy Durmaz giving away the infamous free kick has been deplorable it’s taken away from the fact Sweden had numerous chances in the dying moments to kill off Germany by heading for the corner flag and didn’t, could have scored and didn’t and putting more men in the wall and didn’t. Could still qualify if they are galvanised rather than dispirited by that goal.
  20. Australia (+4) Got very lucky with a VAR decision but made the most of it with a spirited comeback that should have beaten Denmark and in Arzani they have a star to build around.
  21. Iceland (-12) Melted away in the afternoon heat, Iceland struggled to transcend their game into being favourites and were caught square by some quicksilver Nigerian counterattacking. But a win over familiar foes Croatia will likely see them progress.
  22. Iran (-12) Pushed Spain harder than most expected and remain a resolute defensive side but their play acting and time-wasting lost them sympathy. They now have to go on the attack against Portugal in what looks like a b*@tard off for the last 16.
  23. Argentina (-4) Awful! Messi looks disinterested they appear to be playing a 5-0-5 formation and the camp is in revolt. Amazingly could still qualify but simply put I haven’t seen such a farcical campaign since the French went on strike in 2010.
  24. Morocco (+4) The side I’m most disappointed to see out after 2 games- Morocco have played some nice technical football and created chances with Amrabat one of the under the radar stars of the tournament. But they just can’t finish and concede goals at key times- hopefully they’ll at least get a goal against Spain.
  25. South Korea (+4) Played better against Mexico and Son got a fabulous goal but this has been a par score from a side who only ever get beyond the group phase when they’re hosting the competition.  
  26. Peru (-5) Played in a manner that fitted their established traditions from the 1970’s but lacked a finisher and then played themselves into trouble against France. They’re out but might just take Australia down before they leave.
  27. Costa Rica (-) Put up a brave fight against Brazil and Keylor Navas deserved better. But lost sympathy with blatant time-wasting and always lacked conviction in attack. So it’s goodbye from them.
  28. Tunisia (-2) Physical and niggly against England, Tunisia at least tried to play against Belgium but that cost them 5 goals. So niggly they’ll remain.
  29. Poland (-6) The biggest flop of the tournament thus far and yes that includes Argentina. Poland were never likely to be amongst the most creative sides in the tournament but we did expect them to be a physically strong and fast team, yet Poland appear to be playing with a flat battery and Lewandowski has been moving out wide and into midfield in a vain attempt to get involved, it looks like it’s time to retire this ageing side.
  30. Egypt (-5) Being The Mo Salah team when Mo Salah is half fit is a tough place to be, given their main man is rumoured to be considering international retirement it’s hard to imagine how this World Cup could have gone any worse.
  31. Panama (-1) Gere’s a positive spin on Panama: being at the World Cup generates interest in football within the country which should lead to more kids playing and better coaching, it also means their veteran players have gained experience they can use to improve the side when they return to the kinder level of competition offered in CONCACAF. Negative spin: this team is beyond terrible.
  32. Saudi Arabia (-) Question : what’s the best thing about the last 2 group games being played simultaneously? Answer: I don’t have to watch Saudi Arabia.



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