Ian Abrahams In Russia: Ian’s World Cup Predictions


Ian Abrahams in Russia: World Cup Week One Predictions

Broadcaster Ian Abrahams is teaming up with Marathonbet to share his thoughts on the 2018 World Cup.

With the tournament underway, here are Ian’s predictions ahead of a big weekend of football and his take on the opening few days of the tournament…

Ian’s Predictions

France v Australia
Verdict – I’d love to see Australia do well but France will win. Australia are amazing for the tournament – they’ve brought 9,000 fans – but it has to be France in this one.

Ian’s score: 2-0
Actual score: 2-1

Argentina v Iceland
Verdict – Iceland won everyone’s hearts at Euro 2016 but I’ve tipped Argentina to win the whole tournament. This will be a big test for Argentina – they will win, but I’m not expecting an easy opener for them.

Ian’s score: 2-1
Actual score: 1-1

Peru v Denmark
Verdict – Denmark have some very good players. I’m backing Eriksen to shine at this tournament, but they are not a one-man team by any means. Peru have loads of fans here, perhaps not surprising given it’s their first tournament in three decades.

They make a lot of noise and will have a great time, but Denmark will win here.

Ian’s score: 0-2
Actual score: 0-1

Croatia v Nigeria
Verdict – I wasn’t impressed by Nigeria at Wembley, particularly in the first half. I like Croatia; they could be this year’s dark horse. They can go a long, long way in this competition with some very talented players.

Ian’s score: 3-1
Actual score: 2-0

Costa Rica v Serbia
Verdict – I wasn’t massively impressed by Costa Rica when I saw them play at Wembley, and they were thrashed by Belgium as well. I can’t see them turning their form around in time for this one. Serbia win.

Ian’s score: 1-2
Actual score: 0-1

Germany v Mexico
Verdict – The defending champions will want to get off to a good start, but I’ve got a suspicion Mexico could make it hard for them. This could be the best game this weekend.
Ian’s score: 2-0
Actual score: 0-1

Brazil v Switzerland
Verdict – Brazil are one of the tournament favourites along with Spain, and it will be interesting to see how they get under way with Neymar leading the line.

This is not a great Swiss team. Brazil will win comfortably.

Ian’s score: 3-0
Actual score: 1-1

Sweden v South Korea
Verdict – I’ve got a feeling in my bones that it will be a 1-1 draw here, Sweden don’t score many goals, and I can also see Son popping up with one for South Korea. Two very evenly matched teams.

Ian’s score: 1-1
Actual score: 1-0

Belgium v Panama
Verdict – We’ll see how bad Panama are here – they could be on a par with Saudi Arabia. Belgium will rack up the goals as Lukaku is in good form coming into this. Presuming Hazard will be fit, this could be a big win for Roberto Martinez’s side.

Ian’s score: 4-0
Actual score: 3-0

Tunisia v England
Verdict: Like most of the country, I’d be happy with any England win – even a scratchy 1-0 with the goal going in off someone’s backside! Let’s hope it will be more comfortable than that.
Ian’s score: 1-2
Actual score: 1-2

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Ian’s Russia diary…


First impressions…
It’s been great so far – the atmosphere has been amazing, and fans have been coming in their droves. It’s one big party at the moment – you can’t walk past a bar for Colombians, Peruvians, Australians, Brazilians having a great time.

As you would expect, everything seems very organised – the Metro system is very easy to navigate and although it’s very crowded, it’s easy to get about. You also can’t help but be impressed when you see Red Square, Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral. It’s one of the great sights, and so impressive even without any snow this time around!


Opening ceremony and a win for the hosts…
The organisers got it spot on keeping the ceremony nice and short. Half an hour was perfect and meant the players could warm up properly. I’m a big Robbie Williams fans too, and let’s be fair – his voice is still in great nick!

As for the game, winning 5-0 is as good as it gets for the hosts and is also great for the tournament. Saudi Arabia were very poor – their keeper was a joke – not that the Russians will mind.

Their pivotal game will be Egypt. Now their confidence is up and they have three points in the bag, they stand a great chance.


England’s preparations…
The Rashford injury this week is a minor setback, but surely means Sterling will now definitely start.

We need to be careful, as Tunisia will be a lot better than a team like Saudi Arabia.

They are dogged and hard to beat. I’m expecting them to be unadventurous and aim not to get beaten, but you have to expect that in any opening game.

England will still expect six points before Belgium.

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