Every sporting event needs its underdogs. These teams go in as minnows, expecting to be gobbled up by the bigger fish and crash out in the early stages, but every now and then, one or two of them manage to surprise us, and there are few things more exciting for sports fans to follow than their rise.
For the 2018 World Cup, it’s easy to pick out the favourites. The past winners and high ranked sides like Germany, Brazil, Spain, and France are clearly the most likely teams to go all the way and lift the trophy, but what about the rest?
Some teams weren’t even expected to qualify for the World Cup, with two making their tournament debuts, while others aren't expected to win a single game. For some of these teams, getting out of the group stage would be a major achievement, while others might simply be happy just to pick up a couple of points.
FIFA’s rankings are often criticised, but they do at least give us a rough idea of where teams stand in relation to one another. So, heading into the 2018 World Cup, here are the lowest-ranked sides set to feature in the competition.