Every four years, something very special happens. Flags begin to appear in windows and on balconies, tension rises, squad lists are announced, families crowd around their televisions, and some of the most exciting, competitive football matches begin to play out to an audience of millions.
The World Cup is a tournament like no other, taking the greatest players from the greatest footballing nations around the globe and pitting them against one another in an extraordinary spectacle for people the world over to enjoy.
Predicting a World Cup isn’t easy, but that doesn’t stop everyone chipping in with their views and opinions about which squads will go the distance, which players will score the most goals, how the group stages will play out, and which team will beat England on penalties.
While we can’t pick the precise scores and goalscorers of every match, it is possible to predict some big events that are reasonably likely to occur once the tournament gets underway.
With that in mind, let’s make a few predictions of our own and see how the 2018 World Cup might play out over the next few weeks.