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The first, second and third XIs of the seven WC contenders

With just two World Cup 2018 qualification spots left to fill – best of luck to Honduras, Australia, New Zealand and Peru – attention can now turn to the finals themselves in Russia next summer. Eric Dier might not remember, but it is Germany who must defend the crown they won in extra-time against Argentina in the final in 2014. Joachim Low’s side are the bookmakers’ favourites to retain the trophy, while Argentina are fourth-favourites. Of the remaining runners, Brazil are sure to compete, while Spain hope to atone for their group-stage exit in 2014. France will look to go one further than they did at Euro 2016, while Belgium, as has been the case for about two decades, will be everyone’s dark horse. Then there’s England. It’s time to examine each of the seven favourites for the 2018 World Cup – again, going by bookmakers’ odds – to see how strong their first, second and third-choice XIs really are.   Germany First XI: Neuer Kimmich Boateng Hummels Hector Khedira Kroos Muller Ozil Draxler Werner   Second XI: Ter Stegen; Henrichs, Sule, Rudiger, Plattenhardt; Gundogan, Rudy; Sane, Goretzka, Reus; Stindl Third XI: Leno; Howedes, Mustafi, Tah, Toljan; Can, Weigl; Younes, Gotze, Brandt; Gomez Notable absentees: Trapp, Ginter, Halstenberg, Gerhardt, Meyer, Schurrle, Volland, Wagner   Brazil First XI: Alisson Alves Miranda Marquinhos Marcelo Paulinho Casemiro Augusto Neymar Jesus Coutinho   Second XI: Ederson; Fagner, Silva, Gil, Luis; Giuliano, Fernandinho, Diego; Willian, Firmino, Costa Third XI: Cassio; Rafinha, Jemerson, Luiz, Sandro; Fred, Walace, Danilo; Moura, Luan, Dudu Notable absentees: Weverton, Fabinho, Oscar, Anderson, Gustavo, Lima, Taison, Diego Souza   Spain First XI: De Gea Carvajal Pique Ramos Alba Koke Busquets Iniesta Silva Morata Isco   Second XI: Reina; Azpilicueta, Bartra, Nacho, Monreal; Thiago, Illarramendi, Isco; Vitolo, Rodrigo, Asensio Third XI: Arrizabalaga; Odriozola, Albiol, I. Martinez, Moreno; Saul, J. Martinez, Fabregas; Suso, Costa, Nolito Notable absentees: Rico, Juanfran, Mata, Herrera, Cazorla, Deulofeu, Pedro, Aspas   Argentina First XI: Romero Mercado Mascherano Otamendi Di Maria Biglia Banega Salvio Messi Dybala Icardi     Second XI: Guzman; Gomez, Fazio, Mammana, Rojo; Acuna, Pizarro, Perez, Gomez; Aguero, Higuain Third XI: Rulli; Bustos, Pezzella, Maidana, Insua; Kranevitter, Gago; Acosta, Lanzini, Pastore; Benedetto Notable absentees: Marchesin, Musacchio, Pinola, Paredes, Perotti, A. Fernandez, Lamela, Pavon   France First XI: Lloris Sidibe Koscielny Umtiti Mendy Kante Pogba Mbappe Griezmann Lemar Giroud   Second XI: Mandanda; Jallet, Varane, Laporte, Kurzawa; Tolisso, Matuidi; Sissoko, Fekir, Dembele; Lacazette Third XI: Areola; Pavard, Kimpembe, Rami, Digne; Bakayoko, Rabiot; Thauvin, Payet, Martial; Gameiro Notable absentees: Costil, Corchia, Zouma, Mangala, Nzonzi, Kondogbia, Coman, Benzema   Belgium First XI: Courtois Alderweireld Kompany Vertonghen Meunier Witsel Fellaini Carrasco De Bruyne Hazard Lukaku   Second XI: Mignolet; Foket, Vermaelen, Ciman, Lukaku; Dembele, Defour, Tielemans; Nainggolan, Chadli; Mertens Third XI: Selz; Boyata, Kabasele, Pocognoli; Mirallas, Simons, Dendoncker, Gillet, Hazard; Benteke, Batshuayi Notable absentees: Casteels, Lombaerts, Van Damme, Praet, Bongonda, Origi, Januzaj, Depoitre   England First XI: Hart Jones Cahill Stones Walker Dier Henderson Rose Sterling Alli Kane   Second XI: Butland; Trippier, Maguire, Gomez, Bertrand; Winks, Livermore, Lallana; Sturridge, Vardy, Rashford Third XI: Pickford; Keane, Smalling, Gibson; Young, Loftus-Cheek, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Welbeck, Defoe, Walcott Notable absentees: Heaton, Clyne, Shaw, Barkley, Cork, Delph, Lingard, Abraham   Football365 has been nominated for a Football Supporters’ Federation award. We’d really appreciate if you went here and voted for us in the fourth category The post The first, second and third XIs of the seven WC contenders appeared first on Football365....


Published By: Fottball 365 - Wednesday, 15 November, 2017

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