As arguably the most open World Cup in many years looms, opinions on the eventual victor in Russia are unsurprisingly varying. The usual suspects including Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina and France are among those tipped for success this summer, while the likes of Portugal, England, Uruguay and Belgium are considered to be among the outsiders. But as Costa Rica proved in 2014, Turkey and South Korea in 2002 and Bulgaria and Sweden in 1994, these global events have the capacity to throw up a surprise package. Who is best placed to stun the world and make a foray into the latter stages?
From the overdone Viking Thunder-Clap to their underdog mentality, there is plenty to like about Heimir Hallgrimsson’s Iceland. They arrive in Russia as the smallest nation to ever qualify for a World Cup but they have been drawn into a group which provides an achievable avenue to the knock-out stage. Argentina might have Lionel Messi in toe but they limped through qualification, Nigeria have the youngster squad at the tournament while Croatia had to settle for second place behind Iceland in qualifying. Iceland showed at Euro 2016 they have the ideal style of play to succeed at a major tournament: stubborn and organised at the back and clinical in the attacking third. The castling of England proved they can upset the apple cart while a possible last 16 meeting with France this time around gives them an opportunity to avenge their defeat at the European Championships two years ago.
Results in the African qualifying section for the World Cup can often be misleading, but there is plenty of genuine reasons to be optimistic for Morocco in Russia. Passage to the finals was secured with a fine defensive record which saw them concede once across their eight matches, though they will need to call upon all their powers of resilience during their group campaign. The champions from 2010 Spain, Euro 2016 winners Portugal and the unfancied Iran represent the tough obstacle between them and a place in the round of 16 for the first time since 1986. Manager Herve Renard provides a wealth of experience and success, having won the Africa Cup of Nations title twice with Zambia and the Ivory Coast – who Morocco knocked out during qualifying. The squad is no longer drawn from lower rung leagues across the world, with Roma-bound Hakim Ziyech, Real Madrid’s Achraf Hakimi and the dependable Younes Belhada of Galatasaray among the star men.
No side who progresses from the ultra-strong South American qualifying section should be underestimated and though Peru needed a play-off win over New Zealand to take their place in the tournament for the first time since 1982, it was fully merited. Wins over Uruguay and draws with Argentina and Colombia should not go unnoticed and at least proves they could cause problems for group opponents France, Denmark – who they face in a crucial opening game – and Australia. Naturally, for a nation who have not reached the finals for 36 years they are not a squad with a host of well-recognised names, but are a group which focuses on ball retention and is littered with players more than capable of making an impression. Captain and record goalscorer Paolo Guerrero is the standout name after he escaped a drugs ban, but Sao Paulo’s diminutive Christian Cueva could light up the tournament with his dazzling footwork.
A favourable draw gives Senegal a realistic chance of matching their quarter-final showing from their only other World Cup appearance in 2002. One significant presence from that run, which began with an opening game victory over then-holders France, is the captain from the campaign Aliou Cisse, who is now in place as head coach. The squad has a strong Anglo-French influence with 14 players hailing from either side of the English channel including their outstanding star, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane. In Group H, 2014 quarter-finalists Colombia are the outstanding favorites, but Poland and Japan’s various issues provide The Lions of Teranga with an opportunity to make history again.
Mladen Krstajic’s side may tower above all other nations at this year’s World Cup as the tallest country competing in Russia, but they also have the brains to match their undeniable brawn. Reaching the finals was no mean feat in a group containing three other sides who had appeared at the European Championships, including semi-finalists Wales. Branislav Ivanovic and captain Aleksandar Kolarov make-up part of a bruising back-line, while Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic and Luka Milivojevic provide further steel in midfield. The real star quality comes further forward in the form of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – compared to Paul Pogba in his homeland – who helped Lazio go within minutes of a Champions League place last season. His lack of international experience should not deflect from his status as the driving force behind this term, but he will be assisted by the in-form Aleksandar Mitrovic who scored 12 goals in four months on loan at play-off winners Fulham.
Sometimes I Miss ANAS And His Undercover Work : Ken Agyapong Admits
Following alleged rot festering on at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Company Limited, maverick politician Kennedy Agyapong has admitted missing the services of investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
The Assin Central lawmaker is in court after being sued GH¢25 million by ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas for defamation.
Prior to the premiere of Anas’ latest work in June this year, the lawmaker made several damning allegations against the astute Journalist saying he is a home wrecker (wife snatcher), corrupt and needs to be hanged.
But appearing on Adom TV’s Badwam on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 while discussing alleged wrongful payments at BOST, he said “What is going on there makes me miss Anas. Investigations I have conducted there about the wrongful payments is more than Anas”, he told the host as MyNewsGh.com monitored.
He said it will be over his dead body further payments will be made to the demanding companies insisting it is not right and fraudulent and must be resisted by those in authority.
Meanwhile, a group calling itself the Center for Public Interest & Democratic Peace (CPIDP) has called for proper investigations into on-going media expose’ of the alleged scandalous transactions between the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) and Springfield Energy Company in the matter of BOST’s indebtedness to Springfield Energy.
This according to the Mr. Alex Abaka Jacobs, Executive Director of the group, the matter is of great interest and concern to Centre for Public Interest and Democratic Peace, because there are countless occasions where President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo had indicated his readiness to fight corruption in the country and indeed the sacking of the former Energy Minister points to that zeal and commitment, which we applauded so much.
He is therefore at a loss as to why President Akufo-Addo has kept silent on the recent expose’ of the high magnitude of corruption perpetuated the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST
“At this moment every well-meaning Ghanaian and civil society organizations built on integrity and national interest should be worried about the current development in the country because if whistleblowers risk to bring such fraudulent and scandalous transaction out and it turned out to be kept under the carpet, eventually they will be discouraged from exposing future corrupt practices and in the end it is the nation and the ordinary citizens that suffer the naked consequence of under-development and poverty”. He lamented.
Shatta Wale And Stonebwoy Beef Is Fun : British High Commissioner
British High Commissioner to Ghana, Iain Walker, who is the replacement for the controversial Jon Benjamin says he has been following closely the banter between Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy and describes it as fun.
“I like the fact that Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy keep having their little arguments. That makes me laugh…It is entertaining,” he told JoyNews’ Maxwell Amoofia.
Mr. Iain Walker made this remark when he was talking about some of the great things Britain is doing to help promote the Ghanaian entertainment industry in an interview he said. Iain Walker believes the two artists have performed remarkably well for themselves and Ghana.
“Those guys are both brilliant, talented and really successful. I wish them all the best,” he added.
The diplomat made these comments in an interview on the sidelines of an exhibition to showcase Ghanaian paintings collected by Seth Dei. An auction of the artworks will be held in the UK by Bonhams in October 2018.
The two dancehall arts have been at each other’s throat for some years leading fans from both camps to engage in endless arguments on social media.
MoneyGram Parthers With Zeepay For Mobile Money Transfer In Ghana
Sending money from abroad to Ghana and vice versa can be stressful but there’s an easy way now!
International money transfer company MoneyGram in partnership with Zeepay a leading financial technology company in Ghana has launched an international Mobile Money service; a platform which allows the direct transfer of remittances into mobile wallets of recipients no matter the location.
With this new service, MoneyGram offers consumers three different options to pick up funds from over 200 countries around the world.
Funds can be sent via MoneyGram online or at any of MoneyGram’s thousands of locations in 200 countries and territories around the world into mobile wallets in minutes. It also enables customers around the world to send money directly to more than eleven million mobile wallets in Ghana. Key mobile wallets available on the service include ZeePay wallets; Airtel-Tigo mobile money wallets, Vodafone cash wallets and MTN mobile money.
Zeepay partners with MoneyGram for mobile money transfer in Ghana
Speaking at the launch, Zeepay Ghana Managing Director, Andrew Takyi-Appiah, was confident the partnership will increase remittances in Ghana by $1 billion each year.
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