It’s about a week left until the beginning of the biggest event of the football world. FIFA World Cup 2018 will be 21st one in the series and will take place in Russia.With such a less time left, let’s look at the top 5 Muslim countries potentially capable of lifting the Cup.
5 Best Muslim Football Teams in FIFA World Cup 2018
The Pharaohs are currently under the managership of Hector Cuper, who had been earlier the coach of the back-to-back UCL runner-ups, Valencia C.F. Egypt had qualified after a long span of 28 years, last time they qualified for the World cup was in 1990 and are currently ranked 46th by Fifa Rankings.
Mohamed Salah, leading the team’s attack, is the star of the squad as well as the top scorer(2) and top assist(2). His presence where greatly influences the team’s attack, also makes it much dependant on him solely.
However, other than salah, the pillar on which the structure of the team stands is it’s defense, with the likes of ahmed Hegazi and captain essam el-hadary. Other than that, the team carries patience in it’s playing attitude. in the mid-field, Abdallah Said carries the main role and is considered to be the most probable replacement of Salah in case of an injury.
The Green Falcons are currently coached by Juan Antonio Pizzi after being coached by Bert Van Marwaijk for nine months until qualification and afterward by Edgardo Bauza for two months. The interesting thing is the changing of the playing style of the team from counter-attacking to retaining possession under Pizzi, which questions the team’s ability to adapt to the new playing-style and perform well in the not very far away matches. the team.Saudi Arabia
The Saudis have qualified for the world after 12 years, last time they qualified was in 2006 and they are currently ranked 67th by the Fifa Rankings.
Fahed Al Muwllad is playing the role of the “Star Player” of the team. Due to his pace, he is a threat to the opponents from the right flank. His goal against Japan in the 63rd minute secured the World Cup Qualification for Saudi Arabia. The other two key players of the team lie at the back. The first one is Yasser Al Shahrani, whose capability of playing as either a right-back or a left-back can be utilized Pizzi to enhance the defense. The other one is the “Mr. Handcuff”, Osama Hawsawi, whose brilliant man-marking ability and experience can lead the back of the team even in times of difficulty.
Iran would be featuring in it’s second consecutive World Cup and is standing on 37 in the current Fifa Rankings. The Portuguese manager, Carlos Queiroz is managing the Persians since the 2014 World Cup. 2018 World Cup would be Iran 5th appearance in the football’s biggest event.
The squad under Queiroz was playing in 4-2-3-1 but had currently changed to the attacking 4-1-4-1, as can be seen in recent friendlies. Sardar Azmoun is the top scorer of the squad in the tournament with 4 goals and Masoud Shojaei is the top assist (2).
The team’s key players are the ones standing up front in the attack; Alireza Jahanbuksh and Sardar Azmoun. Alireza, playing for his club AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch league, Eredivisie, had scored 21 and had created 12 goals this season, while Sardar, playing for his national team, had scored 23 goals in 32 games. In the defense, Mortaza Pouraliganji, the Persian captain, is the main-man.
The Morrocons have qualified for the tournament after 20 years and are currently ranked 41st by Fifa Rankings. Herve Renard is holding the managerial position for the Middle Easterns In his managership, Morroco had remained undefeated in six-match group campaign and had also kept a clean sheet in all six, thanks to their strong defense.
The young sensation, Achraf Hakimi will be the star of the team. The 19-year-old full-back has made it to the Spanish Club, Real Madrid, in the start of the 2017-18 season and has scored one goal in the nine games he had played.
Talking about stats, Khalid Boutaib is the top scorer in the squad with 4 goals in the world cup. Mbark Boussoufa and Noureddine Amrabat are the top assists with 3 each.
Renard is more expected to come forward with the more attacking 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formations in the upcoming matches.
Nabil Maaloul’s Tunisian side is currently ranked 21st be Fifa Rankings. Tunisia had a brilliant comeback in the tournament after 12 years with an unbeaten streak in the Qualifying round and have qualified ahead of the Democratic Republic of Congo & Guinea.
The Eagles of Carthage would be featuring in their 5th Worl Cup and have a chance to make history by qualifying to the Round Of 16, which they had never done before.
The Tunisian left-winger would be the point of everyone,s attention as his hat-trick against Guinea in the away game, secured the team’s qualification for the Cup
As seen in the recent matches, Maaloul is most likely to opt the 4-3-3 formation for his side.