The draw for the upcoming World Cup 2018 recently took place at Saint Petersburg.
One of the toughest groups to qualify out of will be the Group A, which features two heavyweights in the form of Netherlands and France. Even though the Dutch have been on a rotten run of form since the appointment of Guus Hiddink after the World Cup 2014, the departure of the former Chelsea manager is expected to revive them.Hiddink recently stepped down from his role after failing to turn around the fortunes of the team even with a lot of months at the helm.
Despite this poor form, Didier Deschamps reckons that the Dutchman will be the favourite for qualification from the group as the winners. The former Marseille man may come out with such interviews, but he will be expected to take France to the World Cup without fail. His more important priority will be to perform well in the upcoming Euro 2016, in which France are the hosts. The disadvantage of being the hosts of a major tournament is that teams do not get the opportunity to test themselves in competitive matches. France are hoping to get around this situation by taking advantage of the home support.
The group also includes the likes of Bulgaria, Sweden, Belarus, and Luxembourg.”This is a strong group, compact, with good European nations. Favourites are the Netherlands because they were semi-finalists of the last World Cup in Brazil, where they finished third, but there is also Sweden, Belarus, Bulgaria, which are never easy teams to play. There are certainly easier groups than ours in the European zone.Being seeded, it can be an advantage in certain situations or not. But for sure it would have been better to win these matches in June,” said the French manager.