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World Cup 2018: Watch out for these in-form teams eyeing glory in Russia

Spain is unbeaten for the last 20 matches and is ranked 10th in the Fifa World Rankings

BS Web Team 

A light installation showing the official logotype of the 2018 FIFA World Cup
A light installation showing the official logotype of the 2018 FIFA World Cup

starts from June 14 in Russia. The opening ceremony will be held in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium which will also host the final.

There are 32 teams participating in the month-long tournament. The tournament favourites are Germany and Brazil but other strong contenders are France and Leo Messi led Argentina.

The qualifying campaign to the Fifa World Cup is a rigorous one.

Here are the 5 teams currently on the longest unbeaten runs ahead of 2018 World Cup:

Spain

How the World Cup favourites are shaping up

Spain is unbeaten for the last 20 matches and is ranked 10th in the Fifa World Rankings. Although it has seen some major overhaul ahead of the World Cup with Fernando Hierro appointed as new Spain coach after Julen Lopetegui was sacked following his move to Real Madrid.

ALSO READ: Spain World Cup squad: Will the ageing masters be able to conquer Russia?

Lopetegui has been instrumental for Spain and has not lost any of his first 20 games with 14 wins and 6 draws, the second best unbeaten start of any manager.

Belgium

Belgium National team

Belgium National team

The Red Devils are unbeaten for the 19 matches. The team ranked 3rd in the FIFA ranking, unsurprisingly, would be considered a force to reckon with this World Cup, especially with a list of renowned players from renowned clubs the world over playing for it.

There is remarkable quality and depth in every department of the Belgium squad, starting with Thibaut Courtois in goal. Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Vincent Kompany are top-notch defenders plying their trade in the leading clubs of England.

ALSO READ: Belgium World Cup squad: Do-or-die moment for Hazard's 'golden generation'

Belgium’s playmaking is controlled by Kevin De Bruyne, one of the best playmakers in the world, the brightest star of Guardiola’s ‘all-conquering’ Manchester City. The team is led by one of the best wingers in the world Eden Hazard, who plays for Chelsea FC.

Morocco

morocco national team

morocco national team

Morocco is unbeaten since the last 18 matches. Competing in the World Cup for the first time as Morocco manager, Hervé Renard boasts being the only manager to win the African Cup of Nations with two different teams. They have the defensive firepower to take on biggies.

ALSO READ: Morocco World Cup squad: Renard's defensive firepower to take on biggies

In their last round of qualification, Renard's men finished top of a group containing Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Gabon and Mali, maintaining a six-game unbeaten streak without conceding a single goal and scoring 11 in the process. The Atlas Lions are known to play possession-based football and press aggressively in defence.

Peru

Peru: A team of no stars aims to shine on biggest stage (Team Profile)

Peru is unbeaten for the last 15 matches. They are currently ranked 11th in the Fifa rankings. In the qualifying campaign, Chile, Ecuador and even Paraguay were initially considered more likely to take South America's fifth spot in the World Cup. But in the end, it went to a Peru side that conceded only seven goals in eight matches in 2017. So, they have the steel to take on the big teams.

ALSO READ: Peru World Cup squad: 23 players who will travel to Russia with Guerrero

Peru will head to Russia with their talismanic captain Paolo Guerrero after almost missing him due to a doping ban. The 33-year-old, who has been capped 86 times by his country, scored six goals in qualifying.

Denmark

Christian Eriksen, Denmark

Christian Eriksen

Denmark is unbeaten in the last 15 games and is currently ranked 12th in Fifa World Cup rankings. The past decade or so hasn't been the best of periods for Denmark football team. The national team missed out on qualifying for two of the past three FIFA World Cups.

ALSO READ: Fifa World Cup 2018: Denmark's success depends on Eriksen's dynamite effect

The squad boasts depth and, in Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen, world-class talent, even if there are question marks over the team's attack.

First Published: Thu, June 14 2018. 16:04 IST