Student Guide to the FIFA World Cup

That’s right Roehampton, the summer of football is here! Put down your notepads, throw that laptop to the side, it’s time to get World Cup fever. Gather your friends, grab a comfy seat, get some snacks, it’s time for football, football, football!

So, for those of you that want to watch this World Cup, whether that be at home or on campus this summer, here’s my guide for you.

HOME

There is an array of opportunities out there for you to watch the World Cup in London over the next month, here’s a few places I’ve selected:

  1. Pitch, Stratford – Watch the football on a huge 196 inch screen in East London, just opposite Stratford High Street DLR station, and for free! Some matches will be ticketed at just £5, with a drink on arrival. Can’t complain there. You also have chance to go get some food from Westfield, enjoy some retail therapy and even go check out the Olympic Stadium.
  2. Boxpark, Shoreditch – If you like food and drink in a unique setting this is the place for you. Just outside Shoreditch High Street station and again it’s free.
  3. Skylight, Tobacco Dock – The nearest station is Wapping, a 7-minute walk away. Entry is once again free, so this won’t break the student bank. It’s a perfect place for anyone that needs to post for their ‘gram. Good chance to sit, chill and enjoy the World Cup with a view, what more could you want.
  4. Hope & Anchor, Brixton – Book a VIP Tiki hut, equipped with a TV screen so you never miss a moment of the action. You’ll see every wonder goal and you can get there on the 37 bus from Putney Heath Green Man.

For the students at home, remember that every World Cup game is aired on BBC and ITV, so make the most of it. The full fixture schedule is available here.

How will England do?

Manager Gareth Southgate has picked a young squad full of potential. Harry Kane will be the youngest ever England captain at a major tournament, at 24, while Jordan Pickford will also be the youngest starting goalie, also 24. Squad harmony seems to be the early difference to tournaments of recent years. The days of Gerrard/Lampard/Rooney bringing club rivalry into the set up seem to have passed and this will help England both on and off the pitch.

On to the three group games England have…

Monday 18 June, 7pm: England take on Tunisia. This should be a simple and easy win for England, but credit where credit is due, it’s not easy to qualify for a World Cup ahead of Ghana, Cameroon and the Ivory Coast. We should have enough fire power to make this a comfortable start to our World Cup campaign.

Sunday 24 June, 1pm: England take on Panama. Form suggests England have another 3 points in the bag, looking like we’ll make it out the group stages for sure this time.

Thursday 28 June, 7pm: England take on Belgium. This is going to be a game to watch as Belgium bring with them an incredible squad. Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard, the big guy Lukaku, Batshuayi; and that’s just the players whose names I can spell. This game could go either way but even with a loss we’ll come second in the group and continue on with our World Cup campaign.

Later in the tournament England will probably face Poland or Colombia in the round of 16. Either of the two will be tough but we’d prefer Poland. England could then continue on to play Brazil or Germany in the quarter finals and this my friends would be when England would be coming home (I hope not though).

AWAY

Now following on, the World Cup needs to have a few predictions, right? I asked students and staff members at the university for their predictions for the tournament.

Jacob Sarkisian – RSU staff

World Cup winner: Brazil or France, very undecided

Top scorer: Neymar (Brazil)

Player to watch: Willian (Brazil)

Azaria Oakley – History

World Cup winner: Brazil

Top scorer: Ronaldo (Portugal)

Player to watch: Neymar (Brazil)

Dan Brown – Social Media Team

World Cup winner: Brazil

Top scorer: Neymar (Brazil)

Player to watch: Asensio (Spain)

Tyla Harvey – Creative Writing

World Cup winner: France

Top scorer: Griezmann (France)

Player to watch: Griezmann (France)

Alex Panagiotidou – Social Media Team

World Cup Winner: Argentina

Top scorer: Mbappe (France)

Player to watch: Rashford (England)

Joshua Malone (me) – Sport and Exercise Science

World Cup winner: Brazil or Germany

Top scorer: Neymar (Brazil)

Player to watch: Mbappe (France)

Players to watch

Players to watch this tournament beside the big names we all know (Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar). Let’s look at players within our age range that could prove themselves at this World Cup.

Playing for the host nation and one-to-watch will be Aleksei Miranchuk. At 22-years-old he has netted seven times this season to help Locomotive Moscow win the Russian Premier League for the first time since 2004. Strong performances from him against Egypt and Uruguay could force a big money move this summer.

Let’s take a look at someone around our age bracket, 19-year-old, Achraf Hakimi playing in the Moroccan national team (and Real Madrid at club level). Now not all young players have medals under their belt already unlike Hakimi here, with winner medals for both Club World Cup and the Champions League, whilst also having the backing of Zinedine Zidane for his potential as a young player.

France have two young, expensive forwards looking to show the something this World Cup; Kylian Mbappe, age 19 and Ousmane Dembele, aged 21. Both are essential to watch for their creativity, skills and goal scoring prowess. These two could be lighting up major tournaments for the next 10 years.

Now you’re ready for the World Cup this summer, grab your drinks, the remote, follow me on Instagram and get the World Cup fever.

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