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Brazil's revenge must come in Russia

Brazil
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Low, Germany focus on fine tuning

Germany
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Germany vs. Spain could be semifinal preview

International friendly
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Germany won't fear anyone

World Cup Group F
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France, Germany are World Cup favourites

World Cup
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 By Ian Darke

World Cup 2018: Only five real favourites to win in Russia

The FC panel answer your tweets on the player most likely to win the World Cup Golden Boot, the differences between Maradona's Argentina and Messi's Argentina and more.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Ale Moreno delve into the differences between Paul Pogba's play with France versus his recent form with Man United.
The FC panel answer your tweets on why Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't have the same pressure to win the World Cup as Lionel Messi, the 'Bayern problem' in the Bundesliga and more.

The World Cup is less than three months away. If that does not quicken the pulse, you're probably better off with a good book. For the rest of us, the guessing games and predictions start here. Late injuries to key players could still upset calculations, but for this observer, there are only five teams with a realistic chance of lifting the trophy.

Top of that list would be defending champions Germany, who have a squad stacked with top players and a coach in Joachim Low with course and distance...

 By Michael Cox

Spain impress collectively; Brazil and Argentina need Neymar and Messi

The FC panel answer your tweets on the player most likely to win the World Cup Golden Boot, the differences between Maradona's Argentina and Messi's Argentina and more.
After Argentina conceded six goals in their friendly against Spain, the ESPN FC guys discuss how much should be read into the result.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Ale Moreno delve into the differences between Paul Pogba's play with France versus his recent form with Man United.

Assessing the contenders to win the World Cup results in two obvious conclusions.

The first is negative: There are fewer genuine contenders than in 2010 or 2014. This is partly the consequence of some high-profile absences; Netherlands and Italy are usually among either the favourites or the best-placed outsiders, while Chile were many people's dark horses ahead of the previous two editions. When combined with a sense that the likes of Colombia, Uruguay and Portugal are probably weaker than four...

World Cup breakout stars: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Hirving Lozano and more

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been attracting a lot of interest.

Scouting Spotlight has more of an international feel this week as we look ahead to the 2018 World Cup. Who are some of the breakout young stars who will be looking to impress in Russia?

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic -- Serbia and Lazio

Milinkovic-Savic may have been a Transfer Talk regular this season, but the 23-year-old is still a rookie on the international stage with Serbia. He made his debut in a friendly against China in November and followed up with a smart assist for Adem Ljajic against South...

Germany's disheveled loss to Brazil leaves plenty of room for improvement

BERLIN -- Germany had been unbeaten for 22 games. When the first defeat since the European Championship came Tuesday, it was well-deserved. Joachim Low's much-changed and wholly unconvincing side put in one of the poorest performances in the Bundestrainer's 12-year reign, stumbling to a 1-0 loss against a clever, if unspectacular Brazil team that flattered the hosts in the end. The gulf in class between a jumbled-together group of second-string squad members and Tite's composed, clinical Selecao...

 By Tim Vickery

Brazil cement contenders status in Germany, but sterner challenges await

Precisely eight years ago, Germany and Argentina faced each other in Berlin for a 2010 World Cup warm-up fixture. Argentina won 1-0. But when the sides met some three months later in the quarterfinals, when it really mattered, things were very different: Germany 4, Argentina 0.

The lesson is clear: It would be very foolish to attach too much importance Brazil's 1-0 friendly win. But for the Selecao, this visit to Berlin could never be just another friendly. It was their first meeting with Germany...

 By Nick Ames

Brazil look for modicum of revenge vs. Germany; France, Russia with something to prove

ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Mark Donaldson go head to head to predict the outcomes of Germany-Brazil, Spain-Argentina, Russia-France and more.

Brazil face emotional, painful reunion with Germany

Almost four years ago Germany gave Brazil a 7-1 evisceration that will scar their opponents' football psyche forever. On Tuesday, in Berlin, the Brazilians have a chance to exact a modicum of early revenge and it could be a pertinent indicator of just how complete the recovery of Tite's much-improved side has been. He has admitted the match is "emotionally important" for Brazil -- quite a statement ahead of a friendly -- and that has certainly...