Thirty-two countries, one winner. But how can you predict the team that will lift the World Cup in Moscow on 15 July? By looking at the trends, statistics and patterns from tournaments past, BBC Sport has eliminated 31 nations and concluded which one will be crowned world champions. Here are the things that the 2018 World Cup winners must do… Since the World Cup expanded to 32 teams in 1998, all of the eventual champions have been seeded. Indeed, the last non-seeded winners were in 1986, when Argentina were carried to the trophy by Diego Maradona and his ‘hand of God’. In one move, we have removed 24 teams in the competition and are left with eight.
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