How open is the World Cup?

The quality at times in the tournament is lacking and there's not been a plethora of great games, but it's quite refreshing to go into every game and not knowing what's going to happen (with the exception of Saudi Arabia and probably Panama realistically going to lose). We're fed on a diet of European football which is heavily predetermined towards the top club(s) in each league - same with the CL winners - and surprises are very rare. Spain-Iran (or Brazil-Costa Rica) is the equivalent of Real or Barca beating a minnow 6 or 7-0 in the CL group stage every year. In the World Cup they pushed them all the way and but for VAR (correctly with the decision) would have come away with a well earned result. It's similar with international qualifiers where you know England will twat most of the rubbish in the group but got out of jail against Tunisia.

For the first time since probably the 2002 World Cup it's all very open. At the start of the tournament there was a general consensus of Germany-Brazil will be the final or Spain and France the alternative and nothing beyond that. This could very much happen but it was said with the certainty of being able to predict Bayern Munich will win the Bundesliga or what teams will do well in CL. In 2002 it ended up still being a Brazil-Germany final but South Korea and Turkey (two bang average sides) pushed them all the way in the semi and could have easily won). The World Cup rarely produces a big surprise as far as the final. This is a tournament where anything could happen and it gives the likes of England a chance.
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