World Cup 2018: The Groupings


 

WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN—21 DAYS

 

Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay

It's a pretty weak group but does include a former winning nation, Uruguay won in 1930, and Mohamed Salah, one of the in-form players in the world right now. It has the lowest number in terms of cumulative world rankings with Uruguay, 17th in the world, ranked the highest.

Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco and Iran
There's not really a 'group of death' this time around but this could be considered on based on the fact the Iberian nations will potentially kill Morocco and Iran in their clashes. Get the participation ribbons ready for the lower ranked teams in this group.

Group C - France, Peru, Australia, Denmark
It's France and then take your guess of which other side qualifies for the second round. Might be a tough watch for All Whites fans with Australia alongside Peru who earned their spot after beating New Zealand in the intercontinental playoffs.

Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
This looks like a fun group. You have Lionel Messi, the lovable underdogs Iceland, a Luka Modric led Croatia and Nigeria who face Argentina for the fifth time at a World Cup including a five-goal thriller four years ago.

Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Is this another group where three teams seem to be battling for second placed? Switzerland are ranked sixth in the world but whether they deserve that high ranking will be proven in Russia especially up against a Serbian side that lost once in qualifying and Costa Rica who impressed four years ago by topping a group that included Italy, England and Uruguay before making the last eight.

Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
This group certainly lacks a weaker side with Germany the heavy favourites to top the group. The Germans have lost once in their last 21 World Cup group games. Looking at the rest, Mexico are the top ranked side from CONCACAF and have made the last 16 the last six tournaments and probably have the edge over a Sweden side without Zlatan Ibrahimovic and South Korea who enter as the fourth best team out of Asia.

Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England
According to the rankings this is a very strong group with Belgium, England and Tunisia (who knew?) all ranked in the world's 14. The final group game between England and Belgium could be a real belter and decide which side goes through top. But it seems unlikely any team in this group will make the semifinals.

Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan
This is really the 'take your pick' group of the tournament. It's the only group that doesn't feature a previous World Cup winner but all four times could cause an upset along the way in the knock-out stages. Colombia have James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao while Poland feature Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich. Hopefully that means goals.

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