Yesterday, Friday 1st December 2017 was the 2018 World Cup draws that took place at the Kremlin. Each of the 32 team to compete in the tournament that will be in Russia in June and July 2018 learned their group fates. Sparking over six months of dissection, analysis and prognostication ahead of the opening kick on June 14 at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
The draw determined eight groups, from which the top two teams will advance to the knockout stage.
Will the defending champions, Germany, become the first team to defend the title since Pele’s Brazil did in 1958 and 1962? Ugandanbuzz brings you full group by group analysis and here it is.
2018 World Cup Summary
Group A: Russia, Uruguay, Egypt, Saudi Arabia
Group B: Portugal, Spain, Iran, Morocco
Group C: France, Peru, Denmark, Australia
Group D: Argentina, Croatia, Iceland, Nigeria
Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Group G: Belgium, England, Tunisia, Panama
Group H: Poland, Colombia, Senegal, Japan
2018 World Cup Group by Group Analysis
Group A: (Russia, Uruguay, Egypt, Saudi Arabia)
The opening game of the World Cup will be Russia against Saudi Arabia, he two worst teams in the tournament, according to the FIFA rankings. The group is quite nicely balanced, though: Uruguay will expect to make the last 16, but both Russia and Egypt will have hopes of joining them.
Group B: (Portugal, Spain, Iran, Morocco)
Not as bad as it might have been for Portugal and Spain. Both will expect to make it through. However, Morocco is not to be underestimated in a group that also includes Iran. Finishing on top here might prove crucial as the tournament’s knockout round takes shape.
Group C: (France, Peru, Denmark, Australia)
If France had imagined an ideal group, it would have been this. Peru was among the weakest of the second seeds, Australia does not have a coach, and Denmark should not trouble them too much. Second place could be intriguing, though but I give it Denmark.
Group D: (Argentina, Croatia, Iceland, Nigeria)
Probably the most delicately balanced, most interesting, and most competitive of all the groups. Argentina only just qualified, Croatia has an abundance of individual talent, Iceland a tremendous collective strength and Nigeria was, possibly, the toughest fourth seed to draw. Argentina will not be happy at all.
Group E: (Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia)
Brazil will not be nearly as happy as France, however. Serbia, Switzerland and Costa Rica is a relatively kind section for Tite’s team. The battle to join them in the last 16 will be absolutely fascinating, however: there is not much between those three teams. And there may not be many goals between them, either.
Group F: (Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea)
Like France and Brazil, Germany has nothing to complain about: Sweden is hard-working but limited, and neither South Korea nor Mexico have the quality to derail the reigning champion.
Group G: (Belgium, England, Tunisia, Panama)
It should be a straight shootout between England and Belgium to see who claims the top spot and, with it, a theoretically easier second-round fate. The main advantage Panama and Tunisia have is that both will, to some extent, be unknown quantities.
Group H: (Poland, Colombia, Senegal, Japan)
Along with Group A, Group H seems the most evenly spread. Poland was among the weakest top seeds, and Colombia will harbor ambitions of finishing first. Japan and Senegal, though, will both see the Round of 16 as a real possibility now.
Who are the Favorites?
Germany and Brazil are installed as the early betting favorites. They are currently at 5-1 co-favorites. According to the British bookmaker Paddy Power, he also rates France (6-1), Spain (13-2) and Argentina (8-1) as serious contenders. The home team, Russia, is 33-1.
Iceland was given a 100-1 chance immediately after the draw, while Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Panama were the longest shots on the board at 500-1.