FIFA World Cup Draw 2018
- December 6th, 2017
- Charlie Bull
The wait and anticipation is over! The FIFA World Cup Draw has been made for the 2018 finals in Russia. All 32 teams now know exactly who they'll be playing, when, and where. The draw was made at the Kremlin Building in Russia's capital, Moscow. President Vladimir Putin was on hand to provide a small speech, while the draw was co-hosted by former England forward Gary Lineker.
How Did the Draw Work?
There are eight groups of four teams in the FIFA World Cup - sorted from Group A through to Group H. Prior to the draw, teams were seeded in four pots based on their FIFA world ranking. Russia, along with the next best seven teams were in Pot 1, the next best eight in Pot 2, and so on. One team from each of the four pots was drawn into each group.
Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, Korea Republic
Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan
Neighbours Portugal and Spain face off for the first time since the Euro 2012 semi-finals. Group F looks to be a tricky group to get out of. You would expect Germany to go through top, but any one of the other three teams would be disappointed to go home early. Belgium versus England looks set to be a fascinating encounter, in their last group stage match. The Belgian national squad for the November friendlies included 15 current Premier League players!
On paper, it's hard to see any upsets in the group stages and even going into the last 16 stage, the likely fixtures to happen don't appear to be capable of providing a big underdog story. But this is the international stage; magic does happen! You only need to think back to Euro 2016, to revisit the amazing success of Iceland and Wales.
I can see Portugal, France, England, Brazil, Germany, Belgium, Spain and Argentina all making it through to the Quarter-Finals, with a very possible meeting of the age-old enemies England and Germany! The way the tournament is laid out, I am picturing a Brazil v Spain final.
The FIFA World Cup 2018 begins in Russia on June 14th when the hosts face Saudi Arabia. I cannot wait it to begin!