World Cup 2018 Draw Scenarios and Potential Group of Death

Next month, the attention of the elite football world will be focused on the World Cup draw in Moscow. Of course, fans and representatives of those countries that did not make it will have to watch on with envy as the shape of the tournament unfolds.

The draw, to be hosted by Gary Lineker and Maria Komandnaya, will take place on December 1 at the Kremlin in Moscow, with the 32 qualified teams split into four “pots” based on the current FIFA world rankings.

The host nation will be in pot 1 along with the seven highest-ranked teams. Each subsequent pot will feature the next eight teams in order of ranking.

Pots for 2018 World Cup draw (ranking in brackets):

  1. Russia (65), Germany (1), Brazil (2), Portugal (3), Argentina (4), Belgium (5), Poland (6), France (7).
  2. Spain (8), Peru (10), Switzerland (11), England (12), Colombia (13), Mexico (16), Uruguay (17), Croatia (18).
  3. Denmark (19), Iceland (21), Costa Rica (22), Sweden (25), Tunisia (28), Egypt (30), Senegal (32), Iran (34).
  4. Serbia (38), Nigeria (41), Australia (43), Japan (44), Morocco (48), Panama (49), South Korea (62), Saudi Arabia (63).

One team from each pot will be drawn in one of the eight groups (A-H), with Russia automatically going into Group A. However, teams from the same confederation (with the exception of UEFA) cannot be drawn in the same group, with a maximum of two teams from Europe in any one group.

Once the draw has been made, you can keep up to date with the full schedule on our dedicated World Cup betting blog.

Potential Group of Death

Every four years, one of the World Cup groups is labelled as the “Group of Death”. This year, the toughest possible group, according to FIFA’s official rankings is:

  • Germany, Spain, Costa Rica, Nigeria

The opposite of the Group of Death could probably be described as the “Group of Dreams”. This would include the lowest-ranked teams from each Pot and, based on the same criteria, would involve these teams:

  • Russia, Croatia, Iran, South Korea

So if Germany are drawn with Croatia, Iran and South Korea, that would be the ultimate Group of Dreams for the World Champions, while Pot 2 entries, England and Spain, will be hoping to be drawn against Russia, Iran and South Korea.

Favourites & betting tips

Reigning champions Germany are currently 5/1 favourites with bet365 ahead of France, Brazil and 2010 winners Spain. Despite being the current European Champions and ranked third in the world, Portugal are a lowly 25/1 in the betting with bookmaker Betway behind England and Belgium. With Captain Cristiano Ronaldo driving them on, they should stand a good chance of reaching the last eight.

As host nations, Russia are far too short for our liking at a 33/1 and should probably be avoided. However, Group I qualification winners Iceland are generously priced at 250/1 and could be worth backing in certain markets such as “To Qualify from Group,” once they become available.

You can find full details of Canada’s top bookmakers at BettingTop10, including William Hill, who have Germany just ahead of Brazil in the betting.