World Cup 2018 Draw
Qualifying for the FIFA World Cup has been completed and the final line-up for the tournament has been confirmed with every nation eagerly awaiting to see who they will be drawn against during the group stage of the competition. The State Kremlin Palace in Moscow is the venue for the 2018 World Cup Draw which will take place on December 1st 2017.
The draw is expected to get underway around 10am Eastern Time and the ceremony will be watched by soccer fans around the world.
Former England International Gary Lineker and Russian Sports Journalist Maria Komandaya will host the ceremony.
All 32 teams will be hoping for a favourable draw when the balls are drawn from each of the pots and fans can stream the event live at FIFA.com or follow the draw on various sports blogs.
A number of big teams such as Italy, Netherlands and Chile have all missed out and the latest FIFA rankings could have a huge effect on who faces who during the opening round of matches. Sports betting sites are likely to reform their odds once the draw has taken place
How the Draw Works
The 32 teams will be split into four different pots which has been pre-determined based on the latest FIFA rankings. These were released in October following the final round of qualifiers. The early favourites in the online betting markets Germany, Brazil, France and Argentina will all be placed in pot 1 as they are the highest ranked sides. They will be joined by European champions Portugal, Poland, Belgium and the hosts Russia.
This guarantees that they cannot be drawn against one another.
The next eight teams with the highest rankings will enter Pot 2 (Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England etc), the same for Pot 3 (Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica etc) with the lowest ranked eight sides being place in the final Pot (Australia, South Korea, Panama, Saudi Arabia etc)
Each team will be drawn from the pot and placed into a group between A and H. This is likely to create a group featuring one of the favourites, a couple of middling sides and a perceived underdog.
How each Group will Look
There are 14 sides representing UEFA including the favourites with many sports betting firms – Germany. They are joined by Belgium, Serbia, England, Poland, Iceland, Switzerland and Denmark. South America have five representatives including Brazil who have been popular with online betting firms after their seamless qualifying campaign.
Egypt have qualified for their first FIFA World Cup since 1990 and are joined by fellow African sides Morocco, Senegal and Nigeria. Australia managed to secure their qualification after seeing off Honduras and are joined by Japan and South Korea from the Asian section whilst Panama will be playing their first tournament after qualifying through the CONCACAF Group.
There will be eight groups drawn (A-H) and each one is roughly set to feature one/two UEFA representatives (the limit is set at two) alongside representatives from the other confederations.
The top seeds such as Belgium, Portugal and France will be separated during the group stage but are likely to meet during the knock-out stage, assuming they progress. Each group will contain four sides and sports betting sites will open markets for group winners once the draw has concluded.
With Spain in Pot 2, it could produce a potentially explosive and exciting group in the tournament. The Spanish beat Germany in the 2010 World Cup and those sides could be drawn in the same group which would surely be the stand-out section.
Favourites Germany will be hoping to avoid Julen Lopetegui’s men with preference surely for Mexico from Pot 2, a side they beat in the 2017 Confederations Cup with an understrength side.
Surprisingly Italy’s conquerors Sweden have been placed in Pot 3 which could make it tough for them. Newcomers Panama will be drawn from Pot 4 which is likely to give them an extremely tough group and they’ll be hoping for hosts Russia as the top seeded team in their section.
England could renew hostilities with Germany once again with the Three Lions looking for revenge following the 4-1 hammering during the 2010 tournament but Gareth Southgate’s side could also be drawn against Iceland (Pot 3) who knocked them out of the UEFA European Championships two years ago against the odds.
England started as short odds-on favourites with sports betting firms but were humbled by the plucky underdogs and they could meet again in Russia. There are very few teams in Pot 1 which England could feel confident about beating although Poland and hosts Russia are probably perceived as the weakest.
Argentina were handed a winnable looking group during the 2014 World Cup and progressed to the final of the competition.
Whilst Bosnia haven’t qualified this time around, they could be drawn alongside both Nigeria and Iran once again with those sides separated in Pots 3 and 4. Both sides gave La Albiceleste a scare during the tournament with a late Messi winner needed to squeeze past a plucky Iran side.
Meanwhile hosts Russia and Belgium cannot be drawn against one another on this occasion but both could face South Korea once again.
Brazil will be hoping for a favourable draw and Croatia, Denmark and Saudi Arabia being looks like one of the best possible outcomes for the Selecao. Tite’s men will probably be hoping to avoid an in-form Sweden, Japan and Spain in their group.
World Cup Draw
The World Cup 2018 draw was conducted in Moscow on December 1st with the group stage of the tournament being determined. Each team was assigned a pot with the top seeds in Pot A and the remainder of the sides categorised into pots B-D depending on their FIFA ranking.
Hosts Russia were always going to be assigned into Group A and will face Saudi Arabia in the opening matches of the competition which will get underway on the evening of June 14th 2018.
As we already know, Russia have been drawn against Saudi Arabia in Group A and they will be joined by Egypt who are competing in their first World Cup since 1990. Uruguay make up the foursome with Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani likely to cause plenty of problems for the other three sides in this section.
Group B has thrown up an entertaining opening clash for soccer fans as Portugal will face Spain in an Iberian derby on June 15th 2018. Those two European sides are joined Morocco who sailed through their qualifying campaign without conceding a goal and Iran, who were one of the first teams to qualify for the competition.
France are biggest side to have been drawn in Group C and they will face Australia in their opening game of the World Cup 2018. The manager-less Socceroos will be aiming for second place but they face stiff competition with Peru and Denmark also eyeing up a spot in the final 16. The latter looked very impressive when seeing off Ireland in the play-offs.
Argentina and Nigeria are familiar foes with the two sides meeting regularly in these tournaments and they’ve been drawn together again in Russia. Iceland, who could be a surprise package once again are also in Group D alongside Croatia who needed a play-off to book their place at the competition.
Brazil sailed through their qualifying campaign with relative ease and their group draw has seen them pitched against Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia. The latter qualified well and despite an ageing squad are considered dark horses for the last 16 of the competition.
World Champions Germany have been drawn against Mexico and the two sides will meet in their opening encounter. The teams bumped into one another at the 2017 Confederations Cup with the Joachim Low’s side emerging winners. This group is complete by Sweden and complete outsiders Korea Republic.
England and Belgium are the two notable names in this group and their meeting will be one of the most anticipated clashes of the group stage. Panama, who are competing in their first World Cup are joined by Tunisia in Group G.
The World Cup Draw 2018 has been relatively kind to Poland drawing them alongside the unpredictable Senegal, Colombia, who failed to impress in qualifying and Japan.
World Cup Group Predictions
Many of the favourites in the online betting markets such as Brazil, Argentina, Germany and France will be expected to progress with ease although the latter have to make sure they don’t get complacent with Peru and Denmark waiting to pounce.
Don’t be surprised if the hosts Russia struggle to progress from Group A with Uruguay likely to finish top and have been priced up as the favourites by a number of sports betting firms for that section. Egypt’s hard-working approach could see them progress at the expense of the over-rated Russians.
In Group B, Iran don’t concede many goals and will hard to break down under Carlos Queiroz but may come up short with Morocco supposedly the best African team in the tournament. Both Spain and Portugal failed to make it out of the group at World Cup 2014 but they should both have enough to progress especially if they draw their opener.
Denmark have been chalked up as second favourites for Group C by online betting firms and they should be able to follow France through to the last 16 whilst Iceland face competition from Croatia and Nigeria but it’s extremely difficult to write off Heimir Hallgrimmson’s side at the moment who are exceeding all expectations and they should get through.
Group E looks competitive and Serbia could follow Brazil through at the expense of goal-shy Switzerland whilst Sweden’s heroics have made them second favourites to progress behind Germany in Group F.
It’s hard to see past a combination of England and Belgium in Group G whilst H looks extremely open. Sports betting sites have placed Colombia as the favourites for this weak-looking section but don’t be surprised to see Senegal spring a surprise.
Surprise packages of the tournaments are likely to be Iceland who progressed to the latter stages of Euro 2016 at the expense of England and finished top of their qualifying group. Sweden could surprise a fair few teams along the way whilst Morocco could be much better than the majority of soccer fans expect.
Highlights of the World Cup 2018 Draw
The World Cup 2018 draw has thrown up some interesting tussles. England and Belgium will be an excellent game and will go some way to deciding who finished top of Group G. Spain and Portugal is undoubtedly the highlight with the two sides going head to head on day 2 of the tournament. The sides met during the knock-out stages of the 2010 tournament with Spain continuing their dominance over their near-neighbours.
Argentina and Iceland is also a fascinating match-up with both sides operating very different styles and that tough Icelandic defence will be aiming to stop Lionel Messi. After dumping out Italy during the play-off stage, Sweden are the team most likely to upset Germany and that game will prove an intriguing prospect whilst France vs Denmark could be yet another highlight of the World Cup 2018 draw.
Another Terrific Tournament Awaits
The World Cup 2018 draw has ramped up the excitement amongst soccer fans and many online betting sites are beginning to price up the different markets ahead of June 2018. It’s set to be a terrific spectacle in Russia with supports already planning their trips to the tournament. The groups are extremely well-balance with Group C and D appearing the toughest. Groups A and H look the weakest but open plenty of betting opportunities for soccer punters to predict the outcome. Here at BettingTop10, we cannot wait for the World Cup 2018 to get started.
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