World Cup 2018 Draw

The World Cup 2018 draw took place in Moscow at the Kremlin Palace, on December 1. Around 6,000 spectators watched as 32 nations found out who they will face at next summer’s footballing extravaganza.

The tournament is scheduled to take place from June 14 to July 15, 2018, and will be the first time the World Cup has been held in Eastern Europe. A total of 64 fixtures will be played in 12 venues across 11 cities, with the final taking place at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The winners qualify for the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup.

A number of high profile figures will be involved in the World Cup draw, including the all-time tournament top goalscorer Miroslav Klose and former England international Gary Lineker.

There will be a vast array of betting opportunities available on the World Cup and the following BettingTop10 review will provide you with all you need to know about the draw.



The teams will be split into four pots based on their FIFA world rankings. Pot 1 contains Russia and the seven other highest-ranked teams. Pot 2 contains the next eight highest ranked, with the structure repeated for Pots 3 and 4.

The 32 nations will be divided into eight groups of four, with each team playing the other sides in their group once. The top two countries in each group advance to the second round.

The World Cup draw ensures that no group can have more than one team from any continental confederation with the exception of UEFA, which may have no more than two in a group.

World Cup Pots


The World Cup draw’s date of December 1 is massive event in the football calendar, with the 32 nations desperate to discover who they will face at the tournament.

The teams will be divided into four pots each containing eight nations. These are as follows:

  • Pot 1: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
  • Pot 2: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia
  • Pot 3: Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
  • Pot 4: Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia

Each Pot will be designated a letter from A-H, with Russia placed in Group A and the other seven nations drawn into groups B-H.

The eight nations in Pot 2 will then be drawn, followed by Pots 3 and 4.



Holders Germany are the favourites for the tournament, with five-time winners Brazil also prominent in the betting.

England are seeded among the second batch of teams, meaning they will definitely avoid Spain in the group stage. Gareth Southgate’s team could end up in what would be dubbed a ‘Group of Death’ alongside Brazil, Sweden and Nigeria. However, a line-up of Poland, Iran and Panama would be viewed far more favourably.

The Three Lions will be keen to avoid a repeat of the 2014 World Cup draw in Brazil where they faced Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica. England picked up just one point from their three games and were eliminated alongside Italy.

Germany have not lost a World Cup finals or qualifying game since the semi-final against Spain in 2010. They came through 2018 qualifying with 10 wins from 10 games – scoring 43 goals and conceding only four. Belgium, Spain and England were also unbeaten during European qualifying.

Brazil won just one of their opening six qualifiers leading to the sacking of manager Dunga. New boss Tite turned things around, leading Brazil to ten wins and two draws from their final 12 group games.

Iran were impressive in qualifying in Asia, with their 18-game unbeaten streak including a run of 12 consecutive clean sheets. Central American nation Panama have reached their first World Cup thanks to a late winner against Costa Rica – a goal that also eliminated the United States.

Germany, Brazil and France will be eager to avoid Spain, while the likes of England, Mexico and Uruguay are also strong contenders in Pot 2. Denmark and Sweden are amongst the leading nations in Pot 3, while Serbia and Nigeria should not be underestimated in Pot 4.

A group of Brazil, Spain, Sweden and Nigeria would arguably be the toughest line-up the World Cup draw could deliver, with Poland, Peru, Iran and Panama probably the weakest potential group.

Remember to follow BettingTop10 before and during the tournament, as we bring you all the latest World Cup information.

More information

World Cup 2018 Groups


The groups for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia have now been drawn and many of the leading nations are fancied to secure a place in the knockout stage.

The tournament takes place in 12 stadiums across Russia between June 14 and July 15 and there are a host of teams holding a realistic chance of lifting the trophy.

The World Cup draw saw 32 nations drawn into eight groups each containing four teams. The line-up is as follows:

  • 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
  • Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
  • Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
  • Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

Russia will play Saudi Arabia in the opening game in Moscow on 14 June, whilst holders Germany begin their campaign three days later against Mexico.

Which teams will progress through the first round?

Tournament favourites Germany will be pleased with the World Cup 2018 draw, although both Mexico and Sweden have the ability to spring a surprise in Group F.

The Germans qualified for the World Cup without losing a game and are heavily fancied to win the trophy for a fifth time. Joachim Low’s side should finish in the top two in the group, whilst Mexico have lost just twice in nine previous meetings against Sweden and could make it through to the knockout stage.

Second favourites Brazil are strongly fancied to progress from Group E as they bid to win the World Cup for a sixth time. Switzerland lost just once during qualifying and could take second spot.

France have been handed a favourable draw in Group C and should prove too strong for Australia, Peru and Denmark. The Danes eased past the Republic of Ireland in the play-offs and can progress to the next round.

Spain and Portugal look certain to prove too strong for Morocco and Iran in Group B, whilst Argentina appear likely winners of Group D ahead of Croatia. England and Belgium should go through from Group G, with Poland and Colombia looking good bets to take the top two spots in Group H.

Uruguay are favourites to win Group A, whilst hosts Russia will fancy their chances of finishing ahead of Egypt and Saudi Arabia to qualify for the last 16.

Which team will surprise us?

The World Cup draw’s date of December 1 was eagerly anticipated by football fans across the globe.

Leading nations like Brazil, France and Spain were handed favourable draws, but some of the lower-ranked teams will hope to spring a surprise at the tournament. Iceland were the big story at Euro 2016, knocking out England in the last 16, but the World Cup draw has handed them a difficult group. Argentina, Croatia and Nigeria are all tough opponents and Iceland could find it hard to repeat their heroics in Russia.

Sweden could be a good bet for a surprise in Group F. The Swedes finished above the Netherlands during qualifying and went on to knock out Italy in the play-offs. Germany and Mexico are favourites to claim the top two spots, but Sweden are capable of pulling off a shock if they repeat the form they showed against the Italians.

Panama are one of the least-fancied teams expected to make an impact at this World Cup, but a win or a draw against England or Belgium would arguably be one of the biggest-ever surprises at the tournament. A late goal secured Panama’s place in Russia at the expense of the USA and they will hope their fairy tale can continue in Group G.

WC 2018 Draw

What can be expected

The World Cup draw has largely been kind to the leading nations, with the majority handed groups they will expect to progress to the knockout stage from.

Hosts Russia will hope to put a dismal showing at Euro 2016 behind them, and whilst Uruguay are strongly fancied to win Group A the Russians may be good enough to see off Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Brazil and France appear certainties to reach the last 16 at least, with Spain, Belgium and England also looking good bets to make progress.

Only eight nations have ever won the World Cup and it’s difficult to see there being a different name on the trophy in 2018. Brazil is the only national team to have won the World Cup on four different continents and they are the most likely non-European winners in Russia.

European teams have won four of the last five tournaments and the likes of Germany, France and Spain can be expected to make strong bids to add another World Cup success to their list of honours.

WC 2018 Draw Highlights

Highlights of the draw

Germany rarely struggle in the group phase of the World Cup, but they will have to be on their mettle for what could be a tricky trio of games against Mexico, Sweden and South Korea.

England’s clash with Belgium and Spain’s meeting with Portugal are the undoubted highlights of the first round of games, whilst it will be interesting to see how Panama fare on their World Cup debut.

Saudi Arabia will be the first Asian team to play in the tournament’s opening match when they take on hosts Russia in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on June 14.

Croatia, Iceland, and Nigeria will all fancy their chances of reaching the knockout phase, with the World Cup draw placing them alongside Argentina in Group D.

Conclusions icon


The 2018 World Cup in Russia promises to be a month-long festival of footballing brilliance.

England manager Gareth Southgate will be keen to play down expectations, despite his team being drawn in a group from which most people would expect them to advance without too many problems.

If England do progress to the knockout stage both Brazil and Germany are possible opponents later in the tournament, but having drawn with both in friendlies there is no reason to believe Southgate’s side couldn’t spring a surprise at the World Cup.

Realistically the winner of the World Cup is likely to come from Germany, Brazil, France or Spain, but keep an eye on BettingTop10 before and during the tournament as we bring you all the latest updates and information.

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