Qualifications for Russia 2018 are finished and the world cup draw 2018 will take place on the 1st of December in the State Kremlin Palace inside the Moscow Kremlin at 15:00 GMT. Fans will be able to watch it live on television and it will also be streamed on the FIFA website. Ireland fans will be able to watch it on BBC and ITV. FIFA confirmed that England international soccer player Gary Linekar will conduct the group draw alongside Russian sports journalist Maria Komandnaya.

russia world cup 2018

World Cup Draw 2018 Procedure

The draw itself can be a complicated process and involves pots, seeds, and other rules and regulations. Below is information on how the countries are placed in the pots and how the draw works.

How Countries are Placed in the Pots

The 32 qualifying teams will be placed into four pots of eight and then drawn into eight groups, lettered A-H. With the exception of the hosts Russia who will be placed in pot one and given slot A1, the qualifiers will be added to the pot based on their October FIFA ranking in descending order. The highest-ranking teams will all go in pot one.

How the Draw Works

The world cup 2018 draw is not as simple as just pulling a team from each pot to form groups either. The rules state that no team from the same confederation can be drawn in the same group. The only exception here is UEFA. Two European teams can be drawn in one group but not three. The draw will then divide the 32 teams into eight groups of four and each group will play three matches before the top two countries advance to the second round of the World Cup. Russia will automatically be placed in Group A.

Group Draw Pots

There are 32 finalists that have been separated into four pots based on how they seed. For sports betting fans, this shows who the favorites are and teams in Pot one are the highest ranking.

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

World Cup Draw 2018 Predictions

Online betting enthusiasts will be watching the group draw with baited breath to see what bets they will be making in this soccer tournament. Qualifying teams will be paired for their first matches and this will determine the next round. Iceland and Panama are making their debut and for Russia 2018 we are without Italy, Chile, Cameroon, and the Netherlands.

Group Predictions

There are always predictions on possible groups including the group of death where teams are thought to draw the short straw. Our BettingTop10 predictions for this group would be Brazil, Spain, Denmark, and Nigeria. This would be the hardest group.

A second group could be Germany, Spain, Egypt, and Japan. Spain are the clear team to avoid from Pot 2. A possible third group could be Argentina, Spain, Senegal, and Serbia. Argentina come from Pot 1.

Qualifiers in Pots 2, 3, or 4, will be hoping to land Russia in the group stage. Pot 2’s underdog is Switzerland, with Iran taking this spot in Pot 3.

Possible Scenarios

Below we have some possible scenarios that soccer fans will be watching for when it comes to online betting.

  • Brazil and Spain are in the same group this will put two contenders up against each other very early in the competition.
  • An exciting group for soccer sports betting fans would be Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, and South Korea. Another would be Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, and Nigeria.
  • The worst-case scenario for most teams would be to be drawn against Spain or Germany in their first group match.
  • England will draw one team from Pot 1, 3, and 4. Their best possible draw would include Russia, Senegal, and Saudi Arabia.
  • England’s worst possible draw would include Germany, Costa Rica, and Nigeria.
  • Germany haven’t lost a since 2010 when they were beaten by Spain and this will be a group draw they will be hoping to avoid.
  • Germany best possible draw would be Saudi Arabia.
  • Brazil will be hoping to avoid Spain.

World Cup 2018 Draw – How It Works and Qualifying Predictions

The World Cup draw 2018 has been held and we can now reveal who will play who in the group stages kicking off in Russia on the 14th of June 2018.


Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay

Group matches are:

  • June 14 Russia v Saudia Arabia
  • June 15 Egypt vs Uruguay
  • June 19 Russia v Egypt
  • June 20 Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia
  • June 25 Uruguay v Russia and Saudi Arabia v Egypt

Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco and Iran

Group Matches are:

  • June 15 Morocco v Iran and Portugal v Spain
  • June 20 Portugal v Morocco and Iran v Spain
  • June 25 Spain v Morocco and Iran v Portugal

Group C: France, Australia, Peru and Denmark

Matches are:

  • June 16 France v Australia and Peru v Denmark
  • June 21 France v Peru and Demark v Australia
  • June 26 Australia v Peru and Denmark v France

Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria

Matches Are:

  • June 16 Argentina v Iceland and Croatia v Nigeria
  • June 21 Argentina v Croatia
  • June 22 Nigeria v Iceland
  • June 26 Iceland v Croatia and Nigeria v Argentina

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia

Matches are:

  • June 17 Costa Rica v Serbia and Brazil v Switzerland
  • June 22 Brazil v Costa Rica and Serbia v Switzerland
  • June 27 Switzerland v Costa Rica and Serbia v Brazil

Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden and Korea Republic

Matches are:

  • June 17 Germany v Mexico
  • June 18 Sweden v South Korea
  • June 23 Germany v Sweden and South Korea v Mexico
  • June 27 Mexico v Sweden and South Korea v Germany

Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England

Matches are:

  • June 18 Belgium v Panama and Tunisia v England
  • June 23 Belgium v Tunisia
  • June 24 England v Panama
  • June 28 Panama v Tunisia and England v Belgium

Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan

Matches are:  

  • June 19 Poland v Senegal and Columbia v Japan
  • June 24 Japan v Senegal and Poland v Columbia
  • June 28 Senegal v Columbia and Japan v Poland

Our BettingTop10 Predictions

Below are our BettingTop10 predictions following the World Cup draw 2018 for all the sports betting fans out there.

Which teams will pass the first round?

In group A we predict Egypt to secure their place in the next round. In Group B the match between Spain and Portugal will be one to watch but we predict that Spain will top their group. In Group C France should beat Australia and Peru easily enough and it could be a play-off between them and Denmark. In Group D Argentina should come out on top. Group E should be Brazil who have been drawn a fairly easy group. Their toughest opponents will be Serbia. Group F Germany should be the winner and in Group G England may have the slight advantage and Belgium will be the side they need to beat. In Group H the action will be between Poland and Senegal.

Which teams will surprise us?

Iceland in Group D could be a team to watch.

What to expect?

We can expect to see some great soccer games during the month of June 2018 when all eyes will turn to Russia. The Spain v Portugal match will be one to watch. Argentina v Nigeria is another one to watch and it’s the fifth time the two sides have met in the last seven World Cups. Argentina have yet to lose. In Group A the Uruguay v Egypt game should be exciting with lots of the Premier League players in action. England v Belgium is another exciting match. There are some intriguing matches and the excitement should become even better after the group stages.

Highlights Of The Draw

The 2018 World Cup Draw went off without a hitch and featured some folk dancing and two musical interludes. England got a great draw and it was Diego Maradona that delivered their group. The irony of this wasn’t lost on host, Gary Lineker who said, “Diego has always been good with his hands.” Of course, he was referring to the time when the Argentine cheated and knocked England out of the 1986 World Cup quarter finals.


There’s lots to looking forward when it comes to online betting on this soccer tournament and the bookies have already been adjusting their odds following the World Cup Draw. England have moved up to 16/1 odds from 25/1. Germany and Brazil both remain the favourites at 5/1 with France following at 6/1. Spain have odds of 15/2, Argentina 8/1, Belgium 12/1, Portugal and Columbia both at 25/1, Croatia at 28/1, and Russia and Uruguay at 33/1.