The 2018 FIFA World Cup groups have been drawn and they are quite interesting. The final draw took place yesterday and we now just have to wait for the tournament to begin. Here are all the groups, opening games and more:
Group A – Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
The World Cup hosts will be facing Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay during the group stage. Uruguay look like the favorites in this one but this group features teams that hadn’t played in the World Cup since 1990 and 2006 (Egypt and Saudi Arabia). It will be interesting to see what they do and let’s not forget that Russia is playing at home, which is always something that motivates a team even more.
Russia vs. Saudi Arabia will be the opening game of the 2018 World Cup. The game is scheduled for June 14, 2018.
Group B – Spain, Portugal, Iran, Morocco
The UEFA Euro 2016 Champions will have tough competition with Spain, Iran and Morocco. Spain and Portugal had a disappointing 2014 World Cup and will be looking to bounce back. It won’t be easy though, they’ll be facing Iran and Morocco. Iran’s 2014 World Cup was pretty good, especially that brilliant game they lost 0 – 1 against Argentina. Morocco is returning to the World Cup after 20 years but they’re coming off a big win against Ivory Coast, a team that had qualified for three straight World Cups.
The opening game for this group will be between Spain and Portugal. The game is scheduled for June 15, 2018.
Group C – France, Peru, Denmark, Australia
France looks like a strong favorite to finish first in the group but things could be quite interesting for second place. Peru, Denmark and Australia are all coming off big victories in the playoff and they all look like candidates to advance to the next round. Peru is returning to the World Cup after 36 years while Denmark is returning after 19 years.
The opening game of Group C will be between France and Australia. The game is scheduled for June 16, 2018.
Group D – Argentina, Croatia, Nigeria, Iceland
Group D looks very tough for Argentina as they will be facing three solid teams. Croatia has plenty of stars while Nigeria has faced Argentina at the World Cup a few times. The last match between them took place at the 2014 World Cup and was won by Argentina 3-2. Iceland is coming off an impressive UEFA Euro 2016 and will now be playing in the World Cup for the first time in their history.
Argentina vs. Iceland will be the opening game of this group. The match is scheduled for June 16, 2018.
Group E – Brazil, Serbia, Costa Rica, Switzerland
Brazil looks like the favorite here but the group does have Costa Rica and Switzerland, two teams that were pretty good at the previous edition. Let’s not forget about Serbia, a team that has already played at the World Cup in 2006 and finished as the group leader in the European qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.
Switzerland will be facing Brazil in the opening game of Group E. The game is scheduled for June 17, 2018.
Group F – Germany, Mexico, South Korea, Sweden
The 2014 World Cup Champions are clearly the favorites in this group but they will have some tough competition against Mexico, South Korea and Sweden. Mexico and South Korea have had really good results in past World Cups while Sweden is coming off a playoff in which they eliminated Italy.
The first match of this group, scheduled for June 17, 2018, will be between Germany and Mexico.
Group G – England, Belgium, Panama, Tunisia
Belgium and England appear to be strong favorites in this group but anything can happen at the World Cup. In the 2014 edition, we saw Belgium advance and make it far in the tournament while England was eliminated after two games and from the group stage for the first time since 1958.
The opening game of Group G will be between Belgium and Panama on June 18, 2018.
Group H – Japan, Colombia, Senegal, Poland
Colombia appears to be the big favorite here after a good 2014 World Cup and 2018 qualifiers. Japan qualified for its sixth straight World Cup and they will face Colombia again after meeting in the 2014 World Cup group stages. Senegal is returning to the World Cup after 15 years. In the 2002 edition, they made headlines when they defeated France, who were champions at the time. Poland qualified for its first World Cup since 2006.
Poland and Senegal will meet in the opening game of Group H on June 19, 2018.
What do you think about the groups? Which teams do you think will advance? Which teams do you think will disappoint? Let us know in the comments.