The stage is set for the 2018 World Cup, with the group stage draw putting Portugal and Spain together in Group B, while England will compete with Belgium in group G. The champions, Germany, will face Mexico, Sweden and South Korea in Group F. Russia, the hosts, have a comfortable group, with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay.
The opening match will be between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia, and will take place on June 14 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow . The final will be held on July 15, at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow.
Russia, as many expected, were drawn into a very comfortable group, only they’re not a very strong side. Uruguay are the favorites to finish first at this point, while second is up for grabs. A blind prediction? Egypt.
- Saudi Arabia
Two mega teams (Portugal 2016 European champions, Spain 2012 and 2008 European champions, 2010 World champions) and two rather weak sides. It’ll be a shock if the two Iberian sides don’t make it into the next round.
A comfortable group for France on paper, although they were knocked out in the group stage of the 2002 World Cup when they faced Denmark. The Danes look like the 2nd best side in this group.
Argentina and Nigeria tend to play each other in World Cup group stages and overall. While Messi and friends are favorites to finish first, there isn’t an “easy” match here, and 2nd will be a wide open competition.
Not an easy group for Brazil, who are obvious favorites to finish first. Switzerland are a stubborn side, and Costa Rica has proven to be a giant killer in previous World Cups, although not every time.
- Costa Rica
The world champions should finish first in this group. Second will probably be a battle between Mexico and Sweden, as South Korea seem to be weaker than in previous years.
- South Korea
Belgium, with the bulk of their top players in the Premier League, will likely compete with England for the top spot. It’ll be a shock if Panama or Tunisia make it into the next round.
While Poland were drawn first in this group, Colombia are probably the favorites at this point. Senegal and Japan aren’t easy outings, so this group is probably more open than some people think.