The 2018 FIFA World Cup draw took place at Kremlin Palace, Moscow, Russia on December 1st 2017 with the 32 teams that qualified for next year summer tournament in Russia. Next year World cup tournament will be the 21st FIFA World Cup and it is scheduled to take place from June 14 to July 15 2018 in Russia with 12 venues in 11 host cities after the country was awarded the hosting rights on 2nd December, 2010. The host nation, England, Brazil and France all got favourable draws.
The teams who qualified where grouped into four pots based on the FIFA World Rankings and each team was picked systematically. A total of 8 groups with 32 teams will slug it out at next year’s world cup tournament.
Russia President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino opened the draw. The Russia President spoke about the spirit of fair play in welcoming all the entrants to Russia next year.
Russia proposed the following host cities: Kaliningrad, Kazan, Krasnodar, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, Volgograd, Yaroslavl and Yekaterinburg.
The following is 2018 World Cup draw in full:
Group A is made of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay.
Group B: Portugal, Spain, Iran, Morocco
Group C: France, Peru, Denmark, Australia
Group D: Argentina, Croatia, Iceland, Nigeria
Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Group G: Belgium, England, Tunisia, Panama
Group H: Poland, Colombia, Senegal, Japan
The first match will be played on 14 June 2018 between Russia vs. Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow followed by Egypt vs. Uruguay on 15 June 2018 at the Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg. Russia, ranked 65th in FIFA’s rankings will battle it out with African nation Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay in Group A. The host nation will face the Saudi Arabians in the tournament’s opening match where a win will be crucial to lift their hopes to the passage into the next round. Uruguay are favourites to top the group due to the strong strike force partnership of Luis Suarez and PSG star EdinsonCavani, Egypt are not to be written off to soon as they possess treat from the prolific Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah.
Europeans champions Portugal and Spain will meet in Sochi to kick off group B campaign, while Morocco, who qualified for the first time since 1998 and Iran will also battle it out.
Spain who failed to qualify for the group stage last World Cup will be keen to make up at this year’s tournament while Real Madrid Play maker Cristiano Ronaldo will always want to impress to prove he is still the world best.
In group C, France are emerging favourites but they have to be on their toes with Peru, Erikson’s Denmark and Australia all seeking passage into the next round.
France with players such as AntonieGriezmann and Oliver Giroud in attack, Manchester United star Paul Pogba and NkoloKante powering the midfield will have to make up for their loss at 2016 Euros final.
Argentina who left it late to qualify for the tournament following a superb performance from Lionel Messi, scoring a hat trick in their final game against Ecuador will help the team again navigate their way through a group containing Iceland, Nigeria and Croatia.
This will be the fifth time Argentina and Nigeria will be in the same World group stage, having met in 1994, 2002, 2010, 2014.Iceland are the smallest nation to qualify for next year’s tournament will battle it out with Croatia’s Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic and Barcelona’s Rakitic and Nigeria’s Alex Iwobi of Arsenal, John Obi Mikel together with Messi, Angel Di Maria.
Group E consists of five time champions Brazil who are favourites to top the group will go head to head with fellow teams Switzerland, Serbia and Costa Rica in the group.
Last year’s world cup winners Germany will have to play for it when the meet teams like Mexico, Sweden and South Korea in group F.
Gareth Southgate team, England will have to be consistent in their playing if they want a smooth passage into the next round, but they should also be wary of treats from Vincent Kompany’s Belgium side, African nation Tunisia and pananmawho are all in Group G.
It will be a tricky one for Poland in Group H, when Bayern Munich striker Robert Lawandoskiwill lead the attack for his team and will come against the likes of Sadio Mane of Senegal, Monaco RadamelFalcao, and 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rosdriguez Colombia and Japan.
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