Our Latest Updated Power Rankings Based Upon Released Group Information.
With Italy and the United States failing to qualify for Group Play, and FIFA announcing the groupings we have some important new data to consider in our power rankings. First off, the groupings are:
Analysis of Groups Ranked from worst to best:
8. Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Here come the conspiracy theories. Russia hasn’t made the knockout stage in its four World Cups since 1994. Now that it is hosting, it just happens to draw the easiest group in the tournament. Russia should be able to get out of the group, but it might not win it. Uruguay is always game for the World Cup and will be favored to come out of Group A on top. Egypt has a chance to make some noise, but on paper it’s third. Saudi Arabia should just be happy to be there.
7. Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
Belgium-England is a great matchup. Unfortunately, by the time it’s played on the final match day of the group stage, both should be well on their way to the knockout round. If they both beat Panama and Tunisia, as expected, they’ll rest their best players against one another. But if either Tunisia or Panama can get even a point against England or Belgium, the final match day game between Belgium and England could be important.
6. Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
France should consider itself lucky after this draw. Considering their competition in Group C, Les Bleusalready have one foot in the door of the knockout round, as they should be able to handle each of the other three teams. Australia is easily the weakest of the bunch here and should finish 3rd or 4th. The difficult part is figuring out who finishes second, Peru or Denmark. Both have shown an ability to win in big spots by getting into the World Cup through playoffs
5. Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
This summer will be a stressful time on the Iberian Peninsula, as Spain and Portugal are the first match of Group B. And, their African neighbor to the south, Morocco, will also compete in Group B. When Portugal and Spain were drawn as the top two teams in this group, it appeared destined to be the “Group of Death.” But Morocco and Iran shouldn’t provide much of a challenge for either, who should make it into the knockout round without much of a problem. Portugal-Spain opener will be pivotal. As long as the match doesn’t end in a draw, one of the sides will be an upset away from not advancing.
4. Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan
Group H — This might be the most balanced and up-for-grabs group in the tournament, but it doesn’t have enough quality to make it the “Group of Death.” Poland is quality and will be considered the favorite to advance to the next round. After that…? None of the other three teams in the group are more or less talented than the others.
3. Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Brazil is the favorite here. It’ll win the group and advance to the knockout round. After that, things get more complicated. Serbia proved itself by winning its qualification group. Costa Rica will be overlooked. But, best not to underestimate them. Switzerland is the dark horse here. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Switzerland advance alongside Brazil.
2. Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Group F is terrific. Current World Cup champion Germany is not only the favorite to advance from Group F, it’s the favorite to win the whole things. But behind Germany are three good teams with the potential to advance, as well. Mexico just finished off one of its best World Cup qualifying runs ever with a team that looks like it’s best ever . Sweden has found it’s identity post-Zlatan Ibrahimovic and will be looking to prove it was always more than a one-man team. South Korea is one of the most consistently overlooked teams. It’s made every World Cup since 1986 and finished fourth in 2002. Germany is a given, and each of the other teams has a solid chance to advance. This group is going to be fun to watch!
1. Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
Finally this is our “Group of Death,” Group F is packed with plenty of intrigue and uncertainty. There is no doubt Argentina is the favorite to advance, but they have struggled over the past four years, dating back to the loss to Germany in the last World Cup final. Croatia and Nigeria are both quality teams. Not only does each have the potential to advance to the knockout, each has the potential to beat Argentina. Regardless of who advances here, it’ll be one heck of a battle. And who can forget Iceland. Iceland proved at Euro 2016 and in World Cup qualification that it knows how to win.
Just as a reminder the details of next year’s FIFA World Cup are the following:
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be the 21st ever FIFA World Cup. It’s considered a quadrennial international football/soccer tournament for the men’s national team members of FIFA. It is scheduled to take place in Russia from June 14th – July 15th of 2018. This will be the first World Cup ever held in Eastern Europe, and the first held in Europe since 2006. It is soccer’s biggest tournament and shows national pride like no other event. See the graphic below to see the past winners of the FIFA World Cup.
The final tournament will involve 32 national teams, which are determined by qualifying competitions as well as an automatic qualification for the host nation of Russia. 12 venues in 11 cities will host a total of 64 matches with the final game being played on July 15th in Moscow at Luzhniki Stadium.
Here are two great 2018 FIFA World Cup Videos to get you caught up on qualifying news and to get you excited about the event!
I hope you’ve enjoyed our little preview of FIFA’s 2018 World’s Cup in Russia. Please leave your comments below on why you agree or disagree with our FIFA Power Rankings.
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