Brazil, France and Belgium are in the most complicated groups of the first stage
The Russia 2018 World Cup is about to start and 32 teams will fight to get to the grand final on July 15th. To achieve this, the qualifications in the group stage will be key to decide who passes onto the second round and quarterfinals.
FIFA carries out a team ranking based on the results obtained in previous matches and competitions. According to this classification, there are easier groups and other more complicated ones to get the pass to eighths.
? #RankingFIFA de junio
?? Alemania mantiene el #1
?? Polonia alcanza el #8
????????? principales ascensos Top-20
— FIFA.com en español (@fifacom_es) June 7, 2018
Group A consists of Uruguay (ranked 14th), Egypt (45th), Saudi Arabia (67th) and Russia (70th). Saudi Arabia has qualified for Russia 2018 after three editions without participating and Russia is in the World Cup as host, that’s why Uruguay and Egypt are the favorites of this group.
Both teams that classify in Group A will play against the 2 best in Group B, which consists of Portugal (4), Spain (10), Iran (37) y Morocco (41).
According to record, Spain and Portugal are likely to classify (so long as there is no last-minute surprise). Both Spain and Portugal can reach the first position in their groups.
48 matches played in the first stage and only half of the teams make it Round of 16
The second easiest group seems to be Group H. Within this group, all the odds point that Poland (8) and Colombia (16) will classify over Senegal (27) and Japan (61). In fact, Japan is the second worst ranked team after Russia.
Matched with Group H there is Group G, one of the most complicated groups with teams like Belgium (3), England (12) Tunisia (21) and Panama (55).
The Belgian national team is one of this year’s favorites, Tunisia is the best ranked in the CAF and England always in the pools, as usual. So, as the favorite one of its group, if Poland came first it would have to face England.
Do you know what's pretty cool? The last 5 #WorldCup's have had 5 different winners: France, Brazil, Italy, Spain and Germany. I don't see this one not being one of those though. #WorldCup2018 #WorldCupPredictor pic.twitter.com/lhjjPMrg7T
— United Lounge ? (@UnitedLounge) June 5, 2018
Group F is the third easiest group, although it contains two of the best-ranked teams: Germany, best team UEFA (European Federation) and Mexico, best national team of CONCACAF (North America, Central America and Caribbean). Sweden (24) and Republic of Korea (57) are the other two teams in this group.
In this way, Germany (1) and Mexico (15) are the favorites to qualify. Group F’s best ones will be facing in the second round the two best in Group E: Brazil (2), Switzerland (6), Costa Rica (23), Serbia (34).
Without a doubt, Group E is one of the most complicated at Russia World Cup, since Costa Rica and Serbia are indeed an unpredictable mix.
With five World Cups at its back, Brazil is the favorite, but Switzerland is coming in having just lost one match in the qualifying phase. As first in their group, Germany is highly likely to be facing Switzerland and Mexico or Brazil.
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— Copa Mundial FIFA ? (@fifaworldcup_es) June 12, 2018
Finally, we could say Group D is the most even group based on the FIFA ranking. If Iceland (22) fails to break with favoritism, Argentina (5) and Croatia (20) are the candidates to make it to the next round. The group closes up with Nigeria (48), the worst-ranked African team in the 2018 Russia World Cup.
Argentina is expected to play round of 16 against Peru, considered one of the most powerful teams in South America and a Group C team, the second most complicated one at the tournament.
Group C consists of France (7), Peru (11), Denmark (12) and Australia (36). France is another of the likely candidates to win the 2018 Russia World Cup.
So, now that you know all of this, have a go and make your own tournament predictions!
Predictions and odds for Round of 16
Uruguay – Portugal
Egypt – Spain
France – Croatia
Argentina – Peru
Brazil – Mexico
Germany – Switzerland
Belgium – Colombia
Poland – England
Odds for Quarter Finals
Uruguay – Spain
Brazil – Germany
Belgium – England