England draw historic group at Russia 2018.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

England were handed a historic group at the draw for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The three lions will face Belgium, Tunisia and lowly Panama in the group stage. The draw as a whole divided opinion with some feeling that there were no groups that sparked genuine excitement for Russia 2018, while others felt that there were plenty of opportunities for exciting football in the early stages of the competition.

Group A sees the hosts of the competition Russia pitted against Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay. Russia who host Saudi Arabia in the opening game of the tournament will be hoping for a much better showing than they have managed in their last two major tournaments where they have failed to get out of the groups. This tournament will prove to be no different as they face three challenging sides. Egypt who come into the tournament with one of their main players Mohammed Salah in tremendous form, Uruguay who are always a threat with players like Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani in their ranks and newboys Saudi Arabia who will be heading into the tournament with a nothing to lose attitude. Uruguay are expected to win this group with some ease but who finishes second could be a fascinating straight fight between Russia and Egypt.

Group B contains the most looked forward to game in the group stages as Spain and Portugal go head to head. The other two teams in the group are Morocco who have qualified for their first World Cup since 1998 and Iran who have qualified for their second straight World Cup finals. Despite this both Spain and Portugal are expected to romp through the group with the only question mark being who will finish first and second out of the two. However in football anything can happen and the two minnows of the group will be looking to cause one of the biggest shocks of World Cup history.

Group C is one that contains a few sides who have been consistently making the World Cup finals. The teams in this one are many people’s dark horses for the cup France, Denmark, Australia and minnows Peru. France breezed through their qualification group and with the squad they have amassed have a realistic chance of their first World Cup triumph since 1998. Both Denmark and Australia had to come through play-offs to book their places at the finals seeing off the Republic of Ireland and Honduras respectively. Peru have qualified for their first finals since 1982. This too has the potential to be an entertaining group with France expected to qualify from it comfortably both Denmark and Australia will fancy their chances of progressing as well.

Group D is arguably the most attractive looking group on paper for the neutrals. It contains two time winners and beaten 2010 finalists Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria. All four of the teams in this group will feel they have a great chance of progressing. Argentina have the likes of Messi and Aguero to rely on but had a real struggle during qualification and only qualified in their final game, Croatia romped past Greece in a play-off, while Iceland and Nigeria have amassed some extremely impressive results in the last few months. Argentina and Croatia are the sides expected to make it through but Iceland and Nigeria will have plenty to say about that.

Group E is on paper another interesting looking one. It sees Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia and Costa Rica go head to head. Brazil and Switzerland are both regulars with Brazil qualifying for every World Cup since 1930 and Switzerland the last four. Serbia and Costa Rica are in comparison hit and miss. Serbia failed to qualify for both the 2010 and 2002 World Cup finals while Costa Rica have qualified for four out of the last five tournaments having previously missed out on every World Cup apart from Italia 90. Brazil who are one of the front runners for the World Cup are expected to progress easily while any one of the other three teams could easily find themselves in the knockout stages.

Group F is another that contains some World Cup regulars. The holders Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea make up the four. Germany have qualified for the last seventeen World Cups and are heavily fancied by some to defend their crown in Russia. Mexico and Sweden who saw off Italy in a play-off both have decent qualification records as well. Mexico have qualified for the last seven editions while Sweden have qualified for three of the last five. South Korea the fourth team in the group have qualified for each edition since 1986 but have only been beyond the group stages twice. That statistic is unlikely to change this time around with Germany the favorites for the group and one of Mexico or Sweden expected to join them.

Group G is the historic group containing England. Gareth Southgate’s side will be extremely confident of making it through the group and England supporters do have reason to be confident this time. The only other World Cup regular in their group is Belgium who have made it to eight of the last ten tournaments. The other two sides Tunisia and Panama have much leaner records. Tunisia are making their first World Cup appearance since 2006 while Panama are making their first ever appearance at the finals in this year’s competition after remarkably making it through qualification ahead of the USA. Both England and Belgium are expected to qualify easily but it will be an historic occasion when they line up against Panama in the group matches.

Group H sees the final four teams of the tournament in action. Poland, Colombia, Japan and Senegal make up the group. Poland despite being a seeded team in the draw don’t have the best of recent records in World Cups having missed out on five of the last eight editions. None of the sides in this group have great qualification records, Colombia have only made 2 out of the last 5, Japan only made their first appearance in 1998 and Senegal have only made two appearances since 1930. Despite this Poland and Colombia are the two teams expected to make it through but Japan and Senegal are certainly capable of causing a shock.

Those are the officially confirmed groups for Russia 2018 and even though there are one or two that on paper look like a formality there is still more than enough to keep fans interested.

In particular England fans who will feel that their side have a great chance of going far in the tournament. The current England side looks incredibly strong and has been labelled the best England squad for years on many occasions. However can they prove it in what is sure to be a hostile atmosphere in Russia when they walk out against Tunisia on the 18th of June.

Andrew Hall

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sports as We Know It May Never Look the Same Again

This lockdown has given us so many of the bad things we never really thought we'd see: widespread job loss, rampant hospitalization and deaths, and the major, sticking-out-like-a-sore-thumb kind of problems in society. But, if there's something that everyone felt, it's the loss of sports. Many people said that sports is only important to sports fans, but it's becoming more evident that the purpose of sports isn't just exclusively athletic. Now, it seems like...

MLB: End Of Season Award Show 2 Cy Youngs, 2 Rookie of the Years and More!

The 2020 MLB regular season has come to an end, and with it comes playoff brackets, predictions, debates and discussions. However, we are going to save playoff predictions for another article. In this article we are going to talk about End of Season awards. Wo deserves the Cy Young awards?, Rookie of the Year? Most Valuable Player??? All of these questions and more will be answered. These are my opinions after watching the games,...

When It Comes To Israel Adesanya – Believe The Hype

If you've ever had the privilege of watching Israel Adesanya fight, you know that he is the perfect example of handcrafted precision. In his most recent fight, so many people felt this would be the fight that would finally DE-thrown the champ.  They felt Paulo Costa had the advantage because of his size, his strength and his overall power. If you've seen Costa, you know he's like a modern day Hercules. Costa's punches are explosive and...

2020 NBA Finals: A Champion Will Be Crowned

The stage is set. After a few short months that involved an eight game restart season and a very unique postseason,  the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat will face each other for the first time in the NBA Finals. There are a lot of storylines that will unfold during the duration of the Finals, but the main storyline will have to be LeBron James facing the team that helped him win two championships....

Memorable Test Match Innings: Kevin Pietersen at the Oval 15 years on

“I saw this innings via a social distancing gap between myself and the television. To truly have the visceral thrill of Pietersen’s 158, you needed to be at The Oval on 12 September 2005.” “Just because I've got a stupid haircut or diamond earrings, it's not going to make me cover drive a ball any differently.” Kevin Pietersen arrived on the international scene in full technicolour. In early 2005, KP entered the lion’s den of his...

Tewatia plays blinder as Rajasthan chase historic total to beat KXIP

Rahul Tewatia hit 5 sixes in an over as Rajasthan Royals chased down the highest score in Indian Premier League history to beat Kings XI Punjab by four wickets on Sunday. Tewatia hit Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in the 18th over and added another six of the next ball he faced as Rajasthan chased down 224. Jofra Archer hit 13 from 3 balls to see the side home. Rajasthan beat their own record – they...

NRL Finals Loom as Regular Season Concludes

The first fixtures of the National Rugby League's finals series are locked in after the final round of the regular season came to an end today. The Competitors While Penrith Panthers had already secured the minor premiership and the top eight were determined two rounds ago, some key positions were still open and the race for those positions made for some entertaining footy. The Newcastle Knights failed to hold sixth place, going down on Friday to a...

Russian GP – Race Preview

Russian Grand Prix can be a boring race so let's hope this race gets off to a great start. The only memory I have of the Russian GP is Valtteri Bottas letting Lewis Hamilton win. Last race at Mugello was an exciting race. With two red flags and one horrible crash. And Ferrari 1000 celebration wasn't the best either, but that might be because of the strict rules now during COVID 19. So I am happy...

Benny Leonard: Always A Champion

If you sat down with a group of boxing fans under the age of say, 50, and began to talk about whether Benny Leonard really is a Top-10 all-time fighter, you'd probably have a cacophony of voices barking at you about how great "Sugar" Ray really was. Tell them you were talking about Benny Leonard though, and you might hear a lot of "Who's that?" from the same group. But Benny Leonard most definitely belongs...

The Green Light: The Rugby Championship 2020

In what has been a challenging year for many rugby fans and mainly the players, the Southern Hemisphere's Rugby Championship 2020 tournament has just been confirmed for the back end of the season. The Rugby Championship tournament - previously known as the Tri-Nations - was inaugurated in 1996 with the three rugby-rich countries; Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, all contesting for the converted trophy. In 2012, the tournament expanded to add the South...

Social Connect

1,185FansLike
3,736FollowersFollow

Trending Now

AFL Finals Locked In

This weekend's results conclude the heavily disrupted Australian Football League regular season, turning attention towards the Finals series in October. Across 18 rounds spanning six...
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x