World Cup 2018 draw: Spain vs Portugal and England vs Belgium in group stages

Comments

WORLD CUP 2018 DRAW: AS IT HAPPENED


World Cup 2018 draw - LIVE!

Follow the World Cup 2018 draw LIVE with Goal!

Posted by Goal.com on Friday, 1 December 2017
The finalists have learned their fate ahead of next year's tournament and there are some interesting games to look forward to

Germany will begin their World Cup defence against Mexico after Friday's draw in Moscow threw together Spain and Portugal in the pick of the group-stage matches at Russia 2018.

Joachim Low's men triumphed on Russian soil in the Confederations Cup earlier this year and start at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on June 17 versus a side they ran out 4-1 winners over in the semi-finals of that tournament.

Mexico's tough assignment comes three days on from the hosts kicking off proceedings in a seemingly favourable opener against Saudi Arabia.

Sweden, who ensured Italy would miss the finals for the first time since 1958, and South Korea join Germany and Mexico in Group F.

Spain and Portugal will play out an Iberian derby in Sochi, a fittingly temperate setting on the Black Sea coast, and the winner will be a heavy favourite to top Group B. Iran and Morocco make up the section.

Russia performed poorly at both Euro 2016 and the Confederations Cup but might fancy their chances of pipping the Saudis and Egypt in Group A, where Uruguay will start as favourites.

Group A Group B
Russia Portugal
Saudi Arabia Spain
Egypt Morocco
Uruguay Iran

Group C Group D
France Argentina
Australia Iceland
Peru Croatia
Denmark Nigeria

Group E Group F
Brazil Germany
Switzerland Mexico
Costa Rica Sweden
Serbia South Korea

Group G Group H
Belgium Poland
Panama Senegal
Tunisia Colombia
England Japan

 

Five-time champions Brazil being against Switzerland in Rostov and further pairings with Costa Rica and Serbia mean head coach Tite can be pleased with the draw overall.

Great rivals Argentina have a more complicated task alongside Euro 2016 surprise package and tournament debutants Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in Group D. It is the fifth time in Nigeria's six World Cup appearances that they have drawn two-time champions Argentina.

An array of Premier League stars will be in action on the final matchday in Group G, when England take on Belgium – featuring Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and company – in Kaliningrad.

Tunisia and debutants Panama's presence means that match will be expected to double up as a winner-takes-all showdown for top spot.

Peru and Denmark's reward for coming through play-off clashes last month are places in Group C alongside France – benefitting from a stellar generation headed by Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe – and Australia.

Poland are the top seeds in Group H, where Colombia represent tough matchday two opposition. Those nations begin against Senegal and Japan respectively.

Next article:
Arsenal should be making Ramsey captain, not letting him leave - Wilshere
Next article:
'Slavery was abolished a long time ago' - Hazard will leave Chelsea, says ex-Real Madrid president
Next article:
ISL 2018-19: Mumbai City FC vs FC Pune City - TV channel, stream, kick-off time & match preview
Next article:
Sarachan's stint as the friend-zoned USMNT coach winding to a close
Next article:
ISL 2018-19: Delhi Dynamos pay the price for wayward finishing
Close