World Cup groups announced

Liam Belan, Staff Writer

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National soccer teams from all over the world — but not the United States — found out their initial bracket today as official groups were drawn for the 2018 FIFA World Cup this summer in Russia.

Fans all over the world await the announcement of the groupings, with smaller countries hoping for a favorable draw that would grant them a decent chance to advance in the tournament, while bigger countries narrow their eyes on winning it all.

In America, though, there was no anticipation, since the U.S. team failed to qualify for the World Cup.

For the qualifying countries, the group round comes first. Then two teams from each group advance to the knock-out round.

Group A consists of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Uruguay. This group could see Uruguay go through, then Russia using its home-field advantage, but Egypt could have a chance to slide in ahead of either country.

Group B contains two powerhouses that will battle for first in Portugal and Spain, while Morocco and Iran each will hope to beat each the other and then defend for their lives against the big teams.

Group C has France, Australia, Peru, and Denmark. France should top this group pretty easily, but the battle for second place should be entertaining.

Next, there is Group D, which holds Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, and Nigeria. While Argentina should be the favorites, they will be challenged by the star power of Croatia from Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, along with the passion of Iceland, which is playing in its first World Cup. Nigeria will be no pushover either, so this group should be fun to watch.

Group E has Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, and Serbia. This should see Brazil dominate, as they played extremely well in their World Cup qualifying, but the battle for second should be entertaining due to Swiss and Serbian talent.

Group F seems to be the “group of death,” or the hardest group to advance from, as it contains defending champions Germany, North American qualifying champions Mexico, Sweden, and South Korea. Germany will be favorites, but Mexico will not be an easy out and Sweden and South Korea will be tough matches.

That leads to the penultimate Group G, which consists of Belgium, England, Panama, and Tunisia. The top two teams advancing from this group will surely be Belgium and England, but it will be interesting to see which one takes first.

Lastly comes Group H, which has Colombia, Poland, Japan, and Senegal. This group does not contain the best teams, but it has three comparable squads in Colombia, Poland and Japan that should make it somewhat interesting.

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World Cup groups announced