The Russian World Cup is already shaping up to be one to get excited for as the draw for the Group stage has now been announced and features some big match ups and could lead to some very interesting possibilities in the next rounds, including a Group B tie of Portugal vs Spain and a Group G match up of Belgium vs England. The Three Lions have also been drawn into Group G with Panama and Tunisia. Whilst a great performance against Belgium combined with an expected pair of wins over Panama and Tunisia may look like England will have a fairly easy ride into the Knockout Stage after having at least finished second in the Group, England fans will know that the script isn’t always kept with recent examples being a shock loss against Iceland in Euro 2016 and a disappointing start to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa with an opening match upset ending in a 1-1 draw against an excitable USA.
Group G on paper looks like it’s set for Spain and Portugal to go through but a rematch of the Euro 2012 Semi Final at such an early stage of the World Cup may cause one or even both of the teams to slip up and have their confidence knocked which could then be cause for a giant killing or two in the proceeding games. Germany may have a difficult group game on their hands too if Sweden show up in Russia like they did when they ended up preventing Italy from seeing another World Cup tournament this decade.
With some of the bigger footballing nations not making the tournament this year and some of those that did having just scraped through the Qualifiers like Argentina did you might be forgiven for thinking that this World Cup may be missing out a few too many big names, but this draw shows the potential match ups that will still be leaving football fans daydreaming in the coming months. If England top their group then their road to a potential final wouldn’t be easy as they could face Columbia, Brazil, France and then Germany in a poetic final, but coming Second won’t make it any easier for them as they could potentially draw Poland, then Spain, Germany in the Semi Finals and Brazil if they made it to the big game. Let’s not overhype England though, because as we all know it could all come down to a depressing night against Panama.
The full Group draw is below:
- Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
- Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
- Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
- Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
- Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
- Group F: Germany, Sweden, Mexico, South Korea
- Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
- Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan
The tournament kicks off on June 14th with the final being played on July 15th. The Talk and Beans Podcast are expected to bring you another lighthearted football podcast with their World Cup episode(s), just like the Euro 2016 episode last year which you can find on iTunes and on Soundcloud.