One of the most anticipated draws in the history of modern football took place yesterday. It was all about the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia and the countries were sorted into respective groups.
Why this draw was a special one was because of the way the teams were seeded. The October FIFA rankings were used to classify the various teams in the four pots available. That’s why countries like Brazil, Belgium, France and co. were all drawn in Pot A and countries like Spain, and Mexico were drawn in Pot 2.
Now that the draws have been held, the several pairings – and the way they’ve been paired together – has led to a couple of questions which we will be asking in this article.
Nigeria and Argentina, again?
With Nigeria seeded in Pot 4, most people were not expecting the most favorable draw for the Super Eagles. Putting it in another way, most were “hoping for the best but expecting the worst.”
After the draw, Nigeria found themselves in the same group with the likes of Iceland, Croatia and, surprisingly, Argentina. Being drawn in the same group with Argentina birthed the question amongst fans, “Why Argentina again?”
Both countries were in the same group at the 2014 World Cup. In the 2002 and 2010 edition of the tournament, it was the same. Dear FIFA, must these two countries be in the same group at the World Cup?
Any Hope for the African Teams?
Africa will have to wait until the next tourney to field more than 5 representatives. For now, their fantastic five – Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, Egypt and Tunisia – found themselves in relatively tough groups – except maybe for Egypt who were grouped alongside Russia, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay.
Nigeria has Argentina and Iceland and Croatia to contend with. Tunisia needs to find a way past Belgium and England in their group. The Senegalese need to beat Poland and Colombia and Japan to survive. Morocco has Spain and Portugal to battle with.
Is there any hope for all our African representatives at all?
And the Group of Death is…?
Looking through all the groups, football enthusiasts have struggled to identify which group is the group of death.
Group B has Portugal and Spain in it. In Group F, it is all about Germany, Mexico and Sweden. Group G has Belgium and England in it. In Group D, Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria will contend with each other.
Which one of these groups can be considered as the group of death? (Leave your thoughts in the comments.)
The Other Questions
As it is with all draws, so many other questions popped up after the teams have been grouped. And this draw has not been an exception. Although the tournament doesn’t start until next year, we’re already asking:
- Which of these teams will qualify out of their groups?
- Which teams will fail to make it through?
- Which player will finish the competition as the highest goal scorer?
- Will there be another disgraceful score line in Russia like Germany’s 7-1 defeat of Brazil in 2014?
What do you think? Do you think you can answer any of these questions? Do you have questions of your own? Leave us a comment and let us start a conversation.