2018 World Cup draw for group stage matches

Russia 2018 World Cup draw

With the 2018 World Cup draw taking place on Friday, we have your ultimate guide, including how it works, who is involved and how you can follow on talksportandhealth.com.


Who is involved in the 2018 World Cup draw?

There will be 32 teams from 32 countries in the2018 World Cup draw, with 31 having qualified for the tournament and Russia securing their place as hosts. Of the six worldwide confederations, UEFA will have the most sides (14) at the competition, while Oceania has no representatives after New Zealand lost to Peru, South America’s fifth-ranked nation, in a play-off.

  • UEFA (Europe): Russia, France, Portugal, Germany, Serbia, Poland, England, Spain, Belgium, Iceland, Switzerland, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark
  • CONMEBOL (South America): Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia, Peru
  • CONCACAF (North/Central America and the Caribbean): Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama
  • AFC (Asia): Iran, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Australia
  • CAF (Africa): Tunisia, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, Egypt

How does the2018 World Cup draw work?

2018 Word Cup draw

In a change to previous editions, the 31 qualified teams will be allocated into four pots depending on their FIFA ranking as of October 16, 2017. That means the seven highest-ranked teams in the world will go into Pot 1 along with hosts Russia, with the rest of the teams then allocated pots in descending order of their rankings.

Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium and France are in Pot 1, while England will slot into Pot 2 alongside Spain, Mexico, Switzerland and Uruguay.

2018 World Cup draw pots

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
Russia (hosts) Spain (8) Denmark (19) Serbia (38)
Germany (1) Peru (10) Iceland (21) Nigeria (41)
Brazil (2) Switzerland (11) Costa Rica (22) Australia (43)
Portugal (3) England (12) Sweden (25) Japan (44)
Argentina (4) Colombia (13) Tunisia (28) Morocco (48)
Belgium (5) Mexico (16) Egypt (30) Panama (49)
Poland (6) Uruguay (17) Senegal (32) South Korea (62)
France (7) Croatia (18) Iran (34) Saudi Arabia (63)

The four pots will then be emptied and teams will be drawn into four-team groups from A to H. The seven seeded teams in Pot 1 will go into the first slots of each group, with Russia automatically drawn into the A1 position, while the remaining teams will be randomly allocated one of the remaining three spots in each group.

There are some caveats, though, with no more than two UEFA teams allowed to be drawn in the same group and six of the eight groups set to have two European sides included. For the remaining federations, FIFA’s general principle is to ensure that no group has more than one team from the same qualification zone drawn into it.

For example, the CONMEBOL teams will not be able to draw each other so Argentina and Brazil in Pot 1 will not be able to draw Peru, Colombia or Uruguay from Pot 2.

Who will be doing the 2018 World Cup draw?

There is a range of famous faces set to help 2018 World Cup draw the groups with Gordon Banks, Laurent Blanc, Cafu, Fabio Cannavaro, Diego Forlan, Diego Maradona, Carles Puyol and Nikita Simonyan confirmed for the event.

Former England striker Gary Lineker is set to host the 218 World Cup draw alongside Russian sports journalist Maria Komandnaya while Miroslav Klose, who won the World Cup with Germany in 2014, will be the Trophy-bearer.

Who can England draw?

To state the obvious, England will not draw teams in the same pot. With no more than two UEFA teams allowed in a group, if England are to draw either Germany, Portugal, Russia, Belgium, Poland or France from Pot 1, they will avoid Iceland, Sweden and Denmark in Pot 3 and Serbia in Pot 4.

Based on world rankings, England’s worst scenario would be a group with Germany, Costa Rica and Nigeria, while their best would be a group with Poland, Iran and Panama.

Who can Nigeria draw

Nigeria cannot draw teams in the same pot. Nigeria cannot also any team from Africa since there are only five African teams. Nigeria’s worst scenario would be a group with Germany, Costa Rica and England, their best would be Iran, Peru and Poland.

When is the 2018 World Cup?

The 2018 World Cup will start on Thursday 14 June with hosts Russia playing the opening match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The final of the tournament will be played a month later on July 15.

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