The draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup took place on Friday in Doha, and this year’s event in Qatar promises dramatic early events after a number of interesting group draws..
The English Premier League will meet England, Iran and possibly Scotland, Wales and Ukraine as well in Group B, while the hosts tied with Holland, Ecuador and Senegal in Group A.
France, the defending champion, will face Denmark again after meeting in 2018 and could meet again with Peru or Australia as well as Tunisia in Group D, while Mexico face Argentina, Poland and Saudi Arabia in a hot Group C.
Group E is where the heavyweights are with Spain and Germany together as well as Japan and Costa Rica have won against New Zealand while Canada are in Group F with Croatia and Morocco.
In Group G, Brazil beat Switzerland, Serbia and Cameroon, while Portugal joined Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea in Group H.
Qatar opens the World Cup against Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.
World Cup groups
- Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
- Group B: England, Iran, USA, Scotland/Ukraine or Wales
- Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
- Group D: France, Australia/UAE or Peru, Denmark, Tunisia
- Group E: Spain, Costa Rica or New Zealand, Germany, Japan
- Sixth group: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
- Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
- Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea
Winners and losers
Now that the World Cup groups have been decided, we can take a look at the eight group formations and assess who had the best and worst case scenarios. Group B with CONMEBOL, England, Argentina and Mexico in Group C, Spain and Germany in Group E as well as Canada in Group F with Belgium, Croatia and Morocco are all fantastic.
Some winners and losers.
The Dutch will be thrilled with the draw, but hosts Qatar will be equally grateful that the Orangi are perhaps their strongest opponents on paper. Anything can happen with Senegal and Ecuador, but Louis van Gaal’s men definitely feel like the favourite here.
Although the outcome of the play-off between Scotland, Wales and Ukraine is not yet known, this already looks like a difficult one for the Iranians. This group will not lack talking points for any of Iran’s matches, but they will really need to run really fast to have a chance of success.
Regardless of competing in the USMNT, the Three Lions will be satisfied with their group, as Iran and the eventual winners of Scotland, Wales or Ukraine in the UEFA qualifiers should not cause much fear. The Scots and Welsh will have this added incentive given the rivalry that could make the Americans their main opponents.
France, Denmark, then Peru, Australia or the UAE are a difficult task for Tunisians. Les Bleus is a bit of a competition while Denmark has emerged as a very tough team to beat. Depending on who joins this group, third place can be considered an achievement.
The defending champions will not disappoint by facing Denmark who have been a strong qualifier since 2018. However, they also tied the Danes in 2002 when they were knocked out in 1998 as title holders, so there is something to consider. Tunisia is an interesting duo given the important links between the two countries while the play-off winners could see the two teams face off against two of the three teams they faced in their group in Russia in 2018. Will that be enough for them to become the first title holders. They escape from their group since Brazil won in 2002 and then advanced in 2006.
Having Spain and Germany is pretty brutal with an accessory team being added to the mix as well. On paper, the Germans and Spaniards are expected to advance, but the blue samurai has shown in the past that they can produce a surprise – they need another one here.
Despite the improvement of Serbia and the strong nature of Switzerland, the South Americans would fantasize themselves against all their opponents. On paper, at least, this could become tough for Cameroon unless they can build quickly under Rigobert Song.
Arguably the candidates to finish at the bottom of their group given the strength of Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia, Africans need to use the next few months wisely. Changing a coach at a World Cup is never easy, but it has happened now and at least the Indomitable Lions will be excited to play for such a legendary number.
This is a good lottery for the United States. They won’t be close to locking in the round of 16 in any way, but they should feel good about their chances. They want Scotland, but it’s probably Wales or Ukraine, and that could go either way. England should beat the United States, but the Americans have a knack for some big results in the group stage. They got the best result out of all the CONCACAF teams. Mexico should play with Argentina and Poland formidable. Canada has two semi-finalists from 2018 in Belgium and Croatia in their group, and if Costa Rica makes it, they just have to worry about Spain and Germany. – Roger Gonzalez
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