The 2018 FIFA World Cup Draw Preview

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Draw is upon us with several groups of death being a real possibility for Argentina.

Football fans around the world will be glued to their television sets (or maybe in modern society their smart phones) in anticipation of the draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It’s the day we all find out the groups for the World Cup.

Groups of Death at 2018 FIFA World Cup Draw:

Will Argentina get a repeat of the 2002 World Cup group when they got England, Sweden and Nigeria? Or will it be Spain, Costa Rica and Japan? There are many possibilities. Ahead of the draw itself, FIFA.com held interviews with Brazil National Team coach Tite as well as footballing legend Javier ZANETTI. Both commented about the Argentina National Team. Here’s what they had to say:

Brazil coach Tite even spoke about Argentina. Here’s what he had to say speaking to FIFA.com.

Brazil coach Tite on Argentina:

Brazil swept all before them in the qualifiers after you took over in August 2016. How do you prevent that from being the team’s peak and ensure that it kicks on, which was something Argentina were unable to do in 2002, for example?
“With all due respect, I have to disagree with you about (Marcelo) Bielsa’s Argentina peaking then. They were in a really tough group with England, Nigeria and Sweden, and it all came down to a penalty in a very tight game with England. Argentina could easily have gone through and knocked the English out. But the group phase is always tricky. That’s a fact of life. In an individual sport you can always plan your ideal peak, but in a team sport the experience of playing in the qualifiers makes you stronger as a unit. In the case of Argentina that year, it was more to do with the quality of the opposition than the team peaking and then falling away.”

Lionel MESSI says that Argentina will be stronger now after their qualifying struggles. Do you agree with that?
“I’m with MESSI. They overcame a huge amount of pressure in the qualifiers. When you have three different coaches in the same qualifying competition, there are bound to be things that don’t work smoothly. But now that they’re through and they’ve got more time to work with and they have quality of [Jorge] SAMPAOLI and his players, I’m convinced they’re going to get better. I can’t say by how much but I’m sure they’re going to improve.”

Javier ZANETTI on Argentina:

Argentina laboured on the road to Russia. What’s your take on that campaign?
“It was very tricky because we changed coach midway through qualifying. Such changes are never easy. South American qualifying is always tough, and this time, Argentina had real trouble. We were on the brink: the last game against Ecuador was make-or-break in terms of reaching the World Cup.”

How did you handle the nerves?
“I live in Italy, but based on what my family and friends told me, I know the country was at a standstill, because Argentinians are hugely passionate about football and the World Cup is very important to them. On the one hand, I’m really pleased [that we’ve made it], but on the other hand, we’ve got lots to improve on.”

Are you excited by [Jorge] SAMPAOLI’s vision?
“Yes. I’m impressed because he has clear ideas, but he needs time to implement them. He knows that he has some top players at his disposal and he himself is experienced, which is very important at a World Cup.”

You mentioned the upheaval during the campaign, which is epitomised by the situation at centre-forward. Gabriel BATISTUTA was a nailed-on starter in attack in his day, as was Hernan CRESPO later. Things are different now…
“There’s been a lot of change in personnel. Until recently, Pipita [Gonzalo HIGUAIN] was the undisputed No9. Now Mauro ICARDI has got his chance, which is richly deserved because of what he’s doing for Inter Milan. Mauro can be useful for the national team, but that doesn’t mean HIGUAIN shouldn’t be in the squad. Argentina are lucky enough to have an embarrassment of riches up front, from Pipita to ICARDI, [Paulo] DYBALA, [Lionel] MESSI and so on. They’ve got so many options. I hope they can all go to the World Cup because they’d give the squad great strength in depth.”

What shape are Argentina in right now compared to other countries like Germany and Brazil?
“We’re a step behind them. They’ve got teams who have been working together for a while and that shows on the pitch. Still, we’ve got good players, and if we do good work between now and Russia, we can have a great World Cup. It’s not going to be easy, but Argentina always have their trademark fighting spirit, which can go a long way at a World Cup.”

Is MESSI alone enough to win it?
“MESSI is an extraordinary player, but your squad is pivotal: at a World Cup, the 11 players on the pitch and everyone else in the group can all play an important role. We know that he’s the guy who can produce something special out of nothing, who can make things happen and be the match-winner, but SAMPAOLI has to come up with alternatives.”

FIFA World Cup mock Draw:

A mock draw was done earlier this week and here was the outcome:

A mock of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Draw.

A mock of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Draw.

In the mock 2018 FIFA World Cup Draw, Argentina was drawn in a group with Morocco, Mexico and Sweden. What would you think about having that group? Possibly not the worst draw although that could be a dangerous group with three very different types of countries. Here are the pots for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Draw on Friday:

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
 Russia Spain Logo Spain Denmark Logo Denmark Serbia Logo Serbia
Germany Logo Germany Peru Logo Peru Iceland Logo Iceland Nigeria Logo Nigeria
Brazil Logo Brazil Switzerland Logo Switzerland Costa Rica Logo Costa Rica Australia Logo Australia
Portugal Logo Portugal England Logo England Sweden Logo Sweden Japan Logo Japan
Argentina Logo Argentina Colombia Logo Colombia Tunisia Logo Tunisia Morocco Logo Morocco
Belgium Logo Belgium Mexico Logo Mexico Egypt Logo Egypt Panama  Panama
Poland Logo Poland Uruguay Logo Uruguay Senegal Logo Senegal  South Korea
France Small Logo France Croatia Logo Croatia Iran Logo Iran Saudi Arabia Logo Saudi Arabia

36 Comments

  1. Richard

    The draw is good. We should not underestimate any team, but Sampaoli knows that. Iceland cannot beat us, but we can still lose to them. Cruyff said it about teams like that. Technically they are inferior but a mistake or foul may cost us. Croatia and Nigeria play each other first. That’s good. Batagglia on Modric and we eliminate their best player. Nigeria is last. We know their strengths now. Hopefully Funes Mori will be back at his best. Rojo and A.Fernandez are already playing again. Five months to regain fitness. I believe we will qualify for 2nd round.

  2. HIRA

    Some of the people here are a joke. They will still be bragging about the toughest group if the opponents were Saudi Arabia, Iran & Panama. I mean, come on!!! This a good group, no easy matches but no tough ones either. Iceland was pretty good in the qualifying finishing 1st, but they are the new comers. Iceland & Croatia were in the same group in the qualifying. And Nigeria… we are familiar with them already. If Argentina can’t go to 2nd round convincingly, then they don’t deserve to go further. Look at the other groups. Spain & Germany are given the tricky groups. Imo, there is no clear group of death this year. I’m rather concerned about our matches from quarter final and further. In quarter Spain/Portugal, In semi Germany…. tough path.

  3. arg2018

    This World Cup perfectly set up for Argentina. After nightmare in qualifying, every one seems to write off Argentina but they forgot that Argentina has quality to beat any team in the world on its day. Remember, When no body is with you, then god will support you. If GOD willing, we will win the CUP and deserve all the credits.

  4. Principe

    My predictiion:

    1. Group A Winner: Uruguay
    Group B runner: Spain
    2. Group C winner: France
    Group D runner: Croatia
    3. Group E winner: Brazil
    Group F runner: Mexico
    4. Group G winner: Belgium
    Group H runner: Poland

    5. Group B winner: Portugal
    Group A runner: Russia
    6. Group D winner: Argentina
    Group C runner: Peru
    7. Group F winner: Germany
    Group E runner: Switzerland
    8. Group H winner: Colombia
    Group G runner: England

    Notes: I think Portugal will upset Spain to top the group.
    Spain is not good against a counter attack team.
    Portugal has one of the best counter attack players of all time: Cristiano Ronaldo

    Quarter Final:
    1. Spain vs France
    2. Brazil vs Belgium

    3. Argentina vs Portugal
    4. Germany vs Colombia

    Note: Germany are the team to fear.
    I hope either Colombia or England (or Belgium) can upset them somehow.

    Semi Final:
    1. France vs Brazil
    2. Argentina vs Germany

    Final:
    France vs Argentina

    Winner:

    Argentina of course 🙂

  5. KidultHood

    Fear the mighty Icelandic and Croatian national team..Two of the greatest of all time.

  6. Dfox1942

    Doom and gloom again, it’s the world cup where nothing is easy, you didn’t want Spain and we didn’t get it…….let the preparation begin and away we go.

    ARGENTINA will exact their revenge on Nigeria since now we know what they can do and it wont happen again.

  7. karl

    I am looking at our quarter final match against Spain or Portugal. Either team is not the kind of team we are feared about – they are not fast in counter attack, they are not physical, they are not good in set piece and header.

    Our group stage will be a good practice for us. No easy win but no tough match neither. Great for a tourment competition.

    1. Rune

      Well, I’ve got news for you….all of our matches in the group stage will be very tough.

      1. KidultHood

        Well, all teams are different and unpredictable. Iran turned out to be Argentina toughest opponent during the group stage back in 2014. I’m sure Iceland and Croatia can’t wait to crush little small team Argentina at the world cup, they must be ecstatic about drawing world cup minnows Argentina. Croatia, Iceland and Denmark are no treat to Argentina at the world cup..

  8. Rune

    We got the toughest group. And Denmark in the second round, Spain in the quarter final…and bye, bye.

  9. SulaV

    Our group is the toughest among all other groups.. this is the group of death in 2018 wc

  10. Sabellista

    Good group, no tough nuts but no easy matches either.

  11. Gonzalo.

    we have one of two toughest groups. Iceland is strong team.

    1. Sabellista

      I agree. But we can manage.

  12. Csabalala

    On paper: Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria, in 16 Denmak, in 8 Spain, in 4 Germany, in final France or Brazil :D, mission impossible?

  13. dollon biswas

    Group D…
    1/Argentina
    2/Crossia
    3/Iceland
    4/Nigeria
    Not bad….

  14. Dfox1942

    Fucking Nigeria again!!!

    1. Dfox1942

      No sweat!

  15. dollon biswas

    Woah..
    1/Argentina,,
    2/Island
    3//Crousia

  16. Kitty

    Group D – D1 Argentina

    1. Kitty

      D3 – Croatia

      1. Kitty

        D2 – Iceland
        D4 – Nigeria

  17. kavindrs

    Now the group stage has arrived and our preparations are still undone.I want England in our group beating England will boost Argentina’s confidence.

  18. Sabellista

    To be honest I don’t want a an easy group. I want at least one tough opponent in the group, as I want no complacency in the minds of the players. I don’t believe in facing small first to elevate confidence. It’s either the team arrives at the WC with confidence or in fragile mental state. Beating weaker teams will raise false confidence like in 2010. Passing a tough group test will prepares the team for the tough KO battles ahead and build real confidence to face any of the strong contenders in the KO stage.

    1. Aslam

      Same time…after tough group stage…players may be drained out…before SF or final…!

      1. Sabellista

        After 3 matches? And which team goes to the WC to get tired after 3 games? Look I just don’t carry the same fear as you guys but I understand you. But I know that winning against small teams will not help with what is to come in the KOs. So I’d rather have a strong test in the preliminaries.

        1. Aslam

          There will be 5 matches before SF. All tough matches surely a problem. Luckily we got a group..that’s not easy or too tough.

  19. kavindrs

    The best trio?
    (1) Messi,Augreo,Di maria
    (2)Neymar,Gabriel Jesus,Countinho
    (3)Griezaman ,Gourdo,Mbappe

  20. Lucho

    This is a World Cup simulator . It’s pretty cool

    http://ultra.zone/2018-FIFA-World-Cup-Group-Stage-Draws

    1. Sabellista

      This is just fantasy. Let’s wait for the reality.

  21. Sabellista

    What is the fear here? Argentina winning a WC will not be determined by group opponents. Sooner or later we’ll bump into strong opponents. The formula is simple win 2 group games no matter who the opponents any NT team is beatable right now, with the right preparations.

    1. Istiaque

      The fear is of elimination.

      If you face those already gelled team in the first or second match, and you lose, you are as good as out of the world cup.

      The idea is to face the weakest teams in group stage, get your team chemistry going and then face those team and knock them out. Because the longer you play together, the better you would get.

      1. Dadir10

        Istiaque, I agree with you on the points you have made. The other thing that we need to get in an easy group is when the team collects all the nine points and scores more goals in the group stage that gives them a morale boost which this Argentina team needs a lot. But when there is 1 or 2 strong teams in the group then it is very difficult to score more goals and win all the three group games.

      2. Sabellista

        Well reasonable enough. I’m sure you based this on our last match vs Nigeria. But that was a Banega and Mascherano 2nd half horror show. I’m sure Sampa has recognized that. I’m confident that the team Sampaoli takes to Russia, come June, will be solid enough to go through whether England or Spain are in the group.

  22. Csabalala

    In 1986-rather a weak group, the world champion Italy and 2 easy opponents, 1990 very hard 1994 rather stronger 1998 easy with 2 weaker sides like in 86 2002 group of death 2006 very hard too 2010 light 2014 light, now i wait a harder 4

  23. Mohammad Mobin(Bangladesh)

    if argentina get group of death I will happy

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