Why Spain Vs. Portugal Is 'Can't-Miss' Game Of Group Stage

FIFA World Cup 2018 Draw: Summary

Yet Russia will get Spain in the last 16 if they fail to win their group and the 2010 World Cup champions make it past Portugal in a Group B that also includes Morocco and Iran. Cherchesov appeared to be trying to play it coy by saying he did not know much about the teams in his group. Egypt will be spearheaded by Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah while Saudi Arabia will make their first return to the World Cup since 2006.

Neymar's Brazil meanwhile will have to negotiate a group including Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia as they seek a sixth title.

"Although it's a hard group, we believe in ourselves and definitely we can advance from the group", he said. Performance against defending World Champions, and bookies favourites, Germany could well determine who qualifies, as it did for the Boys in Green in 2002. Harry Kane and his teammates begin their FIFA World Cup 2018 campaign against Tunisia in Volgograd - at a stadium built on one of the main sites of the World War II Battle of Stalingrad - on June 18.

If we simply total the Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings for each group, France's Group C looks like the toughest group with a combined ranking of 71.

If Argentina progress as group winners as expected, and Spain edge Portugal to top spot, the two nations could collide in Sochi for a place in the semi-finals, with holders Germany then the most likely obstacle between the victor and the final. "This is a World Cup".

Former Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz has handed a stunning ultimatum to his Iran employers, stating that the national team must either prepare properly for the World Cup or sack him.

The tournament that spans 11 cities and 12 stadiums will kick off when host nation Russian Federation take on Saudi Arabia on 14 June in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.


The French team and their potent strike force of Antoine Griezmann will play Australia, Peru and Denmark in Group C.

"I can not say whether I'm happy or not", Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov said, after also drawing Egypt and Uruguay.

A side that looks like it benefited from an easy group is England, one of only eight countries to have won the World Cup but which bagged its lone title in 1966.

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui said the pairing with Portugal leaves little room for error.

"The majority of their players compete in Europe", Lopetegui said.

Japan face a tough task to finish in the top two of Group H that features Robert Lewandowski's Poland, Senegal and Colombia.

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