By 90Min
December 01, 2017

With qualification wrapped up last month, the start of the 2018 World Cup moved ever closer on Friday after the eagerly anticipated draw for the group stages was made inside The Kremlin.

As has been the form since 1998, the 32 finalists were drawn into eight group for four (A-H), having earlier been divided into four pots based on FIFA World Rankings.

Matthias Hangst/GettyImages

Holders Germany are aiming to become the first to retain the World Cup since the Brazil of Pele and Garrincha in 1962 and must navigate a group containing Mexico, Sweden and South Korea.

Four years after collapsing so spectacularly on home soil, Brazil head to Russia as the favourites and are looking to capture an unprecedented sixth title. They face Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E.

DOUGLAS MAGNO/GettyImages

After failing to progress beyond the group stage in 2014, perennial underachievers England have been drawn alongside a fancied Belgium side, Tunisia and first time qualifiers Panama.

Spain will also be keen to erase memories of 2014 after they were knocked out in the first round as holders. This time round, neighbours Portugal, Morocco and Iran stand in La Roja's way of reaching the knockout stages.

Group A Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay 
Group B Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
Group C France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
Group D Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
Group E Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group F Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Group G Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
Group H Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan
The tournament will kick off in Moscow on 14th June when Russia face Saudi Arabia.

You May Like