FIFA World Cup 2018 Group Stages: Overview and Predictions

Maria Kostadinova
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The world is becoming more and more at hype as we move closer to the date of the FIFA World Cup 2018. After the Final Draw of the World Cup 2018 Group Stages last December in the Kremlin State Palace in Moscow, people can’t help but wonder which teams will make it to the victory.

Thirty-two teams have been qualified for 2018’s biggest football event, and with the Final Draw last December, each team now knows which teams they will be facing in the tournament.

There are a lot of interesting things about this year’s group stages:

Neighbouring countries Portugal and Spain will be competing against each other in the same group; Liverpool’s Salah is expected to make his debut in the World Cup; and Iceland will be the smallest country to play in the event. These are just a few of the many exciting things about this year’s World Cup. There are far more that you’d be happy to know.

According to the FIFA Coca-Cola World Ranking last year in November, the toughest group this year is Group C with France, Peru, Denmark, and Australia. Group F is also a significant group, and everyone looks forward to seeing the games in this group. After all, it’s got Germany, the defending champion. Germany also got Korea Republic, Sweden, and Mexico with it as they belong to one group.

Host country Russia is expected to open 2018’s World Cup as it competes against Saudi Arabia. This event will take place at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14.

In the last World Cups, the defending champions weren’t able to defend their reigns. Now, the question is will Germany, with its odds of 4.5 at William Hill, be able to keep its victory? Or will there be a new champion for this year’s World Cup?

Indeed, it’s difficult to find answers to these questions. That’s why we’ve decided to break down the groups, examine them, and analyze how each group will survive through each game. Read on and get some overview and predictions.

Group A – Who Will Be the Winner?


  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt
  • Uruguay


📅 Date
🕐 Hour
★ Who vs. Whom
June 14, 2018(18:00 Local time)Russia vs Saudi Arabia, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
June 15, 2018(17:00 Local time)Egypt vs Uruguay, Ekaterinburg
June 15, 2018(21:00 Local time)Russia vs Egypt, St Petersburg
June 20, 2018(18:00 Local time)Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia, Rostov-on-Don
June 25, 2018(18:00 Local time)Uruguay vs Russia, Samara
June 25, 2018(17:00 Local time)Saudi Arabia vs Egypt, Volgograd

The opening game of Russia and Saudi Arabia is considered as the most uninspiring opening match in the history of World Cup. This is because these two have the lowest ranks in the event. Still, fans hope for a good game from these teams.

Being the host for the opening of the event, Russia can’t afford to let their country down in their own capital. Playing against Saudi Arabia, Russia could be lucky enough to win the game as Asian teams are traditionally the weakest. Even so, this is only a stereotypical view, so there is a possibility that Saudi Arabia could surprise us and win the game against Russia.

Moreover, considering the former scenario of Russia winning over Saudi Arabia, it could be a great thing for the host team. However, Russia may still not be lucky enough to survive all throughout as the group can be tough and knock the team out.

Really, Group A can be the worst group Russia could be in. This is because of Egypt, the most dangerous threat. It is a great danger not only of Russia but also of the rest of the teams in Group A, including Saudi Arabia and Uruguay.

This year’s World Cup is Egypt’s first World Cup since the year 1990. Although this is supposed to give the impression that Egypt is still a novice team, the team’s Mo Salah is a great player, and he is considered as the ace in Egypt’s victory.

The key battle in this group is between Mohamed Salah and Martin Caceres. Salah practically gave his team a place in this year’s World Cup. Because of this, many fans expect a lot from him. Many think that if he can just gain an advantage over Caceres and if Elnely can keep Suarez out of the game, Egypt could win a draw or even achieve victory against Uruguay.

Uruguay will beat Egypt, and Russia will end up third and will be ahead of the team of Saudi Arabia.

Group B – Teams and Prediction


  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Morocco
  • Iran


📅 Date
🕐 Hour
★ Who vs. Whom
June 15, 2018(18:00 Local time)Morocco vs Iran, St Petersburg
June 15, 2018(21:00 Local time)Portugal vs Spain, Sochi
June 20, 2018(15:00 Local time)Portugal vs Morocco, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
June 20, 2018(21:00 Local time)Iran vs Spain, Kazan
June 25, 2018(20:00 Local time)Spain vs Morocco, Kaliningrad
June 25, 2018(21:00 Local time)Iran vs Portugal, Saransk
More information:

Portugal and Spain are expected to have an intriguing game because of the event where the 2010 winner Spain was pushed out by host team Russia. Although this is considered as the hottest thing in the group, Morocco might get into play if Portugal loses and Spain wins the game.

The key battle in this group is expected to happen between Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos. If Portugal sets Ronaldo as the team’s striker, he will go against his captain Ramos. Both Ronaldo and Ramos play significant roles in their team. Because of this, both of them will most likely give their best, and this will make it hard for analysts to make predictions about which of the two will win the game and will shine brightly among all the other teams in Group B.

Spain will win against Portugal, and Portugal will be second on the rank. Morocco will have the third place, and Iran will have the last.

Group C – Our View


  • France
  • Australia
  • Peru
  • Denmark


📅 Date
🕐 Hour
★ Who vs. Whom
June 16, 2018(13:00 Local time)France vs Australia, Kazan
June 16, 2018(19:00 Local time)Croatia vs Nigeria, Kaliningrad
June 21, 2018(16:00 Local time)Denmark vs Australia, Samara
June 21, 2018(20:00 Local time)France vs Peru, Ekaterinburg
June 26, 2018(17:00 Local time)Denmark vs France, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
June 26, 2018(17:00 Local time)Australia vs Peru, Sochi

Among the four teams in this group, France, with odds of 7.5 at Bet365, has the most fans, making them a crowd favourite. However, France is not the only team with great potential in Group C. Considering its late surge that hammered Ireland in the playoffs, Denmark could also be a significant team. After another awe-inspiring qualification campaign, Australia should not be underestimated as well.

Aside from those three teams, Peru is also in the group. This year’s World Cup is the team’s first World Cup after 36 years, so many expect them to give it their best. Peru can especially be a game changer if the event was played in the country of Brazil.

The most significant battle in this group will more or less happen between Denmark and Peru. With Australia having very little hope in Group C, the second battle will be tight for sure. Denmark is expected to play very competitively in the games, but Peru could be a threat. Back in the World Cup for the first time in 36 years, Peru could hold a bunch of aces with their cluster of young players. Jefferson Farfán, for one, belongs to Peru, and he could be a game changer.

France will get three wins. Denmark will only be second, but the team will be ahead of Peru. Australia will go last.

Group D – Who Will Top the Group?


  • Argentina
  • Iceland
  • Croatia
  • Nigeria


📅 Date
🕐 Hour
★ Who vs. Whom
June 16, 2018(16:00 Local time)Argentina vs Iceland, Spartak Stadium, Moscow
June 16, 2018(21:00 Local time)Croatia vs Nigeria, Kaliningrad
June 21, 2018(21:00 Local time)Argentina vs Croatia, Nizhny Novgorod
June 22, 2018(18:00 Local time)Nigeria vs Iceland, Volgograd
June 26, 2018(21:00 Local time)Nigeria vs Argentina, St Petersburg
June 26, 2018(21:00 Local time)Iceland vs Croatia, Rostov-on-Don

Iceland’s first ever World Cup game will be against Argentina, and this will happen in Moscow. What’s great is that Iceland will be given global support. However, the team only has little opportunity for success. Still, being the smallest nation to play in the World Cup, Iceland should already feel privileged.

With the team of Nigeria facing Argentina in 5 World Cup and Croatia completing the quartet, Group D is undoubtedly a strong group. In fact, this could be the so-called “Group of Death”. Unless Argentina fails, there will be no inspiration of football mission on each group stage.

What makes this group as the “Group of Death”, anyway? Well, Group D just got Croatia, Iceland, and Nigeria. Everybody knows Croatia has a bunch of talented players while Iceland is tough, too. Nigeria also has the guts with their Premier League talents, including Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi.

If you’re asking about the key battle of this group, the answer will be every match. This is because every team — or perhaps, most of the teams – just has the capacity to win.

With its odds of 10.00 at Ladbrokes, Argentina may standout, but the team almost did not qualify for the World Cup. After their qualifying campaigns, Iceland and Croatia will compete again. On the other hand, Nigeria should not be disregarded. It’s true that the team was Pot 4 in the draw, but they can stand a chance in making it to the knockout stages.

Argentina will make it to victory, and with their experienced players, Croatia will beat Nigeria mercilessly.

Group E – Teams and Prediction


  • Brazil
  • Switzerland
  • Costa Rica
  • Serbia


📅 Date
🕐 Hour
★ Who vs. Whom
June 17, 2018(16:00 Local time)Costa Rica vs Serbia, Samara
June 17, 2018(21:00 Local time)Brazil vs Switzerland, Rostov-on-Don
June 22, 2018(15:00 Local time)Brazil vs Costa Rica, St Petersburg
June 22, 2018(20:00 Local time)Serbia vs Switzerland, Kaliningrad
June 27, 2018(21:00 Local time)Serbia vs Brazil, Spartak Stadium, Moscow
June 27, 2018(21:00 Local time)Switzerland vs Costa Rica, Nizhny Novgorod

It’s good to know that Brazil has recovered after the team’s humiliation last 2014. Because of this, many football enthusiasts are beginning to give their hearts back to the team. With the other teams in the group, Brazil should only have little to fear in the game.

Moreover, Serbia is also good enough to survive. After all, they avoided Pot 4. On the other hand, Costa Rica made it to the quarterfinals four years ago. Ranked eighth, Switzerland could also be functional in the game.

The world expects Granit Xhaka and Philippe Coutinho to hold this group’s key battle. Although at times, he might be regarded as the centre of laughter in the Premier League, Xhaka is considered as one of the best and most talented players in native Switzerland.

Xhaka will most likely engage in battle against Coutinho who is also an ace player of the Brazil team.

Brazil will win, and Switzerland will be second.

Group F – Our View


  • Germany
  • Mexico
  • Sweden
  • Korea Republic


📅 Date
🕐 Hour
★ Who vs. Whom
June 17, 2018(18:00 Local time)Germany vs Mexico, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
June 18, 2018(15:00 Local time)Sweden vs South Korea, Nizhny Novgorod
June 23, 2018(18:00 Local time)South Korea vs Mexico, Rostov-on-Don
June 23, 2018(21:00 Local time)Germany vs Sweden, Sochi
June 27, 2018(17:00 Local time)South Korea vs Germany, Kazan
June 27, 2018(19:00 Local time)Mexico vs Sweden, Ekaterinburg
More information:

A lot would notice that Germany was hardly mentioned in most post-draw analysis results. It may seem unfair, but Germany actually prefers it this way. The team wants to be low-key and just surprise everyone as they see the team at the finishing games. With its competitive players, the defending champion is expected to make it to the knockout stages without struggling a lot.

Mexico has a great chance of winning, considering how the team came through easily in qualifying. Sweden, with its past games, also proved that it has the capability of winning. Above all, Korea is the team in this group that may struggle badly. Mexico and Sweden are not easy opponents, but this group can give Korea an opportunity to perform greatly the way they did back in 2002.

Meanwhile, Germany, the reigning champion and the present top-ranked team, will take this group as a great favour for the team. Still, they should be cautious enough to not slip with Brazil waiting for the opportunity to snatch the throne if given the chance.

Emil Forsberg and Joshua Kimmich will most likely make the key battle in this group. Sweden’s Forsberg is the popular winger of RB Leipzig. With this, Kimmich as the right-back of Germany should be smart enough to study Forsberg’s strengths and weaknesses. If Kimmich can get the better of Forsberg, Germany can have a much easier time to reach the knockouts.

Germany may have a hard time winning in two games against Mexico and Sweden, but it is expected to beat South Korea in the third match. The second place will most likely go to Sweden.

Group G – Teams and Prediction


  • Belgium
  • Panama
  • Tunisia
  • England


📅 Date
🕐 Hour
★ Who vs. Whom
June 18, 2018(18:00 Local time)Belgium vs Panama, Sochi
June 18, 2018(21:00 Local time)Tunisia vs England, Volgograd
June 23, 2018(15:00 Local time)Belgium vs Tunisia, Spartak Stadium, Moscow
June 24, 2018(15:00 Local time)England vs Panama, Nizhny Novgorod
June 28, 2018(21:00 Local time)England vs Belgium, Kaliningrad
June 28, 2018(20:00 Local time)Panama vs Tunisia, Saransk

June 18 is a big day for Panama. That’s because the team will have their first ever World Cup game, and they will go against Belgium.

In addition, this group is the one with the lowest FIFA world ranking. In fact, it only has an average of around 26, which is extremely low.

With Panama as the World Cup debutant team and Tunisia as an average team player, this group is viewed by many as an action between Belgium and England alone. These two teams are scheduled to meet on June 28 in the Russian city Kaliningrad. This game between the two is the main highlight of Group G.

Group G’s key battle will surely come in between Premier Leagues as there are 19 Belgians in the English flight. With this, the battle between Belgium and England will surely give everybody a Premier League game feel. What’s more is that Belgium’s Roberto Martinez is now ready to compete against England’s Gareth Southgate, so the game is really going to have great intensity.

England and Belgium will have a great game, but England will win with Belgium at the second place.

Group H – Who Will Win It?


  • Poland
  • Senegal
  • Colombia
  • Japan


📅 Date
🕐 Hour
★ Who vs. Whom
June 19, 2018(15:00 Local time)Colombia vs Japan, Saransk
June 19, 2018(18:00 Local time)Poland vs Senegal, Spartak Stadium, Moscow
June 24, 2018(20:00 Local time)Japan vs Senegal, Ekaterinburg
June 24, 2018(21:00 Local time)Poland vs Colombia, Kazan
June 28, 2018(17:00 Local time)Japan vs Poland, Volgograd
June 28, 2018(18:00 Local time)Senegal vs Colombia, Samara

Group H is an interesting group with its oddly satisfying continental spread of teams from the continents South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. With this group, everyone can finally witness actual games and make objective descriptions of comparisons between each team from different continents.

As for the overview of each team, Poland ranks seventh in the FIFA rankings. Although aside from Russia, it earned the weakest top seeds, the team can still do a lot in their games. Senegal had an unforgettable experience last 2002, but fortunately, the team gained strength to join the World Cup again. On the other hand, Colombia was a great surprise in 2014. This year, the team will be confident in winning over the other teams in this interesting group.

The key battle will surely be seen between Robert Lewandowski and James Rodriguez. With Rodriquez taking the World Cup in 2014 and Lewandowski scoring 16 goals, this battle between the two is expected to bring excitement in this year’s World Cup.

Colombia will be the most victorious. Poland will come next.

What Are the Odds of Each Team?

Each team in the World Cup has odds to win. Below is a list of 2018 Word Cup teams and their corresponding odds by Betway.

Costa Rica501.00
Saudi Arabia1001.00
South Korea501.00

What Is a Group of Death?

In every major football tournament, there is a so-called “Group of Death”. This term was said to be coined with the inspiration of World Cup 1970’s Group 3 which had England as the reigning champion that time, Brazil as the crowd favourite, Czechoslovakia as the 1962 runner-up, and Romania.

Moreover, there could be more than one “Group of Death” in a major football event. In 2014, for example, there were three difficult groups which were termed as Groups of Death.

Who Has the Most Significant Roles?

Everyone who participates in the World Cup plays an important role, but some take roles that change the course of the games.

Neymar, for one, is a game changer himself. After scoring against Paraguay, he celebrates as he and his team win the qualifying match for the World Cup.

Five-time champion Brazil was the first team in South America to pass the qualifying match for Russia 2018. Coach Tite has made the effort for the team to improve and has helped the team of Brazil remain undefeated since he took charge and succeeded 10 out of their 12 qualification matches.

Moreover, Lionel Messi remains to be a star in the world of football as he scored an impressive hat-trick to win Argentina’s place in Russia.

Meanwhile, reigning champion Germany strives to become the first team to defend the title since 1962 when Brazil did so. German football coach Joachim Löw guided the team and helped them win all 10 qualification matches and score 43 goals all throughout the games.


2018 fifa world cup - conclusion

FIFA World Cup 2018 is just around the corner, and the event will open this June 14. A month after the opening event, a champion will celebrate and lift the trophy as the team wins the game in the Final in Moscow.

Everyone is excited to meet the champion of this year’s World Cup. Whether you’re plainly watching the World Cup Games or watching to make bets and win, it’s certain that you can’t afford to miss just one game. So, make sure you stay updated 24/7.

Read more about the World Cup in 2018:

Maria Kostadinova

Maria Kostadinova

Maria is a writer in and she is the author of numerous articles, news, and reviews you will find on it. Her tasks involve editing and uploading the content that reaches our readers.

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