No ‘group of death’ in Qatar
Surprisingly, all groups look fairly balanced. Only Germany was in for a shock when they were drawn in the same group as Spain and the possibility of having to face Africa Cup of Nations winner Senegal and Canada. But we heard a sigh of relief across Germany when Japan and Costa Rica joined Group E. But not that the Germans would ever take a group stage lightly after what happened 2018.
The weakest group is Group A with Qatar and Ecuador likely to be beaten by Senegal and Netherlands. Although we can’t write off Ecuador just yet having finished in the top 3 of the CONMEBOL with a young fearless team.
USA vs England
It’s not only a match between two rivals, but also one that carries political undertones. But let’s focus on the fun part: the last time they met was in the group stage in 2010 where they played 1-1. This year, they’ll play the day after Thanksgiving to find out if England still maintains superiority on the pitch or if America could overtake the Three Lions.
We are excited to see if the USA will be good for a surprise like in 1950 when their team was composed of dishwashers, mailmen and hearse drivers, beat favourite England 3-1. And that remains the US’ only competitive win over England.
If things go as predicted, then we are in for some quarterfinal treats: England would meet France, the Netherlands could face Argentina and Spain would play Brazil. While Portugal could have a potentially easier path meeting either Switzerland or Serbia in the round of 16 before facing Belgium or Germany.
These are three games you definitely don’t want to miss, and they’d get us closer to finding out the answers to questions like: will Lionel Messi get to hold the trophy in his most likely last world tournament? Is England ready to take it home? And will Brazil break its quarterfinal curse?