The 2022 FIFA World Cup draw was held on Friday in Doha and this year’s event in Qatar promises early drama after a number of intriguing group draws..
The USMNT will meet England, Iran and possibly Scotland, Wales or Ukraine too in Group B while the hosts have drawn the Netherlands, Ecuador and Senegal in Group A.
Defending champions France will face Denmark again after their 2018 meeting and could also be reunited with Peru or Australia as well as Tunisia in Group D while Mexico are up against Argentina, Poland and Saudi Arabia in a spicy Group C.
Group E is where the heavyweights are at with Spain and Germany together as well as Japan and the winner of Costa Rica against New Zealand while Canada are in Group F with Croatia and Morocco.
In Group G, Brazil got Switzerland, Serbia and Cameroon while Portugal are joined by Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea in Group H.
Qatar will open the World Cup against Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.
World Cup groups
- Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
- Group B: England, Iran, USA, Scotland/Ukraine or Wales
- Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
- Group D: France, Australia/UAE or Peru, Denmark, Tunisia
- Group E: Spain, Costa Rica or New Zealand, Germany, Japan
- Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
- Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
- Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea
Winners and losers
Now that the World Cup groups have been drawn, we can look at the makeup of the eight pools and assess who has received the best and worst scenarios. Group B with the USMNT and England, Argentina and Mexico in Group C, Spain and Germany in Group E as well as Canada in Group F with Belgium, Croatia and Morocco are all fascinating.
Some winners and losers.
The Dutch will feel very happy with their draw, but hosts Qatar will feel equally grateful that Oranje are perhaps their strongest opponents on paper. Anything could happen with Senegal and Ecuador, but Louis Van Gaal’s men certainly feel like favorites here.
Although the outcome of Scotland, Wales and Ukraine’s playoff is not yet known, this already feels like a tough one for the Iranians. This group will not be short of talking points around any of Iran’s games, but they will really need to hit the ground running to stand a chance of making it out.
USMNT rivalry aside, the Three Lions will feel pleased with their group as Iran and the winner of Scotland, Wales or Ukraine’s eventual UEFA playoff should not cause too much fear. The Scottish and Welsh will have that added motivation given the rivalry which could make the Americans their key adversaries.
France, Denmark and then potentially a Peru, Australia or a UAE is a tough task for the Tunisians. Les Bleus is a bit of a rivalry while Denmark have emerged as an extremely difficult team to beat. Depending on who joins this group, third place could be considered an achievement.
The defending champions will be undaunted by drawing strong qualifiers Denmark who they know well from 2018. However, they also drew the Danes in 2002 when they crashed out as titleholders from 1998, so there is that to consider. Tunisia is an intriguing pairing given the significant links between the two countries while the playoff winners could see Les Bleus up against two of the three teams they faced in their Russia group in 2018. Will it be enough for them to become the first title holders to escape their group since Brazil won in 2002 and then advanced in 2006.
Getting Spain and Germany is pretty brutal with a playoff team to be added to the mix as well. On paper, the Germans and Spanish will be expected to advance, but Samurai Blue have shown in the past that they are capable of springing a surprise — they need another here.
Despite Serbia’s improvement and Switzerland’s solid nature, the South Americans will fancy themselves against all of their opponents. On paper, at least, this risks getting brutal for Cameroon unless they can build quickly under Rigobert Song’s leadership.
Arguably favorites to finish bottom of their group given Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia’s strength, the Africans need to use these next few months wisely. Changing coach in a World Cup year is never easy, but that has now happened and the Indomitable Lions will at least be motivated to play for such a legendary figure.
That’s a good draw for the U.S. They won’t be close to a lock for the round of 16 by any means, but they should feel good about their chances. They are going to want Scotland, but it will likely be Wales or Ukraine, and that really could go either way. England should beat the U.S., but the Americans have a knack for pulling off some big group stage results. They did get far and away the best draw out of all the Concacaf teams. Mexico have to play big boys Argentina and a formidable Poland side. Canada have two semifinalists from 2018 in Belgium and Croatia in their group, and if Costa Rica make it, they just have to worry about Spain and Germany — Roger Gonzalez