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2022 FIFA World Cup Draw Reaction

Photo by Associated Press

One of the best events in the sporting calendar is the World Cup. Qualifying is almost complete for the world’s most popular soccer tournament and on Friday, the draw to determine the groups was held in Doha. Sidelines Sports Network’s team of soccer writers have broken down all the groups ahead of the World Cup this November.

Group A

Group A features the controversial hosts of this tournament: Qatar. There have been plenty of human rights debates regarding workers, but let’s stick to soccer. Qatar is one of the lowest ranked teams in this World Cup and they are joined by Netherlands, Senegal and Ecuador in Group A. The Dutch squad are the heavy favorites led by star defender Virgil van Dijk, who plays his club ball at Liverpool. Senegal also features a Liverpool player in Sadio Mane, who beat Mo Salah’s Egypt to qualify. Ecuador is a side who finished fourth in South American qualifying. They have a very young squad that includes 10 players that are 23 years old or younger. There is such a thing as home field advantage and Qatar will try to use the fans to rally. However, they will be outmatched on the pitch. Netherlands should finish on top, with Senegal and Ecuador battling for that second spot. ~ Brendan Moore (@bmoorecfb)

Group B

The US Men’s National Team is back in the World Cup after missing out in 2018. Just like in 2010, they drew England out of pot 1. Iran and the winner of the final European playoff, either Wales, Scotland or Ukraine, will join the three lions and the yanks. The USMNT and England are looking at this as a favorable draw, but don’t count out Iran. They absolutely ran through Asian qualifying, racking up 25 points in 10 matches. This appears to be one of those groups where anybody could advance to the knockout stage. The Harry Kane led three lions are definitely the favorites, but expect a tight battle between the USA, Iran and the winner of the European playoff. The aforementioned Kane is one of many stars to watch in this group along with Christian Pulisic and Gareth Bale, if he and Wales manage to qualify. ~ Brendan Moore (@bmoorecfb)

Group C

Group C features South American giants Argentina, Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia. Argentina will start facing the lowest ranked team of the group in Saudi Arabia, and Mexico will open against one of the best players in the world in Robert Lewandowski and his country Poland. It’s a tough group which features the last two winners of the Ballon d'Or, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski. Argentina should end up in the first place, and the runner up will be between Mexico and Poland. That first match will be crucial for both countries to advance. This is a tough group, but it is the World Cup after all. ~ Nacho Aranda Moreno (@SSN_Mexico)

Group D

The reigning world champions France will start defending their crown against the winner of the first intercontinental playoff, which will be decided in June between Peru, Australia and UAE. Denmark will face Tunisia in an equally matched game. France still has a lot of the same stars from the 2018 tournament, including Kylian Mbappe. He will be a player to watch this fall. France should be able to handle their business in this group. Second place will depend on who qualifies in the playoff. If Peru qualifies, they will be fighting with Denmark for the second position. If not, the Danes should have smooth sailing into the knockout stages. ~ Nacho Aranda Moreno (@SSN_Mexico)

Group E

This group has some European giants including Spain and Germany. Japan, who made the Round of 16 in the 2018 World Cup, is also in Group E. Finally, the winner of Costa Rica and New Zealand will join them. No team in this group made the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup. Germany and Costa Rica finished in fourth in their respective groups in that tournament, while Japan and Spain lost in the Round of 16. This will be the first World Cup for the likes of Pedri and Kai Havertz. Spain and Germany should be the top two in this group with Japan fighting for the second spot hoping to knock out one of the favorites in the group. ~ Britt Strong (@StrongBritt)

Group F

This group is a very interesting one. It has Belgium, who made the 2018 World Cup Semifinals. And then it has Canada, who has not made the World Cup since 1986. Then it has Morocco, who finished last in their group during the 2018 World Cup. And finally, Croatia, who made the 2018 World Cup final and lost to France. The fight for first place in the group should be fun to watch as Belgium, Canada and Croatia all could win this group. This will be the first World Cup for the likes of Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David. ~ Britt Strong (@StrongBritt)

Group G

If you were wondering why this group looked familiar, Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland were in the same group during the 2018 World Cup. Brazil made the 2018 World Cup Quarterfinals. Serbia finished third in their group. Switzerland made it past the group stage but lost in the 2018 World Cup Round of 16. And finally, Cameroon, who did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup. It is amazing how they ended back up in the same group together. Brazil will be the favorites in this group with Serbia and Switzerland fighting for second place. ~ Britt Strong (@StrongBritt)

Group H

Many consider Group H to be the infamous “group of death”. It features 2016 European Champions Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea. There are so many big names including Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez and Heung-Min Son. Portugal will take on Uruguay in a rematch from the round of 16 back in 2018. Ghana will also play Uruguay in a rematch of the 2010 quarterfinals. South Korea played that 2010 Uruguay team in the round of 16 as well. Portugal and Uruguay are the favorites to escape this group, but beating Ghana is never an easy task. Also, South Korea has improved with the arrival of Heung-Min Son onto the scene. ~ Brendan Moore (@bmoorecfb)

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