The 32 teams that will contest World Cup 2018 in Russia have been set and they are: Russia (hosts), Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Uruguay.
The teams have already been grouped into their FIFA Rankings-determined pots, from which Groups will be drawn on December first. The four pots are:
Pot 1: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
Pot 2: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia
Pot 3: Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
Pot 4: Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia
Right off the bat, Spain, Uruguay, Croatia, Colombia, and England seem like the spoilers whose presence in any group will make the top seeded teams cringe. Some might argue that Spain should be in pot one over Poland, Belgium, and Portugal.
Odds makers have already set a preliminary view of the team’s chances of winning the tournament. Skybet.com had the odds as: Brazil and Germany 5/1, France 11/2, Spain 13/2, Argentina 8/1, Belgium 14/1, England 20/1, Portugal 25/1, Croatia and Russia 33/1, Uruguay 40/1, Colombia and Switzerland 50/1, Poland 66/1, Mexico and Sweden 80/1, Denmark, Japan and Serbia 100/1, Nigeria and Iran 150/1, Senegal, Morocco and Iceland 200/1, Costa Rica, Peru and South Korea 250/1, Egypt and Australia 300/1, Tunisia 500/1, and Saudi Arabia and Panama 1000/1.
Futbol Papa’s predictions will be forthcoming in early summer, but a preliminary look places the top five favorites, in rank order, thus: Germany, Brazil, France, Argentina, and Spain.