Group A — the Draw Analysis & Predictions

Group A — the Draw Analysis & Predictions

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

The Winner:France
Dates:14 June — 15 July 2018
Teams:32

At the final draw, the following teams got into Group A:

1. Russia, Europe, the World Cup hosting country

  • 64th position in the FIFA ranking *
  • The FIFA World Cup — group stage 1994, 2002, 2014
  • The UEFA European Championship — 2008 bronze medalist

2. Uruguay, South America, the 3rd position in the qualifying tournament

  • The 21st position in the FIFA ranking *
  • The FIFA World Cup — the winner (1930, 1950)
  • Copa America — the winner (1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926, 1935, 1942, 1956, 1959, 1967, 1983, 1987, 1995, 2011)

3. Egypt, Africa, the winner in the qualification Group E in Africa

  • The 31st position in the FIFA ranking *
  • The FIFA World Cup — round of last 16 in 1934
  • The African Cup of Nations — the winner (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010)

4. Saudi Arabia, Asia, the 2nd place in the qualification Group B in Asia

  • The 63rd position in the FIFA ranking *
  • The FIFA World Cup — round of last 16 in 1994
  • The AFC Asian Cup — the winner (1984, 1988, 1996)

* position of a team in the FIFA ranking as of December, 2017.

Group A has turned out obviously the weakest in the tournament, according to the names and total ranking of the teams. Betting Companies estimate the teams chances to leave the group and to a victory in the group as follows:

Team Round of last 16 getting odds First place in the group odds
Uruguay national football team Uruguay 1.25 2.10
Russia national football team Russia 1.30 2.60
Egypt national football team Egypt 2.30 6.00
Saudi Arabia national football team Saudi Arabia 12.00 41.00

As we can see, Betting Companies mark out two obvious favourites in Group A: the Uruguay national football team and the tournament hosts, the Russia team, at the same time they give little preference to the South Americans in struggle for the first place.

We cannot agree with this prediction. If condition of the Uruguay national football team really looks firm, then chances of the Russia national football team are obviously overestimated.

The Russians took part in the FIFA World Cup three times and all three times they stopped at the group stage. And two of three times the Russians also got into the weakest according to the names group, but it didn’t help — both times the team finished the tournament on the third place in the group. The today’s Russia national football team, on its names, is not stronger than those having played on the pitches in Japan in 2002 and Brazil in 2014. The 64th position of Russia in the FIFA ranking speaks for itself, and it is the worst index among all teams taking part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. Only the status of the World Cup hosting country speaks in favour of the Russians — Russia will play all matches at home with serious spectator support.

At the same time, the Egypt national football team is one of the strongest national teams on the African continent today. The team leader, Mohamed Salah, is one of the best forwards in the world spending his excellent season in the Liverpool. With luck, Salah can become one of the main discoveries of the forthcoming World Cup.

Also, in our opinion, the Uruguay national football team is an obvious favourite of the group, and a team which must win the first place. The South Americans have an excellent balanced team which forward line led by Luis Suarez is especially distinguished. In the qualifying tournament, the Uruguayans took the second place and gave the way in the table to the Brazil national team only. In our opinion, the class difference between Uruguay and other national teams is much higher, than betting companies specify.

Thus, in our opinion, Group A has two values: the Uruguay victory in the group is a bet for 2.10 and Egypt leaving for play-offs is a bet for 2.30.

See Also

Results

France Croatia
France 4 : 2 Croatia
Belgium England
Belgium 2 : 0 England
Croatia England
Croatia 2 : 1 England
France Belgium
France 1 : 0 Belgium
Russia Croatia
Russia 2 : 2 Croatia
(penalty 3 : 4)
2018 FIFA World Cup