World Cup 2018 Draw: Pot 2
The World Cup Draw’s Pot 2 contains some seriously talented player and teams, which can really give the Pot 1 Guys a run for their money.
Find out about their form and who they will be hoping to avoid and get in the draw on Friday!
The biggest threat in Pot 2 is Spain and all the teams in Pot 1 even will be wary of this Spanish team. The 2010 World Cup Winners got through their qualifying group, which contained Italy, unbeaten and with a game to spare. In fact, they are unbeaten all year and the last time they lost was back Euro 2016, which was an abysmal performance all in all. They have been matched up against two of the teams in group A this year already. Against Russia away, and on the Ground the first game will be played on, where they got a 3-3 draw in a game they went ahead twice, as well as France in January, who they beat comfortably. They’ve also played Colombia, who they can’t draw, but they also came away with something there too. Whoever gets Spain gets, they will be up for a challenge, Pot 1 teams included.
Qualifying through Play-off was not ideal, but getting to their first world cup in 35 years will mean they are up and ready for it. They were without their Talisman and all time top Goal scorer, Guerrero in the Playoff against New Zealand and still showed exceptional team work and still looked very dangerous going forward. They will dodge two of the Pot 1 already, Brazil and Argentina, as they are from the same confederation, which means they are limited to just the 6 European teams in the process. They have several players in the team that play regular European football, but the Peru national team hasn’t played against European team since 2014, in a friendly against England, who they can’t play again, so they won’t be sure what to expect from European football on the World Stage, which might not play in their favour. They have the calibre to deal with a lot of the teams in Pot 3 and 4 easily, but not the big game experience, so I think Peru will be hoping for teams like Egypt and or Panama, who share the lack of experience to warm up against and get through this first stage.
The Swiss just missed out on automatic qualification from the Group Stages, due to a last game defeat against Portugal, who they could potentially face again in this group, which they probably wouldn’t mind when compared against the other options. They may also be looking for Poland, who knocked them out in Euro 2014 on Penalties and who they have similar dynamic, so it could be a tight game and one they could easily go away with at least a draw from. They have proven to not match up on big games, for example against Portugal, as well as in their Playoff against Ireland, where they were a different team to what we saw in the Qualifying groups. As such, I think they vary from the other teams in not wanting Russia, as it would be the opening game and thus, a lot of pressure.
This will be a fresher English team they we’ve ever seen before at World Cup. England have been known to perform terrible in big competitions and a similar same squad to this one let down a lot of people in the Euro 2016, so we will have a lot to prove this time round. However, they have gelled since then and finished top of their qualifying group with ease. Out of all the teams in Pot 2, they have the most experience playing against the teams in Pot 1. They played two friendlies in recent weeks against both Brazil and Germany, which ended 0-0, however, lost away in their match before that to Germans too. In the Euro’s, they were also matched up with Russia. They played these in the first game, looking in control, they only left with a draw due to a last minute equalizer and so they would probably wouldn’t mind these again over any of the other teams in Pot 1. In the other groups, they tend to fare well against Sweden and have been matched up several times in the past. In theory, we could see a repeat of the 2002 World Cup, if they draw Argentina, Sweden and Nigeria in a group. In this case, they got a result of one win and two draws, meaning they finished second behind Sweden on goal difference, and sent Argentina home early.
In recent weeks Colombia have played against their fair share of possible teams that they may meet at some point in the competition. However, the only 1 they could get in a group, South Korea, they lost 2-1 too. However, this looks like it may have been a slight hiccup, as they have had good results against Brazil, Peru and Spain in recent weeks, which bodes well for a good performance. Although, they can’t play any of these teams, they can clearly hold their own in tough games and so, they could get good results against any of the other contenders in Pot 1, as well as definitely win against the Pot 3 and Pot 4 teams. I think Colombia could be a surprise act and if they get a weaker team in Pot 1, and I could definitely see them finishing on top of their group.
This Mexican team were head and shoulders above their competitors in their group, qualifying with still 3 matches remaining and losing just once in the process. Clearly, in an exceptional form and looking hungry, they should fare well against the teams in Pot 3 and 4, as these are a similar calibre to the Costa Rica and Panama, who were in their qualifying group. They demonstrated themselves a further against Poland, who they beat earlier this month and draw with Belgium 3-3 the month before that. They would probably prefer either of these, and would prefer not to get an inform Sweden or Denmark team.
The Uruguayans finished above Peru, Colombia and Argentina in qualifying and so on paper, are the second strongest South American team left in the process, just behind Brazil. They will therefore, be left with just Europeans from Pot 1. Poland would be ok for them, as they got a 0-0 draw against them last week away, but in Russia with an extra bit of drive from either team could easily nick one goal and be in pole position for topping the group if this were to be a match up. Uruguay are typically a bit of a wild card, but they should do well in any group as they have the talent. They have talisman Suarez in their ranks, who he is currently joint with Lionel Messi for most goals, and at times can the difference alone.Maybe this year, they could upset the odds and clinch their third world cup title and the first in over 50 years!
Croatia qualified comfortably through their Playoff against Greece and showed really capabilities at exploiting defensive weakness. They have only ever got the past the group stage once in their History, back in 1998, when they came third over all. They were drawn in Group A in 2014, with host Brazil, who they lost to in the opening game, and had lost to in 2006 also, in their first game. Therefore, they will be hoping to definitely not get these. Croatia have also lost to Iceland already in the process, 1-0 in qualification, and finished behind them in a group. As such, if they get one of the toughest Pot 1′s they could do without Iceland in Pot 3, as they can definitely be tricky customers in big games. Portugal, they lost to in Euro 2016, sending them out in the round of 16 also and they wouldn’t a repeat of that either!