Best and Worst: See Nigeria’s Likely Group Opponents in Russia 2018

Best and Worst: See Nigeria’s Likely Group Opponents in Russia 2018

World football ruling body, FIFA, had earlier announced that the seeding for the group stage of the world cup Russia 2018 will be based on FIFA ranking for October 2017, with the exception of Russia, which, as hosts, will also be seeded in top pot.

Based on FIFA ranking as at the end of October 2017, here are countries in each of the four pots:

POT 1

Russia

Germany

Brazil

Brazil

Portugal

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

Screenshot_2017-11-16-07-53-44-1-204x300 Best and Worst: See Nigeria's Likely Group Opponents in Russia 2018

 

A team will be chosen from each pot to form a group in the World Cup group stage. It is also done such that African teams are not expected to be in same group.

Based, not on FIFA ranking, but from the traditional strength of each country, here are the best and worst case scenarios for Nigeria:

 

BEST GROUP NIGERIA BE IN (i.e weakest in each pot by pedigree)

  • Russia
  • Mexico
  • Iceland
  • Nigeria

I think Nigeria will easily qualify here. Forget about FIFA ranking, I just don’t see Nigeria not beating at least 2 of Russia, Mexico and Iceland. Forget about recent qualifiers and all talk about Iceland, shoe get size, Iceland is 3 points guaranteed. Bosnia was highly hyped before 2014 WC and they were in this kind of surprise qualification form, but they fell to Nigeria. I don’t see Iceland surviving Nigeria. One of Mexico and Russia will also fall. 6 points will just be enough to make it to next group.

 

WORST GROUP NIGERIA CAN BE IN (i.e with strongest team in each pot)

  • Brazil
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Nigeria

Nigeria should not pray to be in this group. These are the strongest teams in each team based on traditional pedigree. Nigeria may survive Sweden, may even get an upset win, but getting past Spain and Brazil may be a tall order. This does not mean there is no hope even if we are grouped with these guys too, but we shouldn’t pray to have them at this stage.

 

  • Screenshot_2017-11-16-07-53-44-1-204x300 Best and Worst: See Nigeria's Likely Group Opponents in Russia 2018

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