The 2018 FIFA World Cup is already shaping up to be an exciting endeavour primarily because of who is not going to be there. But even as the Netherlands, Italy, Ivory Coast and the United States are nowhere to be found, there are still many high sides to watch as well as a few prominent newcomers like Iceland.
But while there will be plenty of strong contenders in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, some of the sides that are competing are a little more challenging than others. The toughest groups in the World Cup include a few that are tight and competitive enough to where it would be a challenge to see just who can get into the Group of 16 stage. The competition is expected to be interesting throughout this year’s event.
Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria
Group D is the Group of Death when the challenge is considered. Argentina is the obvious favourite to win although Nigeria and Croatia have both become popular sides in recent years.
Iceland’s addition to Group D only makes this grouping a little harder. Iceland was one of the strongest sides at Euro 2016 and proved to be a big contender during the qualification stages. The side’s stunning victory over England at Euro 2016 and its 22 points attained during World Cup qualification prove just how impressive the side is.
Germany, Mexico, Sweden and the Korea Republic
Reigning champion Germany leads Group F although Mexico has been on fire recently with 21 points in the qualification stage. Sweden and South Korea are also in this group.
South Korea is especially in trouble as the side has had some questions about how its defence is run. This could keep the side from moving any further in competition.
Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia
Brazil is the top team in Group E and is expected to be one of the biggest challenges to the rest of the world. Costa Rica made the quarterfinals the last time around and is looking to build upon that momentum in this coming 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Switzerland and Serbia make up the other two teams in this group. Serbia has been considered one of the more physical sides in the World Cup and is expected to be a strong contender.
Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan
Poland has a better shot at making the finals for the first time since 1982 than what the side has ever had. This comes as Poland will be competing alongside Senegal, Columbia and Japan in Group H. But Colombia has become one of the better teams to watch for as that side has been on the rise, finishing third at the recent Copa America Centenario event.
Portugal, Spain, Morocco and Iran
The teams in Group B will be worth watching as there are some great geographic rivalries to check out here. These include Portugal, Spain and Morocco all contending with each other. What is very intriguing is that Spain and Portugal will be meeting each other during the first match in this group.
Iran makes up the other team in Group B. The Iranian side has never made it past the first round of competition. The difficult draw here might keep them from getting a shot at moving forward.
Who Is the Weakest?
The weakest group would be Group A. Russia will contend with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay in this group. Egypt is celebrating as this is the first time since 1990 that the side has competed in the World Cup, but Uruguay is going to be the strong point for this group.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup starts on June 14 and goes through July 15. Interestingly enough, the whole event starts with a match between the two lowest-ranked teams regarding their FIFA standings, Russia and Saudi Arabia.