World Cup groups ranked from easiest to toughest as England land hardest possible opponents | The Sun

ENGLAND and Wales have been confirmed as being in the TOUGHEST group at this year’s World Cup.

Fifa’s final rankings before the big kick-off in Qatar in November saw Gareth Southgate’s England remain in fifth place in the global listings despite their six-game winless run.

But with Rob Page and his Red Dragons 19th, USA 14th and Iran in 22nd, Group B’s average ranking per team is 15th, significantly higher than the other seven groups.

The next tightest, according to Fifa at least, is group E, featuring Spain (seventh), 11th-placed Germany, Japan in 24th and Costa Rica (34th) for an average ranking of a fraction under 19th.

That compares with Group A, where only Holland (11th) and Senegal (18th) are in the top 20, with Ecuador (44) and hosts Qatar (48) meaning an average ranking across the four teams of 29.5.

Brazil retain their position at the top of the charts, with Belgium second, holders France third and Argentina fourth.


Stunning Danish Wags BANNED from World Cup in blow to Eriksen and Hojbjerg

How to get free bets on football – the best bookies to claim rewards and bonuses

Indeed, the only riser in the top 10 is Italy, up to sixth after beating England and Hungary last month to win their Nations League group.

But it will be scant consolation for Azzurri boss Roberto Mancini to know his side will NOT be the highest-placed side in the history of the rankings NOT missing out on a World Cup after their play-off disaster last year.

That unwanted record remains held by Colombia, who were fourth in the Fifa standings ahead of the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea.

The World Cup is only six weeks away with holders France and Brazil among the favourites to grab football's most prestigious trophy.

Most read in Football


Tottenham fitness coach Ventrone dies aged 61 after battle with leukaemia


City's Gundogan's wife slammed for blasting Manchester's 'horrible frozen food'


Footballer arrested after 'breaking six of ref's bones & dislocating shoulder'


World Cup 2030 could be held in Ukraine as Spain and Portugal add nation to bid

Hosts Qatar will kick off the opening game against Ecuador after a last-ditch effort by Chile to get the South American side kicked out of the tournament failed.

Then England will host Iran the next day as they look to begin their campaign on a high.

Debate continues to rage about who should make Southgate's World Cup squad, with James Maddison putting himself further in the frame after his performance against Nottingham Forest for Leicester.

Meanwhile, with a busy club schedule until the tournament begins in Qatar players will be desperate to avoid an untimely injury.

Kyle Walker's place in the 26-man squad is already in doubt after it emerged he had suffered an abdominal injury.

Source: Read Full Article