2018 World Cup: A tale of two derbies

Updated 2017-12-02 10:31:56 Xinhua
The result of the draw is shown on the screen during the Final Draw of the FIFA World Cup 2018 at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow, capital of Russia, Dec. 1, 2017. (Xinhua/Bai Xueqi)

The result of the draw is shown on the screen during the Final Draw of the FIFA World Cup 2018 at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow, capital of Russia, Dec. 1, 2017. (Xinhua/Bai Xueqi)

Iberian Peninsula derby Portugal-Spain and "English Premier League derby" Belgium-England might be the deadliest rivals in the 2018 FIFA World Cup group draw.

Portugal will meet Spain in the first game in Group B during their 2018 WC campaign, while Belgium, which harbor many EPL players, will face England in the third game in Group G, according to the group draw on Moscow time Friday night.

The Iberian Peninsula derby is also a game between two champions -- Portugal, the 2016 European champions, against Spain, the 2010 World Cup champions. It might not be an easy kickoff for either team in the 2018 campaign as both failed to win their first games of the 2010 and 2014 editions. Who win this derby may well enter the last 16 directly as Morocco and Iran are less competitive in Group B.

In Group G, many EPL teammates will become rivals. Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku, Manchester City's Vincent Kompany, Hot Spurs' Jan Vertonghen and several EPL players might play for Belgium against Man United's Ashley Young, City's Raheem Sterling, Spurs' Harry Kane. In what mood the two favorites will face with their EPL colleagues in their last game in the group may depend on the results of two previous games playing against Panama and Tunisia.

Despite the two interesting derbies, Group D is considered probably the most competitive of all. Argentina just qualified in the last round of preliminaries. Both Croatia and Iceland made into elimination stage of the 2016 European Football Championship. Iceland even entered the last eight. Nigeria are one of the toughest seeds in Pot Four.

Playing against Uruguay, Egypt and Saudi Arabia in Group A, hosts Russia are expected to make it through. But they will then find it difficult to go further as they might encounter Portugal or Spain in the round of 16.

The record five Asian teams may face total destruction after three group matches.

Just-qualified Australia will have to survive games against two European sides, France and Denmark. South Korea will face defending champions Germany and Sweden, which stopped four-time World Cup title owner Italy entering the 2018 campaign.

Japan might be kicked out by Poland' s Robert Lewandowski and Colombia's James Rodriguez. The pride and confidence of Iranians built during Asia preliminaries might be smashed by the two blades of the scissors Portugal and Spain. As the lowest-ranked seed in the campaign, Saudi Arabia will struggle along with Egypt.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58December 14 2017 10:26:12

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16December 14 2017 10:26:12

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18December 14 2017 10:26:12

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords