What is the ‘Group of Death’ for the 2022 World Cup? . The draw for the event in Qatar produced a number of intriguing ties – but which one is the most difficult?
After each World Cup draw, it is customary to sort through the pool pairings for the ‘Group of Death,’ which consists of the four best teams.
The horrifically tough pools of the past – such as Argentina, England, Sweden, and Nigeria together in 2002 – are no longer so viable now that FIFA organizes its pots via ranking rather than continental confederations.
However, the draw for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has thrown up some tasty-looking pools – but which is the toughest?
The complete group stage draw for the 2022 World Cup can be seen here.
Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Netherlands, Senegal
Group B: England, Iran, USA, Scotland/Wales/Ukraine
Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
Group D: France, UAE/Australia/Peru, Denmark, Tunisia
Group E: Spain, Costa Rica/New Zealand, Germany, Japan
Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea
Which is the group of death?
It appears the trickiest group in Qatar is Group E, which features two former world champions from Europe and arguably Asia’s strongest contender.
Spain were world champions in 2010 while Germany were last winners in 2014, having taken the title on four occasions. However, both have suffered recent group stage exits, in 2014 and 2018 respectively.
They must both be wary of Japan, who eased through their qualifying pool with a seven-point gap over Australia, while Costa Rica and New Zealand – who must face in a play-off to decide who goes to Qatar – both have a recent history of World Cup upsets.
Costa Rica came through their own group of death in 2014 – featuring England, Italy and Uruguay – on a run to the quarter-finals, while New Zealand were unbeaten in their last World Cup, drawing all three pool matches in 2010.