World Cup 2022 Group of DeathPosted on: August 10, 2022
It is a talking point ahead of every World Cup – which group is the most difficult and, therefore, the Group of Death? As soon as the draw for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was made, players, fans and pundits looked to see which group is stacked with the strongest set of teams.
The phrase was first used ahead of the 1970 World Cup in Mexico when defending champions England were joined in a group by Brazil, 1962 finalists Czechoslovakia and Romania. Since then, many World Cup groups have been dubbed the Group of Death – England has been involved in their fair share.
But is there a Group of Death at the 2022 World Cup? And which previous editions of the tournament saw deadly pools drawn?
Is there a Group of Death at the Qatar World Cup?
Group G could be considered the Qatar World Cup’s Group of Death. For a start, it includes Outright World Cup Winner Betting favourites Brazil, who currently sit top of the FIFA World Rankings. They have a star-studded squad, including Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Vinicius Junior, and have not lost a match since July 2021.
Then you have Switzerland and Serbia. Both were outstanding during qualifying, going unbeaten and finishing above the last two European Championship winners, Italy and Portugal. The Swiss are ranked 15th and have made it past the group stage in three of the previous four World Cup campaigns. Meanwhile, Serbia sit 21st in the World Rankings and have three top-class strikers: Aleksandar Mitrović, Luka Jović and Dušan Vlahović.
Cameroon are the last team in the group. They may be ranked 43 in the world, but they displayed their tournament pedigree earlier this year with a third-place finish at the Africa Cup of Nations.
|Team||Ranking||Method of Qualification||Group G Top 2 Finish Odds|
|UEFA Group C Winners||
|UEFA Group A Winners||
|CAF Third Round Winners||
*All odds are up to date at time of writing and are subject to change.
Overall, Group G looks incredibly competitive. However, there are some exciting matchups across the board. For example, Argentina take on Poland and Mexico in Group C, while Portugal, Uruguay and Son Heung-min’s South Korea are all in Group H. One study has even suggested that England are in the Group of Death, as all four teams are ranked within the top 20.
Previous World Cup Groups of Death
There have been some tasty Groups of Death at previous World Cups. In fact, during the last 20 years, it has not been uncommon for multiple high-profile nations to be drawn into the same World Cup group. Here is a selection of recent Groups of Death that captured the imagination.
Group F – 2002 World Cup (Korea/Japan)
England, Argentina, Sweden, Nigeria
2002’s World Cup draw saw a media frenzy in England, as they had been put into the Group of Death. They were up against tournament favourites and bitter enemies Argentina, Africa’s top-ranked team Nigeria and the always-stubborn Sweden.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Argentina were on a 17-match unbeaten run and boasted talents like Gabriel Batistuta, Javier Zanetti and Hernan Crespo. However, the South Americans struggled despite being at the top of the pre-tournament betting. Instead, Sweden and England progressed into the Round of 16. Both finished on five points in a tightly contested pool, with the Scandinavians finishing top by virtue of goals scored.
Group G – 2010 World Cup (South Africa)
Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast, North Korea
What a group this was in 2010. Brazil and Portugal were in the top five of the FIFA World Rankings and were among the favourites in World Cup Betting. The Brazilian squad included Kaká, Maicon and Robinho. Portugal were powered by Cristiano Ronaldo, who was at the peak of his powers.
Ivory Coast also featured in this group and were a significant threat to the duo. At the time, it was a vintage Ivorian squad featuring iconic players like Kolo Touré, Yaya Touré and Didier Drogba. They held Portugal to a draw and beat North Korea but ultimately finished third in the group.
Group D – 2014 World Cup (Brazil)
England, Italy, Uruguay, Costa Rica
For the second time in 12 years, England found themselves in the Group of Death. Group D in 2014 included three former World Cup winners, with the Three Lions joined by fellow European heavyweights Italy and a Uruguay side featuring Diego Godin, Edinson Cavani and Luis Suárez.
All three sides were ranked in the top ten of the World Rankings. However, Costa Rica shocked everybody by going unbeaten against the trio and topping the group. Uruguay joined them in the Round of 16 after defeating Italy and England.
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