Grading the World Cup Groups

Grading the World Cup Groups

With the World Cup starting on November 20th, it’s time to give each group a letter grade from A to F on how competitive the group will be, how watchable the group will be, and predict a winner, a loser, and who might be a surprise upset in each group. 


Group A: 

Qatar – 50

Ecuador – 44

Senegal – 18

Netherlands – 8

Competitive Grade: C

Watchability Grade: C

Group Winner: Senegal

Group Loser: Qatar

Surprise Upset: Ecuador

Qatar national team line up before a game (ralj/PIXSELL//MB Media/Getty Images)

Group A is overall a fairly boring group. You have two teams who are ranked in the top 20 of the world followed by two teams that are ranked near the bottom of all the teams that have qualified. Qatar qualified as hosts, Ecuador came 4th in qualifying, Senegal beat Egypt on pens to qualify and the Netherlands topped their qualifying group in Europe. The best game of this group will most likely be Senegal vs. Netherlands, as that is the game that will decide who wins the group. Ecuador being a South American team could provide an upset and finish second in the group. 


Group B:

England – 5

Iran – 20

USA – 16

Wales – 19

Competitive Grade: A

Watchability Grade: A

Group Winner: England 

Group Loser: USA

Surprise Upset: Iran

Gareth Bale after doubling Wales’s lead over Austria with a wonderful second goal, March 2022 (Photograph: Nick Potts/PA)

Group B is a good group for a casual fan. All of the teams are in the top 20 ranked teams in the world and you get great regional/political rivals in this group with England vs Wales and Iran vs USA. England topped their qualifying group in Europe, Iran topped their qualifying group in Asia, Wales got in through the backdoor way in Europe, while the USA Finished third in North American qualifying. It’s hard to say which match will be the best in the group as they will all be good. Iran could provide a surprise upset by finishing second in this group.


Group C:

Argentina – 3

Saudi Arabia – 51

Mexico – 13

Poland – 26

Competitive Grade: B

Watchability Grade: B

Group Winner: Argentina

Group Loser: Saudi Arabia

Surprise Upset: Poland

Lionel Messi of Argentina with the trophy after the Finalissima 2022 match between Italy and Argentina at Wembley Stadium on June 1 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Group C is a good group you have three very competitive teams and then you have Saudi Arabia. Argentina qualified by finishing second in South America, Saudia Arabia got in by finishing top of their group in Asia, Mexico finished second in North America and Poland got in through the back door of Europe. The best match in this group will probably be Argentina vs Mexico. Poland could be the surprise in this group but that really depends on how Robert Lewandowski does.


Group D:

France – 4

Australia – 38

Denmark – 10

Tunisia – 30

Competitive Grade: C

Watchability Grade: B

Group Winner: France

Group Loser: Australia

Surprise Upset: Tunisia

Youssef Msakni has a huge weight of responsibility on his shoulders as Tunisia’s main goal threat. (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters)

Group D is a mixed bag when it comes to teams, you have the previous World Cup winner in France and you have Denmark ranked 10th. On the other side, you have Tunisia who qualified on a slim 1-0 victory over Mali, and you have Australia who only got in through the Asian back door and the inter-confederation playoffs against Peru where they won 5-4 on pens. The best match of this group will hands down be France vs Denmark. Tunisia might surprise people in this group though as they are the third-best team in Africa. 


Group E:

Spain – 7

Costa Rica – 31

Germany – 11

Japan – 24

Competitive Grade: B

Watchability Grade: B

Group Winner: Germany

Group Loser: Costa Rica

Surprise Upset: Japan

Takehiro Tomiyasu of Japan runs with the ball during the international friendly match between Japan and United States at Merkur Spiel-Arena on September 23, 2022 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

Group E is a well-balanced group, you have two previous winners in Spain and Germany, and you have the second-best Asian team and arguably the most experienced one as well. Then you have Costa Rica which fills out the group.  Both Spain and Germany won their qualifying group. Japan came second in theirs, and Costa Rica got in through the inter-confederation playoffs where they beat New Zealand 1-0. The best game of this group will be Spain vs Germany, both teams are giants in world football and both have won the World Cup recently (Spain 2010, Germany 2014). These two teams play very good football and this will be a game for any neutral fan to tune in for. The surprise of this group might come in Japan, if they can hold either Germany or Spain to a draw, beat Costa Rica, and if Germany and Spain tie each other I could see Japan coming in second. 

S. 2 Ep. 21: Canada Doing What Canada Does FC13 Podcast

Good day Ball Boys and Girls, we are back with some international action, because it is Concacaf Season, specifically the Concacaf Nations League. And with that comes all the usual twists and turns that this competition brings like, Canada surprising everyone by winning away to Jamaica for the first time in three decades. And Canada then losing at home for the first time in a decade… You know, Concacaf things. Also Mexico got to taste the sting of playing Honduras at home. So get ready and buckle up for your source of everything Canadian. ———————————————————— Thanks so much to todays sponsor SeatGeek! When you need tickets, but can't seem to find them, head on over to the #1 trusted name in the ticket resale business, and use our code FC13Pod to get $20 off your first order. ————————————————————- Be sure to follow us on Twitter @FC13Podcast, and our parent account, @13thManSports for all of your sports needs!

Group F:

Belgium – 2

Canada – 41

Morocco – 22

Croatia – 12

Competitive Grade: C

Watchability Grade: A

Group Winner: Belgium

Group Loser: Morocco

Surprise Upset: Canada

Stephen Eustáquio, Canadian Men’s National Team – Canada Soccer

Group F is the group to watch if you are reading this article and are from Canada. This is because this is our group. This is where Canada will put its stamp on the world stage. Well, we probably all wish Canada got a slightly easier group, we have to go with what we are given. Belgium won their group in Europe and is ranked second in the world. Canada won the qualifying group in North America and has climbed the Fifa Rankings in the process. Morocco is the second-best team in Africa and beat DR Congo 5-2 to qualify. Croatia won their group in Europe and made it to the finals last World Cup. The most entertaining game for a neutral would be Belgium vs Croatia. However, as Canadian fans, the best game for us will most likely be vs Morocco as that will be our best chance to win a game. I am biased so I picked Canada as the surprising upset in the group just due to pure hope that they advance. 


Group G:

Brazil – 1

Serbia – 21

Switzerland – 15

Cameroon – 43

Competitive Grade: D

Watchability Grade: B

Group Winner: Brazil

Group Loser: Serbia

Surprise Upset: Switzerland

Brazil qualified for the World Cup with an unbeaten record (Andre Penner/The Associated Press)

Group G is an easy group and probably not a very competitive one either. Brazil won their qualifying group in South America, Serbia and Switzerland won theirs in Europe, and Cameroon only got in on the away goal rule in Africa. Brazil should easily win this group. There isn’t a clear upset in this group with second place really just a coin flip between Serbia and Switzerland.


Group H:

Portugal – 9

Ghana – 61

Uruguay – 14

South Korea – 28

Competitive Grade: C

Watchability Grade: F

Group Winner: Portugal

Group Loser: Ghana

Surprise Upset: South Korea

Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo vies with Spain’s midfielder Rodrigo Hernandez (L) during the UEFA Nations League, league A, group 2 football match between Portugal and Spain, at the Municipal Stadium in Braga on September 27, 2022. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)

Group H is all over the place when it comes to teams. The highest ranked is Portugal, while the lowest is Ghana at 61 place which is also the lowest in the entire tournament. Portugal came in second in their European group and then beat Turkey, and North Macedonia to get in through the European back door. Ghana beat Nigeria on away goals to qualify. Uruguay came third in South American qualifying. And South Korea came second in their Asian Qualifying group. The best game in this group will be Portugal vs Uruguay. The surprise of this group will be South Korea. 



World Cup Winner: Brazil

World Cup Runner-Up: France 

Third Place: Argentina 

Brazil will bring the World Cup back to South America for the first time since 2002, and we will see a rematch of the 1998 finals incept for Brazil will win instead of France. The semis will be Brazil vs Argentina in one and France vs Belgium in another. Argentina will beat Belgium to come in third. 

Overall, this will be an exciting World Cup (minus the corruption, human rights violations, and worker deaths, that went into building it).  This World Cup will cement itself in history as the first to be played in winter and the first to be held in a Middle Eastern country. Fans both at the game and watching on TV will come away with unforgettable memories and will be witnesses to unbelievable skill, as players from around the world put on an unforgettable show. 

Let me know if my predictions are wrong and who you think will win in the comments below. 

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