The 2018 World Cup looks so far away, but don’t be fooled! 2017 is right around the corner and the qualifications stage of each continent is already in progress. If was the AFC confederation (Asia) that kicked off the official 2018 World Cup qualification stage back in March 2015.
The UEFA qualifications for the 2018 World Cup started on the 4th of September and will only end on the 14th of November 2017. Russia has automatically qualified as host country. This rule was introduced since the 1938 World Cup. 54 European countries are participating in the road to the 2018 World Cup and there are only 13 spots available (excluding Russia). The 54 teams are divided in 9 groups of 6 teams. The winner of each group will qualify automatically and the 8 best runners up will have to play the play-offs.
2018 World Cup UEFA Qualifications group A
Group A consists of: France, Sweden, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Belarus and Luxembourg.
France is currently topping group A. For the previous World Cup in Brazil, they were the last European team to qualify. France has played in 14 World Cups in total. Their worst performance was in 2010 where they failed to reach the second round without scoring any goals. Their best performance was winning the 1998 World Cup on home soil.
Interesting fact: French defender Lilian Thuram has a record of 142 caps, but scored his only 2 international goals in the 1998 World Cup Semi-Final match against Croatia (2-1).
2018 World Cup UEFA Qualifications group B
Group B consists of: Switzerland, Portugal, Hungary, Faroe Islands, Latvia and Andorra.
Switzerland is currently topping group B. They have played in a FIFA World Cup 10 times in total. Their worst performance was in 1966 where they lost all group matches. Their best performance was the 2006 World Cup where they got eliminated without losing any matches. The penalty shootout against Ukraine had to decide who had to go home.
Interesting fact: Switzerland took a record time of 559 minutes before a team scored a goal against Switzerland in a World cup, which occurred in the 2010 World cup group match against Chile.
2018 World Cup UEFA Qualifications group C
Group C consists of: Germany, Azerbaijan, Northern Ireland, Norway, Czech Republic and San Marino.
Germany is currently topping group C. You would think that die Mannschaft played in each World Cup, but you are mistaken! They missed the World Cup twice: the very first one in 1930 and in 1950. Germany’s best result is winning the World Cup in 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014. Their worst performance was in 1938 where they got eliminated in the first round.
Interesting fact: When Germany was separated between East and West, both halves only encountered each other once in World Cup history. West Germany and Easy Germany played against each other in the 1974 World Cup group match where West Germany ended up winning with 1-0. Few matches later they would win the Final as well.
Anything can happen in the qualifications stage! If you think you know who will qualify for the World Cup or win the next qualification match for example, why not turn that knowledge into money? The beautiful thing about your passion for football is understanding the players, their positions and game tactics. With this knowledge the Football betting odds are in your favour!
2018 World Cup UEFA Qualifications group D
Group D consists of: Serbia, Ireland, Wales, Austria, Georgia and Moldova
Serbia is currently topping group D. They played only in one World Cup as an independent country which was in 2010. They got eliminated in the first round, but they shockingly beat Germany with 1-0.
2018 World Cup UEFA Qualifications group E
Group E consists of: Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Denmark, Kazakhstan and Armenia
Montenegro is currently topping group E. The country is one of the world’s newest international teams, having come into existence at 2007. They never played in a World Cup before.
Stay tuned for more information about the other groups in the 2018 UEFA World Cup qualifiers.
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