Messi of Argentina will face Lewandowski of Poland

DOHA, Qatar – Lionel Messi is likely to face Robert Lewandowski, Spain is definitely playing Germany, and Luis Suarez is set to play another game against potential old enemy Ghana.

The draw for the World Cup group stage has created some interesting prospects and will start on November 21 with host Qatar Ecuador.

England will play the United States and both will face Iran and potentially Ukraine.

A total of 37 teams were involved on Friday as three entries in the 32-team lineup are still unknown. They will be confirmed in June once the European and Intercontinental playoffs are over.

The kickoff time and stadium for each game will be scheduled this month. This allows FIFA to assign games to Prime Broadcast slots for viewers in a team’s own country.

The top two teams in each group standings advance to the Round of 16 knockout stage.

This is where the teams land for November 21-December. 18 tournaments:

Group A: Qatar, Netherlands, Senegal, Ecuador

Qatar will make its World Cup debut against Ecuador on November 21.

The three-time World Cup runners-up Netherlands will start against new African champions Senegal.

Group B: England, USA, Iran, Wales or Scotland or Ukraine

England will play against Iran in the World Cup for the first time among the countries. England and the United States will face each other in their second match. They had a 1-1 draw in the 2010 group when both were ahead.

England’s final game could be a derby against either their neighbors, Wales or Scotland or Ukraine – all three teams are in a play-off bracket in June.

The United States and Iran had previously met at the 1998 World Cup, where the Iranians won 2-1.

Group B teams should also start playing on November 21. This gives those teams less days to prepare for the World Cup but creates more rest days as they go deeper into the tournament.

Group C: Argentina, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia

Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski – winners of the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards – respectively – will meet when Argentina play Poland in the final round of the group game.

Argentina opened against Saudi Arabia, and Poland started against Mexico.

Group D: France, Denmark, Tunisia, Peru or Australia or United Arab Emirates

Four years ago, defending champions France and Denmark were in the same group and both advanced to the knockout stages. In 2018, they faced Peru and Australia in their group so a three-team reunion is also possible depending on the outcome of an intercontinental play-off bracket in June.

Group E: Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica or New Zealand

2010 champions Spain will face 2014 winners Germany in a tough group for Japan.

Costa Rica reached the quarter-finals in 2014, went deeper than Spain, but will have to overtake New Zealand first in a play-off in June.

Group F: Belgium, Croatia, Morocco, Canada

Four years ago Belgium was the semifinalist and Croatia the losing finalist. Canada is an interesting and difficult option among the lowest-ranked teams after topping the qualifying group over Mexico and the United States.

Morocco get a group with two tough Europeans for the back-to-back tournament. Last time it was Spain and Portugal.

Group G: Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Cameroon

After being in the same group in 2018, Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia quickly reunited. Brazil will open against Serbia, which lost 2-0 four years ago.

Brazil will need to be among the finalists to start the game on November 24 – more time to prepare for the squad but another 25-day program to win a record sixth title.

Group H: Portugal, Uruguay, South Korea, Ghana

Cristiano Ronaldo faces Ghana on his way to open his fifth consecutive World Cup final.

The group reunited Luis Suarez and Uruguay with Ghana for the first time since their infamous quarter-final play at the 2010 World Cup. In extra time, Suarez was sent off after punching an almost certain winning goal for Ghana. Penalties are missed and Uruguay wins the shootout.

Earlier in the 2010 knockout round, Suarez scored twice when Uruguay beat South Korea 2-1.

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