Monthly Archives: March 2015

World Cup 2018 beginning qualification

We have just started 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying in Asia and North America, and the games are still three years away. Here is what we know:

1. Russia, obviously, have qualified as hosts.

2. Chiquito de Carmo of East Timor scored the first goal in a 4-1 home leg win over Mongolia in Dili.

3. CONCACAF (North America) and AFC (Asia) have already begun their qualifications. The following teams have been eliminated: AFC- Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Macau, Sri Lanka, Brunei; CONCACAF- Bahamas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, with second leg games being played today (Nicaragua-Anguilla; Belize-Cayman Islands; British Virgin Islands-Dominica; Curacao-Montserrat on Tuesday).

In CONCACAF, here are my second round matchup predictions, winners in BOLD:

1. St. Vincent and the Grenadines vs. Guyana

2. Antigua and Barbuda vs. Saint Lucia

3. Puerto Rico vs. Grenada

4. Canada vs. Dominica

5. Dominican Republic vs. Belize

6. Guatemala vs. Bermuda

7. Aruba vs. Barbados

8. Saint Kitts and Nevis vs. El Salvador

9. Curacao vs. Cuba

10. Nicaragua vs. Suriname

Byes to third round

Haiti

Jamaica

Byes to fourth round

Costa Rica

Mexico

United States

Honduras

Panama

Trinidad and Tobago

Third round matchup predictions

Haiti vs. Guyana

Jamaica vs. Puerto Rico

Canada vs. Barbados

Guatemala vs. Nicaragua

Cuba vs. Belize

Antigua and Barbuda vs. El Salvador

All of the other confederations begin their qualifying matches, here are some WAY too early (and will be changed as further developments occur) predictions for the final 32, with groups

UEFA (14)

Russia (host)

Germany

Spain

Belgium

Netherlands

England

Portugal

France

Italy

Greece

Romania

Iceland

Croatia

Sweden

CONMEBOL (4)

Argentina

Brazil

Colombia

Uruguay

Advancing to playoff: Ecuador

CONCACAF (3)

Mexico

United States

Costa Rica

Advancing to playoff: Honduras

CAF (5)

Algeria

Burkina Faso

Cameroon

Cote d’Ivoire

Egypt

AFC (4)

Australia

Japan

Jordan

South Korea

Advancing to playoff: Uzbekistan

Oceania (OFC) is not guaranteed anything, but for argument: New Zealand makes playoff

Intercontinental playoffs

Honduras (CONCACAF) vs. New Zealand (OFC)

Ecuador (CONMEBOL) vs. Uzbekistan (AFC)

Winners: New Zealand, Ecuador

Pot 1

1. Russia

2. Germany

3. Spain

4. Brazil

5. Italy

6. Belgium

7. Argentina

8. Netherlands

Pot 2 (CAF + CONMEBOL)

1. Algeria

2. Burkina Faso

3. Cameroon

4. Colombia

5. Cote d’Ivoire

6. Ecuador

7. Egypt

8. Uruguay

Pot 3 (CONCACAF + AFC + OFC)

1. Australia

2. Costa Rica

3. Japan

4. Jordan

5. Mexico

6. New Zealand

7. South Korea

8. United States

Pot 4 (UEFA)

1. Denmark

2. France

3. Portugal

4. Iceland

5. Croatia

6. Sweden

7. Greece

8. England

Draw

Only predicting who plays whom, not who advances

Group A

A1 Russia

A2 Colombia

A3 Iceland

A4 Jordan

Group B

B1 Brazil

B2 Greece

B3 Costa Rica

B4 Algeria

Group C

C1 Belgium

C2 Romania

C3 New Zealand

C4 Burkina Faso

Group D

D1 Spain

D2 Egypt

D3 Mexico

D4 Sweden

Group E

E1 Netherlands

E2 Ecuador

E3 United States

E4 Croatia

Group F

F1 Germany

F2 France

F3 Uruguay

F4 Australia

Group G

G1 Argentina

G2 Denmark

G3 Cote d’Ivoire

G4 Japan

Group H

H1 Italy

H2 Cameroon

H3 Portugal

H4 South Korea

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