31 nations around the globe have already begun quivering at the possibility of playing Iceland; a fate that will be decided in today’s World Cup Draw at 3PM GMT. This marks the beginning of tournament formalities, which will be concluded in Moscow on July 15th by a victorious Aron Gunnarsson hoisting the trophy above his head, before melting it down and drinking the liquid gold, so no one can ever dispossess him of the honour.
How The Draw Works
As big players like Italy, Netherlands, USA and Chile are absent from the tournament, Iceland has amassed the support of many neutrals, who will also be looking out for strákarnir okkar’s fate with an eager eye. With the exception of hosts Russia, who are automatically in Pot One, all other teams are seeded according to their respective World Ranking.
FIFA’s derisory judgement of Iceland as the 22nd best side in the world leaves us in Pot Three, alongside old-oppressors Denmark and the Swedish Sillynannies, so any Nordic grudge-match will have to wait until the knockout stages. It is worth mentioning that each group will contain a maximum of two European teams, while no other footballing confederation can have more than one team in a single group.
The Pots are as follows:
Pot One: Russia (hosts), Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
Pot Two: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Uruguay, Mexico, Croatia
Pot Three: Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
Pot Four: Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia
Drinking English Tears
Gareth Southgate’s England, who were famously demolished by the boys in blue at Euro 2016, are in Pot Two and remain a possibility. In fact, the 2-1 defeat was so devastating for goalkeeper, Joe Hart, that he now plies his trade for a West Ham side managed by David Moyes.
If you want to immerse yourself even more into World Cup mania, you can use The Guardian’s simulator and see the most likely scenarios before the draw happens. Grapevine will be following the live coverage and reacting to the draw after it has been finalised.