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The Highlights from World Cup 2018 groups draw
06 December 2017, 05:19 | Erica Roy
Technology by Haider Ali Sindhu | Published
At the draw ceremony held at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow Friday, South Korea was drawn into Group F for next year's football tournament.
Hosts Russia will play Saudi Arabia in the opening game on June 14, with Egypt and Uruguay in Group A, and France are heralding Group C with Australia, Denmark and Peru.
The 2010 World Cup winners Spain were placed in Group B with Cristiano Ronaldo's European champions Portugal. Argentina, drawn in one of the toughest groups in Group D, will be playing newbies Iceland alongside Dark HorsesCroatia and Nigeria.
While Neymar's Brazil has turned out to be as lucky as Varane's France - being the toughest in the group among Costa Rica, Serbia and Switzerland, the other three are expected to put up an enthralling show of games while battling for the round of 16.
Group H will probably be the most competitive, with Poland, Colombia, Senegal, and Japan. Whilst it's widely expected that Joachim Low's Germany won't have too many problems winning this group, ties and against Mexico and Sweden will certainly provide a good test of just how feared the side ranked number one in the World should be.
Former England striker Gary Lineker conducted the final draw together with Russian sports journalist Maria Komandnaya.
The Draw attracted much attention since it impacts the performance of each participating team at the 2018 FIFA World CupRussia. Absent from the tournament will be such perennial powerhouses as Italy, the Netherlands, and reigning South American champion Chile.
A sub-plot from Group B is the appearance of Iran manager, Carlos Queiroz who boasts a managerial pedigree better than most at the tournament, Queiroz not only had two stints in charge of Portugal, but also spent time as Real Madrid manager and as Alex Ferguson's assistant at Manchester United.
Russian Federation has appeared in three World Cups - 1994, 2002, and 2014 - since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but has not advanced beyond the first round. The World Cup starts about a month after the president's inauguration in May.
Putin asserted on November 9 that allegations of a Kremlin-sponsored sports-doping program could be part of a US campaign to interfere in the Russian presidential election and disrupt the election in Russia, a charge analysts said appeared to be part of an effort to rally voters around anti-Americanism.
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