WORLD CUP DRAW: Guide to Pot 3 featuring visitor Iceland

A beam to a teams in Pot 3 in Friday’s pull for a 2018 World Cup in Russia:



The little Central American nation reached a quarterfinals of a World Cup 4 years ago, losing to a Netherlands on a chastisement shootout.

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This will be Costa Rica’s fifth World Cup appearance, considerable for a nation with a race usually underneath 5 million. Bryan Ruiz is a categorical aggressive threat, while Celso Borges of is a midfield linchpin.

Still, Nov friendlies were frequency encouraging, with a 5-0 thrashing by Spain and a 1-0 detriment to Hungary.

Key player: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid) — Probably a best-known actor in a squad, a goalkeeper’s clever display in Brazil cumulative a pierce to Madrid in 2014.

Coach: Oscar Ramirez — Former midfielder took over after Paulo Wanchope quiescent after a post-match fight.



One of a fastest-improving teams in Europe, and a nation many will wish to equivocate entrance out of a third-seeded pot.

Denmark hasn’t played a vital contest given a 2012 European Championship yet is dominant in 11 games given back-to-back waste in subordinate opposite Poland and Montenegro in Oct 2016.

Two formula mount out: A 4-0 win during home to top-seeded Poland in Sep and a 5-1 feat during Ireland in a playoffs second leg.

In both games, playmaker Christian Eriksen was a standout formulating and scoring goals. His form can confirm Denmark’s fortunes in Russia.

Key player: Eriksen (Tottenham) — Just 18 on his World Cup entrance in 2010, Eriksen is in primary form this time round, scoring 11 goals in 8 opposite games during Denmark’s dominant streak.

Coach: Age Hareide — The 64-year-old Norwegian has spent his whole career in Scandinavia, including a five-year spell heading his home country.



Egypt waited a prolonged time to be behind during a World Cup. The record seven-time African champions had to watch on a sidelines given final subordinate in 1990.

The organisation strike new lows recently, unwell to even validate for a African Cup of Nations — a contest it once dominated — from 2012-15. It’s behind now, reaching a final of this year’s African Cup and following that adult with a long-awaited World Cup return.

Key player: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) — Delivered when it counted with 5 goals in 6 games in a final turn of qualifiers, including a late chastisement that took Egypt to a World Cup.

Coach: Hector Cuper — There have been murmurs of displeasure over a regressive character adored by a Argentine. His organisation focusses on invulnerability initial and counterattacks when it can. There can be no denying Cuper’s strategy have been successful, though.



With usually 330,000 people, Iceland is a smallest nation ever during a World Cup.

The city of Moscow alone outnumbers Iceland’s whole race 40 times over, yet this is a organisation of giant-killers.

Last year’s run to a Euro 2016 quarterfinals, knocking out England on a noted night in Nice, showed a talent and integrity in Iceland’s team. Qualifying for a World Cup brazen of Croatia and Ukraine valid final year wasn’t a one-off.

Expecting some-more success in Russia competence be optimistic, yet with Iceland’s ardent fans and their “thunderclap” chant, zero can be ruled out.

Key player: Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) — Gylfi Sigurdsson might be a categorical aggressive threat, yet bearded captain Gunnarsson inspires a dirty team.

Coach: Heimir Hallgrimsson — Not many teams are coached by a dentist, yet Iceland isn’t many teams. Took solitary assign after co-coach Lars Lagerback left final year.



The initial organisation to validate from Asia, Iran hermetic a mark with a 2-0 win over Uzbekistan in June.

The Iranians went dominant in 18 subordinate games opposite dual rounds. In a final round, Iran didn’t concur a idea in 9 games yet finished with a 2-2 pull opposite Syria.

Iran will be personification a fifth World Cup, subordinate back-to-back for a initial time.

Iran went winless during a 2014 World Cup, yet this time manager Carlos Queiroz is targeting a knockout stages and has vowed Iran will “not go to Russia as tourists.”

Key player: Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan) — The 22-year-old brazen emerged as a scoring hazard during a 2015 Asian Cup and has already tallied 22 general goals.

Coach: Carlos Queiroz — The maestro Portuguese manager defended his pursuit after a 2014 World Cup and has rebuilt a squad, move in immature players such as Azmoun.



Senegal is behind during a World Cup for a initial time given a overwhelming entrance in 2002, when it kick fortifying champion France on a approach to a quarterfinals, afterwards usually a second African organisation to make a final eight.

This gift has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an rare preference by FIFA to sequence a replay of a 2-1 detriment in South Africa given of match-fixing by a referee. Senegal took advantage to win a replay, changing a energetic of a group.

Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) — With his peppery pace, Mane has been any bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool.

Coach: Aliou Cisse — Senegal will take a sign of a dream World Cup entrance in 2002 to Russia subsequent year. Cisse was captain of a 2002 organisation and earnings to a World Cup as manager of his country.



Sweden had usually dumbfounded Italy in a playoffs to validate for a initial World Cup finals given 2006 when a twitter was posted by a country’s best player: “We are Zweden.”

The shade of Zlatan Ibrahimovic hangs over a inhabitant team.

The Manchester United striker late from general soccer after final year’s European Championship, yet a apparent doubt is now being asked: Will Ibrahimovic be tempted to come out of retirement for one final World Cup? And will a Swedes accept him back?

Without Ibrahimovic, Sweden seems some-more joined and well-structured, yet he can do things no other Swedish actor can.

Watch this space.

Key player: Emil Forsberg (Leipzig) — Has transposed Ibrahimovic as Sweden’s impulse in attack.

Coach: Janne Andersson — Took assign following Euro 2016 and has successfully rebuilt a organisation to be larger than a sum of a tools but Ibrahimovic.



Unbeaten during a subordinate campaign, Tunisia is creation a lapse to a World Cup for a initial time in 12 years.

The Eagles of Carthage competent for Russia brazen of Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Guinea and will take partial their fifth World Cup. They have never got over a organisation stage. With a new era of players including Wahbi Khazri and former Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour, their categorical idea will be to win a diversion in Russia.

Key player: Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail) — The 27-year-old brazen played a essential purpose in qualifying, scoring a hat-trick in an divided win to Guinea.

Coach: Nabil Maaloul — A former partner underneath Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won a African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak dual matches into Tunisia’s World Cup subordinate campaign.



The pull during a State Kremlin Palace in Moscow, starting during 1500 GMT Friday. The 32 finalists will be separate into 8 groups featuring a organisation from any of a 4 pots. Only Europe can have dual teams in a same group.

FIFA altered how it allocated teams in a pull and now uses rankings alone for all 4 pots. At prior World Cups, usually Pot 1 was for seeded teams, and a other 3 pots were motionless by a geographical spread.

Russia will play a contest opener on Jun 14, 2018 The World Cup final will be hold on Jul 15. Both showpiece games are during a Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

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