The final draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup will take place on the 6th December, with the pots being announced sometime in early December. The seeding for the draw is based on the October 2013 FIFA World Ranking, and the teams will be arranged in 4 pots based on both seeding and geographical location. It has been confirmed that Pot 1 will contain Brazil, being the host team, as well as the top 7 ranked teams. Judging by previous years, the other pots will be sorted geographically, so we can have a decent guess as to who might be in the remaining pots.
Not including the teams in Pot 1, there are 9 European team, 5 African teams, 4 Asian teams (Australia takes part in AFC qualifiers, so counts as an Asian team), 4 North American teams and 2 South American teams. Therefore there will almost certainly be another pot of the next best 8 European teams, which leaves France as the remaining European team. Then it makes sense to put the Asian and North American teams in one pot, as there are 4 of each team, and the remaining teams in another pot, so we get the pots as shown in the table:
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
|Belgium||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Algeria||Iran|
Judging by previous years there will also be restrictions that no more than 2 European teams can be in one group, and for each other association there can be no more than 1 team, which places restrictions on the teams marked with * in Pot 3.
With big teams such as Netherlands, Italy and Portugal in Pot 2 and teams such as France and Chile in Pot 3, there is a real opportunity for multiple ‘Groups of Death’. Here are some examples of interesting groups that could occur given this set-up:
World Cup Winners’ Group
Brazil, Italy, France, Mexico
Contains 3 winners of the last 4 World Cups as well as Mexico, who are the current Olympic champions. This is also the most experienced group, as these teams have been to a combined 63 World Cups.
Play-off Winners’ Group
Uruguay, Portugal, France, Mexico
Contains 4 teams who reached the World Cup Finals via a play-off win.
Group of Meh
Switzerland, Greece, Cameroon, Iran
A team consisting of arguably the worst teams from each pot.
Confederations Cup Group
Brazil, Italy, Nigeria, Japan
Contains 4 of the 8 teams who played in the 2013 Confederations Cup. You could also have Spain or Uraguay instead of Brazil, and Mexico instead of Japan.
Colombia, Croatia, Cameroon, Costa Rica
A group containing teams beginning with the letter ‘C’.
Colombia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ivory Coast, Honduras
These teams have only been to a combined 8 previous World Cups, with Bosnia and Herzegovina making their World Cup debut.
The “Not at 2010″ Group
Belgium, Russia, Ecuador, Iran
A group consisting of teams who were absent from the 2010 World Cup.
If you disagree with how the pots will be organised, or can think of any other groups that can be made, then please make a comment with your suggestions.