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Ranking every group in the 2022 World Cup

We go through the standings for the 2022 World Cup and rank every group based on difficulty to advance.

Brazil v Ghana - International Friendly Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

The 2022 FIFA World Cup gets started on Sunday, November 20 with the host country Qatar taking on Ecuador. The tournament runs until December 18 when the final match will be played to crown the 2022 champion.

Ahead of the action, we’re looking at all the groups and ranking them from easiest to toughest. While there isn’t one clear “Group of Death” that was drawn this year, there are several groups that could be given the name.

2022 World Cup group rankings

8. Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands

There’s one clear winner in Group A, and that’s the No. 8 ranked Netherlands that shouldn’t have much trouble at all finishing at the top of the group table. That leaves it fairly open for the rest of the teams to fight for the second place spot, though No. 18 Senegal are favored to advance over No. 44 Ecuador and No. 50 Qatar.

7. Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland

Argentina are the easy favorites to win this group, and one of the favorites to win the entire tournament as Lionel Messi eyes his first-ever World Cup trophy on his last ride through the competition with Argentina. Ranked No. 3 in the world, they’ll be up against No. 13 Mexico, No. 26 Poland, and No. 51 Saudi Arabia. Robert Lewandowski will try to lead Poland to its first knockout appearance since 1986, but Mexico hasn’t missed the round of 16 in their last seven consecutive appearances and they’re favored to finish in second place.

6. Group D: France, Denmark, Tunisia, Australia

This group is relatively clear cut, as No. 4 France is all but guaranteed to finish at the top of the group with No. 10 Denmark most likely occupying the second spot to advance. No. 30 Tunisia and No. 38 Australia won’t stand much of a chance against either European team making this group almost an open-and-shut case before it even begins.

5. Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea

Group H has a similar situation as Group D, with both No. 9 Portugal and No. 14 Uruguay set to occupy the top two spots in the group table. Portugal is heavily favored to win, but Uruguay has a stacked roster and could very well finish on top. Both teams are surely making their last World Cup run with their respective stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez as both aging players will likely be retired by 2026. No. 28 South Korea and No. 61 Ghana will most likely end up at the bottom of the table and make a group stage exit.

4. Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia

No. 2 ranked Belgium will be set to finish on top of Group F as they’re still in search of their first-ever World Cup title. No. 41 Canada is making their first World Cup appearance since 1986, and although No. 12 Croatia is favored to advance, the Canadians will hope to upset the 2018 runners-up and earn their first-ever berth in the knockout rounds. No. 22 Morocco should stay competitive, but will likely end up in third or fourth place in the group.

3. Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon

Brazil, ranked No. 1 in the world, hold the most World Cup titles with five and are favored to get their sixth in 2022. They have the star power on their roster to make that happen, and they’ll surely finish on top of Group G. The other three teams will battle it out as No. 15 Switzerland, No. 15 Serbia, and No. 43 Cameroon will all vie for the second place spot. The Swiss are currently favored to advance, but Serbia, led by Fulham star Aleksandar Mitrovic, will hope to spoil their party in Group G.

2. Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan

This is where it gets really tough, because Group E could easily be given the title of Group of Death in this year’s tournament. Containing two world powerhouses and previous World Cup champions, No. 7 Spain and No. 11 Germany will compete for the top of the table in the group. No. 24 Japan and No. 31 Costa Rica will hope to be able to get an upset over either one of the European teams.

1. Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales

While No. 5 England are the heavy favorites to win the group, No. 16 USA and No. 19 Wales are neck-and-neck to grab the second spot. Iran, coming in at No. 20, will hope to log an upset or two to defy the odds and advance as well. No matter who occupies the top two spots at the end of the group stage, at least one nation expected to advance will be heading home early, making Group B arguably the toughest group in the entire tournament.