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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 7°C
Adam Davy/PA Wire/Press Association Images World Cup mascot Fuleco during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Draw at the Costa Do Sauipe, Salvador, Bahia.
# looking ahead
Definitively power ranking the World Cup groups based on their deathliness*
*According to science/the FIFA rankings.

THE DRAW FOR next summer’s 2014 World Cup has been made, with some intriguing results.

The term ‘group of death’ is a cliché, but we’ve used a more scientific method than usual to assess each group’s level of difficulty.

The groups’ deathliness has been rated in accordance with the FIFA World Cup rankings in our calculations below.

So essentially, we’ve added up the combined rankings for each group and those with the lowest tallies are consequently adjudged the most difficult…

Pots (with world rankings in brackets)

Pot One: Brazil (10), Argentina (3), Colombia (4), Uruguay (6), Belgium (11), Germany (2), Spain (1), Switzerland (8)

Pot Two: Algeria (26), Cameroon (51), Ivory Coast (17), Ghana (24), Nigeria (36), Chile (15), Ecuador (23)

Pot Three: Australia (59), Iran (45), Japan (48), South Korea (54), Costa Rica (31), Honduras (41), Mexico (20), United States (14).

Pot Four: Bosnia-Herzegovina (21), Croatia (16), England (13), France (19), Greece (12), Holland (9), Italy (7), Portugal (5), Russia (22).

Actual groups:

Group A: Brazil, Cameroon, Mexico, Croatia.

Group B: Spain, Chile, Australia, Holland.

Group C: Colombia, Ivory Coast, Japan, Greece.

Group D: Uruguay, Italy, Costa Rica, England.

Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, Honduras, France.

Group F: Argentina, Nigeria, Iran, Bosnia.

Group G: Germany, Ghana, USA, Portugal.

Group H: Belgium, Algeria, South Korea, Russia.

A = 10 + 51 + 20 + 16 = 97

B = 1 + 15 + 59 + 9 = 84

C = 4 + 17  + 48 + 12 = 81

D = 6 + 7 + 31 + 13 = 57

E = 8 + 23 + 41 + 19 = 91

F = 3 + 36 + 45 + 21 = 105

G = 2 + 24 + 14 + 5 = 45

H = 11 + 26 + 54 + 22 = 113

So, accordingly, here are the groups in order of difficulty.

1. Group G — Germany, Ghana, USA, Portugal.

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2. Group D – Uruguay, Italy, Costa Rica, England.

3. Group C – Colombia, Ivory Coast, Japan, Greece.

4. Group B — Spain, Chile, Australia, Holland.

5. Group E – Switzerland, Ecuador, Honduras, France.

6. Group A — Brazil, Cameroon, Mexico, Croatia.

7. Group F – Argentina, Nigeria, Iran, Bosnia.

8. Group H — Belgium, Algeria, South Korea, Russia

N.B. Yes, we know the FIFA rankings aren’t always a totally reliable indicator, but we couldn’t think of a better way to measure the groups’ difficulty.

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