On Dec 1st, when the draw for World Cup 2018 Groups took place, pundits quickly rated World Cup Groups and majority agreed that “Group B” is Group of Death. In this Infographic, the groups of 5 Asian teams (Iran, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Saudi Arabia) are analyzed, the number of titles, players’ quality, and rating and market value of Asian teams’ opponents in the groups are measured to see which of the Asian teams have the hardest group at World Cup. The findings of Group of Death may surprise you.
As a reference, here are World Cup 2018 Groups that Asian teams are drawn into:
Group F Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Group C France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
Group B Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
Group H Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan
Group A Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Several measurements that were analyzed for this Infographic:
1. Market Values of Opponent teams of Asian teams in Groups A, B, C, F, H
2. Total Number of International Championships that opponents of Asian teams- in Groups above- have won since World Cup 2014.
3. Coefficient ranking of opponent teams by FIFA: Low Coefficient number shows the low rating of the team according to FIFA.
4. The number of players in elite leagues: One metric to show the quality of opponent teams is to analyze how many players in opposing teams play in elite European leagues. 2nd Division teams were not counted in this measurement.
During the findings, few points worth the mention:
All measurements considered:
- Group A (Saudi Arabia’s group) is the lowest rated group, and Saudi Arabia would have the easiest task to battle opponents.
- Group H (Japan’s group) is the most unpredictable group with equally competitive teams. All group teams have won honors* since World Cup 2014. Other groups typically have one or two strong teams with International titles, while other two without any titles in recent years. Japan’s group may be the most competitive group amongst all other Asian teams.
*In the measurement, Honors is referred to Top 8 finish, such as Runner-up, Semifinal or Quarter Final, other than Championship title.
*In the analysis above, Asian teams’ own metrics were excluded.