Is there a “good” or “bad” section of the draw to land in?
Maybe yes at this congested tournament, which will be four days shorter than the 2018 edition in Russia.
Landing in Group B means starting on 21 November instead of 24 November in Group G or H. That means three extra rest days.
The Group G winner would have to play seven games in just 25 days to win the title. That team also gets just two full days off before a round of 16 game on 5 December.
Why is the schedule so tight? This World Cup is jammed into an enforced break in domestic league seasons in Europe.metasports
The 32-team lineup is the perfect number for a knockout bracket. The top two teams in each group — where goal difference is the first tiebreaker — advance to the round of 16.
A team’s path through to the quarterfinals, semifinals and final is set in the bracket. If Qatar advances as the Group A winner, it must then play the Group B runner-up.
Teams which advance from the same group cannot meet again until the final.
Each four-team group is a round-robin of six games in total. The order each team plays the other is decided by another draw within the ceremony.
After each team is drawn, a subsequent ball — numbered 1, 2, 3 or 4 — is picked to place that country in the fixture grid.
This unpredictability means the two highest-ranked teams in a group could meet in any of the three rounds.
Seeding pots are filled according to FIFA rankings which weigh results over several years and are officially updated Thursday.
The next eight highest-ranked qualifiers go into Pot 2, which is the second to be drawn. It includes Germany and likely the United States and Mexico after Wednesday’s qualifying games.
Next is Pot 3 with teams ranked in the 20s by FIFA and finally Pot 4 that could include Canada despite leading the North American qualifying group. Canada is back in the World Cup after a 36-year gap.
One sure thing is Qatar will be the top-seeded team in Group A, taking position A1 in the schedule of 64 matches in just 28 days.
The privilege is given to all host nations even when ranked No. 65 in the world, as Russia was. Qatar is currently No. 52.