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Nigeria request Pyatigorsk as World Cup base

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

2018 World Cup draw results and full daily schedule

Stewart Robson feels England lucked out and got a fairly easy group that contains Belgium, Panama and Tunisia.
ESPN's Julien Laurens believes France will be very happy after drawing Australia, Peru and Denmark.

FIFA conducted the draw for the 2018 World Cup on Friday in Moscow.

The 32 qualified teams, allocated in four pots based on their October FIFA ranking, were drawn into eight groups of four teams each. Hosts Russia were automatically the top seed in Group A despite being the lowest-ranked team.

There could be no more than two teams from Europe in any one pot, and no more than one nation from any other continental confederation.

Group stage

After playing each team in their group, the top two...

South Korea thrash South Korea in Tokyo to win East Asian title

Japan's Vahid Halilhodzic has been experimenting with new players and combinations ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
The ESPN FC panel discuss Group F which contains Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea.

South Korea handed fellow 2018 World Cup finalists Japan a brutal 4-1 home thrashing on Saturday night as Kim Shin-Wook inspired Shin Tae-Yong's side to a come-from-behind win that sealed a successful defence of the East Asian Championship title.

J.League Player of the Year Yu Kobayashi gave Japan a third minute lead from the penalty spot in Tokyo. But Kim's double, and goals from Jung Woo-young and Yeom Ki-Hun's deflected free-kick, earned the South Koreans an emphatic and historic win.

The defeat...

Germany announce World Cup base near Moscow

The ESPN FC panel discuss Group F which contains Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea.

Germany have made Watuniki, just outside of the Russian capital Moscow, their base for next year's World Cup in Russia.

The 2014 World Cup winners were one of many nations toying with the idea of making Sochi their World Cup base.

But on Friday they announced they will instead make base near the Russian capital, some 45 minutes away from the Luschniki Stadium, where they will play their first group match against Mexico on June 17.

"It wasn't an easy decision this time because we had a good time...

Argentina's Lionel Messi hopes football pays him back with World Cup win

Jorge Ramos breaks down each of the five qualified South American teams' groups following the World Cup draw.
The ESPN FC crew feel Group D which contains Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria could prove to be the most exciting group of them all.
Nigeria will again face Argentina at a World Cup, after both were drawn into Group D with Iceland and Croatia.

Lionel Messi hopes football "ends up paying" the debt the sport owes him at the 2018 World Cup after losing three straight finals with Argentina in a three-year span.

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said after Messi's hat trick at Ecuador in the 3-1 win in their final qualifier on Oct. 10 that football "owes Messi a World Cup." 

The Albiceleste went into that game in danger of missing out not only on direct qualification but a spot in the playoffs.

Messi's performance earned Argentina a spot...


Arnold denies Socceroos rumours: 'There's nothing been offered'

John Wilkinson discusses the candidates for the vacant Australia job, as Sven-Goran Eriksson is among the candidates.
Sydney FC have recorded their biggest every derby victory over Western Sydney Wanderers defeating them five goals to nil.
Jason Dasey speaks with Sydney FC media manager David Wariner to recap the 2018 AFC Champions League draw.

Graham Arnold has shut down a report he's been offered the Socceroos job and reiterated he's heard nothing from Football Federation Australia.

Based on an anonymous source, Fox Sports claimed on Wednesday night the contracted Sydney FC coach has been told the job is his if he wants it on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.

That's despite FFA's expert panel having only just started defining the job criteria for Ange Postecoglou's successor, a process it says does not involve talking to candidates until early...