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Carlos Queiroz eyes World Cup clash for Iran vs. Ronaldo's Portugal

The ESPN FC panel break down Group B where they feel Portugal and Spain are favourites over Morocco and Iran.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz will take on his home nation Portugal, 2010 champions Spain and Morocco as Asia's five qualifiers for next year's World Cup finals in Russia were handed a series of demanding draws.

Former Manchester United assistant boss Queiroz coached Portugal at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in his second stint in charge of the national team.

Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Australia also learned their fate in Moscow on Friday evening as the continent's record representation...

 By Nick Miller

World Cup Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

ESPN FC's Craig Burley debates whether Russia can get past Uruguay, Egypt and Saudi Arabia in Group A.

Hosts Russia could hardly have wished for a better World Cup draw. The opening game of the tournament will be against Saudi Arabia, which by the FIFA rankings, at least, is technically the worst match in the tournament.

Uruguay and Egypt should both have their wild cards and standout performers, but you fear for the chances of Saudi Arabia, who went through two coaches in qualifying.

Predicted finish

1. Uruguay -- Oscar Tabarez could go with a flying, attacking team with their two superstars...

 By John Duerden

Ex-Chile boss Juan Antonio Pizzi to coach Saudi Arabia at World Cup 2018

FIFA president Gianni Infantino believes the 2018 World Cup in Russia will be a peaceful tournament and enjoyable for all football fans.

World Cup-bound Saudi Arabia have appointed 2016 Copa America winner Juan Antonio Pizzi as head coach of the national team.

Pizzi led Chile to South America's continental championship last year -- the first in their history -- but resigned in October after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

The Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) announced the signing on Tuesday just a week after dismissing Pizzi's fellow Argentine boss Edgardo Bauza, who had spent just two months in the job.


 By John Duerden

Bert van Marwijk turns down Saudi Arabia return for World Cup

The FC crew aren't sure what to make of Ange Postecoglou's decision to quit as coach of Australia.

2010 World Cup finalist Bert Van Marwijk has rejected what would have been a dramatic return to Saudi Arabia just two months after leaving his post as head coach of the national team.

The Dutchman, appointed in Sept. 2015, guided the Green Falcons through qualification for the 2018 World Cup in September, but within days had been released by the Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF).

He was immediately replaced by Edgardo Bauza of Argentina. After Bauza was fired on Wednesday following poor performances...