It's very deceptive Group: Portugal Coach Fernando Santos

Stanislav Cherchesov

Stanislav Cherchesov

Portugal and Spain will face-off at Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi on June 15, while Morocco and Iran clash in Saint Petersburg.

The 2010 World Cup winners, Spain have been placed in Group B with European defending champions Portugal, Morocco and Iran in Friday's draw in Moscow.

Apart from Iceland, they will come up against Croatia and Nigeria in Group D as Messi looks to make up for losing the 2014 final to Germany.

Julen Lopetegui, a former Spanish footballer and current manager of Spanish national football team, said that Spain will face "one of the most toughest teams, including the Moroccan squad, who excluded the Ivorian team in the World Cup qualifiers".

If Argentina progress as group winners as expected, and Spain edge Portugal to top spot, the two nations could collide in Sochi for a place in the semi-finals, with holders Germany then the most likely obstacle between the victor and the final.

Portugal would likely face Nigeria/Croatia/Peru/Denmark in the quarterfinals and Germany/Belgium/England/Colombia in the semifinals.

The Barcelona man turns 31 during the tournament, meaning this is probably also his last chance to win the World Cup.

Five-time champions Brazil will play against Switzerland in Rostov and has further pairings with Costa Rica and Serbia.

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"I am certainly not scared", Loew told ZDF television, but he warned the chasing pack was closing in. "This will be an exciting World Cup". Cherchesov appeared to be trying to play it coy by saying he did not know much about the teams in his group.

France and their potent strikeforce featuring Antoine Griezmann and teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe will play Australia, Peru and Denmark in Group C.

The Socceroos' assistant coach Ante Milicic was optimistic though. "Now we must not be satisfied with our participation, we must go with our determination and believe in our chances, even if it seems very hard for everyone", said the coach.

"The Colombia game will be key".

Germany - the second youngest squad - will confront Mexico, which has advanced to the knockout phase in its last six World Cup appearances.

The tournament that spans 11 cities and 12 stadiums will kick off when host nation Russian Federation take on Saudi Arabia on June 14 in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

If the allegations have been a negative for Russian Federation, the football squad is likely to be positive with the draw, the host pitted with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay in Group A. Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia were the two lowest ranked nations in the proverbial hats.

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