Sunday, December 10

A look at the World Cup group stage pairings

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Lionel Messi possibly facing Robert Lewandowski, Spain definitely playing Germany, and Luis Suarez potentially handed another game against old foe Ghana.

The draw for the World Cup group stage set up some intriguing prospects and will start on Nov. 21 with host Qatar playing Ecuador.

England will play the United States, and both must face Iran and potentially Ukraine.

A total of 37 teams were involved on Friday because three entries in the 32-team lineup are not yet known. They are to be confirmed in June when the European and intercontinental playoffs finish.

Kickoff times and stadiums for each game will be decided this month. That lets FIFA allocate games to prime broadcast slots for viewers in a team’s home country.

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