The ranking system throws a spanner in though, farrier.Every group is a fecking "group of death" as every group is a involved in a knock out procedure and each group contains some one from 1-4, 5-8, and 9-12 in the world. All teams in pretty much every group are capable of winning individual matches.
But somehow, every tournament a certain team always seems to think that there's is the hardest to qualify from! Or at least the media do.
If a '5-8' team has a tough year in the build-up (ie NZ away!), their ranking can drop out to 9, 10 etc.
Their group will then possibly have three tough teams, so you end up with the 'must win' matches. The lower teams, as we've seen, can also throw in a spanner. Like Japan.