# Is the axial position more suited for a lone pair or an electronegative element?

In one question, I found that it is given $\ce{XeF2}$ and $\ce{CO2}$ have the same shape.

$\ce{CO2}$ is linear. In $\ce{XeF2}$, if the fluorine is placed in an axial position, then only shape is linear. But in most compounds, lone pairs are placed in an axial position.

Is the lone pair or the electronegative element more appropriate for placement in an axial position?

So in $\ce{XeF2}$ there will be three lone pairs on the xenon, and the xenon will have two covalent bonds to fluorines. The xenon is of course the central atom, on to that we apply VSEPR-theory. We count five electron dense areas (two bonds and three lone pairs) and so VSEPR-theory predicts a trigonal bipyramidal shape for $\ce{XeF2}$