The 2018 FIFA World Cup has begun to take shape with the confirmation of all four Draw Pots ahead of the December 1st World Cup Draw.
In a change of format, all pots will be determined by each national team’s most recent FIFA World Ranking.
Pot 1 will contain the eight highest-ranked teams, Pot 2 containing the next eight highest-ranked teams and so on.
World Cup hosts Russia have the distinct advantage of a Pot 1 place, a welcome favour considering their current ranking: 65th, the worst out of all 32 World Cup qualified teams.
Pot 1 contains a who’s-who of former World Cup winners – with 12 World Cup crowns between Brazil, Germany, France and Argentina – while Pot 2 includes three former winners in England, Spain and Uruguay.
EURO 2016 surprise package Iceland will hope to continue their heroics in Russia but face a much sterner task having to settle with a spot in Pot 3, which includes 2014 World Cup Quarter-Finalists Costa Rica.
Pot 4 will provide a few problems for potential opponents, with the likes of Serbia, South Korea, Japan and Australia proving to be no easy pushovers during World Cup Qualifying.
Remember, per FIFA’s confirmation on seeding procedure from September, no confederation can be drawn in the same World Cup group.
For example, Brazil, a member of CONMEBOL, cannot be drawn with fellow CONMEBOL outfit Colombia.
However, this rule does not apply to teams from UEFA, though only two teams from UEFA can be selected in any one World Cup Group.
2018 FIFA World Cup Seeding
Russia, Brazil, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Portugal, France, Argentina
Peru, Mexico, England, Spain, Uruguay, Colombia, Switzerland, Croatia
Iran, Costa Rica, Egypt, Iceland, Senegal, Tunisia, Sweden, Denmark
Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Serbia, Panama, Morocco, Australia