November 20, 2017, 1:17

Who could England face at the World Cup in Russia?

Who could England face at the World Cup in Russia?

As the World Cup qualification picture becomes clearer, we look at who England could face in the group stages at Russia 2018.

England and Spain will be in pot 2 for the draw, which takes place on Friday, December 1 in Moscow, with Russia (hosts), Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France making up the top-seeded teams in pot 1.

Here’s all you need to know about the draw process, and who England could face next summer.

When and where is it?

The draw for the group stages of the 2018 World Cup will be held on Friday, December 1 in Moscow.

It will take place at the State Kremlin Palace inside the Moscow Kremlin and you will be able to follow the draw live on Sky Sports digital platforms.

The pots

The 32 teams will be allocated to four pots based on FIFA world rankings from October 2017.

Pot 1 will contain the hosts Russia and the best seven teams, Pot 2 will contain the next best eight teams, and so on for Pots 3 and 4.

This is different from previous draws, where only Pot 1 was based on FIFA rankings while the remaining pots were based on geographical considerations.

However, same as previous editions, teams from the same confederation will not be drawn against each other for the group stage, except for UEFA, where each group can contain up to two teams.

With a few entrants to be decided, here are the pots as they stand, and how they can change over the coming days…

Possible World Cup pots (Qualified teams in bold, world ranking in brackets) Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4 Russia (65) Spain (8) Iceland (21) Nigeria (41) Germany (1) Switzerland (11) Costs Rica (22) Japan (44) Brazil (2) England (12) Sweden (25) Morocco (48) Portugal (3) Colombia (13) Tunisia (28) Panama (49) Argentina (4) Mexico (16) Egypt (30) South Korea (62) Belgium (5) Uruguay (17) Senegal (32) Saudi Arabia (63) Poland (6) Croatia (18) Iran (34) Australia (43) or Honduras (69) France (7) Peru (10) or Denmark (19) Denmark (19) or Serbia (38) Serbia (38) or New Zealand (122)

Pot permutations

Peru are guaranteed pot 2 if they qualify, while Australia, Honduras and New Zealand are guaranteed pot 4 if they qualify.

If Peru qualify, Denmark will be in pot 3 and Serbia will be in pot 4. But if New Zealand qualify, Denmark will move to pot 2 and Serbia will be in pot 3.

Who could England draw?

To the state the obvious, England cannot draw the likes of Spain or Uruguay due to them being in the same pot. With no more than two UEFA teams allowed in a group, if England are to draw either Germany, Portugal, Russia, Belgium, Poland or France from pot 1, they will avoid Iceland, Sweden, Denmark and Serbia in pot 3.

Based solely on world rankings, England’s worst scenario would be a group with Germany, Costa Rica and Nigeria, while their best would be a group with Russia, Iran and New Zealand.

Sourse: skysports.com

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