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 By AAP

Australia's new FIFA world ranking could lead to better World Cup draw

The FC panel caution Australia not to underestimate a gritty Honduras side in the intercontinental playoff.

The Socceroos have jumped seven places in FIFA's world rankings to 43rd after their World Cup qualification victory over Syria.

And it has laid the platform for an unprecedented third seeding at the 2018 tournament -- should Australia beat Honduras in their playoff next month to reach Russia.

Australia recorded 1-1 and 2-1 results over the 77th-ranked Syrians this month, setting up another two-leg play off against the Central American nation.

It's the highest ranking for Ange Postecoglou's men in over 12 months.

In a timely boost, the World Cup seedings are based on the October rankings, giving rise to the possibility that Australia -- if they qualify -- could scrape into the top 24 nations at Russia 2018.

At previous tournaments, the Socceroos have been rated as one of the bottom eight sides, leading to difficult draws.

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None have been more taxing than Spain, the Netherlands and Chile at the 2014 tournament.

Four teams that have already qualified for Russia -- Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Panama -- are ranked lower than Australia.

With nine places yet to be filled, if four of those countries are also ranked below the Socceroos, Australia would be bumped into pot three for the draw -- to take place in December.

Eight teams ranked below Australia remain in contention -- including world No. 122 New Zealand.

World champions Germany continue to top the world -- a position the country has held since last month.

Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France join hosts Russia, the world No. 65s -- as seeded teams for the global showpiece.

Heavyweights Spain and England have missed out on the crucial top seeding and will enter the tournament from pot two.

Peru are into the top 10 for the first time, climbing two places to 10th ahead of their intercontinental playoff against the Kiwis.

Australia
Avoiding pot four -- if Australia qualify for the World Cup -- would be a massive boon for the Asian champions.

FIFA World Rankings

1. Germany
2. Brazil
3. Portugal
4. Argentina
5. Belgium
6. Poland
7. France
8. Spain
9. Chile
10. Peru

43. Australia

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