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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

2018 World Cup: Who has qualified for the finals and who can get there?

With 23 teams having qualified, there remain nine places to be clinched on the Road to Russia 2018.

The qualifying process for the 2018 World Cup, which began on March 12, 2015, is reaching its climax. 

So far, 23 nations have booked their place to join host nation Russia in next year's tournament.

Qualified nations: Russia (hosts), Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Honduras, Iceland, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Uruguay.

Who can still qualify and how:
Europe - South America - Concacaf - Africa - Who can be seeded

EUROPE (UEFA; 13 PLACES)

• European qualifying home page

Qualifying for 2018 sees seven groups of six nations and two groups of five. 

Russia qualify as hosts. Group winners qualify automatically, with the eight best runners-up facing a two-legged playoff.  Gibraltar and Kosovo were late additions after being accepted as full FIFA members.

The qualifiers began in September 2016 and run through November 2017.

GROUP A: Netherlands, France, Sweden, Bulgaria, Belarus, Luxembourg

GROUP B: Portugal, Switzerland, Hungary, Faroe Islands, Latvia, Andorra

GROUP C: Germany, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Norway, Azerbaijan, San Marino

GROUP D: Wales, Austria, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Moldova, Georgia

GROUP E: Romania, Denmark, Poland, Montenegro, Armenia, Kazakhstan

GROUP F: England, Slovakia, Scotland, Slovenia, Lithuania, Malta

GROUP G: Spain, Italy, Albania, Israel, Macedonia, Liechtenstein

GROUP H: Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece, Estonia, Cyprus, Gibraltar

GROUP I: Croatia, Iceland, Ukraine, Turkey, Finland, Kosovo

Teams in bold qualified automatically. Teams in italics in the playoffs.

TABLES

NEXT FIXTURES

SOUTH AMERICA (CONMEBOL 4.5 PLACES)

• South American qualifying home page

As in recent qualifying competitions, all teams play each other home and away. The top four nations will qualify directly to the finals. The fifth-place team will take the 0.5 place and play an intercontinental playoff against the winner of the Oceania region.

The qualifiers began in October 2015 and finish this month.

Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia qualified. Peru will go to the playoff.

TABLE

NEXT FIXTURES

NORTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, CARIBBEAN (CONCACAF; 3.5 PLACES)

• Concacaf qualifying home page

Round One: The 14 lowest ranked nations played two-legged ties. Winners: Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Curacao, Dominica, Nicaragua, St Kitts & Nevis
Round Two: The seven winners from the first round and the next 13 lowest ranked nations played two-legged ties. Winners: Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba (Barbados fielded ineligible player), Belize, Canada, Curacao, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Nicaragua, St Vincent & the Grenadines
Round Three: The 10 winners from the second round join Jamaica and Haiti -- to make 12 teams playing two-legged ties. Winners: Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, St Vincent & the Grenadines
Round Four: The six winners from the third round join Costa Rica, Mexico, United States, Honduras, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago. Drawn into three groups of four nations playing home and away. Top two nations advance.

Group A: Canada, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico
Group BCosta Rica, Haiti, Jamiaca, Panama
Group CGuatemala, Trinidad & Tobago, St Vincent & the Grenadines, United States

Round Five (final round): The six winners from the fourth round form one group of six teams. Top three teams qualify with the fourth-place team in an intercontinental playoff (0.5 place) against a team from Asia. 

Hexagonal participants: Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, United States.

The final round began in November 2016 and finish this month.

TABLE

NEXT FIXTURES

AFRICA (CAF; 5 PLACES)

• African qualifying home page

Round One: The 26 lowest ranked nations played two-legged ties, played in October 2015. Winners: Botswana, Burundi, Chad, Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Swaziland, Tanzania 

Round Two: The 13 winners from the first round and the remaining top 27 African nations to make 40 teams playing two-legged ties. Winners:  Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo, DR Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia.

Round Three (final round): The 20 winners from the second round were drawn into five groups of four nations playing home and away. Group winners qualify for the finals. 

The final round began in October 2016 and runs until November 2017.

Group A: Congo DR, Guinea, Libya, Tunisia
Group BAlgeria, Cameroon, Nigeria, Zambia 
Group CIvory Coast, Gabon, Mali, Morocco
Group DBurkina Faso, Cape Verde Islands, Senegal, South Africa
Group ECongo, Egypt, Ghana, Uganda

TABLES

NEXT FIXTURES

ASIA (AFC; 4.5 PLACES)

• Asia qualifying home page

This follows the same format as for 2014. 

Round One: The 12 lowest ranked nations played two-legged ties. Winners: Bhutan, Cambodia, Chinese Taipei, India, Timor-Leste, Yemen,.
Round Two: The six winners from the first round join the other 34 Asian nations, drawn into eight groups of five teams -- also played as qualifiers for the 2019 Asian Cup finals. Played June 2015 to March 2016. Eight group winners and four best runners-up advance. VIEW TABLES
Round Three (final group round): The remaining 12 nations are drawn into two groups of six teams. Played September 2016 to September 2017. Group winners and runners-up qualify for the World Cup.

Group A: China, Iran, Qatar, South Korea, Syria, Uzbekistan 
Group B: Australia, Iraq, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, United Arab Emirates

Teams in bold qualified automatically. Australia beat Syria 3-2 on aggregate to make the intercontinental playoff.

TABLES

NEXT FIXTURES

Round Four: The teams finishing third in round three -- Australia and Syria -- will play a two-legged playoff. The winner (0.5 place) will then advance to the inter-confederation playoff against a team from CONCACAF. The first leg in Malaysia finished 1-1.

OCEANIA (OFC; 0.5 PLACES)

• Oceania qualifying home page

The 2015 OFC Nations Cup doubled as World Cup qualifying.

Round One: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Samoa, and Tonga played a league tournament in August and September 2015. The winner of the tournament, Samoa, advanced to Round Two.
Round Two: Samoa joined the other seven OFC nations in the group stage -- this is also part of the OFC Nations Cup. There were two groups of four teams, with the top three going through. Played from May to June 2016.

Group A: New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tahiti
Group B: Fiji, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu

New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand and Solomon Islands advanced to round three.

Round Three: Two groups of three teams playing on a home and away basis. Rounds began in November 2016 and finished in June 2017. Group winners then playoff to advance to an intercontinental tie (0.5 place) against the fifth-place team from Conmebol.

Group A: Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand
Group B: Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tahiti 

TABLES

NEXT FIXTURES

New Zealand beat Solomon Islands in the intercontinental playoff, winning 8-3 on aggregate. They will now play Peru, fifth-place team in South America, for a place in the finals.

INTER-CONFEDERATION PLAYOFFS (2 PLACES)

The final two qualification spots will be decided in November over two-legged ties.

Honduras vs. Australia

New Zealand vs. Peru

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

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