Previous
Lazio
Cittadella
8:00 PM UTC
Game Details
Hereford F.C.
Fleetwood Town
7:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Swansea City
Manchester City
0
4
FT
Game Details
Liverpool
West Bromwich Albion
0
0
FT
Game Details
Manchester United
AFC Bournemouth
1
0
FT
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
Brighton & Hove Albion
2
0
FT
Game Details
West Ham United
Arsenal
0
0
FT
Game Details
Al-Jazira
Real Madrid
1
2
FT
Game Details
Bayern Munich
FC Cologne
1
0
FT
Game Details
AC Milan
Hellas Verona
3
0
FT
Game Details
Strasbourg
Paris Saint-Germain
2
4
FT
Game Details
Celtic
Hamilton Academical
3
1
FT
Game Details
Hibernian
Rangers
1
2
FT
Game Details
Flamengo
Independiente
1
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 3
Game Details
Next
ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

World Cup finals draw pots now known after completion of qualifying

The FC panel reveal their toughest and easiest potential World Cup groups ahead of the draw on Dec. 1.
The Exploding Heads break down the recent World Cup playoffs as all 32 teams are now set for Russia.
After Italy failed to make their first World Cup since 1958, Scott Van Pelt thinks a separate event may be worth exploring.

The seedings for the 2018 World Cup finals draw can now be confirmed after Peru booked the 32nd and last place at next summer's tournament in Russia.

FIFA is using its World Ranking which was published last month to seed all four pots for the draw, a departure from recent tournaments when only the top eight nations were seeded with other pots grouped by confederation.

The draw will take place on Friday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. local time in Moscow (3 p.m. GMT / 10 a.m. ET). 

Pot 1: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France

Pot 2: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia

Pot 3: Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran

Pot 4: Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia

One team from each pot is drawn into a group, making eight groups of four nations. There can be no more than two teams from Europe in any one pot, and no more than one nation from any other confederation. 

The nations in pot 1 were already set last month, while Croatia were the beneficiaries of Italy being the only seeded team not to make it through the European playoffs, bumped up to pot 2 as a result.

The decision to seed all four pots by FIFA Ranking is of great benefit to Mexico. In most recent tournaments, Mexico were grouped with fellow CONCACAF nations and Asia teams (as well as New Zealand in 2010). That meant they were guaranteed to be drawn against a seeded nation and at least one European team.

Peru are in Pot 2 after sealing the final spot for the 2018 World Cup in Russia

In 2010, Mexico were drawn against both Uruguay and France as well as hosts South Africa, and in 2014 they were once again handed the host nation, Brazil, along with Croatia and Cameroon. They advanced from the group stage both times, but they could expect a kinder draw this time. While they will still have to face one of the seeds, it is far more likely that they will avoid being drawn against a strong European team (in addition to one they could get from Pot 1).

But the reverse is true for Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Serbia, who now face being dealt a tougher group with teams from the top two pots, compared to when the draw was split by confederation. 

There would have been very little difference to the draw pots if FIFA had used its upcoming November ranking, with only France & Spain and Denmark & Uruguay swapping pots.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.