We are close to finding out the identities of all the countries who have confirmed their place in Russia next summer and the next step is the World Cup 2018 draw, and who awaits…
What is it?
This is the draw for the Group Stage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia next summer, which will be held from the 14th of June to 15th July.
When is the World Cup draw?
The draw takes place in Moscow, the capital city of Russia, at the Kremlin Palace, on 1st December. The ceremony will take place in front of 6,000 spectators.
World Cup 2018 teams list
As of 3rd October, the teams to have already qualified are: Russia, Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Belgium, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.
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How does the World Cup draw work?
A total of 32 teams will feature in the draw, with 31 progressing via the qualifying stages with Russia making up the numbers as the host nation. All 32 will be split into four pots based on their Fifa world rankings. Pot 1 containing Russia and the seven highest-ranked teams, Pot 2 containing the next eight highest ranked as so on and so forth.
The 32 teams will be divided into eight groups of four, with each team playing every other team in their group before the top two countries advance to the second round.
World Cup 2018 seeds
Russia are guaranteed to be top seeds while the rest are determined on Fifa rankings. So if all seven of the world’s top teams were to qualify, the top seeds would be Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and Switzerland. However, of those teams, Portugal are likely to be in the play-offs, while Argentina may not qualify at all.
World Cup 2018 venues
There are 12 venues in total, with the final set to be staged in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, which has a capacity of 81,000 and is the venue where Manchester United won their last Champions League title, against Chelsea in 2008.
Also in Moscow in Spartak’s Otkrytiye Arena with St Petersburg’s Krestovsky Stadium, the Kaliningrad Stadium, the Kazan Area, Samara’s Cosmos Arena, the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, the Volgograd Arena, Saransk’s Mordovia Arena, the Rostov Arena, Sochi’s Fisht Olympic Stadium and the Central Stadium in Yekaterinburg all being used as well.