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2018 World Cup: When's the draw? What's the format? Who's qualified?

Saturday October 7, 2017

The draw for the 2018 World Cup is less than two months away, but where will it be held, who's involved and how will it work?

England secured their place in Russia with a 1-0 win over Slovenia and they will be joined in the draw by Germany, Brazil, Belgium, Japan and Mexico.

Here's everything you need to know about the draw for next summer's showpiece...

When and where is it?

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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.

Russia 2018 World Cup venues

A FIFA spokesperson said: "This prestigious entertainment venue with a capacity of 6,000 spectators has hosted many international and locally renowned artists in the past, as well as traditional ballets and operas."

Who's involved?

There will be 32 teams in the draw, with 31 having qualified for the tournament and Russia securing their place as hosts. Of the six worldwide confederations, UEFA will have the most teams (13) at the tournament while Oceania's only potential representative is New Zealand, but they have to beat South America's fifth-ranked nation in a play-off to qualify.

Along with Russia, the other teams to have already secured their place at the tournament are England, Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Belgium, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Germany.

Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland are all hoping to make the two-legged play-off stage, which will take place on November 9-11 and 12-14.

How does the draw work?

In a change to previous editions, the 31 qualified teams will be allocated into four pots depending on their FIFA ranking as of October 16, 2017. That means the seven highest-ranked teams in the world will go into Pot 1 along with hosts Russia, with the rest of the teams then allocated pots in descending order of their rankings.

As it stands, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland and Russia would be in Pot 1 while France, Spain, Wales and England could all be in Pot 2.

The four pots will be emptied and teams will be drawn into four-team groups from A to H.

When is the World Cup?

The World Cup gets underway on Thursday, June 14, with hosts Russia playing the opening match. The final of the tournament is a month later on July 15.


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