World Cup Draw: Like the full complement of teeth, we have 32!

With Peru snatching the last spot after its win over New Zealand, 32 nations have qualified to participate in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which will kick off in Russia in June next year.

The official draw for the 2018 World Cup will take place on December 1 in Russia’s capital city of Moscow, at the State Kremlin Palace.   -  Getty Images

Draw format

The qualified teams have been divided into four seeding pots of eight each on the basis of their FIFA rankings. From these pots, the teams will then be split into eight groups of four each from A to H and each group will play three matches, before the top two teams advance to the second round.

 

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Tournament host Russia, defending champion Germany, five-time winner Brazil, European champion Portugal, as well as football giants Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France make up Pot 1.

Pot 2 features 2010 champion Spain, 1966 champion England, along with Peru, Switzerland, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay and Croatia.

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The third pot consists of Denmark, World Cup debutant Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal and Iran.

And lastly, Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea and Saudi Arabia complete the fourth pot.

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As per FIFA’s rules, no two teams from the same confederation — barring UEFA as the sole exception — can be drawn in the same group. This means that Brazil cannot be paired with another South American team like Argentina and neither can Japan and Australia be drawn in the same group since they both represent Asia.

The only exception applies for UEFA teams, which make up for 14 of the 32 total participants. This clause throws up multiple possibilities for an early showdown between top European teams, given that Spain and England are in Pot 2.

The sides could face the likes of Germany, Brazil, Portugal or Argentina in the group stages, setting the stage for some mouth-watering clashes.

When and Where

The official draw for the 2018 World Cup will take place on December 1 in Russia’s capital city of Moscow, at the State Kremlin Palace. The event will be hosted by former England international Gary Lineker and Russian sports journalist Maria Komandnaya.