Federation Internationale de Football Association confirms 8 top-seeded teams in World Cup draw

Federation Internationale de Football Association confirms 8 top-seeded teams in World Cup draw

Federation Internationale de Football Association confirms 8 top-seeded teams in World Cup draw

Northern Ireland have fallen three places to 23rd in this month's Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings, meaning they will not be seeded for the World Cup play-offs.

The draw will be staged on December 1 in Moscow.

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FIFA previously announced that October FIFA rankings would be used to allocate World Cup qualified teams to the four pots according to their ranking in descending order.

The eight teams qualified for the play-offs are will be divided into two pots. Switzerland (11), Italy (15), Croatia (18) and Denmark (19) are the highest-ranked teams, and they'll each be drawn against one of Northern Ireland (23), Sweden (25), Republic of Ireland (26) and Greece (47). Therefore, the Russian national team is playing friendly football matches in the run-up to the much anticipated 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Italy, Mexico and Uruguay are the next seven nations either in the World Cup or still alive in contention. The second pot will contain Northern Ireland (23rd), Sweden (25th), Republic of Ireland (26th) and Greece (47th), so Northern Ireland and the Republic can not play each other.

When and where does the draw take place? Likewise they can not play Sweden or Greece. Once one ball has been taken from pot one and another from pot two, they will be placed in a central pot, mixed and then drawn one by one.

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The Republic, who progressed to the World Cup play-offs, rose eight places to 26th, while Scotland climbed 14 places to 29th despite missing out on a place in Russian Federation 2018 - a result which subsequently saw Gordon Strachan depart as boss.

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