Spain misses out as Federation Internationale de Football Association confirms 2018 World Cup seeds

Kristopher Nichols
October 17, 2017

Federation Internationale de Football Association uses October rankings to decide all four seeding pots despite nine places in the 32-team World Cup finals lineup to be decided in November.

In the draw, which is live on RTÉ Player on Tuesday from 1pm, a seeded team will be drawn from pot 1 and then an unseeded side from pot 2.

The Republic, who have risen eight places to 26th, and Northern Ireland, who drop three places to 23rd, will face either Italy, Croatia, Switzerland or Denmark. Therefore, the Russian national team is playing friendly football matches in the run-up to the much anticipated 2018 FIFA World Cup. The return leg takes place between November 12 and 14.

No disrespect to Russian Federation or Poland, but there's a clear desired destination for teams in Pots 2-4: Whichever group is headed by Russian Federation or Poland.

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The teams, which already qualified for the next year's championship are hosts Russia, Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Belgium, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia, Germany, England, Spain, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Poland, Egypt, Iceland, Serbia, France, Portugal, Panama, Uruguay, Colombia and Argentina.

Spain will lead the second grouping, and beyond that, it gets a little tricky. Should Peru, Switzerland and Italy win their respective playoffs, then the pot would remain as is.

As always, teams from the same region must be kept separate in the draw, aside from UEFA, where up to two European nations can be in the same group.

The All Whites will square off against a top-10 ranked Peru in next month's home-and-away intercontinental World Cup play-off.

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