Pots for 2018 World Cup draw almost complete

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With 31 of the 32 teams for the 2018 World Cup now decided, the attention is switching to the draw in Moscow on Dec. 1.

The excitement is building.

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Below is a look at how things stand ahead of Peru’s clash with New Zealand on Wednesday as the winner of that inter-confederation playoff will take the final spot. Peru, currently ranked No.10 by FIFA, are the heavy favorites against 122-ranked New Zealand, but we’ve included the two scenarios for how Pots 1-4 will look depending on whether Peru or New Zealand grab the final World Cup spot.

As a reminder, the pots teams are placed in are determined by their FIFA World Ranking from October 2017, with the top seven teams plus hosts Russia in Pot 1, then the next eight highest-ranked teams in Pot 2 and then so on, and so forth for Pots 3 and 4. With me? Good.

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Another thing to remember when picking one team from each pot in a hypothetical draw: teams from the same confederation can’t be drawn with each other, except from UEFA where two teams from the European region can be placed in the same World Cup group.

My word, despite all of the big names missing out on the World Cup next summer there are so many “Group of Death” scenarios it’s scary.

It is also quite apparent that if you’re a fan of Denmark or Serbia, you want New Zealand to spring an upset so you move up from Pots 3 to 2 and 4 to 3 respectively.


If Peru wins

Pot 1
Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France

Pot 2
Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia

Pot 3 
Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran

Pot 4
Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia

If New Zealand wins

Pot 1
Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France

Pot 2
Spain, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia, Denmark

Pot 3 
Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran, Serbia

Pot 4
Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand