World Cup pots (September FIFA ranking in brackets)
Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
Russia (hosts) Spain (8) Denmark (19) Serbia (38)
Germany (1) Peru (10) Iceland (21) Nigeria (41)
Brazil (2) Switzerland (11) Costa Rica (22) Australia (43)
Portugal (3) England (12) Sweden (25) Japan (44)
Argentina (4) Colombia (13) Tunisia (28) Morocco (48)
Belgium (5) Mexico (16) Egypt (30) Panama (49)
Poland (6) Uruguay (17) Senegal (32) South Korea (62)
France (7) Croatia (18) Iran (34) Saudi Arabia (63)
The 2018 FIFA World Cup draw will be hosted by former England striker Gary Lineker and Russian sports journalist Maria Komandnaya.
The guests at the draw will include representatives from each of the eight nations to have won the World Cup. They are Laurent Blanc (France), Gordon Banks (England), Cafu (Brazil), Fabio Cannavaro (Italy), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Diego Maradona (Argentina), Carles Puyol (Spain) and Miroslav Klose (Germany) among others.
No teams from the same confederation, with the exception of UEFA, will be drawn in the same group. A maximum of two European countries can be in any group. That means two teams from this pool could be drawn together in the same group. The teams are Russia (hosts),Spain, Denmark, Serbia, Germany, Iceland, Switzerland, Portugal, England, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, France and Croatia.
World Cup Debutants
Panama and Iceland will be making their debut at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Central American nation Panama qualified for their first World Cup by defeating Costa Rica 2-1 in their final group game to qualify for first ever World Cup tournament. President Juan Carlos Varela declared a national holiday following their victory while Iceland sealed a place in Russia with a 2-0 win over Kosovo in Reykjavik.
Missing In Action
Four-time World Champions Italy are the biggest team missing out on the World Cup party in Russia. The Azzuri lost 1-0 on aggregate to Sweden in the European playo-ffs. Also, the Netherlands failed to qualify, missing out on the play-off spot to Sweden with an inferior goal difference from Group A of the European qualifiers.
In the CONCACAF region, the United States were eliminated from the race after they suffered a shock 2-1 defeat by Trinidad & Tobago. It is the first time since 1986 that they will not compete at a World Cup.
The Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Ghana are the biggest casualties from Africa to miss out while in South America, Chile missed out on the final play-off spot on goal difference to Peru.
Stadiums to be used for Russia 2018 World Cup
Twelve stadiums will be in used for the 2018 Russia FIFA World Cup. These are Luzhniki Stadium, Spartak Stadium, Kazan Arena, Zenit Arena, Fisht Olympic Stadium, Rostov Stadium, Central Stadium. Others are Ekaterinburg Arena, Cosmos Arena, Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Samara Arena and the Mordovia Arena.