COSTA DO SAUIPE: Brazil will be joined by the leading seven nations in the FIFA World Rankings in the ‘top pot’ at the 2014 World Cup finals draw here on Friday.
FIFA decided to use the official rankings as of October, before the World Cup playoffs, rather than the November formulation.
Two unseeded South American sides will join the five African qualifiers in Pot 2, with teams from the Asia, Oceania and CONCACAF regions making up Pot 3.
Four-times World Cup winners Italy are among nine unseeded European countries in the final pot but one of those will be drawn at random and ‘float’ into Pot 2 before the main draw in order to ensure there is an even distribution of countries in each pot.
That team will definitely face one of the seeded South American sides, to eliminate the possibility of more than two European sides being drawn in the same group. A Group of Death is thus virtually guaranteed.
One team will then be drawn from each pot to form eight groups with four teams in each.
Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland
Algeria, Cameroon, Chile, Ivory Coast, Ecuador, Ghana, Nigeria
Australia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, USA
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, England, France, Greece, Italy, Holland, Portugal, Russia