World Cup: What comes next?

We look at what England can expect in the World Cup draw, who else will be in Brazil and what's to come ahead of the tournament.

Last Updated: 17/10/13 at 17:35 Post Comment

The Maracana stadium in Rio will stage the World Cup final on July 13

The Maracana stadium in Rio will stage the World Cup final on July 13

We take a look at what England can expect in the World Cup draw, who else will be in Brazil and what's to come in the run up to Brazil 2014.

FINALS DRAW

The draw for next summer's World Cup finals takes place on December 6 in Costa do Sauipe at 1600 GMT.

England, however, are unlikely to be seeded with their FIFA ranking having slipped too low in recent times.

Brazil, as hosts, have already been seeded and placed in Group A. The seven other seeds will likely be known later this week as the seedings will be determined by FIFA's October ranking list which is due to be published on Thursday (October 17). However, there remains the chance that one of the teams involved in the play-offs is among those seven highest-ranked sides, in which case the full list of seeds will not be known until next month.

October's ranking list has been chosen - as opposed to the November list which will be published after all the qualifiers are known - because, according to FIFA, "the latter would give the teams involved in the play-off games an unfair advantage".

Spain, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Colombia, Belgium and Uruguay (the latter have yet to qualify) are currently the top seven in the rankings. Brazil are eighth with the Netherlands ninth. England are 17th and although they may well climb when the new list is published later this week, it is likely they will still be ranked lower than at least seven other finalists, thus missing out on a seeding.

With teams to be placed into eight groups of four, the draw will see the qualifiers split into four pots with the seeds in pot A.

The other pots - B, C and D - will be determined upon "sports and geographic factors". For example, two sides from Africa will not be allowed to be drawn in the same group so all the African qualifiers will likely be in the same pot.

WHEN AND WHERE

The finals themselves take place in Brazil from Thursday June 12 to Sunday July 13 next year.

With kick-off times ranging from 1700 BST to 0200 BST, UK-based fans will be in for some late nights. However, the majority start at either 1700 BST or 2100 BST, while the final is a 2000 BST kick-off.

Matches will take place at 12 venues around the country - Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Sao Paulo.

The opening game, which will feature the hosts, will take place in Sao Paulo, with the final in Rio's Maracana stadium - the biggest of the grounds with a capacity of 73,531.

QUALIFERS SO FAR

Twenty-one of the 32 finalists are now known. They include Bosnia-Herzegovina, who will be making their debut in the finals.

The full list of qualifiers so far is:

Europe: Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, England, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Switzerland

South America: Argentina, Brazil (hosts), Chile, Colombia, Ecuador

Asia: Australia, Iran, Japan, South Korea

North & Central America/Caribbean: Costa Rica, Honduras, USA

REMAINING QUALIFICATION

The remaining 11 berths in the finals will be decided next month when the qualification process is completed. Matches will take place between November 13 and 20.

In Europe, four two-legged play-offs will be staged with the winners of each booking their ticket to Brazil. The eight teams competing will be Croatia (10), Portugal (11), Greece (12), Sweden (22), France (25), Ukraine (26), Romania (31) and Iceland (54). The figures in brackets are the teams' current FIFA ranking. The four teams ranked highest when the new ranking list is published on Thursday will be seeded for the draw which takes place next Monday (October 21) at 1300 BST in Zurich.

In Africa, the final round of qualifying is currently at the halfway stage. Five two-legged ties are being held to determine the continent's five finalists. The second legs will be:

Algeria v Burkina Faso (1st leg: 2-3)
Senegal v Ivory Coast (1-3)
Nigeria v Ethiopia (2-1)
Cameroon v Tunisia (0-0)
Egypt v Ghana (1-6)

In addition, two intercontinental play-offs will be staged, again over two legs. The first will see Jordan face Uruguay, while the second is between Mexico and New Zealand.

BETTING

Hosts Brazil, who won the Confederations Cup on home soil this summer, are Sky Bet's 100/30 favourites at present.

Holders Spain are offered at 5/1, the same price as Germany and Argentina.

England are eighth favourites at 22/1. Those odds put them behind Belgium (14/1), Italy (16/1) and Netherlands (18/1) in the betting.

The full list of odds is available on Sky Bet's website.

TICKETS

For those wishing to make the trip to Brazil, ticket sales will reopen on November 5 when tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

The process began in August and more than six million requests for tickets have already been made. Those who entered the initial phase of sales - which sees tickets allocated via a ballot system - will hear whether they have been successful by November 4.

Members of the official England supporters' club, englandfans, will be able to apply for tickets for England's games via the FA once the draw for the finals has been conducted.

Full details of ticketing can be found on FIFA's website.

SQUADS

Each country will be able to take a 23-man squad to Brazil. These must be named by June 2.

Before then, the finalists must give FIFA a 30-man list by May 13. The final 23 must be chosen from this list.

Replacements can only be made after the deadline due to injury and such a change must be approved by FIFA. This happened in the England camp prior to the last World Cup when Rio Ferdinand was injured in training and was replaced by Michael Dawson.

BUILD-UP

Between now and the finals, friendlies will fill FIFA's international dates in November (for those not still involved in qualifiers) and March, while the finalists will all likely play warm-up games in late May and early June to fine-tune their preparations for Brazil.

England are reportedly set to play fellow finalists Germany and Australia in friendlies on the November 15 and 19 dates, although the games are yet to be confirmed. March 5 will also see a friendly which will be Roy Hodgson's last chance to assess his players before naming his 30-man squad for Brazil. It has been suggested the opponents in this game will be Denmark, who have failed to qualify for Brazil.


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