Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium and Poland are also top-seeded for the December 1 draw in Moscow. Joining Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the draw are: Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy, Greece and Croatia. The seeded teams have been decided by October's FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, published today. The same procedure will then be repeated for the remaining balls in the two pots.
The seeded and unseeded teams will be in two different pots based on the rankings, meaning Northern Ireland and Ireland can not face each other in the two-legged contests. The 2010 World Cup champion just misses out as the eighth-ranked team on the planet. The return leg takes place between November 12 and 14. Both balls will then be placed into a third pot.
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The return leg of the play-off for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation will be played at Estadio Nacional de Lima in Peru's capital on November 15. The coaches of the eight teams are expected to be in attendance, while Mexican presenter Vanessa Huppenkothen will host the event, with Fernando Hierro carrying out the draw itself.
We'll be able to properly simulate and speculate after the conclusion of November's qualifiers and qualifying playoffs, but until then, at least we have some semblance of how the World Cup could look in Russian Federation next summer. If the victor is still not decided at the end of normal time in the second leg, the match will go to extra time with two periods of 15 minutes and the away goals rule still applied.