Switzerland are in with a superb chance of being seeded for the World Cup finals draw when the October FIFA World Rankings are released on Thursday.
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FIFA will use this month's standings to calculate which seven nations, alongside host Brazil, will be seeded for December's draw. And the Swiss now know that a home win over Slovenia -- coupled with one of Italy, Colombia or Uruguay failing to win their respective matches -- will give them an unexpected seeding place.
Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Germany and Belgium have already secured their places in the top pot -- with Belgium's fine win away to Croatia on Friday night, which also booked their place in the finals, proving crucial.
Belgium entertain Wales on Tuesday with the worst-case scenario of a shock defeat to Chris Coleman's side putting them on 1138 ranking points. A win for Switzerland at home to Slovenia would potentially put both nations on 1138 points, and level for the last seeding place, so the classification for the final slot would go down to the decimal places before rounding up. Belgium's score is 1138.2, compared to 1137.7 for the Swiss, meaning Belgium cannot be placed outside FIFA's top seven this month. In fact, with a win over Wales they could actually be ranked as high as third in the world if Germany fail to beat Sweden.
For the remaining three slots, nine nations are in with a chance of being seeded: Italy, Colombia, Uruguay, Netherlands, Portugal, United States, Switzerland, Chile and England.
Italy, Colombia and Uruguay have a seeding place in their own hands, knowing that victory on Tuesday will guarantee a place among the seeds -- albeit provisionally for Uruguay -- but equally each of the three could miss out. Here's how the nine nations could make or break their World Cup destiny.
*For the purposes of the article, Uruguay are assumed to have qualified for the World Cup. So, for instance, if they do not qualify, then Italy would only need a draw against Armenia to be seeded.
A victory at home to Armenia (who need to win to keep very slim qualification hopes alive) will guarantee a place, though they could still be seeded with a defeat.
What could go wrong: If they draw, they would miss out with wins for two of Colombia, Uruguay*, Netherlands (the Dutch would lead Italy 1135.95 to 1135.61 on decimals) and Switzerland. If they lose, they would miss out with wins for three of Colombia, Uruguay*, Netherlands and Switzerland.
A win away to already-eliminated Paraguay will guarantee a place, though they could still be seeded with a defeat.
What could go wrong: If they draw, they would definitely be ranked below Italy; plus wins for two of Uruguay, Netherlands and Switzerland would rule Colombia out. If they lose, they would be ranked below Italy and Uruguay* for certain, therefore a win for one of Netherlands, Switzerland and England would leave Colombia unseeded.
A win at home to Argentina would guarantee them a place among the seeds if they then go on to qualify.
What could go wrong: Firstly, being in the playoffs and losing to Jordan. If they draw on Tuesday, they would definitely be ranked below Italy; they would then be unseeded with two from: Colombia to avoid defeat, wins for Netherlands and Switzerland. If they lose, they would definitely be ranked below Italy, plus two of Colombia to avoid defeat, wins for Netherlands, Switzerland or England.
For the other nations, they would need results to go their way to be seeded.
Without a couple of wobbles in qualification earlier this year, the Swiss may have been looking at a certain place among the seeds -- drawing 0-0 in Cyprus and throwing away a 4-1 lead to draw 4-4 at home to Iceland.
That said, a win over Slovenia gives them an excellent chance of being seeded. They would then just need one of Italy, Colombia or Uruguay* to fail to win.
A win away in Turkey could book their place if either Italy (the Dutch would lead Italy 1135.95 to 1135.61 on decimals), Colombia or Uruguay* fail to win. However, if Switzerland beat Slovenia they will definitely overtake Netherlands; in this event the Dutch would need two of Italy, Colombia or Uruguay* to fail to win.
A draw in Turkey would make it difficult for Netherlands to be seeded as they would definitely be ranked below Italy and Colombia. They would then need Uruguay to fail to qualify, plus Switzerland and England fail to win.
With a defeat in Turkey, Netherlands would again be certain to be ranked below Italy and Colombia. The Dutch would require Uruguay to fail to qualify, Switzerland lose and also England, Portugal, United States and Chile to fail to win.
England must beat Poland, which would send them to Brazil. But they would definitely be ranked below Italy and Colombia, so they would then need three of the following: Colombia to lose, Uruguay to lose or fail to qualify, plus Netherlands and/or Switzerland fail to win.
Are the rank outsiders and would need a miracle to be seeded, as they are definitely ranked below Italy and Colombia. They would have to beat Luxembourg, and of course qualify through a likely playoff at first. Then they would need Uruguay to fail to qualify, plus Netherlands and Switzerland to lose, and no more than a draw for United States, Chile and England (the latter two may also not qualify).
In a similar situation to Portugal, but the U.S. would need to beat Panama and for Uruguay to fail to qualify, plus Netherlands and Switzerland to lose, and no more than a draw for Chile and England (who may also not qualify).
Again, along the lines of Portugal. They need to beat Ecuador (which would secure qualification) and Uruguay fail to qualify, plus Netherlands lose and no more than a draw for Switzerland and England (who may not qualify).