ESPN FC: Great Expectations?
FIFA confirmed the pots for Friday's World Cup draw on Tuesday, putting the seeded teams in Pot 1, the African and South American teams in Pot 2, the CONCACAF and Asian teams in Pot 3 and the remaining nine European teams in Pot 4.
To make the number in each pot equal, at the start of the draw one of the nine European teams will be drawn into Pot 2, and will definitely face one of the seeded South American sides.
Eight teams were seeded -- host Brazil and the top seven in FIFA’s October rankings -- and the other 24 teams were placed in pots based on "geographic and sports criteria."
At Friday’s draw, one team from each pot will be placed in each of the eight World Cup groups.
The draw will be organised so that there will be no more than two European teams in any group of four countries, and all the South American teams will be kept apart.
Pot 1 includes Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Spain, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland.
The countries in Pot 2 are the unseeded South American countries and the qualifiers from Africa: Algeria, Cameroon, Chile, Ivory Coast, Ecuador, Ghana and Nigeria.
Pot 3 is made up of the teams from Asia and and north and central America: Australia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Iran, Japan, Korea Republic, Mexico, USA.
In Pot 4 there are nine unseeded European teams: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, England, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia.