[WORLD CUP 2014: Draw]
The one thing we know for sure about the World Cup 2014 draw, which will be held Dec. 6 in Salvador, is that the FIFA/Coca-Cola Ranking released
Thursday will be used to determine the seven teams to join host Brazil as top seeds.
Those seven teams are tournament
favorites such as defending champion Spain, Germany and Argentina, Uruguay (if, as expected, it beats Jordan), Belgium and Colombia (which both failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup) and
Switzerland (which overtook the Netherlands and Italy with the results of the last week).
(If Uruguay loses to Jordan, the Netherlands will be eighth team in the pot of seeded teams.)
The other three groups will be determined by geographic and sporting considerations. If they follow the format used for the 2010 World Cup draw, one pot will include eight European teams,
another will include Concacaf and Asian teams and the third will include the five African teams, plus Chile and Ecuador and one European team. These assume that Mexico and Uruguay win their
intercontinental playoffs against New Zealand and Jordan, respectively, in which they will be favorites.
The October rankings leave such European teams as the Netherlands, Italy and
England -- all seeds in 2010 -- on the outside.
If you're one of the teams in the Concacaf/Asia pot, like the USA, you could be facing something as difficult as Brazil/Italy/Ghana or
Spain/Netherlands/Ivory Coast in your group. Possible World Cup 2014 Pots: SEEDS:
6. Uruguay (or 9. Netherlands)
11. Brazil (host) EUROPE:
*Europe Playoff 1
*Europe Playoff 2
*Europe Playoff 3
24. Mexico (or 67. New Zealand)
31. Costa Rica
57. Australia AFRICA/REST:
17. Ivory Coast or 64. Senegal
23. Ghana or 51. Egypt
33. Nigeria or 95. Ethiopia
52. Burkina Faso or 32. Algeria
59. Cameroon or 47. Tunisia
*Europe Playoff 4 or 70. Jordan *Europe Playoff
Number represents October ranking.