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Italy seeded for World Cup play-off draw

Italy will be one of the four seeded teams in the draw for the European play-offs for next year’s World Cup after FIFA released their latest world rankings on Monday.

Italy players celebrate a goal

 

Switzerland, Croatia and Denmark will be the other seeded teams for the two-legged ties which will be played next month thanks to their positions in the rankings.

The unseeded sides for the draw, which will take place on Tuesday, will be Northern Ireland, Sweden, the Republic of Ireland and Greece.

FIFA will also use these latest rankings to determine the top-seeded nations when the draw for the World Cup group phase is made on December 1 in Moscow.

That means that, along with hosts Russia, the top seeds will be holders and number-one ranked Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France.

Leading nations to miss out on a top seeding include Spain, England and Uruguay.

Spain and Peru, who will go into a play-off against New Zealand for a place in Russia, both climb into the top 10 in the latest rankings.

Russia though slipped one place to 65th in the rankings, further diminishing expectations of their chances on home soil next year.

Latest FIFA ranking top 20 as of October 16:

1. Germany

2. Brazil

3. Portugal

4. Argentina

5. Belgium

6. Poland

7. France (+1)

8. Spain (+3)

9. Chile

10. Peru (+2)

11. Switzerland (-4)

12. England (+3)

13. Colombia (-3)

14. Wales (-1)

15. Italy (+2)

16. Mexico (-2)

17. Uruguay (-1)

18. Croatia

19. Denmark (+7)

20. Netherlands (+9)

Selected others

23. Northern Ireland (-3)

25. Sweden (-2)

26. Republic of Ireland (+8)

47. Greece

65. Russia (-1)


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