With less than 24 hours until the Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Australia along with the other 31 qualifiers are bracing themselves for who they will face in Brazil next year.
The procedure will see the Socceroos drawn from Pot 3, alongside Asian counterparts South Korea, Iran and Japan, as well as CONCACAF nations USA, Mexico, Costa Rica and Honduras.
Following an announcement from FIFA earlier in the week, Pot 1 consists of hosts Brazil along with the seven top-ranked teams – Belgium, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay.
Pot 2 will contain Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Chile and Ecuador. Meanwhile Pot 4 will consist of the remaining 9 European nations that are not seeded, being Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, England, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia and France.
The Final Draw explained
The 32 qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil have been separated into four pots, There will be one pot of seeded teams, with the other three separated according to geographical location.
The seven highest seeded teams, according to October’s FIFA World Rankings, will be placed in Pot 1, along with hosts Brazil. The other 24 teams are placed in Pots 2, 3 & 4 on the basis of the regions they are from.
Teams of the same Qualification Zone cannot be drawn into the same Group, with the exception of a maximum of two European teams in any one group.
Pots will be emptied in order: 1 through 4; with Groups filled sequentially: A through H
Seeded teams (countries from Pot 1) are automatically assigned position “1” of the Group into which they are drawn. The remaining nations will have their positions randomly drawn.
Before the main draw starts a European team from Pot 4 will be randomly drawn and placed in Pot 2, so that all Pots begin with eight teams.
This country will be drawn to play with one of the four South American seeds in Pot 1 (to ensure 3 European teams don't end up in the same Group).
Brazil is the only team with their position already confirmed and will take its place as the tournament hosts in A1 – Group A Position 1.
The other 31 teams are then drawn from their Pot, starting with the 7 remaining teams in Pot 1, and placed in one of eight Groups, A to H, until each pot is emptied before moving onto the next.
The positions within Groups A through H will then be drawn for all teams of Pots 2, 3 and 4.
The Final Draw is set to take place in Brazil at 3am Saturday morning AEST. We’ll have news of the draw and coverage of how it all unfolded throughout the weekend at Strathfield Sports Club.