Saudi Arabia and South Korea took the final two automatic Asian places on 5th September.
Belgium qualified as Group H winners, England as Group F winners, Germany as Group C, Iceland secured their berth as Group I leaders, Poland topped Group E, Russian Federation received automatic qualification as hosts, Serbia were Group D winners, 2010 FIFA World Cup winners Spain topped Group G, 2016 Euro Finalist and hosts France were winners of Group A and Portugal spearheaded by Cristiano Ronaldo were Group B winners.
There are three spots left for the African sides, following Egypt and Nigeria clinching theirs.
Fox Sports has reaffirmed its commitment to coverage of the 2018 World Cup despite the elimination of the USA national team from qualification for the tournament. Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland are nearly certain to be in pot 3 should they qualify, while Greece would definitely be pot 4. In the current and final stage of the qualifiers, there are 5 groups, with the group victor advancing to the World Cup. In Group C, it comes down to Morocco and the Ivory Coast.
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Below is how the pots are looking for the draw, which takes place on Friday.
Switzerland were narrowly beaten to top spot in their group in the final game and will be joined by Italy, Denmark, Croatia, Sweden, Northern Ireland, Greece and Republic of Ireland as the remaining Europeans are whittled down from eight to four. If Tunisia miss out on the finals, then DR Congo would most likely be pot 4. They advanced from the group stage both times, but they could expect a kinder draw this time. After a dramatic finish in South America, it'll be Peru (5th in the group stage) against the winners of the Oceania qualifiers, New Zealand.
Australia confirmed their place as Asia's fifth best team with a playoff win over Syria this week and must contest their intercontinental tie against Honduras from Central/North America.
Any decrease in interest by American fans may have far-reaching effects for Fox Sports, which is paying more than $400 million for the domestic English-language rights to the next two World Cups.
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