World Cup 2018: Teams await qualifying draw in Russia

The home nations will find out who they will face when the qualifying draw for the 2018 World Cup takes place on Saturday in St Petersburg, Russia.


England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are among 141 nations who will be in the draw.

European sides will be placed into nine groups – seven with six teams and two of five sides – with Roy Hodgson’s side knowing they will be in a pool of six.

The nine group winners from Europe will progress to the finals containing 32 teams, while the eight best runners-up will take part in a play-off in November 2017.

The continent has 52 of its 53 teams involved the draw, with the only exception being Russia, who qualify automatically as hosts.

The Fifa confederations of Africa, Oceania, South America and Concacaf (North, Central America and the Caribbean) will also be involved.

Germany are the holders of the World Cup after a 1-0 extra-time victory over Argentina in Brazil in 2014.

Fifa has announced that former Chelsea midfielder and Russia captain Alexey Smertin will replace Brazilian striker Hulk as a draw assistant “due to the Brazilian’s club commitments” with Zenit St Petersburg.