2018 World Cup

The 2018 World Cup qualification period started in March 2015 and will go until November 2017.

Russia automatically qualified for the event because the country is hosting it.

Every other European country, meanwhile, has a chance to make it in.

The European nations that are aiming to get into the 2018 World Cup are represented by UEFA.

There are thirteen slots available for UEFA teams in the 2018 World Cup.

This total does not include Russia, which is a UEFA member.

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  • Who’s Competing?

There are 52 countries that have been divided into nine groups. Seven of these groups have six countries while the other two have five.

The winner in each group will secure one spot in the World Cup.

The 52 countries include both powerhouses in the game of football and some weaker teams. Seven of the teams were in the top ten in the FIFA rankings on July 2015.

These include the second-ranked German and third-ranked Belgian teams. The lowest-ranked team was Andorra at the 202nd spot.

football-472042_640The nine groups were chosen at random with six pots used. One team from each pot will be in each group.

The pots were organized in terms of rankings. Stronger teams like Portugal, England and Wales were in Pot 1 while mid-level sides like Hungary, Poland and Northern Ireland were in Pot 3.

Each group has one team from each pot.

Group C has Norway as its Pot 4 representative while Slovenia holds that spot in Group F, for example.

The key is to ensure that there is a variety of teams in each group.

  • Who Plays?

The five or six teams in each group will play one another twice.

Therefore, each team has eight or ten matches.

The winner will be based on who has the most standings points in each group.

The goal differential and the goals for totals will be used as tiebreakers.

  • What About Second Place?

All nine second-place teams will be eligible to get into the second round of qualification.

However, the weakest of those second-place teams will be eliminated; this is based on the highest number of points a team has, the goal difference and who scores the most goals.

The second round will entail a play-off system.

Four of the eight teams that are in the second round will win spots in the World Cup based on their records against each other.

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  • When Is This Happening?

The 2018 European World Cup qualification stage will take place after UEFA Euro 2016 ends.

The qualification starts on 4 September 2016 with the first round ending on 10 October 2017.

The second round will go from 9-14 November 2017.