World Cup 2018 - European teams qualified and the biggest absentees

By: Marius Hrebenciuc

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After 18 months of qualifiers in almost every corner of the globe, which included 209 national teams, the final list of qualified teams is nearly complete for next year’s World Cup finals in Russia. Feel free to check our daily tips, which will definitely cover the World Cup 2018. Follow all our World Cup Betting Tips here. 

Qualified teams

Some teams have qualified directly while others had to go through play-offs. 31 teams have already qualified for the 2018 World Cup and the last slot will be filled by the winner of Peru v New Zealand, after the first leg ended as a goalless draw.

From Europe, hosts Russia have qualified automatically and were joined by group winners England, France, Belgium, Germany, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Serbia and Spain. The European list have been completed by the play-off winners Switzerland, Croatia, Sweden and Denmark.

South America’s representatives are Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia and Peru if they managed to win their home fixture against New Zealand.

Meanwhile, the Asian qualified teams are Iran, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Australia, while New Zealand can be the only team from Oceania if they beat New Zealand in their second-leg tie on Thursday.

Africa’s representatives are Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt and Tunisia.

Big names missing out

Here are the most notable countries who failed to book their place in Russia next summer:

Italy, Chile, Netherlands, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Ecuador, Turkey, United States of America and the Czech Republic.

Italy is by far the biggest side to miss out on a ticket to Russia after they failed to score a single goal in 180 minutes of football against Sweden in their World Cup play-off tie.

World Cup 2018 missing XI

A list of star names who will be absent from next summer’s World Cup after their teams failed to qualify for the tournament.

GK: Gianluigi Buffon - Italy

RB: Antonio Valencia - Ecuador

CB: Virgil van Dijk - Netherlands

CB: Leonardo Bonucci - Italy

LB: David Alaba - Austria

CM: Naby Keita - Guinea

CM: Arturo Vidal - Chile

RW: Gareth Bale - Wales

LW: Arjen Robben - Netherlands

FW: Alexis Sanchez - Chile

FW: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - Gabon

Substitutes: Jasper Cillessen, Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), Miralem Pjanic, Edin Dzeko (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Marek Hamsik (Slovakia), Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli, Daniele De Rossi, Marco Verratti (Italy), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Armenia).

When is the World Cup group stage draw?

The World Cup finals draw will take place on Friday, 1 December in Moscow at 15:00 GMT. The teams will be seeded based on the October 2017 FIFA World rankings and the sides will be split into four pots, each containing eight teams. The hosts, Russia will be in the first pot along with the seven highest-ranked teams, with the next eight in pot two, another eight in pot three and the lowest ranked teams in pot four. The main rule is that no teams from the same confederation, with the exception of Uefa, will be drawn in the same group while only two European countries can be in any group.

Pot 1

Russia (hosts), Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France.

Pot 2

Spain, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia and Peru or Denmark.

Pot 3

Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran and Denmark or Serbia

Pot 4

Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Serbia or New Zealand.

England will definitely not play Spain as they are in the same pot, but they could play against any team from Pot 1. The easiest draw would see them in a group with Russia/Poland, Iran and Panama/Saudi Arabia.

Who are the favourites to win the World Cup 2018?

Brazil and Germany are both priced at odds 5/1 to win the tournament, followed by France at 11/2, Spain at 15/2, Argentina at 8/1, Belgium at 14/1 and England at 20/1.

About Marius Hrebenciuc

Content editor with good knowledge on football and tennis. Actually, a tennis addict who can watch games 24/7

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