The picture is getting clearer as we look towards the 2018 World Cup. There are 11 teams who have qualified for Russia leaving 21 spots still up for grabs.
The following teams have qualified for the 2018 World Cup: Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Germany, England and Spain. By virtue of hosting the tournament, Russia automatically qualified for the World Cup.
Europe has the most qualifying spots for the World Cup. According to ESPN, Europe has 13 qualifying spots for the tournament. Africa has five spots which are all still up for grabs. Asia has four spots, CONCACAF has three spots and CONMEBOL has four positions. The final two remaining spots will be based on the playoff results of teams from CONMEBOL-OFC and CONCACAF-Asia.
The actual matchups will be determined by a World Cup draw on Friday, December 1. The teams will be divided into eight groups of four during the draw taking place at the Kremlin.
There is no shortage of close races to secure World Cup bids. In South America, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Paragua and Ecuador are all fighting for the final three positions. All seven countries have 20 or more points. In CONCACAF, the United States, Panama and Honduras are battling for the final CONCACAF spot.
Africa is divided into three groups. Tunisia and Congo are fighting for Group A. Nigeria and Zambia sit atop Group B. Ivory Coast and Morocco are leading Group C.
Tuesday, October 10 marks a big day for the 2018 World Cup as the majority of the field will be set. Europe will host their final qualifying matches at 2:45 p.m. Eastern. South America has four matches that all kick off at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. CONCACAF has three matches that start at 8 p.m. Eastern.
The 2018 World Cup kicks off in Russia on Thursday, June 14. The World Cup final is on Sunday, July 15.
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