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News ID: 2888
Publish Date: 17:58 - 06 December 2013
The 32 teams in next year's World Cup will be drawn into groups later - and will find out the venues for their opening games.11:20am UK, Friday 06 December 2013 England Fall In World Rankings.
England will discover today which teams they will play in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup when the draw for the tournament takes place in Brazil Sky has reported.

The event starts at 4pm UK time in the coastal town of Costa do Sauipe, some 60 miles north of Salvador, one of the host cities.

The balls for the draw will be pulled by prominent players from previous tournaments, including Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick for England when they won the 1966 final against West Germany.

Also taking part will be France’s Zinedine Zidane who took his country to victory in 1998 by scoring two goals in the final against Brazil.

The event, to be attended by 3,000 guests and journalists, will be themed along the official tournament slogan All In One Rhythm, said to represent the spirit of Brazil.

Sir Geoff Hurst

The 32 teams will be picked from four pots then arranged in eight groups of four which will decide the fixtures for the opening round.

Fifa rules state no more than two teams from Europe and no more than one team from other continents can be drawn into the same group.

As host nation, Brazil are automatically placed in Pot 1 alongside Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay and Switzerland

Pot 2 contains Chile, Ecuador, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria and Cameroon, while Pot 3 is made up of Australia, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras and United States.

England are in Pot 4, as well as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Russia.

However, under a change Fifa has made to its usual procedure, one of the nine unseeded European teams in Pot 4 will be picked at random and placed in Pot 2 before the main draw to ensure an even number of countries in each pot.

If England were selected, it would mean Roy Hodgson's men would be in the same group as a seeded South American side such as Brazil or Argentina, and would face another of the unseeded European sides, with Netherlands or Italy among the possibilities.

Workers prepare the entrance to the Costa do Sauipe resort in Sao Joao da Mata
Workers prepare the entrance to the Costa do Sauipe resort
As expected, the eight seeded teams - hosts Brazil, plus the top seven sides according to Fifa's world rankings - will be kept apart for the group stage.

The draw will be watched eagerly by millions of football fans around the world as the fixtures will decide which stadiums the teams will play in during the opening round.

Hodgson has already insisted he is more concerned about the venues his team will play at next summer, rather than the opposition.

"We will go to Brazil believing that whatever group we get we are capable of getting out of it," he said.

"Before the draw, what preoccupies me the most is where we are going to be drawn because that will have an effect on the northern European teams."

Brazil held three days of national mourning last week after two construction workers were killed when a crane at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo collapsed as it was hoisting a 500-ton structure.

Work on the stadium, which will stage the opening World Cup fixture, was due to be finished by December 31 but is now expected to be completed by February 2014.

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