England Miss Out On Seeding
England have just missed out on a place among the top seeds for next summer's World Cup despite making a considerable leap in the latest FIFA rankings.
Roy Hodgson's team qualified for the tournament this week by finishing top of their group and have jumped seven places in the rankings to 10th, but it is not enough for them to make Pot One for the finals draw on December 6.
Hosts Brazil, who are 11th in the rankings, are automatically seeded, while Spain (first), Germany (second), Argentina (third), Colombia (fourth), Belgium (fifth) and Switzerland (seventh) are also definitely in the top pot.
Uruguay (sixth) will be the other seeded side if they beat Jordan in a two-legged play-off, but if the South Americans lose, the last seeding place will go to Holland, whose ranking points total is a fraction greater than Italy's.
The latest rankings have also determined who will be seeded for the European play-offs draw, which takes place on Monday.
Pot One for that draw will feature the seeds, Portugal, Greece, Croatia and Ukraine, who will each play two legs against one of the sides from Pot Two - France, Sweden, Romania and Iceland.
Rankings leaders Spain, the reigning world champions, are the only non-movers in the top 10, while Germany have replaced Argentina in second place and Italy have fallen four positions.
Both Switzerland and England have advanced seven places to enter the top 10, while Brazil (down three places) and Croatia (down eight places) in 18th have dropped out of it.
England manager Roy Hodgson clearly does not mind if his team goes under the radar in Brazil, and will use the shock European Championship triumphs of Greece and Denmark as evidence that the team should not give up on their World Cup dream.
"It's pretty obvious we're not favourites," said Hodgson.
"The main contenders are Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Germany I guess.
"Is it possible for a European team to win in Brazil? They haven't done yet but anything is possible isn't it?
"No one thought Greece would win the Euros in Portugal (in 2004) or for Denmark to get their players off the beach in 92, but they did.
"Every year it gets that little bit harder to look beyond the favourites but I am pretty sure all the European teams will be hoping to become the first one to reverse the trend.
"We will go with the same attitude."
Source: Newcastle United Mad
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