Spain won the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and are one of the favourites along with the host nation to win the next summer's international football competition in Brazil. The two nations could face competition from Argentina, Germany and Uruguay as 32 teams fight to win the prestigious trophy.
The draw will take place at the Costa do Sauipe in the Brazilian state of Bahia, which is widely regarded as a holiday destination. It is located 76 km from Salvador.
World Cup Pots and Draw Explained
Pot 1: Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay, Switzerland
Pot 2: Chile, Ecuador, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon
Pot 3: Australia, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, United States
Pot 4: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, England, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia
Fifa rules state that no more than two European nations can be drawn into each group, and that no two countries from any other continent can be placed together.
With only four of the 13 European teams who originally qualified seeded for Friday's draw, the pots as they stand are unbalanced. The draw will begin with Fifa drawing one team from Pot 4 containing the nine other European qualifiers and placing them into Pot 2.
This is in stark contrast to the draw for the finals in 2006, where Serbia and Montenegro were placed outside of the European pot automatically due to their world ranking.
France, who were back in October - from where the main rankings are taken - the lowest ranked team of those who have since qualified, were expected to be given similar treatment but instead the final place in Pot 2 will be left to chance.
In line with the aforementioned Fifa regulations regarding the amount of nations from an individual continent being in the same group, that randomly chosen European side can only be drawn against Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay from Pot 1 to avoid three teams from Europe being from one group.
Similarly, neither Chile nor Ecuador can be drawn into the same group as that South American quartet to again ensure no two teams from any other continent, bar Europe, are in the same group. Those four teams will temporarily be placed into 'Pot X' to confirm they are separated from the other European nations.
The remainder of the draw is as with previous finals. Teams will be drawn in pot order and placed into the eight groups lettered A-H in alphabetical order and then drawn into a group position to determine the fixtures. Brazil, as hosts, will be automatically placed into position A1.
The remaining seeded teams will then be drawn followed by Pot 2 in which contains the two South American, five African and one European teams. Pot 3 of the Asian and CONCACAF qualifiers will follow and finally the eight remaining European nations.
Team Profiles (Seeded)
Manager: Luiz Felipe Scolari
World Ranking: 10º
How they qualified: Host.
Best World Cup Record: FIFA World Cup Sweden 1958, Chile 1962, Mexico 1970, USA 1994, Korea/Japan 2002 (Winners).
Manager: Vicente Del Bosque
World Ranking: 1º
How they qualified: Spain topped the group I ahead of France after winning eight games and draw just in two. They will head to Brazil as defending champions.
Best World Cup Record: FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 (Winners), FIFA U-20 World Cup Nigeria 1999 (Winners).
Manager: Joachim Low
World Ranking: 2º
How they qualified: Germany topped Group C with an unbeaten record, with nine victories from ten fixtures.
Best World Cup Record: FIFA World Cup Switzerland 1954, Germany 1974, Italy 1990 (Winners).
Manager: Alejandro Sabella
How they qualified: Argentina got a 14-match unbeaten run through the remainder of qualifying, where they finished at the top of the South American table.
Best World Cup Record: FIFA World Cup Argentina 1978, Mexico 1986 (Winners)
Manager: Jose Pekerman
World Ranking: 4º
How they qualified: Colombia took second place in the South American table, their highest ever finish since the introduction of the current qualifying system. No side in the group let in fewer goals than their 13.
Best World Cup Record: FIFA World Cup Italy 1990 (Round of 16)
Manager: Marc Wilmots
World Ranking: 11º
How they qualified: Belgium proved his potential topping Group A ahead of the likes of Croatia, Serbia and Scotland.
Manager: Ottmar Hitzfeld
World Ranking: 8º
How they qualified: Switzerland secured their place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM on the penultimate qualifying matchday -topping the Group E ahead of Iceland and Slovenia.
Best World Cup Record: FIFA World Cup Italy 1934, France 1938, Switzerland 1954 (Quarter-finals)
Manager: Oscar Washington Tabarez
World Ranking: 6º
How they qualified: They were fifth in the South American round one so they had to beat Jordan in the play-offs to secured their place in Brazil.
Best World Cup Record: FIFA World Cup Uruguay 1930 and Brazil 1950 (winners)
Best and worst scenarios for England
For England, the best case scenario would be to draw Switzerland from the first pot. The Swiss are ranked higher than the likes of Belgium and Brazil but with all due respect, do not boast a side as fluid or talented as the duo. The likes of Oscar, Ramirez, Neymar look as formidable as Eden Hazard, Marouane Fellaini, Romelu Lukaku when pitted against each other.
Pot 2 poses a tricky situation for England as the Three Lions are as likely to make the shift as any other team in Pot 4. However, in ideal circumstances, England will beat the switch and draw Algeria, who inspite of being ranked 26th in the table are a less daunting prospect than Cameroon who rank 51. The likes of Alex Song in the Cameroon team gives them some much needed experience, something which will help them on the international stage.
Pot 3 should be an easier prospect for the Three Lions with Honduras being their best bet for collecting three points. Placed 36th in the FIFA rankings, the Hondurans are placed about Australia, South Korea, Iran and Japan in the group but a lack of international exposure should give the Three Lions enough encouragement to take three crucial points from the group.
As it stands, the best possible scenario for England is
Pot 1: Switzerland
Pot 2: Algeria
Pot 3: Honduras
Pot 4: England
Pot 1 holds a serious challenge for England, with Brazil and Argentina both equally likely of giving them a tough time. However, being the host country, Brazil will look all the more daunting in front of a vociferous home crowd making them the team to avoid for the Three Lions.
Pot 3 can be a bit of a let-off for England given the quality of opponents in the other two pots. However, drawing Japan can have serious consequences for Roy Hodgson's side. The Asian nation have won their last game against a full strength Belgium side in November, having drawn 2-2 with Netherlands three days back. The likes of Shinji Kagawa have experience in the biggest stage and will be a handful if they make it to England's group.
Pot 4 hosts the likes of Portugal, Netherlands, France and Italy and England will be grateful to avoid either of the four teams in order to bolster their chances of progression. However, given the quality of the sides, it is Netherlands who look the most daunting, having the likes of Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder to up the tempo when needed. The 2010 World Cup finalists have not been at their best in the 2012 Euro Cup but were among the most consistent European teams in the qualifiers.
As it stands, the worst possible scenario for England:
Pot 1: Brazil
Pot 2: England
Pot 3: Japan
Pot 4: Netherlands
Most Exciting Scenarios for England
Luis Suarez is currently being compared to the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo after his efforts for Liverpool against Norwich. Sure, the man can score a hat-trick or two (and in this case three against one side) but how would he go against the squad representing the country he so publicly denounced last summer? The Reds have been missing from the Champions League for some years now and as the side aim to get back in the mix for top-tier European silverwear it would be great to see how the Uruguayan shows up on the world stage - against many of his teammates, and the players he comes up against every week. It will surely be a spectacle to rival some of his greatest moments in the Premier League.
England have had their fair share of rivals over the last few years; the side came up against Germany in the 2010 World Cup, they fought with France and Italy in the 2012 Euros and now as they prepare for Brazil the side will be hoping that they can take advantage of not being the favourites to take the 'dark horse' tag for the tournament. And there is certainly no darker horse in this current World Cup than Australia, who are perhaps their biggest sporting rivals across the world. While England are David, the Aussies are Goliath and should the two draw one another it will be the kind of match where previous form will count for nothing (for the record, the last time they played in 2003 Australia won 3-1 and England made 11 changes at half-time) and the supporters' banter will be as entertaining as the game itself.
If England draw Brazil many fans would be throwing in the towel immediately, but there are positives to be considered; should the Three Lions be able to face the hosts on the opening night of the tournament the pressure on the hosts would mean the game can sway either way. England are far from favourites to make it to the final stages in this tournament, while the South American outfit are expected to be in the final and should the pair meet it could be Roy Hodgson's chance to show his side are not the also-rans many have taken them for.
When England found out they were going to play Germany in 2010 fans from both countries knew just how important this game would be with the duo enjoying a bitter rivalry that spans back to wartimes. The match left the Three Lions in dismay over a ghost goal, and one that many would say was the turning point in the match as Germany romped to a 4-1 victory. A recent friendly saw both sides experimenting and resulted in a 1-0 win for the Germans but should Steven Gerrard get the chance to face the side again in a World Cup match it would be a great test of their progress over the last four years and a chance to all but forget that embarrassing day in South Africa.
A certain radio station once claimed Lionel Messi didn't have the ambition of a superstar because he wasn't willing to prove himself against Stoke on a rainy Wednesday night. Well, it might not be so rainy in Brazil but the forward will have the chance to prove just where he ranks compared to England's toughest players if Argentina are to meet the side in the group stages. Messi has yet to prove himself on the world stage and in 2010 the side lost to Germany 4-0 in the quarter final to be ousted in embarrassing style. Can England's best players stop the man who makes some of the world's best players look like armatures week in and out? Only one way to find out.
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