The draw to determine the groups for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will be held in Moscow on Friday 1 December, starting at 18:00 local time (16:00 CET).
Gary Lineker will host the event live from Russia with the support of co-host Maria Komandnaya and eight high-profile draw assistants: France’s Laurent Blanc, England’s Gordon Banks, Brazil’s Cafu, Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro, Uruguay’s Diego Forlan, Argentina’s Diego Maradona, Spain’s Carles Puyol and Russia’s Nikita Simonyan.
Eight unbiased pairs of hands who will help determine how the 32 teams will be split into eight groups. Millions of TV viewers will watch on as the draw takes place at the State Kremlin Palace which has a capacity of 6,000.
The October 2017 FIFA World Ranking was used to allocate the teams qualified for the competition into four pots according to their ranking in descending order, after hosts Russia, who take the top seeding spot. The other top seeds are Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France.
The four pots will be emptied by drawing the eight teams they each contain one by one and placing them in the eight groups of four teams (Groups A to H). Hosts Russia will occupy the top position in Group A, while the seven other seeds will occupy the top spots in Groups B to H. The positions of all the other teams (from pots 2, 3 and 4) will be decided when they are drawn.
A ball will be drawn from the team pots and then another from the group pots to determine the position in which the team in question will play. Only UEFA, that has more teams (14) than there are groups (8) will have teams from the same confederation drawn in the same group.
You can follow live coverage of the draw here on Enrichas, starting at 16:00 CET.