The World Cup 2014 draw will commence on Friday from Brazil, site of next summer's global spectacle.
The 32 qualified nations have already been separated into four different pots based on the FIFA World Ranking and region. Friday's highly anticipated event will determine the eight four-team groups set to kick off action in Brazil next June.
Confirmed World Cup finals draw pots in full. pic.twitter.com/DhBQk6nWiv— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 3, 2013
The dramatic selection process represents that last major World Cup 2014 event before the opening ceremonies six months from now.
Here we'll get you ready with everything you need to know for Friday's draw.
Date: Friday, December 6, 2013
Start Time: 11 a.m. ET, 4 p.m. GMT (1 p.m. local time)
Where: Costa do Sauípe Resort in Mata de São João, Bahia, Brazil
Live Stream: ESPN3.com
What to Expect
Any nation outside of Pot 1 is going to have to overcome the odds if they are to win their group next June. And with so many threatening squads having qualified, there are sure to be several loaded groups.
Plus, with World Cup 2010 runners-up Holland having missed out on Pot 1, they're likely to wind up in a "Group of Death" with one of the top seeded squads and another dangerous unseeded European team from Pot 4. There are nine unseeded European teams in Pot 4 at the moment, but one will be selected at random to be put into Pot 2 in order to ensure that each pot contains eight nations.
One nation from each of the four pots will be drawn to form a single four-team group. The process will continue until all eight groups are complete.
Here's a look at the current makeup of the four pots:
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
Which favorite will draw the toughest group?
Group A will automatically feature host nation Brazil, but could potentially become the Group of Death with Mexico, United States, Italy, England, Portugal and other powerhouses in the mix. If one of Pot 3's most dangerous teams lands in an already loaded group, two of the world's best teams could be headed home before the knockout stage.
Chile, Ivory Coast and Ghana are Pot 3's most talented squads.
Keep in mind that whichever unseeded European team is drawn into Pot 2 before the draw will wind up in a group with one of the four South American teams from Pot 1. On top of that, no South American teams can be in the same group and no more than two European teams can occupy the same group.
With a seemingly endless amount of possibilities, all that's left to do is watch it all unfold.
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