Ireland rise to 26 in latest Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings

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Federation Internationale de Football Association uses its October World Ranking to decide all four seeding pots, despite nine places in the 32-team World Cup line-up still to be decided in November.

National teams around the globe have been playing qualifying matches to earn a place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, while Russian Federation as the host nation was guaranteed a berth in the world's main quadrennial football event.

Eleventh placed Switzerland is the highest ranked nation in the European play-offs, with Italy (15), Croatia (18) and Denmark (19) closely behind. The second pot will contain Northern Ireland (23rd), Sweden (25th), Republic of Ireland (26th) and Greece (47th), so Northern Ireland and the Republic can not play each other.

The October ranking was also used to determine the pots for the UEFA playoff round, with the top four teams based on ranking going into Pot 1, and the next four in Pot 2.

The teams the winners of the play-offs will join: Belgium, England, Germany, Poland, Russia (as hosts), Spain, Iceland, Serbia, France, Portugal, Egypt, Nigeria, Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay. The 2010 World Cup champion just misses out as the eighth-ranked team on the planet.

Who will be the team for Northern Ireland and the Republic to avoid?

The first legs will take place between November 9 and 11, with the return matches scheduled from November 12 to 14.

The main round of the global qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup has been already concluded and nine remaining vacant spots in the championship will be determined in the play-off round.

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