FIFA World Cup 2018 draw: key info
In the early hours of Saturday morning (AEDT), the Caltex Socceroos will find out their group opponents at the 2018 FIFA World Cup when the draw takes place in Russia.
After the Socceroos' thrilling intercontinental win over Honduras in November, Australia and 31 other nations are heading to Russia for the greatest sporting festival on Earth next year.
Thankfully, we do not have to wait much longer for light to be shed on those finer details, with the World Cup draw – undoubtedly set to be a glitzy and glamorous event – on the horizon.
We'll have analysis all week in the lead up to the draw, but for the moment, this is what Socceroos fans need to know ahead of the big event.
When and where is the draw?
Football dignitaries and international media will converge on the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on Friday December 1 for the eagerly anticipated draw.
The ceremony is due to kick-off at 18:00 local time (2AM AEDT), with a host of familiar faces from the world of football set to be involved.
It will be televised across the world. In Australia it will be on SBS TV and app.
And also live on Optus Sport 1 from 1.50am EDT.
What is the draw format?
The 32 teams are split into four pots, with Russia and the seven highest-ranked nations in pot one, and the lowest-ranked teams in pot four.
Each group will have one team from each pot, but there will be restrictions in terms of teams from the same confederations.
There can be no more than two European nations in any one group, while there may only be a single country from each of the other confederations.
Which pot is Australia in?
The Socceroos are in Pot 4 (see below)
Who is in the draw?
Pot 1: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France.
Pot 2: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia.
Pot 3: Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran.
Pot 4: Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia.
Who will present the event?
Former England striker Gary Lineker will be joined by Russian broadcast journalist Maria Komandnaya as presenters, while trophy bearer Mirolsav Klose, Laurent Blanc, Cafu, Fabio Cannavaro, Diego Forlan and several other former stars will be assisting the draw.
Who represents the Caltex Socceroos?
FFA CEO David Gallop will be at the event as will former Socceroo Luke Casserly, who is the Head of National Performance at FFA.
When is the World Cup?
The World Cup gets started on June 14 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and will see hosts Russia face a team from pot two.
The group stage will run for exactly two weeks, with the knockout phase then beginning on June 30, two days after the final Group H contests.
The final will take place on July 15, with Luzhniki the setting once again.
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