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Australia & South Korea are top two seeds while Japan drop to third ahead of World Cup qualifying draw

Australia & South Korea are top two seeds while Japan drop to third ahead of World Cup qualifying draw

Clive Rose

The 2011 Asian Cup winners are not among the top two ahead of Friday's crucial draw after dropping to 33rd in the world, courtesy of last Wednesday's loss to Uzbekistan

The release of the latest Fifa rankings on Wednesday confirmed that Australia and South Korea will be the top two seeds for Friday's Asian Football Confederation 2014 World Cup qualifying draw.

South Korea overtook Japan in the Fifa rankings and moved up to 30th following their 2-0 victory over Kuwait in last Wednesday's qualifiers, while the Samurai Blue's home loss to Uzbekistan has seen them drop to 33rd.

Australia, in 20th spot, are the highest-ranked AFC nation following their 4-2 win over Saudi Arabia.

Ten teams remain in contention to qualify for Brazil 2014 through Asia, with those sides to be divided into two groups of five. The top two sides automatically qualify, while the third-placed teams meet in a play-off before the winner progresses to an inter-continental qualifier.

For the draw, the Socceroos and South Korea make up Pot 1, while Japan are alongside Iran in Pot 2, with 2011 Asian Cup semi-finalists Uzbekistan and 2007 Asian champions Iraq in Pot 3.

Pot 4 pairs West Asian pair Jordan and Qatar together, while Pot 5 consists of Oman and surprise qualifiers Lebanon.

The draw, which takes place in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, will begin with Pot 2, then Pot 5, 4, 3 and finally 1.

The AFC's fourth-round World Cup qualifiers begin on June 3 this year.

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