England unlikely to be seeded if they reach World Cup

Roy Hodgson's men face the prospect of playing Brazil, Spain or Germany in the group stage if they qualify for next summer's tournament
England are unlikely to be seeded if they qualify for next summer's World Cup after Fifa announced it will use October's rankings for the group-stage draw.

Roy Hodgson's men sit 17th in the world rankings and, should they top Group H by beating Montenegro and Poland at Wembley this month, would be placed in a European pot along with the other sides who are not seeded.

The decision to use October's ranking positions as opposed to November’s - which will be released closer to the date of the draw on December 6, was made to avoid giving teams who are participating in the play-off round the possibility to better their ranking.

Pot 1 will include Brazil, who as hosts are assured a place among the seeded nations, and they will be joined by the seven other top-ranked teams.

The remaining pots two through four will be determined based on geographical categorisations, as opposed to the world rankings.

Spain, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Colombia, Belgium and Uruguay head September’s version of the official world ranking.