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World Cup 2018 qualifying draw takes place today in St. Petersburg

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Baku, July 25, AZERTAC

The draw for the 2018 World Cup qualification campaign takes place in St Petersburg on July 25, according to the BBC.

The 52 European countries will be split into seven groups of six teams and two groups of five teams.

England, along with France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Holland, will be in a group of six teams at the request of UEFA in order to maximize television income.

Russia have already qualified as hosts, and the other 52 member nations have been split into six pots based on FIFA's July rankings. Gibraltar are not involved as they are not a member of FIFA, despite being a UEFA member.

The nine top seeds in Europe - including Wales and England - will first be drawn into a group. For TV rights purposes, England, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands will be drawn into groups of six teams, as will Italy and France from pot two.

A team from each of the other four or five pots will then be drawn into each group to make up the nine groups. Games will be played from September 2016 to October 2017.

The nine group winners will progress to the finals, while the eight best runners-up will take part in play-offs in November 2017.

The FIFA confederations of Africa, Oceania, South America and Concacaf (North, Central America and the Caribbean) will also be involved.

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