England set for top seeding at World Cup

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The Independent Football

England look certain to be rewarded for their immaculate qualification for the World Cup with a top seeding in December's draw.

Last night's 5-1 hammering of Croatia confirmed England's place in the final 32, with the groups due to be determined in Cape Town on 4 December.

As hosts, South Africa know they are guaranteed a top seeding, with the other seven set to be allocated through a system that has tended to include both results from previous tournaments, as well as taking into account current Fifa rankings.

Given England reached the last two World Cup quarter-finals and are were also ranked seventh in the latest Fifa list published in September, Fabio Capello can look forward to a position among the top eight.

Brazil and Spain will also get a top seeding among the sides that have already qualified, while Italy, Germany, Argentina and France would probably also get one if they make it through.

If the last couple of tournaments are anything to go by, seedings underneath pot one will be determined on geographical grounds to avoid groups being packed with European teams.