Here's when the 2018 World Cup draw is on and how you can watch it

The draw for the 2018 World Cup finals takes place in Moscow on Friday.

We have looked at some of the key questions around the draw.

When is the draw, and can I watch it live?

The draw is due to start Friday, December 1 at 3pm Irish time. Irish soccer fans can watch it live on RTÉ2 and on the RTÉ Player from 2.45pm.

How will it work?

The 32 teams will be split into eight four-team groups. Each team is in one of four pots, with their position in the FIFA world rankings for October determining which pot they occupy. The exception to that is hosts Russia, who are in Pot One.

There can be a maximum of two European sides per group, but no other confederation can have more than one team in a group, so no South American sides will go head to head in the group phase for example.

What's the line-up of the pots?

Pot 1: Russia (hosts), Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France

Pot 2: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Uruguay, Mexico, Croatia

Pot 3: Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran

Pot 4: Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia

Anything else?

Match of the Day and BT Sport football host Gary Lineker will be a familiar face as he co-presents the draw with Russian journalist Maria Komandnaya. He faced criticism for taking on the role after previously speaking out against FIFA over its various corruption scandals.

World’s biggest bell***

A post shared by Gary Lineker (@garylineker) on

What stadiums will be used during the World Cup?

Ekaterinburg (Ekaterinburg Arena)

The most easterly city hosting matches, situated at the foot of the Ural mountains, and the city where members of the royal family were executed following the October 1917 revolution. The stadium is home to FC Ural, and was initially built in 1953.

Capacity: 35,696*

Matches: Four group games.

Kaliningrad (Kaliningrad Stadium)

The most westerly city to host games. Situated on the Baltic coast, it remains an important Russian seaport. The stadium has been built for the finals, but will be home to FC Baltika Kaliningrad afterwards.

Capacity: 35,212*

Matches: Four group games.

Kazan (Kazan Arena)

Kazan is the capital of the republic of Tatarstan and is home to 1.2 million people. The stadium was built for the World University Games in 2013 and is home to local club Rubin Kazan. It was designed by the same firm of architects behind Wembley Stadium and the Emirates Stadium.

Capacity: 44,779*

Matches: Four group games, one last-16 game, one quarter-final.

Moscow (Luzhniki Stadium)

The main venue for the finals will host the first and last match. Built in the 1950s, it was used during the 1980 Olympic Games and hosts most matches played by the Russian national team and at various times has been home to city clubs Spartak, CSKA and Torpedo. Manchester United fans will remember it fondly - it was here, in driving rain, that the club won their third European title by beating Chelsea on penalties in 2008.

Capacity: 81,006*

Matches: Four group games (including opening match), one last-16 game, one semi-final, final.

Moscow (Spartak Stadium)

Home, as the name suggests, to Spartak Moscow, who despite their reputation and huge fanbase had never truly had a stadium to call their own until it was built. Opened in 2014.

Capacity: 43,298*

Matches: Four group games, one last-16 game.

Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novgorod Stadium)

Built on hills overlooking the Volga river, Nizhny Novgorod has been an important commercial city since the 19th century. One of the new constructions, it will be home to Olympiets Nizhny Novgorod once the finals are over.

Capacity: 45,331*

Matches: Four group games, one last-16 game, one quarter-final.

Rostov-on-Don (Rostov Arena)

An historic city famed for its showcasing of Cossack culture, it sits on the banks of the Don river one thousand kilometres to the south-east of Moscow. FC Rostov will move in once the tournament is finished.

Capacity: 45,145*

Matches: Four group games, one last-16 game.

St Petersburg (St Petersburg Stadium)

The old imperial capital can probably lay claim to having the secondary venue at the tournament, as the stadium hosts some big games including what could be a make-or-break second match for the hosts. It will also host three group matches at the pan-European Euro 2020 finals, as well as one quarter-final, and be the future home to Zenit St Petersburg.

Capacity: 68,134*

Matches: Four group games (including Russia's second match), one last-16 game, one semi-final, third-place play-off.

Samara (Samara Arena)

Capital of the Samara region and home to the offices of Russian state when they were evacuated from Moscow during the Second World War. The dome-shaped stadium will play host to Krylya Sovetov after the tournament.

Capacity: 44,807*

Matches: Four group games (including Russia's third and final group match), one last-16 game, one quarter-final.

Saransk (Mordovia Arena)

The capital of the Mordovia region has a population of just over 300,000. The stadium will be reduced to 25,000 capacity after the tournament, with the space being freed up for other indoor sports on the same complex. It will, though, be home to FC Mordovia.

Capacity: 44,442*

Matches: Four group games.

The mascot of the 2018 World Cup, the wolf named Zabivaka, peers out of the metro train branded for the 2018 World Cup during a ceremony in Moscow. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Sochi (Fisht Stadium)

The resort city on the edge of the Black Sea hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics, and the Fisht Stadium was purpose-built for those Games. It is due to be a training - and match - venue for the Russian national team after the 2018 finals.

Capacity: 47,700*

Matches: Four group games, one last-16 game, one quarter-final.

Volgograd (Volgograd Arena)

The city formerly known as Stalingrad, site of one of World War Two's most pivotal battles, is now an industrial hub home to one million inhabitants. The stadium is built on the site of the old Central ground and will house Rotor Volgograd once the finals are over.

Capacity: 45,568*

Matches: Four group games.

*Stadium capacities are listed on fifa.com website as anticipated gross capacities of stadiums in their finished state. Stadium official capacities during the finals will be lower than those stated.


 

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