There are currently six stadia in England meeting Fifa standards for staging World Cup matches, according to the government's feasibility study.
The long-awaited new Wembley could be the jewel in the 2018 crown
All of them, including the new Wembley, have sufficient capacity for international games.
But if England's 2018 bid is to succeed, at least four more grounds could have to be built or expanded to meet Fifa requirements.
The next cup hosts, South Africa, have ten top class venues in place for 2010.
The six venues that are ready are:
- Wembley - England's flagship stadium can seat 90,000 fans and would host the final.
- Old Trafford - Manchester United's 76,000-seater ground staged several games during Euro 96 and could get even bigger by 2018 as rivals like Liverpool and Chelsea expand
- The Emirates Stadium - Arsenal's brand new 60,000-seater stadium has already hosted two successful international friendlies this season featuring Brazil
- St James' Park - with room for more than 50,000 and more development possible, Newcastle United's home could be a top northern choice
- City of Manchester Stadium - the 48,000-capacity venue hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games, but it could lose out if organisers limit matches to one stadium per city
- Villa Park - matches were played at the Birmingham ground during the 1966 World Cup and Euro 96. The current capacity of 48,000 could be increased by 2018.
Other venues under consideration or needing work are:
- The Stadium of Light - with space for 49,000, Sunderland's ground is one of the best, but it could lose out to old rival St James' Park if only one north east club gets the nod
- Elland Road - Leeds United's home staged matches at Euro 96.
- Anfield, Goodison Park and Stamford Bridge - all three iconic grounds look unlikely to exist in 2018, as Liverpool, Everton and Chelsea explore a move away from their traditional homes. As they stand, all three would need expansion to be included in the World Cup, but any newly developed sites would almost certainly be up to spec.