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Last Updated: Wednesday December 02 2009 12:55 GMT

England get World Cup 2010 boost

Footballs in South Africa

England's chances of winning the World Cup have been given a boost after the team was seeded for the tournament.

That means England will not have to play some of the other top nations at the World Cup until after the group stage has been completed.

The top seven teams in the world, based on their world rankings, have been seeded, along with hosts South Africa.

Those teams will all play in different groups at the tournament, so can't meet until the second round gets started.

England will find out which teams it will have to play at the World Cup when the draw is made on Friday evening in South Africa.

How did England qualify?
Steven Gerrard

The 32 teams will be split into eight groups of four teams, with one seeded team in each of them.

England's seeding means they won't have to play Brazil or Spain early in the tournament, but there are some other very good teams that may be in their group.

France, Portugal and the Ivory Coast are among the teams who could all be in England's qualifying group in Friday's draw.

The 32 teams for the 2010 World Cup are split into four pots. Each of the eight groups will contain one team from each pot.

Pot 1 (seeds): South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Holland, Italy, Germany, Argentina, England

Pot 2 (Asia, Oceania and North/Central America): Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Mexico, Honduras

Pot 3 (Africa and South America): Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria, Paraguay, Chile, Uruguay

Pot 4 (Europe): France, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, Greece, Serbia, Denmark, Slovakia