Durban is gearing up ahead of Sunday's World Cup draw
Durban, South Africa
Sunday, 25 November
BBC coverage: BBCi, BBC Sport website and BBC 5 Live. Video streaming on BBC Sport website (UK users only)
A total of 170 countries will go into Sunday's draw in Durban for the 2010 World Cup preliminary competition.
The teams are chasing 31 places at the World Cup finals, with only hosts South Africa guaranteed a spot at the tournament in 30 months' time.
Even 2006 champions Italy must qualify to defend their title.
There will be 861 qualifying matches to determine the line-up for the 2010 World Cup finals, lasting more than 800 days and finishing in November 2009.
A total of 205 countries entered the preliminaries but five have since withdrawn.
A further 30 were eliminated in pre-preliminary matches played in Africa, Asia and Oceania.
The draw comes four months after the 2010 preliminary campaign kicked off in Samoa in August.
The event will see Asia's groups drawn first, followed by those in the Concacaf region, made up of countries in central and north America and the Caribbean.
Holders Italy will be chasing one of 13 European spots at the finals
About an hour into the draw, Europe will be put in the spotlight when its 53 teams are divided into nine qualifying groups - eight of six teams and one of five.
The winners of each European group will qualify for the World Cup finals and the best eight runners-up play off for four more qualifying berths.
The evening rounds off with the draw for the African Zone, where 48 teams will be placed into 12 groups of four teams.
There is no draw for South America and the Oceania region, who have already started their preliminary competition.
Europe has the biggest representation at the World Cup finals with 13 places
Africa will have three rounds of qualification, the first of which is already completed.
Asia has five stages of qualification, two of which have been completed
All Concacaf's 35 members have entered four stages of qualifying, the first two of which will be played on a knockout basis.
The 10 South American countries began their super group in October.
Oceania is already deep into its qualifying campaign with a group competition involving Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Vanuatu.
Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke said the seeding for qualifying groups in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Concacaf region had been determined.
However, he added that it needed to be ratified by the competition's organising committee, which meets in Durban on Saturday, before being announced.
The Fifa rankings are being used to determine the seeds for the various continental qualification groups.
Seedings for European draw:
Italy, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Croatia, Greece.
ENGLAND, Romania, SCOTLAND, Turkey, Bulgaria, Russia, Poland, Sweden, Israel.
Norway, Ukraine, Serbia, Denmark, NORTHERN IRELAND, Republic of Ireland, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium.
Slovakia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Moldova, WALES, FYR Macedonia, Belarus, Lithuania, Cyprus.
Georgia, Albania, Slovenia, Latvia, Iceland, Armenia, Austria, Kazakhastan, Azerbaijan.
Liechenstein, Estonia, Malta, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Andorra, Faroe Islands, San Marino.