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The four best third-placed teams from the six groups advance to the knockout stage along with the six group winners and six runners-up.
The Guardian's complete guide to all 736 players at the 2018 World Cup
The complete guide to all the stadiums
We've got a month until the World Cup! So exciting!
Anyway for some reason the BBC suddenly posted news about Japan's squad because Shunsuke Nakamura (the ex-Celtic player) has been recalled.
However the best news is that Kawaguchi is back in the squad as third choice goalie! He's a total legend. A chirpy little Japanese shot stopping legend:
My local team is Nagoya Grampus and we've got two players in the squad but one is Tulio who hasn't had the best couple of years.
Is Jesus (Kennedy) in the Australian squad? He's Nagoya's big lanky striker who looks useless for 89 minutes and then bundles in a header in the last minute pretty much every game.
Anyway, Japan are annoying me because their style at ANY kind of football is to try to dribble the ball into the net (a bit like Arsenal but less successful) instead of one person just deciding to let rip from around the box. If they actually shot from 16-25 yards from time to time they'd actually be pretty decent.
It may seem early but, bo-lieve it or not, the qualifying campaigns for certain AFC teams begin today. I'd completely forgotten about it, until I read this article on the BBC, explaining how a 'living God' was cheering on Bhutan in their opening game.
The 12 lowest ranked sides contest a two legged play off to see who gets into Round 2.
Some of the first leg games have already finished, including a shock win for Bhutan (the only team in the current FIFA World rankings to have zero points):
Timor-Leste 4 - 1 Mongolia
Cambodia 3 - 0 Macau
Sri Lanka 0 - 1 Bhutan
The games still to play/finish are:
India - Nepal
Yemen - Pakistan
Chinese Taipei - Brunei Draussalam
The second legs are due to be played on Tuesday next week.
As for the other qualifying zones, CONCACAF begin later this month (23rd), and the CAF and CONMEBOL begin in October. UEFA are yet to reveal the date of their start. OFC are using the OFC Nations Cup next year as their qualification process.
EDIT: We should so adopt a team in each zone as EWB's underdog team!
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