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Is Spain 'tournament-ready'?

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Spain miss out on World Cup draw seeding as FIFA confirms ranking

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti believes Jorge Sampaoli will employ his experience and make Argentina a force at Russia 2018.
Herculez Gomez assesses which of the qualified CONCACAF teams can make the deepest run at the World Cup.

FIFA has confirmed the seven highest-ranked nations joining hosts Russia as the top-seeded teams in the World Cup draw.

France rise one place to seventh to edge out Spain as defending champions Germany head an unchanged top six.

After a busy qualifying programme last week, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium and Poland are also top-seeded for the Dec. 1 draw in Moscow.

FIFA uses its October World Ranking to decide all four seeding pots despite nine places in the 32-team World Cup lineup still...

Chelsea's Marcos Alonso still has World Cup hopes despite Spain snub

Asier Illarramendi's superb goal led Spain past Israel and ensured their unbeaten record in qualifying.
Despite his current form with Man City, the FC crew say it made sense for Chelsea to let Kevin De Bruyne go when they did.
The FC panel look ahead at Chelsea's fixture list and examine the impact Alvaro Morata's hamstring injury may have on the team.

Marcos Alonso knows he must continue making headlines at Chelsea to boost his chances of representing Spain at the 2018 World Cup.

The left-back has had a strong start to the campaign with the Blues, scoring two goals in seven league starts.

"It would be a dream come true to play for Spain and help them do well at the World Cup next year," Alonso told Cadena Ser radio. "I've been doing the right things for some time and the news from Chelsea eventually gets there [to Spain]."

Alonso, 26, was a key...

ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

Germany, Portugal, Belgium and Spain top seeds for UEFA Nations League

Didier Deschamps applauds his France squad, saying it was not easy for Les Bleus to win their World Cup Qualifying group.

England will be in Pot 2 for the group stage draw of the 2018 UEFA Nations League draw, which takes place on Jan. 24.

Germany, Portugal, Belgium and Spain are the top seeds and cannot play each other, with France, England, Switzerland and Italy in pot 2. The final pot of League A contains Poland, Iceland, Croatia and Netherlands.

The competition, which will begin in September 2018, will run alongside qualifying for the European Championship and has been introduced to provide more competitive and...

ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

How France or Spain can be seeded at the World Cup finals for Russia 2018

France and Spain both still harbour hopes of being seeded at the World Cup finals in the Dec. 1 group-stage draw. And Wales' failure to qualify certainly gives France a bit of outside hope.

The top-seven nations to qualify, based on FIFA's October World Ranking, will join Russia as seeds. 

Guaranteed to be seeded (if they qualify) are: Russia (as hosts), Germany, Poland and Brazil (already qualified), Portugal, Belgium and Argentina.

This leaves at least one space open, and in the September...

Ahead of the World Cup, Lopetegui and Spain must get 'tournament-ready'

Last month, Sid Lowe discussed Spain's standing among the world's best international teams.
Last month, Sid Lowe discussed Spain's standing among the world's best international teams.

What exactly do you want from a team that looked flat, floundering and fractured at Euro 2016?

How about a change of coach, new players, a resounding group win, over a year since their last defeat and a thrashing of your bete noire en route to Russia?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the 2010 World Cup winners and potential 2018 champions: Spain.

Since Italy toyed with their defence of the European Championship and then ripped it from the hands of Vicente Del Bosque's men, Spain have won 11 and...