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2018 World Cup qualifying - how it works

The qualifying process for the 2018 World Cup began on March 12, 2015 with preliminary ties between the 12 lowest-ranked nations in Asia.

Chiquito Do Carmo of Timor-Leste had the honour of scoring the very first goal on the road to Russia in a 4-1 victory at home to Mongolia.

There are 31 places up for grabs, joining hosts Russia.

  

EUROPE:

13 places

• European qualifying home page

Qualifying for 2018 sees seven groups of six nations and two groups of five. 

Russia...

Postecoglou reckons A-League quality as good as most European leagues

Huddersfield midfielder Aaron Mooy
Ange Postecoglou has been in Europe to look at some of his Australian players like Huddersfield's Aaron Mooy.

Australia coach Ange Postecoglou has savaged standards of European football, declaring the A-League to be as good as many overseas leagues.

Returning from a scouting trip to name his latest World Cup qualifying squad, Postecoglou said suggested he wasn't eager to head back to watch overseas-based Australians in action.

"Watch some football from Europe. It's hard to watch. It's very poor in standard," he said.

"I'm not just talking about the UK. I've just come back from Europe and I won't mention...

James Jeggo the surprise inclusion in Australia's World Cup qualifiers squad

James Jeggo
James Jeggo made 43 appearances during his two-year stint at Adelaide, scoring two goals.

James Jeggo is the bolter in Ange Postecoglou's Socceroos squad for two World Cup qualifiers next month.

The Vienna-born midfielder, who earned a move to Austrian side Sturm Graz after stints with Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United, has a chance to win his first Socceroos cap in matches against Saudi Arabia and Japan.

Jeggo, 24, has established himself in Sturm Graz's midfield during the club's run to the top of the Austrian Bundesliga.

He is one of three changes for the squad, with Josh Risdon,...

Langerak likely to be Socceroos No. 1 ahead of WCQ squad announcement

A late Eric Botteghin strike snatched the victory for Feyenoord in their top-of-the-table clash with champions PSV Eindhoven.

Mitchell Langerak
Mitch Langerak, right, has made a fine start to the season for VfB Stuttgart in the 2.Bundesliga.

An injury to Mat Ryan looks set to hand Mitch Langerak his first Socceroos start in nearly two years.

Coach Ange Postecoglou will be forced to find a new goalkeeper when he names his 23-man squad on Tuesday for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia and Japan, with Ryan ruled out for three weeks after injuring his knee during training with Spanish club Valencia.

It is the only major change expected from the squad that comfortably accounted for Iraq and the United Arab Emirates last month...