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Socceroos slip ahead of Confeds Cup draw

AAP logoAAP 24/11/2016 Ben McKay

Will it be world champions Germany, Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal or World Cup nemesis Chile?

At least one - and possibly two - of the footballing heavyweights await the Socceroos in the Confederations Cup next June, with the draw to be held early Sunday morning (AEDT).

Ange Postecoglou's side, which slipped to 48th in the latest FIFA rankings released on Friday morning (AEDT), has missed out on a seeding for the tournament, to be played in Russia next year as a precursor to the World Cup.

The Confederations Cup brings together the six most recent continental champions, with the World Cup holders and next host of the world's biggest sporting event.

It means Australia will face two sides from Pot A - hosts Russia, Germany, Chile and Portugal - and one side from Pot B - Mexico, New Zealand and the as-yet-unknown African champions.

A nightmare draw would see Mile Jedinak and co face Germany, Chile and Mexico.

Portugal, Russia and New Zealand would represent a softer draw, but in any scenario the Socceroos will need to be fully-firing to reach the semi-finals.

Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan and 2016 Winter Olympic hosts Sochi are the venues for the tournament, where a FFA delegation is scouting venues to assist with the Socceroos' preparations.

Postecoglou will attend the draw in Kazan ahead of Australia's fourth appearance at the little-known but high-prestige event.

The Socceroos' best performance came in the 1997 tournament, when coach Terry Venables and captain Alex Tobin led Australia to a second-place finish behind Brazil.

World No.3 Germany will be favourites for the event, with world No.4 Chile and No.8 Portugal the top-ten FIFA-ranked sides participating.

World No.1 Argentina and second-placed Brazil aren't in Russia, with Chile winning the last two Copa Americas.

Argentina continues to lead allcomers despite a 3-0 world qualifying loss to Brazil this month.

The participation of Mexico (world No.18), Russia (55) and New Zealand (110) belies their FIFA rankings.

Iran leads Asian teams at No.30 in the November rankings update.

Australia had been ranked 40th but have paid the price the price after playing out draws in three World Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia (2-2), Japan (1-1) and lowly Thailand (2-2).

TOP 20 FIFA RANKINGS (last month's rankings in brackets):

1. Argentina (1)

2. Brazil (3)

3. Germany (2)

4. Chile (6)

5. Belgium (4)

6. Colombia (5)

7. France (7)

8. Portugal (8)

9. Uruguay (9)

10. Spain (10)

11. Switzerland (14)

12. Wales (11)

13. England (12)

14. Croatia (16)

15. Poland (15)

16. Italy (13)

17. Costa Rica (18)

18. Mexico (17)

19. Peru (23)

20. Ecuador (19)

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