FIFA have announced that they will employ a seeding system for this autumn's European Zone play-off matches ahead of next year's World Cup finals in Brazil.
World football's governing body have made the announcement earlier than four years ago, when they were severely criticised for waiting until after the eight play-off nations were known.
Regarding the 2014 finals, the eight best runners-up from the nine European groups will qualify for the four two-legged play-off ties.
FIFA's decision to use a seeding system will ensure that the four highest-ranked qualifiers will be kept apart in the draw on October 21.
England and Portugal are currently in danger of missing out on the one automatic qualifying spot in their respective groups, while France and Spain are in the same World Cup pool, which means one of them is likely to drop into the play-offs.