A total of 141 teams will discover the path they must take to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia today when the Preliminary Draw takes place at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg at 18.00 local time (17.00 CET).

Russia have already qualified as hosts, and the other 52 European nations have been split into six pots based on Fifa's July rankings. Gibraltar are not involved as they are not a member of Fifa, despite being a Uefa member.

The nine top seeds in Europe will first be drawn into a group. For TV rights purposes, England, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands will be drawn into groups of six teams, as will Italy and France from pot two.

A team from each of the other four or five pots will then be drawn into each group to make up the nine groups. Games will be played from September 2016 to October 2017.

The nine group winners will progress to the finals, while the eight best runners-up will take part in play-offs in November 2017.

The FIFA confederations of Africa, Oceania, South America and Concacaf (North, Central America and the Caribbean) will also be involved.