England avoid big guns in group stage

ENGLAND have been named as one of the seeds for next summer's World Cup finals in Germany.

ENGLAND have been named as one of the seeds for next summer's World Cup finals in Germany.

World Cup organisers announced in Leipzig today that Sven-Goran Eriksson's side will be one of the eight top teams who will be kept apart for the group stage of the tournament.

The rest of the teams will be drawn on a geographical basis so that, for example, two African sides are not in the same group.

Hosts Germany, holders Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Italy, Spain and France are also seeded meaning England will avoid playing any of those heavyweights in the group stage of the competition.

England actually came out second behind Brazil in the system used by FIFA to determine the seedings.

The system looked at teams' record in the 2002 and 1998 finals and their world ranking over the last three years.

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The USA and Holland have both just missed out on being seeded.

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