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Stage Set For FWCQ R3 Draw On Saturday
Jul 29, 2011 11:02:57 AM

Australia, Korea Republic and Japan go into Saturday's 2014 FIFA World Cup draw as favourites to snatch three of Asia's four automatic spots for the finals, leaving 17 rivals battling over the scraps.

Forty-three countries from the continent started out on the road to Brazil, but after the conclusion of the second round of qualifiers this week, only 20 are left.

That is made up of the 15 winners of those two-legged ties as well as Australia, South Korea, Japan, Bahrain and DPR Korea, the region's leading sides from the 2010 qualifying competition.

Saturday's draw will see the 20 teams drawn into five round-robin, home-and-away groups of four teams each, with the five group winners and five runners-up advance to the next round.

That fourth round will have 10 teams in two round-robin, home-and-away groups of five teams each with the top two in each pool heading for the finals while the two third-placed sides play-off with the winner then facing a continental play-off.

Making up Saturday's draw will be Iran, Iraq, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Lebanon, Uzbekistan, Syria, China, Kuwait, Oman and Jordan.

UAE, Iraq and Indonesia (who competed as the Dutch East Indies) are aiming to add to their solitary World Cup campaigns of 1990, 1986 and 1934 respectively.
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