The current frontrunners in FIFA's top-ten rankings are reigning World Champions Germany (1,631 points), followed by Brazil (1,619), Portugal (1,446), Argentina (1,445), Belgium (1,333), Poland (1,323), France (1,226), Spain (1,218), Chile (1,173) and Peru (1,160). The Russian national team plunged in the newly-published monthly ratings edition of the world's governing body of football, FIFA, to 65th place, which is a new record-low position in the ratings history for the Russian squad.
The eight teams qualified for the play-offs are will be divided into two pots.
Federation Internationale de Football Association uses its October World Ranking to decide all four seeding pots, despite nine places in the 32-team World Cup line-up still to be decided in November.
The seeded and unseeded teams will be in two different pots based on the rankings, meaning Northern Ireland and Ireland can not face each other in the two-legged contests. The order of fixtures will be determined by the draw.
The draw will take place at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on Tuesday 17 October at 14:00 (local time) and will be live streamed on FIFA.com and FIFA's YouTube channel.
How are the play-offs decided?
The team that scores the greater number of goals in both matches qualifies for Russian Federation 2018. If there is still no deciding factor at the end of normal time, then the tie will go to extra time (two periods of 15 minutes), with the away goals rule still applicable.