Cote d’Ivoire have maintained their position as the best-placed African country in the latest FIFA World Rankings released on Wednesday.
Egypt regained second place on the list from free-falling Ghana who drop to third, with Burkina Faso and Nigeria making up the top five.
Senegal, South Africa, Cameroon, Algeria and Tunisia round out the Top 10 and will go into Saturday’s draw as top seeds in their respective groups.
It ensures that none of the above will be pooled together in the group stages of qualifying, though there are a few big names that all will be hoping to avoid, the likes of Morocco, Mali, Guinea and Gabon.
Only the top teams in each group will advance to the final stage of qualifying which will involve a two-legged play-off tie to determine Africa’s five representatives.
But before all that, the 24 lowest ranked sides in Africa must compete just to get into the group stages.
They will play-off in a two-legged tie, with the 12 better ranked sides, namely Gambia, Mozambique, Congo DR, Togo, Liberia, Tanzania, Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Namibia, Burundi being drawn against the 12 lower ranked teams.
They are Madagascar, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Swaziland, Comoros, Lesotho, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti, Mauritius, Seychelles.
Mauritania have withdrawn from the qualifiers and so will not be taking part.
These 24 sides will be drawn in a two-legged tie that will be played on November 11 and November 15 this year, with the 12 teams to qualify from those matches to join the remaining 28 teams in the draw.
The 40 sides will then be drawn into 10 groups of four sides and they will play on a home and away basis in a round-robin format that will last from June 2012 to September 2013.
The ties between the group winners will be played in October and November 2013, meaning the qualification process in its entirety is two years long, taking in 154 matches.
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