World Cup Russia 2018


Wales and Northern Ireland rise in FIFA World Rankings

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The latest Fifa World Rankings have been announced and it makes happy reading for Wales.

Having beaten Andorra away in their first Euro 2016 qualifier, thanks to two Gareth Bale strikes, Wales have risen 12 places from 41st and now sit joint 29th with Scotland.

Manager Chris Coleman will be happy to see his side climb up the rankings as he leads the nation in their hope of qualifying for a first tournament since 1976.

The competition, that takes place in France, offers their best chance of qualification as the top two sides in the group now advance.

In a group of Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Cyprus and Andorra, Wales will be hopeful of finishing in the top two, or at least taking the third place play-off spot.

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Northern Ireland heading north

Northern Ireland were the highest movers of the home nations as they rose 24 spots to 71st with an away win against Hungary.

The victory was their first away win in four years, as they begun their qualifying campaign in the hope of reaching their first tournament since the 1986 World Cup.

They now sit nine places below the Republic of Ireland, who rose four spots.

England rise after away win

Following their 2-0 away win in Switzerland, England have moved up two spots to 18th.

After falling to their lowest ranking since May 1996 after a disastrous World Cup campaign, the Three Lions will be looking for a drastic improvement.

Having passed their toughest test in Group E, many fans expect Roy Hodgson’s side to qualify without dropping a point.

Tough defeat drops Scotland

Following a spirited 2-1 defeat to World Champions Germany, Scotland have dropped to joint 29th.

Gordan Strachan will be hopeful his side can qualify for the Euro’s and the fighting spirit they showed at the Westfalenstadion will fill him with confidence as they look to make their first appearance at major tournament since France 98.

Top 10

World Cup winners Germany remain number one, with losing finalist’s Argentina staying in second.

Columbia are now third, having replaced the Netherlands, who drop to fourth.

South American nations Brazil and Uruguay occupy 6th and 7th.

With European countries Belgium, Spain, France and Switzerland occupying the other positions in the top 10.

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