Of the 200-plus FIFA nations that entered 2014 World Cup qualifying three years ago, 59 remain.
Of that 59, 10 nations — including hosts Brazil — have secured passage to next summer’s finals, which return to South America for the first time since 1978 (Argentina).
Beginning Friday, qualifying questions will begin to be answered across the globe: Will England meet expectations as it gets set to host a pair of tricky do-or-die qualifiers? Will Mexico miss a World Cup for the first time since 1982? Can an African minnow dispatch a World Cup regular to book a place at next year’s 32-team tournament?
The Sun’s soccer expert, Kurtis Larson, takes a look at each FIFA confederation and where things stand heading into the final few Matchdays in each region of the world.