England have been named among the top seeds for this week's World Cup draw.
FIFA's World Cup organising committee announced the seeds based on October's FIFA world rankings.
The host country South Africa plus Brazil, Spain, Holland, Italy, Germany and Argentina were named as the other seeds.
Fabio Capello will be glad that his side will avoid the real big hitters such as Spain and Brazil but will be acutely aware that England could still end up in a tough group in Friday's draw.
There will be four pots in the draw - one containing the top seeds, pot two with countries from Asia, Oceania and north/central America, the third pot with the five other African nations and three South American countries, and a fourth pot containing the other eight European countries.
A worst-case scenario would see England drawn in a group with France or Portugal from the European pot, an Ivory Coast side boasting Didier Drogba and the USA, beaten finalists in the Confederations Cup last summer.
The best scenario would see England take on Slovenia, Algeria and North Korea.
The decision to use world rankings alone breaks with FIFA's previous formulas when they used a combination of rankings with performances in previous final tournaments.
Had they used the old formula France would have been one of the top seeds and Holland would have missed out.
Rankings alone have not been used in the past but FIFA relaunched the system with much fanfare a couple of years ago, boasting the new-look rankings were much more indicative of a country's current position in world football.
One: Argentina, Brazil, England, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain.
Two: Australia, Honduras, Japan, Korea DPR, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, USA.
Three: Algeria, Cameroon, Chile, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Paraguay, Uruguay.
Four: Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland.