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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

The Confederations Cup is well underway, leading to much talk of next year's World Cup finals.

With just 12 months until the tournament kicks off in Brazil, qualification competitions around the world are reaching critical stages.

Four sides have already joined the host nation in inking their names into the final list of 32 teams.

But which Everton players could be heading to South America next summer?

Everton trio Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Leon Osman still have work to do if England are to qualify for the tournament. The Three Lions currently sit two points behind Montenegro in Group H with four games remaining. Roy Hodgson's men do have a game in hand but Ukraine and Poland are following closely behind. England's penultimate game at home to Montenegro in October looks like it could decide their destiny.

Mirallas Fellaini

In Group A it looks increasingly likely that Belgium will qualify for their first major tournament in 12 years. Both Marouane Fellaini and Kevin Mirallas have played a crucial part in the qualifiers which have seen Marc Wilmots' team take a three point lead over Croatia. The Red Devils are already assured a play-off place and their game in Croatia in October could see them celebrate qualification.

In the same group, the Croats' World Cup dreams remain in the balance, though a point in their next fixture against Serbia in September would see them guarantee a play-off place. Their aforementioned penultimate game against leaders Belgium will decide whether they can still top the group or have to settle for second. Striker Nikica Jelavic remains a squad regular but has scored only once.

John Heitinga and the Netherlands also look on course for qualification after six straight wins in Group D. The defender has played a key role in the group stages so far with the Dutch only conceding two goals. Holland currently lead Hungary by seven points with four games left meaning qualification looks a mere formality.

Seamus Coleman

The Republic of Ireland appear to be in a three-way battle for a play-off place if they are to qualify for the World Cup. Giovanni Trapattoni's side are level on points with Austria and Sweden and currently trail leaders Germany by five points. Seamus Coleman has so far played a key role in qualifying and Darron Gibson and Shane Duffy have been in squads under the veteran Italian.

Greece could be set to qualify for their fourth major tournament in a row but they will need to overturn the three point lead Bosnia-Herzegovina currently hold over them. Apostolos Vellios is a regular for the Under-21 side but is yet to force his way into the senior reckoning with four games remaining.

One player who will not be taking part in the World Cup is Steven Naismith after Scotland's hopes were ended back in March. The Tartan Army have only won one of their seven games and currently sit second bottom in their group.

The United States are in a good position to qualify for their seventh World Cup in a row. USA are top of the CONCACAF qualifying group by two points. Three teams from the six-strong group will head to Brazil so Tim Howard is well-placed with just four games left.

Bryan Oviedo

In the same group, Costa Rica are two points behind the USA and so will also have high hopes of featuring next summer. Bryan Oviedo has missed out on selection of late but will be looking to play his part in the remaining fixtures.

Victor Anichebe may have ruled himself out of international football for the time being but his Nigeria side remain on course to qualify for the World Cup. The Super Eagles must beat Malawi in September to book a place in a play-off for a finals berth.

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