Russia to be FIFA's lowest-ranked team at World Cup

Hosts Russia will begin next week's World Cup as the lowest ranked of the 32 teams participating in the tournament, after FIFA released its monthly world rankings on Thursday.

Russia, who suffered a 1-0 loss to Austria in a friendly last month, slipped four places to 70th in the standings, behind Saudi Arabia at 67th.

The two lowest-ranked teams will kick off the World Cup at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14.

World Cup holders Germany stay top after the latest round of international fixtures, while the rest of the top seven -- Brazil, Belgium, Portugal,Argentina, Switzerland and France -- remained unchanged from May's rankings.

Poland's recent form has helped them climb into eighth position at the expense of Spain, who have dropped to 10th behind Chile, while Uruguay have climbed to 14th. England and Denmark are joint 12th.

Among CONCACAF sides, Mexico are 15th as they prepare to contest the World Cup with Costa Rica up to 23rd and Panama stable at 55th. The United States, which failed to qualify, fell onespot to 25th.

Syria (73), Lebanon (79), Kosovo (141) and Gibraltar (195) achieved their best ever positions in the rankings.