Australia's worst fears were realised on Thursday night when the Socceroos were not seeded for the 2011 Asian Cup finals in Qatar in January.
The Asian Football Confederation has released the top seedings and mechanism for the draw to take place in Doha on Saturday (AEST).
The Australians are Asia's highest-ranked team according to the FIFA world rankings but the AFC has based its seeding process for Qatar 2011 entirely on results obtained at the last Asian Cup in 2007.
The Socceroos, who lost to Japan in a quarter-final penalty shootout in Hanoi, were ranked sixth in Asia and have been placed in the second pot with Japan, Iran and Uzbekistan.
The top four seeds are host Qatar and the first three place-getters in 2007: winner Iraq, beaten finalist Saudi Arabia and third-placed South Korea.
The draw that will take place at the Aspire Dome will feature 16 teams, including India and North Korea who will make history as the first teams to take part in Asia's flagship tournament as respective winners of the 2008 and 2010 AFC Challenge Cups.
The 16 teams will be divided into four round-robin groups with the top two in each group progressing to the quarter-finals.
The 2011 Asian Cup seedings:
Pot 1 (teams ranked 1-4): Qatar, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, South Korea.
Pot 2 (teams ranked 5-8): Japan, Australia, Iran, Uzbekistan.
Pot 3 (teams ranked 9-12): China, UAE, Bahrain, Jordan.
Pot 4 (teams ranked 13-16): Syria, Kuwait, India, North Korea.