Zambia's gain comes after a fruitful 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B qualifying campaign in September when they recorded back-to-back victories over Algeria who have dropped out of the FIFA top 50 as a effect.
On Wednesday FIFA announced it has approved a new procedure for the 2018 World Cup draw utilizes the FIFA World Rankings to seed teams.
That ranking is the highest-ever for Syria.
It comes after the Caltex Socceroos had a win (2-1 over Thailand) and a loss (2-0 to Japan) in their most recent FIFA World Cup qualifiers. This was a response to feedback that it is possible for teams to boost their rankings by avoiding friendlies, particularly friendlies they might lose, which is a clear disincentive to play good worldwide opposition.
Italy are now 17th in the Federation Internationale de Football Association ranking which would land them in Pot 3 if all the teams above them qualify.
Meanwhile, Germany displaced Brazil to take the top spot.
World champions Germany leapfrogged Brazil at the top of the rankings while European Champions Portugal moved into third place.