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UEFA preliminary draw for FIFA World Cup 2022™: seeded teams confirmed

As excitement mounts ahead of the UEFA preliminary draw for the FIFA World Cup 2022™ that is due to take place on 7 December at 18:00 CET as a virtual event in Zurich, Belgium were today confirmed as the top-seeded team in Pot 1 following the publication of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.

The Red Devils will be joined in Pot 1 by the other top-placed European teams in the ranking: France, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

Based on the ranking, the remaining 45 UEFA member associations will be allocated as follows:

Pot 2: Switzerland, Wales, Poland, Sweden, Austria, Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey, Slovakia and Romania

Pot 3: Russia, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Czech Republic, Norway, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Greece and Finland

Pot 4: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Israel, Belarus, Georgia and Luxembourg

Pot 5: Armenia, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia and Andorra

Pot 6: Malta, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar and San Marino

The teams drawn will be allocated to a group in alphabetical order, from Group A to Group J (i.e. the first team drawn will be allocated to Group A, the second team to Group B and so forth). When a draw constraint applies or is anticipated to apply, the team drawn will be allocated to the first available group in alphabetical order as indicated by the draw constraint programme.

As Pot 6 will only contain five teams, these teams will be drawn into the sixth position in groups F to J.

All teams within a group will play each other twice in a home-and-away format between March and November 2021. The ten group winners will qualify directly for Qatar 2022, with the ten runners-up advancing to the play-offs.

Besides the ten runners-up from the group stage, the play-offs will also include the two best group winners from the UEFA Nations League 2020-2021 overall ranking that did not qualify directly for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and did not enter the play-offs as runners-up. The 12 teams will be split into three play-off paths, which will feature single-leg knockout matches in March 2022 to determine the last three European nations to book a place in Qatar.

The full draw procedures, including details on constraints, are available here.

Keep up to date with all the latest news from FIFA World Cup 2022™

England among top seeds for World Cup qualifying; could face Wales and Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland or Scotland

Gareth Southgate’s team are in the top pot of seeds, alongside the world’s number one-ranked team Belgium and reigning world champions France; Wales are in pot two, while Northern Ireland, the Republic and Scotland are all in the third pot

Friday 27 November 2020 14:13, UK

England could be drawn in a World Cup qualifying group with Wales and one of Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland or Scotland next month.

The seedings for the European section of qualification for Qatar 2022 were confirmed on Friday morning, and left open the possibility of some old rivalries being renewed.

Gareth Southgate’s team are in the top pot of seeds, alongside the world’s number one-ranked team Belgium and reigning world champions France.

Wales are in pot two, where other dangerous potential opponents for England include Poland, led by star Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.

Northern Ireland, the Republic and Scotland are all in the third pot.

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In total, 55 teams will be split into five groups of five and five groups of six when the draw takes place on December 7.

England first faced Wales all the way back in 1879, with their most recent competitive meeting coming at the finals of Euro 2016 where England won 2-1.

Also See:

  • Latest England news
  • Latest Internationals news
  • Upcoming England fixtures
  • Previous England results

They have not faced Northern Ireland since a shock defeat to them at Windsor Park in qualification for the 2006 World Cup.

England and the Republic faced each other in a friendly earlier this month, but have not been in competitive action since 1991, in qualification for the following year’s European Championship.

England and Scotland last met in a World Cup qualifier in 2017 for the last finals in Russia two years ago. They will also meet at the group stage of Euro 2020 next summer after Scotland qualified via a play-off earlier this month.

The qualifiers will be played between March and November next year.

The winners of the 10 groups will qualify automatically for the finals, which for the first time will be played in November and December of 2022 to avoid the punishing summer heat in the Middle East.

A further three places will be fought out between the 10 group runners-up and the two highest-ranked teams from the Nations League who have not already qualified or finished in a runners-up spot.

These 12 teams will be divided into three play-off paths, each featuring four countries, to determine the final three European berths.

Watch the draw for the European World Cup qualifiers on December 7, live on Sky Sports News.

World Cup qualifiers – European pot seedings

Pot 1: Belgium, France, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands.

Pot 2: Switzerland, Wales, Poland, Sweden, Austria, Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey, Slovakia, Romania.

Pot 3: Russia, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Czech Republic, Norway, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Greece, Finland.

Pot 4: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Israel, Belarus, Georgia, Luxembourg.

Pot 5: Armenia, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Andorra.

Pot 6: Malta, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, San Marino.

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Gareth Southgate’s team are in the top pot of seeds, alongside the world’s number one-ranked team Belgium and reigning world champions France; Wales are in pot two, while Northern Ireland, the Republic and Scotland are all in the third pot