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World Cup 2022 groups: England drawn with Poland, Belgium will face Wales in European qualifiers

17:59 GMT 07/12/2020
Kane De Bruyne Lewandowski
Holders France have been paired with Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina in Group D

England have been drawn alongside Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra and San Marino in Group I as UEFA completed the draw for World Cup qualifying on Monday.

Qualifying will begin on March 24-25 of 2021 with the total of 10 matchdays being played between then and the middle of November.

The world’s top-ranked side Belgium were paired with Wales, Czech Republic, Belarus and Estonia in Group E as they look to return to the World Cup after defeating England in the third-place game in 2018.

The 2018 World Cup winners France, meanwhile, will have to combat Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kazakhstan in Group D while runners-up Croatia were drawn with Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta.

The seedings were based on FIFA world rankings on November 26, with Belgium, France, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands the top-ranked sides, making them unable to be drawn together.

The ten group winners qualify automatically for the finals which will take place in Qatar from November 21 to December 18, 2022.

Following the completion of group play, the 10 group runners-up will go into the playoffs in March 2022, where they will be joined by the two best group winners of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League that have neither qualified directly for the final tournament as European Qualifiers group winners, nor entered the play-offs already as European Qualifiers group runners-up.

The 12 teams will then be drawn into three play-off paths for one-off semifinals and a final, with the three path winners qualifying for the World Cup.

The full groups are as follows:

Group A

Portugal, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan

Group B

Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia, Kosovo

Group C

Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania

Group D

France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan

Group E

Belgium, Wales, Czech Republic, Belarus, Estonia

Group F

Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Islands, Moldova

Group G

Netherlands, Turkey, Norway, Montenegro, Latvia, Gibraltar

Group H 

Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta

Group I

England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, San Marino 

Group J

Germany, Romania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein