England's attentions turn to 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying draw on Monday evening

Monday 07 Dec 2020
The European Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup will begin in March next year

England will be in Pot 1 for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying draw, which takes place in Zurich on Monday 7 December.

With the Nations League group stage now complete, attention turns to 2021 for the Three Lions, who will return to action in March with a triple-header of World Cup qualifiers.

After missing out on a place in the Nations League final four, Gareth Southgate’s side will likely be drawn in a group alongside five other countries – one nation from each of the remaining pots. 

The 55 UEFA member associations will be divided into ten groups – one half which will include five teams (groups A to E) and the other (groups F to J) consisting of six. The four Nations League semi-finalists will go into groups A to E, with one other top-seeded side also being placed there.

If drawn into a six-team group, Southgate’s side will play three qualifiers in March, before another triple-header in September after UEFA EURO 2020, rounding off with double-headers in October and November as the Three Lions look to book their spot in Qatar.

Five-team groups will not play qualifiers in October, as that is when the Nations League final four is scheduled to take place.

13 countries at the 2022 World Cup will come from Europe, with the ten group winners all qualifying automatically for the tournament. The ten runners-up will all enter the play-offs, alongside the two best UEFA Nations League group winners who do not finish in the top two of their World Cup qualifying group.

The 12 teams will be split into three paths, forming two semi-finals and a final in each.

Here are the pots in full:

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, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lithuania, Latvia, Andorra
Pot 6: Malta, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, San Marino

The draw will take place from 5pm GMT on Monday evening.

By Tom Biggs