World Cup 2022 qualifying draw: Date, time, Pots – who England could face and how today's draw works
7th December 2020

THE ROAD to the World Cup 2022 begins.

Next up is the qualifying draw as European teams learn their fate for the big tournament in Qatar.

When is the World Cup 2022 qualifying draw?

  • The World Cup 2022 qualifying draw for European nations gets underway TODAY – Monday, December 7.
  • It all starts from 5pm GMT.
  • Fifa's HQ in Zurich, Switzerland plays host with no members of football associations in attendance because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The draw will be live streamed for FREE on

How does the draw work?

  • The 55 European teams have been split in six Pots owing to their Fifa world rankings.
  • I.e the top 10 teams from the Fifa world rankings in Pot 1 and so on.
  • There are 10 teams in Pots 1-5 and five in Pot 6.
  • The teams will then drawn from the Pots into ten groups: five groups of five teams (Groups A–E) and five groups of six teams (Groups F–J)
  • 13 teams from Europe will then qualify for the World Cup finals – 10 group winners and three from play-offs which will include the two best Nations League group winners who have not already qualified or taken up a runners-up spot.

What are the confirmed pots, and how have they been decided?

The Pots have been divided up on Fifa's current world rankings, with fourth-placed England in Pot 1.

  • 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

Who could England face?

Gareth Southgate's Three Lions are in Pot 1, meaning they will avoid the big boys like World Cup holders France.

They could face Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland as there are no restrictions for this draw.

When are the qualifying games?

The qualifying campaign starts next March and runs right up until November.

Qualifying dates

  • Matchday 1 – 24-25 March 2021
  • Matchday 2 – 27-28 March 2021
  • Matchday 3 – 30-31 March 2021
  • Matchday 4 – 1-2 September 2021
  • Matchday 5 – 4-5 September 2021
  • Matchday 6 – 7-8 September 2021
  • Matchday 7 – 8-9 October 2021
  • Matchday 8 – 11-12 October 2021
  • Matchday 9 – 11-13 November 2021
  • Matchday 10 – 14-16 November 2021

Play-off dates

  • Play-off semi finals – 24-25 March 2022
  • Play-off finals – 28-29 March 2022

When is the World Cup 2022?

For the first time, the World Cup will be played in winter in 2022 in a bid to provide a cooler climate.

The 2022 World Cup begins on November 21, 2022.

The final will take place on December 18, 2022.

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