Gareth Southgate and his men are on the brink of finding out just who exactly stands in their way ahead of the biggest tournament in world football, with the World Cup group draw conducted today. The Three Lions booked their place at the Qatar tournament after a near flawless qualifying campaign, and enter the competition as hot favourites to be crowned champions of world football, for the first time since 1966.
Following Thursday’s release of the rankings and tournament seedings, England have been placed in pot one ahead of the draw. The draw for the group stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place at 5pm (BST) on Friday, April 1 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center in Doha, Qatar.
At the time of today’s draw, only 29 of the 32 nations involved will be known, with two inter-confederation play-offs set to be held in June, along with Scotland’s postponed UEFA play-off semi-final with Ukraine, before the winner will face Gareth Bale and Wales in the final the same month.
The Qatar World Cup will be the last of its kind, in terms of a familiar format which most football fans are used to. It is to be the final edition of the 32-team format, before the World Cup officially expands to 48 in 2026, meaning that the usual structure of eight groups of four teams will be used in Qatar.
The pots for the draw will be decided by the current FIFA rankings, with the hosts and the top seven ranked teams – including England – going into Pot A.
Pot B will contain the next eight best ranked teams, and this theme will continue for Pot C and Pot D, although Pot D will include the two winners of the inter-confederation play-offs, along with the winner of the remaining UEFA play-off final. Europe is the only continent in which more than one of its nations can be drawn in the same group, with a maximum of two allowed.
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