World Cup draw simulated: England face Uruguay in tricky group, Belgium vs Netherlands


England have landed themselves in a tricky group after Express Sport simulated the 2022 World Cup draw. And elsewhere, Belgium have been drawn against the Netherlands. The real draw is set to get underway later today at around 5pm BST and will come live from the DECC venue in Doha, Qatar.

Our mock draw sees Gareth Southgate’s team face Uruguay, Senegal and Saudi Arabia in Group B of the competition as England look to improve on their semi-final finish from four years ago. Uruguay finished third in the South American World Cup qualifying table, with only Brazil and Argentina winning more matches than them. And they would prove to be difficult opponents for the Three Lions.

England came face-to-face with Uruguay at the 2014 World Cup during Roy Hodgson’s time in charge, with the South Americans winning the encounter 2-1 thanks to a brace from Luis Suarez. And Hodgson’s side failed to reach the knockout stages as they finished bottom of the group after picking up just one point.

Hodgson, remarkably, kept his job and was allowed to oversee another miserable tournament at Euro 2016 before his time at the helm came to an end. Senegal would provide England with a stern test after already showing just how dangerous they can be this year when they won the Africa Cup of Nations.

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The other pick of the matches would come in Group F between Belgium and the Netherlands and Group H between France and Croatia in a repeat of the 2018 final. Of the 32 teams set to compete at this year’s World Cup, 29 have already booked their place at the competition, which takes place between Monday, November 21 and Sunday, December 18.

England secured their place in November as they finished their qualifying campaign with eight wins and two draws. There are still eight teams battling to qualify for the tournament, with Wales set to play either Scotland or Ukraine, Australia or the United Arab Emirates set for a clash with Peru and Costa Rica preparing to face New Zealand for the final three spots.

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