England to be in pot 1 and could face potential group of death with rivals Germany, AFCON champions Senegal as well as another all-British showdown with Scotland March 23, 2022 – Posted in: Soccer
The 2022 World Cup is now just months away and England are among the countries anxiously waiting to find out who they will face in the group stage.
The tournament in Qatar will be the last to follow a 32-team format before FIFA expands it to 48 teams at the 2026 edition in North America.
As such, the World Cup will once again be split into eight groups of four, with one team from each Pot, as has been the case since the last revamp in 1998.
England’s 5th placed spot in the FIFA World Rankings has meant they will be entering Pot 1 – which will include the top seven sides in the world standings plus hosts Qatar.
The Three Lions are currently being joined – and thus will avoid in the group stage – by Belgium, France, Brazil, Argentina and Spain.
The final spot in Pot 1 will go to European champions and World No. 6 side Italy if they come through their qualification play-off.
World No. 8 Portugal are also in the same path to Qatar and would be next in line for Pot 1 should they book their ticket over the Azzurri.
Should neither achieve qualification then already qualified and World No. 9 Denmark will be promoted into Pot 1 – as it stands, they’re in Pot 2.
England Potential Group of Death
Pot 1: England
Pot 2: Germany
Pot 3: Senegal
Pot 4: Scotland
Pot 2 will consist of teams 8-15 in FIFA’s rankings and unfortunately for England, some European heavyweights can still be drawn against them.
World No. 10 Netherlands have already qualified and will be in Pot 2 alongside arch-rivals Germany, who are one spot below.
Next up includes Mexico and USA, who England drew 1-1 against in the World Cup 2010 group-stages, and already qualified Switzerland.
Croatia, who lost against Gareth Southgate’s side in their Euros opener but beat them in Russia 2018, are also among the teams in Pot 2.
The 16th-23rd best-ranked qualifiers will be placed in Pot 3 featuring Uruguay – who beat England 2-1 in the 2014 World Cup group-stages.
The likes of Sweden, Colombia and an all-British showdown with Wales could be on the cards should they all qualify for Qatar.
AFCON champions Senegal could be involved as well should they successfully beat Mohamed Salah’s Egypt for the second time this year.
Finally, Pot 4 will include the FIFA sides ranked 24 to 28, with already-qualified Serbia rivalling the likes of Chile, Ukraine and Poland.
The last Pot will also feature three placeholders representing the two winners of the intercontinental play-offs and the remaining UEFA play-off winner.
This means Scotland could be the other team in Pot 4 and potentially end up facing England should they come through their play-off.
The Tartan Army were drawn against Southgate’s men in the Euros and were the only side in the competition to keep a clean sheet against them.
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