07 December 2020 20:33
The draw for 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying has been made in Zurich, plotting the path to the final tournament in Qatar. Teams will be split into ten groups of five or six (the four teams who reached the 2021 UEFA Nations League finals – Belgium, France, Italy, Spain – will be in the smaller groups). The ten group winners qualify for the World Cup. The ten group runners-up are joined by the two best group winners of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League overall ranking that have neither qualified directly for the final tournament as European Qualifiers group winners, nor entered the play-offs already as European Qualifiers group runners-up. Wales will face Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic and Estonia in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification UEFA Group E. Belgium and the Czech Republic both qualified for EURO 2020 and both were group winners in the last instalment of the Nations League.
In the 2018 World Cup, they reached the semi-finals, losing to the eventual winners France, but earned a third-placed finish after beating England. The Czech Republic qualified for EURO 2020 as the Group A runner-up, before finishing first in their Nations League group with Scotland, Israel and Slovakia. Wales have never beaten the Czechs, having drawn both in both a friendly and a EURO European Championship qualifier. Wales last played Belarus in a friendly in September 2019, in which Daniel James scored the winner. Each group winner will qualify directly for the World Cup. This means should Wales fail to qualify automatically, they will almost certainly earn a playoff spot due to them winning their Nations League group.
Northern Ireland, meanwhile, take on Italy and Switzerland and Scotland get a favourable Group F draw with Denmark and Austria, though those two teams are obviously still difficult to beat. Wales are joined by the Czech Republic while England's Pot 3 team are Hungary. Group E - Belgium, Wales, Czech Republic Group J - Germany, Romania, Iceland The Pot 2 teams 5.31pm: That previous question was obviously rhetorical. The Pot 2 teams are in and England are joined by... Wales go into Group E with the No 1 ranked team in the world Belgium.
- England can theoretically draw Wales and also one of Wales, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland - all three of whom are in Pot 3 The key dates 4.30pm: So when will the World Cup qualifiers actually take place? World Cup draw LIVE: Qatar 2022 qualifying groups to be decided as England discover fate WALES face a difficult test after being drawn against Belgium in the qualifying campaign for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Alongside Wales and Belgium in Group E are Czech Republic, Belarus, and Estonia. Wales are winless in the three games they've faced Czech Republic, drawing twice and losing once. The match against Estonia will be the first time the two nations have met competitively, but Wales have won both the friendlies that have been played. The qualifiers will be played between March and November next year. A further three places will be fought out between the 10 group runners-up and the two highest-ranked teams from the Nations League who have not already qualified or finished in a runners-up spot. The last time Wales qualified for the World Cup was 1958, where Jimmy Murphy's side made it to the knockout stages, being knocked out by Brazil in the quarter final, with a 17-year-old Pele scoring the only goal of the game. Page was in the dugout as Wales beat the Republic of Ireland and Finland to secure promotion to the top tier of the Nations League and confirm their place in pot two.