The draw for the 2022 World Cup is almost upon us, with England eager to see who they will face in Qatar.
Gareth Southgate’s side have been seeded in the top pot of teams, which means they avoid some of the biggest hitters – however, there are still permutations that could land the Three Lions in a group of death.
Here’s everything you need to know about the World Cup draw, from how to watch it live to the countries in every pot.
What time is the World Cup 2022 draw?
The draw for World Cup 2022 is taking place on Friday 1 April, starting at 5.00pm UK time. It is being held at the Doha Exhibition & Convention Center.
You can watch the draw live on BBC One from 4.45pm until 6.00pm, when the coverage will switch to BBC Two until 6.30pm.
The broadcast is being hosted by Mark Chapman, with commentary from Jonathan Pearce, and you’ll be able to watch live online via BBC iPlayer here.
In the draw, 32 teams will be drawn into eight groups of four, with countries divided into four pots based on their position in the latest Fifa world rankings.
Which teams have qualified for World Cup 22?
Three of the World Cup’s entries will remain placeholders in the draw, due to disruption of the qualification process caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war.
Ukraine themselves remain in with a chance of making it to Qatar. Their play-off clash with Scotland has been postponed indefinitely, with the winner facing Wales for a spot at the finals.
- South Korea
- saudi arabia
North, Central American and Caribbean (CONCACAF)
Who else can still qualify?
- Scotland, Ukraine or Wales
- Australia or United Arab Emirates vs Peru
- Costa Rica vs New Zealand
How do the World Cup draw pots work?
Fifa published the latest world rankings on Thursday 31 March, with England retaining fifth place to be confirmed in the top pot of seeds. The rankings are based on results weighted over several years.
That means the Three Lions are seeded alongside Brazil, Belgium, France, Argentina, Spain, Portugal and hosts Qatar, with Holland, Germany and Croatia in pot two.
Wales are ranked 18th in the new table but will be among the lowest seeds in pot four if they make it to Qatar, as would Scotland and Ukraine. The bottom pot also contains the other two other placeholders.
Here are the pots in full for the 2022 World Cup draw:
- South Korea
- saudi arabia
- Costa Rica/New Zealand
Each team in pot one will be assigned to Groups B to H, with Qatar automatically going into Group A. They will then be assigned a number in that group to determine the order of the fixtures. Qatar will be designated as A1, and feature in the opening match on November 21.
The match schedule will be confirmed after the draw, to allow for the selection of optimal kick-off times for television and live audiences.
Who could be in England’s group?
England’s position in pot one means they avoid many big hitters, including the likes of Brazil, France and Belgium.
However, the Netherlands, Germany and Croatia could all be drawn alongside England from Pot 2.
While from the same continent generally can’t go in the same group, Europe has 13 of the 31 qualifying slots and so the teams cannot all avoid each other.
Japan, Serbia and Senegal are some of the stand-out teams in Pot 3, while England will be hoping to avoid Canada, Ghana, Cameroon or the final European qualifier from Pot 4.
Which group England are drawn in could have some impact, too, given the truncated nature of the tournament.
Landing in Group B means starting on 21 November instead of 24 November in Group G or H, resulting in theree extra rest days.
The Group G winner would have to play seven games in just 25 days to win the World Cup, and would get just two days off before their round of 16 clash.
Additional reporting from agencies