2022 World Cup: England face Lewandowski’s Poland, France given easy path

England should negotiate a tough path to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after being paired with Robert Lewandowski‘s Poland and Euro 2020 qualifiers Hungary within the European qualifying draw.

World champions France have been given a transparent path, nonetheless, with Ukraine their solely potential menace in Group D.

Norway striker Erling Haaland, in the meantime, will likely be a menace to Netherlands‘ hopes of topping Group G and qualifying for the World Cup for the primary time since reaching the semifinals at Brazil 2014.

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Solely the ten group winners are assured of a spot within the finals in November and December 2022, with three different qualification slots up for grabs in a playoff involving the ten runners-up and two greatest group winners of the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League who fail to qualify immediately.

Gareth Southgate’s England, who reached the semifinals at Russia 2018, are the highest seed with arguably essentially the most hazardous path to Qatar because of their pairing with Poland and Hungary. Poland famously denied England a spot on the 1974 World Cup with a 1-0 win at Wembley in 1973.

Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski hit 16 targets for Poland within the qualifiers for Russia 2018, and he will likely be essential as they try to assert prime spot in Group I forward of England. Albania, San Marino and Andorra make up the remainder of the six-team group.

“Poland are clearly an excellent aspect, whereas Hungary have simply been promoted to the highest division of the Nations League, so these video games specifically we all know will likely be powerful,” Southgate stated at a information convention after the draw.

“It is most likely as tough that anyone may have had, however we’re assured in our group and the way we’re enhancing.

“We aren’t naïve sufficient to suppose any of those video games will likely be walkovers. I can image video games in opposition to all these opponents which have been tough through the years for a lot of England managers.”

France will start their qualifying marketing campaign March and can anticipate to cruise by means of a five-team group that comprises Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kazakhstan.

European champions Portugal are prone to be up in opposition to Serbia for prime spot in Group A, with Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg and Azerbaijan additionally within the part. Cristiano Ronaldo, who’s chasing Ali Daei’s world file of 109 worldwide targets, has confirmed that Qatar 2022 will likely be his last match for Portugal — in the event that they qualify.

Spain, world champions in 2010, are up in opposition to Sweden, Greece, Georgia and Kosovo, with Italy aiming to make up for his or her failure to qualify in 2018 by overcoming Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria and Lithuania in Group C.

Belgium, the No. 1 group within the FIFA world rankings, face Wales, Czech Republic, Belarus and Estonia in Group E.

Group F seems to be essentially the most open group, with Denmark, Austria and Scotland prone to again their possibilities of qualification. Israel, Faroe Islands and Moldova are additionally within the group.

Netherlands face a three-way battle in Group G in opposition to Turkey and Norway, who’ve Haaland and Martin Odegaard aiming to information the Norwegians to their first World Cup since 1998. Montenegro, Latvia and Gibraltar make up the group.

Croatia are the highest seeds in Group H, forward of Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta, whereas Germany are the favourites in Group J, forward of Romania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Armenia and Liechtenstein.

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