World Cup 2022 qualification: where each group stands and how England can qualify

·4-min read
World Cup 2022 qualification: where each group stands and how England can qualify
World Cup 2022 qualification: where each group stands and how England can qualify

Germany and Denmark have become the first European teams to qualify for the World Cup. As far as home nations are concerned, England's draw with Hungary leaves them needing four points in their final two international fixtures to guarantee a spot. Wales and Scotland, meanwhile, remain firmly on track for the play-offs.

After a night which ended hopes of Northern Ireland's qualification, here is how each group stands for the run-in:

Who qualifies from Europe?

A total of 13 teams Europe feature at next year's World Cup - the top teams in each group, with a further three through play-offs. Under a complicated system, 10 group runners-up fight for those three places in a knock out with the two highest-ranked teams from the Nations League who have not already qualified or finished second in a group.

Group A

Having taken just five points from their opening six games, the Republic of Ireland are doomed. The group winner will be from the current top two of Portugal and Serbia, who both easily brushed aside Luxembourg and Azerbaijan respectively on Tuesday.

Group B

Sweden's 2-0 win over Greece helped them leapfrog Spain on Tuesday night. The Greeks, four points off second place, are also hoping for a miracle to seal a play-off place in their final two games.

Group C

It's all over for Northern Ireland after 2-1 defeat in Bulgaria left them nine points adrift of second place. Italy tasted defeat for the first time in 38 matches after Spain claimed a 2-1 win in their Nations League semi-final, but the Euro 2020 champions remain unbeaten in World Cup qualifiers, and are on equal points, with two games remaining.

Group D

Ukraine's 1-1 draw with Bosnia failed to turn up the heat for France, who have been relatively underwhelming by dropping points in three games. The former Soviet state's faint hopes of overhauling the pool leaders would require France to lose their remaining two matches. Finland, a point behind second, and Bosnia, two points behind second, still have play-off hopes.

Group E

Wales are firmly in the hunt for a play-off place - victory at home to Belarus next month would take them clear of Czech Republic in second place. Belgium are on the brink of qualifying in November, having dropped just two points in their opening six matches.

World Cup 2022 qualification: where each group stands and how England can qualify - AFP
World Cup 2022 qualification: where each group stands and how England can qualify - AFP

Group F

Denmark have qualified and Scotland have one hand on a play-off spot thanks to Lyndon Dykes becoming the first Scottish player since Colin Stein in May 1969 to score in four straight games. Both Israel and Austria remain four points adrift going into the final two matches.

Group G

Holland hold a slender two-point lead over Norway with two games to play and, if the current gap is maintained in the next match, it's a do-or-die clash between the sides in the group's final fixture. Turkey could still grab a runners-up spot in the most exciting of the qualifying groups, lying two points behind Norway with two matches left to play.

Group H

Croatia's 2-2 home draw with Slovakia leaves them trailing Russia by two points in a two-team race for the top spot. Russia have 19 points from eight games. A group winner could be decided in a fixture between the pair next month.

Group I

England remain four points away from guaranteeing top spot in their pool after their 1-1 draw at home to Hungary. Poland are still in the fight, three points behind, thanks to victory in Albania, who are now two points behind them. The second and third place teams can still mathematically win the group.

World Cup 2022 qualification: where each group stands and how England can qualify - GETTY IMAGES
World Cup 2022 qualification: where each group stands and how England can qualify - GETTY IMAGES

Group J

Germany crushed North Macedonia 4-0 away on Monday to become the first European nation to guarantee top spot, and qualification, with two games to spare. North Macedonia and Armenia are locked in a battle for second place. Romania need a miracle.

Which teams do you think are major contenders for the World Cup 2022? Tell us in the comments section below

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting