World Cup draw: England to meet USA and Iran in Group B with Scotland or Wales clash on cards

World Cup draw: England to meet USA and Iran in Group B with Scotland or Wales clash on cards

England will face USA and Iran in Group B at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - and could yet be joined by Scotland or Wales.

Wales are seeking a first World Cup appearance since 1958 and qualified for a European playoff final with their victory over Austria last week but are waiting to play that match after the other semi-final, between Ukraine and Scotland, was postponed in the wake of Russia’s invasion. The eventual winner of that playoff pathway will join Group B.

England were among the eight top-seeded sides in Friday’s draw and were the first team pulled out after the host nation Qatar, who were always guaranteed a spot in Group A.

They could potentially have faced the likes of Germany, the Netherlands or Uruguay - all of whom were in Pot 2 - but have instead been handed what looks a favourable draw.

Gareth Southgate’s side will meet Iran in their opening game, before facing the US in a rematch of their group stage opener at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

The Three Lions will then round-off their group stage campaign against either one of their home nations rivals or Ukraine, who they thrashed 4-0 in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 last summer.

Should they qualify for the knockout stage, England will face a side from Group A, which includes Qatar, the Netherlands, Ecuador and recently crowned African champions Senegal.

Elsewhere, European giants Spain and Germany will meet in Group E, in what looks the pick of the heavyweight clashes. They are joined by Japan and the winner of the intercontinental playoff between Costa Rica and New Zealand.

Portugal and Uruguay meet in another battle of the big-hitters in Group H, which also features Ghana and South Korea.

Group G has a remarkably familiar look to it, with Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland all drawn in the same group for the second successive World Cup, Cameroon completing the quartet after their dramatic playoff win over Algeria this week.

Defending champions France have been drawn in Group D, along with Euro 2020 semi-finalists Denmark, Tunisia and the winner of the intercontinental playoff path featuring Peru, Australia and the UAE. Didier Deschamps’ side could be on course for a quarter-final meeting with England should both top their groups.

Croatia and Belgium, who were second and third respectively at the 2018 tournament in Russia, have been drawn in Group F alongside Canada and Morocco, with Group C - Argentina, Saudi, Mexico and Poland - completing the lineup.