Possible opponents of the Football Association in the Desert: This is what the World Cup groups in Qatar could look like

Possible opponents of the Football Association in the Sahara
This is what Qatar World Cup kits could look like

from Kevin Schulte

After hosting Qatar, Germany and Denmark were the first teams to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in the desert state. 29 tickets are still available. The participants’ domain can already be guessed at. It is possible that the German Football Association will meet a major national team in the preliminary round.

With the 12th round of South American qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup last night, the window for international matches in October is over. In Europe, Germany and Denmark were the first teams to qualify for the controversial World Championships in Qatar this week. It is likely that some major countries will join next month. Even the World Cup draw is already taking shape. Overview.

Who qualifies?

Europe: In addition to Germany and Denmark, European champions Serbia, Sweden, Italy and world champions France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia and England would have qualified directly if qualifying had already ended. For France, Belgium and England, the Qatar ticket is just a matter of form. It’s more interesting in the other groups. In the last two match days in mid-November, five of the 10 groups face head-to-head duels for qualification:

  • Portugal vs Serbia
  • Spain vs Sweden
  • Italy vs Switzerland
  • Netherlands vs Norway
  • Croatia vs Russia

Group winners can book their hotels for the final tournament in Qatar at the end of 2022. The runner-up must go to the playoffs. More on that later. ntv.de tip: Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Croatia, England, Germany (qualified directly)

South America: With six days before the end of the “Eliminatorias” – as the South American World Cup qualifiers are called – Brazil is undisputedly at the top of the table. Argentina can also book a Qatar ticket without the option to cancel. Beyond that, it will be exciting. For now, Ecuador and Colombia will qualify directly. In addition to the four direct starting positions, fifth in the table gets a chance across the playoffs – currently it will be Uruguay. ntv.de tip: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia (qualified directly)

North and Central America and the Caribbean: We didn’t even play here at halftime, only 6 days of 14 games have been played so far. Mexico, the start of the World Cup, can still look forward to the Desert World Cup. In addition, the USA and Canada have qualified for the first time since 1986. Behind the three head-to-head matches, Panama will now have a chance to play the play-offs. ntv.de tip: Mexico, USA and Canada (qualified directly)

Asia: In addition to hosting Qatar, the AFC has four World Cup staging grounds. If qualifying ends now, Iran, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Australia can travel to the World Cup. Lebanon will fight for a place in the playoffs in the two legs of the match against Oman. Japan will not participate in the World Cup finals for the first time since 1994. ntv.de tip: Iran, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Australia (qualified directly)

Africa: In Africa, it is difficult to say which five teams will qualify. In November, the pool of hopefuls will be reduced to ten teams. So far, only Senegal and Morocco have booked a ticket to the playoffs. Egypt, Tunisia and Nigeria also have good cards, Algeria and Mali should also qualify for the next round. Ivory Coast, Cameroon, South Africa, and Ghana, among others, should shiver. For the two of them, the World Cup dream will be over by next month. Tanzania, Benin and the Democratic Republic of the Congo hope to create a sensation. ntv.de tip: Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Senegal, Ivory Coast (qualified directly)

Oceania: Because of the aura effects, no games have been played, the Continental Ocean Confederation wants it to be Organizing a qualifying tournament in Qatar in March. New Zealand are the favorites, but they still have to go to the playoffs after that. Only Oceania will have a permanent place in the 48-team World Cup in 2026.

How are the qualifiers going?

The 10 runners-up in the European qualifiers will get another chance at the Desert World Cup through the playoffs. In addition, Austria, Wales or the Czech Republic are likely to participate in the qualifiers via the “Umbrella” Nations League. My colleague Stefan Ursfeld explained this in more detail. It is quite certain that three more teams from Europe will make it to the World Cup via this detour.

In addition, all other confederations – with the exception of Africa – will have an additional starting place. For now, this will be Uruguay, the fifth from South America, Panama, and the fourth from North America. In Asia, Lebanon, Oman and Japan currently have the greatest opportunities. New Zealand is the logical candidate for Oceania. Any continental representative will likely compete against him at the end of November. ntv.de tip: Switzerland, Sweden, Serbia, Ecuador and Japan (via qualifiers)

How is the final lottery going?

In April 2022, the German national team will find out who it will face in the preliminary round of the World Cup. “We will announce the exact procedure for the withdrawal either at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year,” FIFA said, at the request of ntv.de. It is very likely that the FIFA World Rankings will again be used as a criterion for ranking lottery pots. Germany should rank 14th in the world rankings. So set it to batch 2. So a big discount will be guaranteed, unless you end up in group A with the host Qatar. The pots will look like this:

  • Level 1: Qatar (host country), Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Italy, Argentina, Portugal
  • Tier Two: Spain, Mexico, Denmark, Netherlands, Uruguay, USA, Germany, Switzerland
  • Third level: Colombia, Croatia, Sweden, Senegal, Iran, Japan, Serbia, Algeria
  • Fourth level: Australia, Morocco, South Korea, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Saudi Arabia, Canada*, Ecuador*.

Countries from the same continent may not be included in a group. Europe is the exception, with a maximum of two UEFA countries per group. Since the international qualifiers will not take place until June 2022, and therefore not all qualifiers have been decided at the time of the drawing, it is likely that there will be two alternate lottery tickets in April (marked *).

What would a Germany group look like?

In the potential hammer group, the team of national coach Hansi Flick, for example, could face star Mohamed Salah against European champions and feared opponents Italy, Colombia and Egypt. With luck, Germany will face hosts Qatar, Senegal and Canada. After all: the opening defeat to Mexico, similar to the 2018 World Cup, is impossible. A new version of the defeat in front of South Korea a choice.

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