<
>

World Cup 2022 draw: England face U.S., potential UK derby vs. Scotland or Wales

play
Ogden: England's World Cup draw 'awkward' (1:40)

Mark Ogden says England should progress from their group, but will face three awkward games against the USA, IR Iran and Scotland, Wales or Ukraine. (1:40)

England have been drawn with the United States, Iran and the winner of Wales' playoff match against Ukraine or Scotland in Group B at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Gareth Southgate's side will start their World Cup campaign against Iran on the opening day of the competition on Nov. 21. They will then face the U.S. on Nov. 25 and finish off the group stages with either Wales, Scotland or Ukraine on Nov. 29.

- World Cup finals bracket and fixtures schedule

If England qualify from their group, they will then play either the winner or the runner-up from Group A (Qatar, Senegal, Ecuador and Netherlands) in the round of 16.

The draw sees England face IR Iran for the first time in a World Cup, while they last played the U.S. in 2010 in the group stages and struggled to a 1-1 draw. But the draw has thrown up the tantalising possibility of an all-U.K. clash, with Wales, Scotland and Ukraine all in the mix for the final spot in Group B.

The Scotland-Ukraine playoff match has been provisionally scheduled for June, with the winner facing Wales.

"The first two teams we haven't played for quite a while and the third is a total unknown but throws up a possible British derby -- we know all about them," Southgate told the BBC. "When you're seeded, you get the advantage of missing out on the big six or seven teams.

"For most of the first seeds they would be pleased with the group they get. There are some highly ranked teams in pot two -- the U.S. is an interesting one -- I know Gregg Berhalter well and we've met a few times and had long chats. They've got some very good players and we now what they could be capable of as a nation -- that's an intriguing game."

Asked about potential round-of-16 opponents, Southgate said: "We have to get out of the group first. What we've done well is we've approached these tournaments by looking at the group, getting out of the group and then building from there."

Berhalter, the United States coach, was also pleased with the outcome. He said: "We think it's a good group -- we know every opponent in the World Cup is difficult but with England you get an exciting match up, with Iran it's a diverse opponent and they've done well in qualifying and then we'll have to wait to see who the third opponent is.

"Overall pleased with the group and excited to get started. We played Wales recently in a friendly game, we know Scotland and their history. And then with Ukraine, you're pulling for them naturally just because of everything that's going on and you want to give the people hope and spirit so it would be nice to see Ukraine pull through."

Elsewhere, hosts Qatar will face Ecuador in the opening match and will also meet Netherlands and Senegal in Group A. Trophy holders France have been drawn in Group D with Denmark, Tunisia and the winner of the playoff between Peru and the UAE or Australia.

Spain are paired with Germany in Group E alongside Japan and the winner of Costa Rica's playoff against New Zealand. Argentina are in Group C with Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia while Brazil are with Switzerland, Serbia and Cameroon in Group G. Portugal are in Group H with Uruguay, Ghana and South Korea while Belgium are in Group F with Canada, Morocco and Croatia.

Southgate, who played for England at the 1998 World Cup, is taking charge of his third tournament as manager. He led them to the World Cup semifinal stage in 2018, where they lost 2-1 to Croatia. At the delayed Euro 2020, Southgate steered England to the final, where they lost to Italy on penalties.

England were in the top pot of seeds for the draw, having qualified unbeaten. They finished top of their pool ahead of Poland, Albania, Hungary, Andorra and San Marino.

If Wales progress past the winner of the delayed Scotland-Ukraine playoff, they will feature in their first World Cup since 1958. If Scotland get through, it would end a 24-year wait for a spot in the competition, having last competed at France 1998.

GROUP A: Qatar (51), Ecuador (46), Senegal (20), Netherlands (10)

GROUP B: England (5), IR Iran (21), United States (15), Playoff Winners

GROUP C: Argentina (4), Saudi Arabia (49), Mexico (9), Poland (26)

GROUP D: France (3), Playoff Winners, Denmark (11), Tunisia (35)

GROUP E: Spain (7), Playoff Winners, Germany (12), Japan (23)

GROUP F: Belgium (2), Canada (38), Morocco (24), Croatia (16)

GROUP G: Brazil (1), Serbia (25), Switzerland (14), Cameroon (37)

GROUP H: Portugal (8), Ghana (60), Uruguay (13), South Korea (29)