By News Team
Last Updated: 18th November 2021
After the conclusion of the European World Cup qualifying rounds this week we take a first look to see who’s qualified for next winter’s World Cup in Qatar.
Who has qualified?
European qualifying saw 55 teams divided into 10 groups with the winners of each group gaining an automatic spot at the World Cup.
As predicted Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, and England all topped their groups.
England ended their campaign in style with a 10-0 demolition of San Marino, meaning they finished as the top scoring side in qualifying with a huge total of 39 goals from their 10 games.
There were other more surprising results as Serbia pipped Portugal to top spot in Group A, while Switzerland did the same to European Champions Italy in Group C.
2018 World Cup finalists Croatia were the final team to secure automatic qualification, after beating their nearest rivals Russia in their final group game.
What about the play-offs?
Europe have 13 qualifying places for next year’s World Cup, meaning there are still three places up for grabs.
10 runners-up in the groups enter the play-offs: Portugal, Sweden, Italy, Ukraine, Wales, Scotland, Turkey, Russia, Poland and North Macedonia.
They are joined by the two best ranked teams from the 2020/21 Nations League that haven’t qualified or finished as group runners up: Czech Republic and Austria.
The 12 teams are drawn into three streams, each with two semi-finals and a final. The winner of each final – three in total – will qualify for the World Cup.
When is the play-off draw and when are the games?
The draw for the play-offs will take place in Zurich on November 26 at 4pm, UK time.
The play-off semi-finals are set to be played on Thursday, March 24, 2022, with the individual finals the following week on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.
Which teams have qualified from other confederations?
Many qualifying campaigns in other areas of the world are yet to conclude, but several nations already look certain to take their place at the World Cup in Qatar.
In South America (CONMEBOL) the first four teams from a single group qualify, with the fifth placed team entering an intercontinental play-off. So far Brazil and Argentina look to have already secured qualification, while Ecuador occupy third position in the group. The final qualification spot looks tough to call with only four points separating fourth place and ninth place in the table.
In North America (CONCACAF) the three top teams from Round 3 gain automatic qualification, with the fourth placed entering an intercontinental play-off. Currently Canada, USA, Mexico and Panama occupy the top four spots.
In Africa (CAF) the top teams from each of ten groups face each other over two legs, with the five winners gaining World Cup qualification. Group winners are Algeria, Cameroon, DR Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia.
In Asia (AFC) two highest placed finishers from two groups will gain automatic qualification, with the third placed teams in each group facing each other for the last remaining spot. Currently Iran and South Korea top Group A, with the UAE in third place, while in Group B Saudi Arabia and Japan lead, with Australia a close third.
In Oceania (OFC) there is only one intercontinental play-off spot available for the winners. New Zealand and the Solomon Islands are current favourites to make it to the play-offs.
The only other nation to have automatically qualified is Qatar as hosts of the next winter’s World Cup.
When is the World Cup?
This World Cup is unique in that it will held in our winter due to the climate in host nation Qatar.
The tournament will begin on November 21 and run until December 18.
Due to the unusual timing the Premier League will break from the weekend of November 12 before resuming on Boxing Day 2022.
What are the latest odds?
Other famous World Cup nations include Italy at 11/1, a price that is sure to shorten if they make it through the play-off round, Argentina are also at 11/1, and the Netherlands who are a 16/1 chance to lift their first World Cup after making the final three times.