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England to face Poland, Cyprus play Russia in World Cup qualifying

Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 European Qualifying Draw
epa08868644 A handout photo made available by FIFA of the World Cup Trophy during the European qualifying draw for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in Zurich, Switzerland, 07 December 2020. EPA-EFE/Kurt Schorrer / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

England face familiar qualifying foes Poland on the road to the Qatar World Cup in 2022.

The Poles, whose star striker Robert Lewandowski has arguably been the best player in the world in 2020, have faced the Three Lions in qualifying for the 1974, 1990, 1994, 2006 and 2014 World Cups, as well as taking on England in the finals in Mexico in 1986.

England and Poland also met in qualifying for the 1992 and 2000 European Championships.

Gareth Southgate’s men have also been drawn against Hungary, Albania, Andorra and San Marino in matches which will be played between March and November next year.

World champions France were handed an apparently comfortable draw when they were placed with Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia and Kazakhstan in European Group D.

The French recently beat Ukraine 7-1 in a friendly although their opponents were weakened by Covid-19 related absences.

Cyprus meanwhile have been drawn in Group H, and will face Russia, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta

Italy must face Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria and Lithuania in Group C.

The winners of the 10 groups qualify directly, while the 10 runners-up go into a play-off system along with two teams from the Nations League. Three of those 12 teams also qualify.

FIFA 2022 Qatar World Cup draw:

Group A: Portugal, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan

Group B: Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia, Kosovo

Group C: Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania

Group D: France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia, Kazakhstan

Group E: Belgium, Wales, Czech Republic, Belarus, Estonia

Group F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Islands, Moldova

Group G: Netherlands, Turkey, Norway, Montenegro, Latvia, Gibraltar

Group H: Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta

Group I: England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, San Marino

Group J: Germany, Romania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein

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