England have been drawn against familiar foes Poland after the European fixtures for 2022 World Cup qualifying were announced.
Poland, led by the star striker Robert Lewandowski, have faced England 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 Championship tournaments. 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.
There were also familiar ties for the other British and Irish teams. Wales face the world’s No 1-ranked team, Belgium, in Group E alongside the Czech Republic, Belarus and Estonia. Wales achieved one of their most famous victories against the Belgians when they beat them in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.
Scotland are up against Denmark, Austria, Israel, the Faroe Islands and Moldova in Group F as they seek a first World Cup qualification since 1998. The Scots lost against Israel in a Nations League match last month after they had beaten Serbia on penalties in their European Championship play-off.
2022 World Cup qualifying draw for Uefa nations
Group A: Portugal, Serbia, Rep of Ireland, Luxembourg, AzerbaijanGroup B: Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia, KosovoGroup C: Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, LithuaniaGroup D: France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, KazakhstanGroup E: Belgium, Wales, Czech Republic, Belarus, EstoniaGroup F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Islands, MoldovaGroup G: Netherlands, Turkey, Norway, Montenegro, Latvia, GibraltarGroup H: Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus, MaltaGroup I: England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, San MarinoGroup J: Germany, Romania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein
Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have been placed in five-team groups. The Republic face the reigning European champions, Portugal, as well as Serbia, Luxembourg and Azerbaijan in Group A, while Northern Ireland face a tough group against Italy, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Lithuania.
The Republic faced Portugal in qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, but their most recent match against them was a 5-1 friendly defeat just before the 2014 finals.
The dates for the first set of qualification will take place before next year’s European Championship:
Matchday 1: 24–25 March 2021Matchday 2: 27–28 March 2021Matchday 3: 30–31 March 2021