Placed in Group B with Iran, USA and either Scotland, Wales or Ukraine, England will be happy with how the draw for the 2022 World Cup turned out. Ecuador meet hosts Qatar in the opening match on November 21, while Germany and Spain have been pooled together in Group E. There is a mouth-watering clash between Uruguay and Ghana, with memories of Luis Suarez’s infamous handball in 2010 resurfacing.
Former England international and Manchester United defender Gary Neville believes USA will be Gareth Southgate’s toughest opponents in the group stage in Qatar.
USA boss Gregg Berhalter to BBC Sport: “We think it’s a good group. Every opponent in the World Cup is difficult.
“With England it’s an exciting match-up, Iran are a diverse opponent who did well in qualifying and then we’ll have to wait to see our third opponent.
“Overall I’m pleased with the group and excited to get started.”
“USA and Iran are teams we’ve not played for a while and the third is an unknown but throws up a possible British derby,” Gareth Southgate told the BBC.
“We’ve got to get out of the group. Out first objective is to get out of the group and then we build from there.
“In this situation all of our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, so when that tie is played out is irrelevant really.
“When you’re seeded you get the advantage of missing out on those big six or seven teams. Most of the first seeds would be pleased with the group they get. There are some highly ranked teams in pot two. The USA are an interesting one. They’ve got some very good players and we know what they could be capable of, so that one in particular is an intriguing one.”
Speaking on BBC, former England captain Alan Shearer is “pleased” Scotland, Wales or Ukraine are in England’s group. “It adds that little bit more excitement”, he says. Also feels Gareth Southgate will be delighted with the draw.
England will play Iran in their Group B opener on Monday, November 21, followed by the USA on November 25 and either Wales, Scotland or Ukraine on Tuesday, November 29.
Gareth Southgate will be quietly pleased with this draw, but a mouth-watering prospect lies in wait with the potential for a British derby against either Wales or Scotland in the final group game.
Group A – Qatar, Senegal, Netherlands, Ecuador
Group B – England, USA, Iran, Wales/Scotland/Ukraine
Group C – Argentina, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia
Group D – France, Denmark, Tunisia, Australia/UAE/Peru
Group E – Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica/New Zealand
Group F – Belgium, Croatia, Morocco, Canada
Group G – Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Cameroon
Group H – Portugal, Ghana,Uruguay,South Korea,