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World Cup qualifying: England in pot one after staying fourth in Fifa world rankings

England midfielder Jack Grealish (right) moves the ball away from Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans (left)
England were beaten by top-ranked side Belgium in the Nations League earlier this month

England have secured one of the top 10 European seeds in the draw for World Cup 2022 qualifying after staying fourth in Fifa’s world rankings.

Gareth Southgate’s side will be in pot one for the draw on 7 December, with Belgium top-seeded after they held on to first place in the men’s rankings.

Wales have moved up two spots to 18th and will be in pot two.

The Republic of Ireland (42nd), Northern Ireland (45th) and Scotland (48th) will all be in pot three.

Scotland dropped three places, with Northern Ireland falling four and the Republic of Ireland going down six spots.

The top six in the rankings all remained the same, with world champions France in second, Brazil third, European champions Portugal fifth and Spain sixth.

Argentina moved up to seventh, with Uruguay falling to eighth, while Mexico and Italy moved back into the top 10 at the expense of Croatia and Colombia.

The qualifying draw for European nations for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will take place at 17:00 GMT in Zurich on 7 December and you can watch it live on the BBC Sport website and app.

There are 13 spots for European teams out of 32 in total in Qatar, with the tournament being held from 21 November to 18 December 2022 because of the country’s intense summer heat.

The next Fifa world rankings will be released on 10 December.

European World Cup qualifying full pot seedings (55 nations in total)

Pot 1: Belgium, France, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands.

Pot 2: Switzerland, Wales, Poland, Sweden, Austria, Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey, Slovakia, Romania.

Pot 3: Russia, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Czech Republic, Norway, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Greece, Finland.

Pot 4: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Israel, Belarus, Georgia, Luxembourg.

Pot 5: Armenia, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Andorra.

Pot 6: Malta, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, San Marino.

Top 10 in Fifa world rankings

1. Belgium

2. France

3. Brazil

4. England

5. Portugal

6. Spain

7. Argentina

8. Uruguay

9. Mexico

10. Italy

Article courtesy of BBC Sport
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