Weekly football conversation since 2009, with Graham Sibley, Jan Bilton and Terry Duffelen. Listen on Acast, Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or your podcatcher of choice.

Look away now: Podcast 492 - Our World Cup 2022 draw

As is traditional, we conducted our own version of the draw for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. As the qualification process has been affected by Covid and the war in Ukraine, a few of the final places will not be known when the actual draw takes places on Friday 1 April.

Timings between the final qualifiers and the draw were so tight that we needed to go ahead with our draw before we knew who would be in the pots on Friday. This meant we needed to make a few assumptions to decide who to put in which pot.

Pot 1 would only have been affected if Portugal lost to North Macedonia, which they didn't. Pot 2 could change if either USA or Mexico fail to qualify but Costa Rica's chances are slim. Our Pot 3 was a bit more of a leap of faith. We could put both Senegal or Egypt, and Sweden or Poland in there because the winners would go into in Pot 3 whichever way the result went. That wasn't the case though for the play-offs between Nigeria and Ghana, or Morocco and DR Congo. For our draw, we went with the higher ranked sides - Nigeria and Morocco.

Here's how our draw came out:

GROUP A: Qatar (hosts), Algeria or Cameroon, Sweden or Poland, Croatia
GROUP B: Belgium, UEFA play-off winners, Nigeria†, Mexico
GROUP C: France, Denmark, Canada, Japan
GROUP D: Portugal, Ecuador, Iran, Netherlands
GROUP E: England, Germany, AFC/CONMEBOL play-off, Senegal or Egypt
GROUP F: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Saudia Arabia
GROUP G: Spain, CONCACAF/OFC play-off, Uruguay, Morocco
GROUP H: Argentina, USA, Tunisia† or Mali, South Korea

*Countries in italics have since been eliminated.

†Ghana knocked out Nigeria, so would have gone into Pot 4 rather than 3. Nigeria's place in Pot 3 will be taken by another CAF nation, Tunisia. Ghana take Tunisia's position.

How it actually turned out: FIFA World Cup 2022

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