2022 World Cup Draw: Way-too-early predictions, first look at USMNT Group, and more!

World Cup Draw
19-year-old Kylian Mbappé Holds the World Cup trophy after France won its second ever World Cup. Mandatory Credit: Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon the World was watching as the groups for this coming November’s Men’s World Cup were drawn! As of right now, there are 29 of the 32 teams qualified, one of them being the USA after missing out on the last tournament. Eight nations are still battling it out to make the field of 32, they’ll know their place in the tournament should they get in. The World Cup Draw results are in! We know which groups each of the 32 teams will be placed in!

World Cup Draw
19-year-old Kylian Mbappé Holds the World Cup trophy after France won its second-ever World Cup. Mandatory Credit: Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports

World Cup Draw Part 1: Pots

All of the teams participating in Qatar 2022 are placed into four pots for the World Cup Draw. Pot 1 has the host and then the seven highest-ranked nations in the FIFA men’s world rankings. Pot 2 contains nations ranked 9-16; Pot 3 has teams 17-24. The fourth and final pot has nations ranked 25-29, and the three spots that are still to be filled through playoffs! Here’s what they look like:

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
1. Qatar (Host)9. Mexico17. Senegal25. Cameroon
2. Brazil10. Netherlands18. IR Iran26. Canada
3. Belgium11. Denmark19. Japan27. Ecuador
4. France12. Germany20. Morocco28. Saudi Arabia
5. Argentina13. Uruguay21. Serbia29. Ghana
6. England14. Switzerland22. Poland30. Costa Rica/New Zealand
7. Spain15. USA23. Korea Republic31. Peru/Australia/UAE
8. Portugal16. Croatia24. Tunisia32. Wales/Scotland/Ukraine

Now that we see the nations and the pots they are in, it’s important to understand how the draw works. The teams from each of the four pots were drawn into eight groups labeled with a letter. For this World Cup, there are eight groups, so they’re labeled A through H. Teams from the same confederation cannot be drawn into the same group, except for Europe as they have the most teams in the World Cup Finals.

World Cup Draw Part 2: Filling the Groups

After a length of precession full of pomp and circumstance, the World Cup draw commenced! Here’s a look at the eight groups:

Group AGroup BGroup CGroup D
EcuadorIR IranSaudi ArabiaPeru/Australia/UAE
Group EGroup FGroup GGroup H
Costa Rica/New ZealandCanadaSerbiaGhana
JapanCroatiaCameroonKorea Republic

We now know what countries are in which groups for the 2022 World Cup! At a first glance, it seems like there isn’t a clear “group of death” in this tournament. That means there is no one group that has more than two favorites in the group.

Groups C, E, and H are the closest to that traditional group of death, but this tournament seems to be one where the nations are evenly divided. Let’s see if it makes for even more competitive matches!

This World Cup Draw has created entertaining groups. Here’s a look at each of the groups along with my way-too-early predictions on who will make the knockout rounds!

Qatar 2022 Group A


Group A has the hosts Qatar who have shown in recent years that they are a team that loves to play on the offensive. They’ll need that if they are to use the home field advantage and get out of the Group.

Ecuador was drawn into a tough group, but they’ll put up a fight. They were able to split points with Argentina and Brazil in qualifying, so they could have what it takes to advance from Group A.

Some are calling Senegal the top team from Africa at this World Cup. They did win the AFCON championship in January and bested Egypt in a two-leg qualifier to get to the Finals; proving their tough to handle!

The Netherlands was unable to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Missing out was not on their minds for 2022, as they lost only one UEFA qualifying match; can they make a splash like the Dutch teams of old in Qatar?

  • Way-too-early prediction: Netherlands and Senegal make it out of Group A!

Qatar 2022 Group B

EnglandIR IranUSAWales/Scotland/Ukraine

Group B has powerhouse England in it. The English went unbeaten in their qualifying campaign, and look to keep that dominance going in Qatar; they’ll hope for a better finish than losing in the semifinals of 2018 on penalties.

IR Iran made it to the 2022 World Cup Finals. They won their qualifying group in AFC play losing just once in 10 matches. Can they find ways to best teams who are better than them on paper?

The USA is back at the World Cup and get’s to play some stiff competition! Can this young USMNT team, whose roster has an average age of 24.3-years-old, show these teams that age is just a number and go on a run in the knockout rounds?

Wales, Scotland, and Ukraine are still waiting to see who will make it to the Finals in Qatar. Wales awaits the winner of the Scotland-Ukariane match to be played in June of this year. Will any of these European Nations be able to get to the Finals and play at a high level?

  • Way-too-early prediction: England and USA make it out of Group B!

Qatar 2022 Group C

ArgentinaSaudi ArabiaMexicoPoland

Argentina and legend Lio Messi are ready to compete for the World Cup in 2022. They lost no games in qualifying, could they do the same thing at these Finals in Qatar?

In a surprising effort, Saudi Arabia won their AFC group to make the World Cup Finals. They’ll be underdogs for sure, but they will try to have that propel them to greatness.

Mexico took second place in Concacaf World Cup qualifying en route to Qatar 2022. They have not played up to their potential in qualifying, will that change in the World Cup Finals?

After some UEFA playoff wins, Poland is in the World Cup Finals. Their prolific striker Robert Lewandowski will be hoping to score bunches and help his nation go on a run in Qatar!

  • Way-too-early prediction: Argentina and Poland make it out of Group C!

Qatar 2022 Group D


France is the reigning World Cup Champions. Star Kylian Mbappe and the French made light work of their qualifiers and are back looking for the same success in Qatar 2022!

One of Peru Australia and UAE, will be in Group D. Australia and UAE will face off on June 7, and the winner will play Peru to make it to the Finals. Do any of these nations have a shot at beating some of the Worlds best?

Denmark went on one hell of a run in UEFA qualifying. They won nine of their 10 matches to get an auto-qualifying spot. This team is not to be underestimated and could be darkhorse at Qatar 2022.

A surprising nation from CAF, Tunisia made its way to the World Cup Finals. They beat Mali in a two-leg playoff to get to Qatar, now can they make an improbable run to win the World Cup?

  • Way-too-early prediction: France and Denmark make it out of Group D!

Qatar 2022 Group E

SpainCosta Rica/New ZealandGermanyJapan

Spain is another UEFA powerhouse nation at Qatar 2022. They won their qualifying group and now get to show that they have on the world stage. They have the talent to get out of their difficult group!

The World Cup Draw’s last playoff matchup features Costa Rica and New Zealand who face off in June for a place in Qatar 2022. The winner gets the closest thing to a group of death at these finals, can they get in and shock the world?

Germany was almost perfect in their UEFA qualifying run to Qatar 2022. Their +32 goal differential could help them in this upcoming tournament. They’ll need the firepower to get out of their group!

Japan is used to winning their group in the AFC World Cup Qualifying. This time around they fell short by one point, but are still on their way to Qatar 2022. Can they find a way to learn from finishing second and push for the top spot in Group E?

  • Way-too-early prediction: Spain and Germany make it out of Group E!

Qatar 2022 Group F


Belgium is one of the top two nations in the world. This showed in their perfect qualifying record for Qatar 2022! This team is one of the favorites to win it all and should be. They should get out of Group F with no problem.

The surprise of Concacaf Qualifying was most definitely Canada! They took the top spot in North/Central America and are rewarded with a rather difficult group at the World Cup Finals. Can Canada make a run at their first World Cup since 1986?

Morocco won their group in CAF World Cup Qualifying and won their playoff against DR Congo 5-2 on aggregate. This is a nation with some firepower and solid defense. Could this be the CAF team that goes far at the 2022 finals?

Semifinalists from the 2018 World Cup, Croatia is ready to show that they are back and ready to win the Cup in 2022. They made it through UEFA qualifying with ease, now they need to manage a tough group F to get far in the knockouts!

  • Way-too-early prediction: Belgium and Canada make it out of Group F!

Qatar 2022 Group G


Brazil is the best team in the world according to the new FIFA world rankings. Their World Cup Draw proved to be a challenging one, but one they can manage. Will we see this Conmebol team make a run to the final in 2022?

The surprise of UEFA qualifying was Serbia. They beat out Portugal for an auto-qualifying spot, and are ready to make waves at Qatar 2022. Will they be able to do just that?

Switzerland also won an auto-qualifying spot through UEFA play. This side usually is one that is a bit bland. They have talent but never utilize it to get to hit their potential. Could we see that or a different Switzerland at Qatar 2022?

Cameroon has had an up and down 2022 so far. They lost in penalties at the AFCON semifinals in their own country but then qualified for the World Cup in a dramatic last-minute goal in a playoff against Algeria. Can this side make the most of the opportunity and get out of Group G?

  • Way-too-early prediction: Brazil and Cameroon make it out of Group G!

Qatar 2022 Group H

PortugalGhanaUruguayKorea Republic

The World Cup draw for Portugal saw them a place in Group H. Portugal had to get to the 2022 Finals via the UEFA playoffs. Can star Christiano Ronaldo lead them to glory with the world watching?

Ghana was able to qualify for the 2022 World Cup Finals by beating Nigeria in a two-legged playoff. This is not a Ghana that is used to beating teams, but they are always a team that overachieves on the world stage. Will they be able to do that in Qatar 2022?

Uruguay surged late on in CONMEBOL qualifying. They won their last four qualifiers en route to an auto-qualifying spot. Can star striker Luis Suarez lead this team to even more success at the 2022 finals?

Another nation from AFC marks the final of the 32 teams at Qatar 2022. The Korea Republic made the World Cup Finals and is looking to provide some shock value by doing what no one expects, getting out of the group.

  • Way-too-early prediction: Portugal and Ghana make it out of Group H!

Eight months until a ball is kicked

Now that the World Cup Draw is complete, we have eight months to wait for the tournament to begin! There will be many twists and turns before a ball is kicked, but the anticipation of Qatar 2022 is in the air, and it will be hard to contain the excitement as we get closer and closer to kickoff!

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Mandatory Credit: Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports