World Cup seeding explained as Sweden misses out and several top nations could face groups of death ahead of December draw


It’s Coming Home

With the 2020 European Champions delayed until 2021, football fans will be able to enjoy two straight years of international football tournaments. However the World Cup in 2022 will be the first of its kind. With the exceedingly hot temperatures in Qatar, the event will be run during the winter.

Even though the Euros has not begun, World Cup qualifying is inbound and some country’s Nations League and Friendly performances are having a serious impact on the way in which they will be seeded.

The draw for the 10 groups is set to take place on December 7th, the 55 nations will be split into 5 groups of six and 5 groups of 5. Group winners will qualify automatically for the tournament.

However, further qualification can be earned through Nations League performances. The top two best 2020-21 Nations League group winners will join the 10 runners-up countries from the World Cup groups in a play-off system to determine the final three representative nations.


The seeding for the tournament will be decided by a nation’s world ranking as of November 26th. This means that the current international fixtures will be the last opportunity for nations to increase their standing and some teams are already faltering.

Denmark’s 2-0 win over Sweden in an international friendly on Wednesday means that the Swedes can no longer become seeded. This will mean they will enter a group with one of the top 10 nations in Europe making qualification for the World Cup much harder.

England fans can relax knowing their international performances have solidified their position as a seeded team. England currently sit in fourth according to the latest FIFA world rankings. They join Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain and Croatia.

However, 6 nations are still vying for the final 4 available seedings. Italy (12th) Denmark (13th) Germany (14th) and the Netherlands (15th) look the most likely. Although, Switzerland (16th) and Poland (18th) could still achieve a seeding but would need results to go their way.

Poland would need to beat both Italy and the Netherlands if they want to have any chance of becoming seeded. Although, were they to beat Italy, and the Netherlands lose to Bosnia it could make the Poland vs Netherlands match a World Cup seeding play-off.

Switzerland face Spain and Ukraine and will hope to pick up wins in both games to give themselves the best chance.

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