Attractive groups await Bayern players in World Cup qualification
Major events always generate a great deal of excitement, and this also holds true for the next Football World Cup, which will take place in Qatar in 2022. While qualification for the finals is already underway in Africa, Asia and South America, the European teams only discovered their group opponents on Monday evening. The draw for the qualifying groups took place in Zurich and threw up some interesting challenges for FC Bayern's international players.
2006 World Cup winner Daniele de Rossi and 2010 runner-up Rafael van der Vaart drew the 55 balls with the teams who will compete for the 13 European World Cup starting places between March and November next year, with five groups of six teams and five groups of five. The ten group winners will qualify directly for the finals in Qatar. The remaining three starting places will be determined in a separate knockout stage for the ten runners-up in each group, as well as the two Nations League group winners who don't finish first or second in their World Cup qualifying group.
Germany: Gnabry, Goretzka, Kimmich, Neuer, Sané, Süle
In Manuel Neuer, Niklas Süle, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sané, the treble winners currently boast six players in the DFB squad. As the top seed of six-team group J, the four-time world champions will, as expected, avoid the other major nations in the qualifying stage and will come up against the national teams from Romania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Armenia and Liechtenstein.
France: Coman, Hernández, Pavard, Tolisso
France head coach Didier Deschamps and his defending champions are relying on a strong Bayern contingent with Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernández, Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman. The Équipe Tricolore are seeded in group D, where they will meet Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Kazakhstan.
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In group I, Poland, led by captain Robert Lewandowski must overcome England, Hungary, Albania, Andorra and San Marino if they are to make a ninth appearance at the World Cup finals.
Meanwhile in group F, David Alaba and the Austrian national team are also aiming for their first World Cup finals participation since 1998. On the way to Qatar they will come up against Denmark, Scotland, Israel, the Faroe Islands and Moldova.
While the European World Cup qualifying groups have only just been drawn, they had already been determined in the Concacaf qualifying group (North, Central America and the Caribbean) some time ago. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first round of qualifying matches scheduled for October and November have been postponed until March 2021. Alphonso Davies and Canada will meet the national teams of Surinam, Aruba, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands in Group B and are aiming for their second World Cup participation after 1986.