World Cup Draw Pots 2022: List of Teams, Seeds and Format for Draw

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVApril 1, 2022

United States players celebrate with Christian Pulisic, center, after he scored a goal on a penalty kick, his second of the game, during the first half of a FIFA World Cup qualifying soccer match against Panama, Sunday, March 27, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

The World Cup draw will be held on Friday, April 1 at 12 p.m. ET and streamed on Peacock, taking us one step closer to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. 

The tournament will be unique, as it will be held in the autumn and winter months between Nov. 21 to Dec. 18. 

And soon, we'll have a good idea of how the groups that comprise the competition will look. Below, we'll break down all the information you need heading into the draw.

How It Works

Teams are placed into four pots based on FIFA's rankings. Qatar were automatically put in Pot 1 as the host nation. One team per pot will be selected to make up the eight groups for the World Cup. 

There are a few caveats. No group can have two teams from any confederation, except for UEFA, since Europe will have 13 guaranteed berths. However, no group can have more than two UEFA teams. 

Qualified Countries and Pots

Pot 1

Qatar, Brazil, Belgium, France, Argentina, England, Spain, Portugal

Pot 2

Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, United States, Switzerland, Denmark, Croatia, Uruguay

Pot 3

Senegal, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Serbia, Poland, South Korea, Tunisia

Pot 4

Cameroon, Canada, Croatia, Ecuador, Ghana, Saudi Arabia, Wales/Scotland/Ukraine, Australia/United Arab Emirates/Peru, Costa Rica/New Zealand

Qualifying Playoffs Remaining

Wales vs. Scotland/Ukraine

Australia/United Arab Emirates vs. Peru 

Costa Rica vs. New Zealand

These games will be decided in June. 

Top Teams and Players Missing Out

It's hard to believe that the defending European champions, Italy, will be missing out on this year's World Cup, let alone for the second time in a row. But the Italians lost to North Macedonia in Europe's playoff round, leaving one of the most iconic footballing nations out of the competition. 

Quite a few big-name players won't be around for the competition, either. Superstar forwards like Norway's Erling Haaland, Egypt's Mohamed Salah and Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be watching from home. 

The Favorites

France won it all in 2018, so Kylian Mbappe and Co. will be expected to be in the running yet again. The runners-up in that tournament, Croatia, still boast a dangerous side as well, though a dip in form has left them as a Pot 2 team in 2022. 

Will this perhaps be the tournament that an extremely talented Belgium side, led by Kevin De Bruyne, finally emerges on top? 

Then there's England, who finished as runners-up to Italy in the most recent Euros. The English have won just one World Cup, back in 1966, but have a group of players talented enough to end that drought.  

Outside of Europe, you can never count out Neymar's Brazil or Lionel Messi's Argentina, in what will likely be Messi's final attempt to win a World Cup. The only "blemish" on Messi's incredible resume is that he's never won a World Cup as Argentina legend Diego Maradona did in 1986. 

A triumph in Qatar would only further bolster the argument of Messi as the greatest player ever.