World Cup draw: Scotland to face England in Qatar 2022 group stages - if they qualify

Scotland will play England in the World Cup finals for the first time in history if they qualify for the tournament in Qatar later this year.

Steve Clarke’s side, who entered the draw alongside Ukraine and Wales as one of three potential teams to take the final European play-off spot, have been paired with Gareth Southgate’s men in Group B alongside Iran and USA.

Scotland have yet to qualify for the tournament after their World Cup play-off semi-final against Ukraine scheduled to take place on March 24 was postponed until June, at the earliest, due to the ongoing Russian invasion.

Wales await the winners of that tie in the play-off final in Cardiff for the right to participate in the World Cup.

Former Brazilian footballer and World Cup winner Cafu draws England in Group B for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. (Photo by FRANCOIS-XAVIER MARIT/AFP via Getty Images)

Should Scotland make it through they will face USA in their opening fixture on Monday, November 21, the same day as the opening match between hosts Qatar and Ecuador.

Iran would be up next on Friday, November 25 before the potential battle of Britain completes the group stage on Tuesday, November 29.

Qualification for Scotland would mean facing England at a second successive major finals following on from their Wembley meeting at last summer’s European Championships. Scotland claimed a credible goalless draw, only to exit at the group stages, while England went on to reach the final, losing on penalties to Italy.

Former Scotland international James McFadden believes the prospect of facing England at the biggest stage will be a major motivation ahead of the play-offs.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks during the draw for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center on April 1, 2022. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

"We have got play-offs that we have to worry about and hopefully we can get through the first one, which sets up an unbelievable encounter against Wales," he told BBC Sport.

"And then for either side, it's a great incentive. It's a big enough incentive in itself to get to the World Cup, but knowing that you're going into a group again with England is great and I'm sure it will motivate the players going into those play-off games."

Scotland’s possible meeting with Iran conjures up memories of their only previous encounter, at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, where an infamous 1-1 draw in the group stages scuppered Ally McLeod’s side’s hopes of reaching the knock-out stages.

Scotland have never met the USA in a competitive fixture but seven international friendlies have produced only two victories, and none in the last five meetings. The most recent clash in 2013 produced a goalless draw at Hampden Park, which came a year after a 5-1 drubbing in Jacksonville.

The full World Cup 2022 group stage draw is as follows:

Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands

Group B: England, Iran, USA, [Wales, Scotland or Ukraine]

Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland

Group D: France, [Peru, UAE or Australia], Denmark, Tunisia

Group E: Spain, [Costa Rica or New Zealand], Germany, Japan

Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia

Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon

Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea

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