The road to Qatar 2022 continues for European nations – who is in position to reach next year’s World Cup finals?
Here, we run through the state of play in each of the 10 groups as the tables start to take shape and provide the lowdown on the qualification process and key dates.
The group winners will automatically qualify for Qatar 2022 and this page will be updated as countries book their place at next year’s showpiece tournament.
What are the groups?
Group A: Portugal, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan
Group B: Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia, Kosovo
Group C: Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania
Group D: France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kazakhstan
Group E: Belgium, Wales, Czech Republic, Belarus, Estonia
Group F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Islands, Moldova
Group G: Netherlands, Turkey, Norway, Montenegro, Latvia, Gibraltar
Group H: Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta
Group I: England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, San Marino
Group J: Germany, Romania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein
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Portugal have gone into top spot in the group after victory in Azerbaijan, moving two points ahead of Serbia, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Republic of Ireland.
Third-placed Luxembourg have been punching above their weight in this group but they now find themselves seven points behind leaders Portugal, albeit with a game in hand. However, Serbia remain in their sights with the gap between third and second just five points.
It has not been the best of qualifying campaigns so far for Republic of Ireland, but the draw with Serbia gives them a boost heading into the final games of the campaign.
Azerbaijan remain stranded at the bottom of the group on one point.
October 9: Azerbaijan vs Republic of Ireland – kick-off 5pm
October 9: Luxembourg vs Serbia – kick-off 7.45pm
Saturday 9th October 4:30pm
Kick off 5:00pm
Spain leapfrogged Sweden atop Group B with a 4-0 win over Georgia – and their position as group leaders has been further strengthened after the latest matchday.
The Scandinavians went down 2-1 to Greece in their last outing, while Spain saw off Kosovo, who only made their debut for tournament qualification during World Cup 2018 and now drop to fourth.
October 9: Sweden vs Kosovo – kick-off 5pm
October 9: Georgia vs Greece – kick-off 5pm
Group C had opened up when Switzerland held Italy to a 0-0 draw.
But the latest matchday saw the Azzurri stretch their lead at the summit to six points as they thrashed rock-bottom Lithuania 5-0 while the Swiss were thwarted in a stalemate with Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland travel to Switzerland in October for a crunch meeting.
October 9: Lithuania vs Bulgaria – kick-off 2pm
October 9: Switzerland vs Northern Ireland – kick-off 7.45pm
Saturday 9th October 1:55pm
Kick off 2:00pm
Saturday 9th October 7:15pm
Kick off 7:45pm
France have been struggling to find their groove in this campaign but a crucial win over Finland saw them open up a seven-point lead at the top of the group.
Didier Deschamps’ side now have three wins and three draws from six games in Group D.
All is not lost for Ukraine and Finland, though, with both sides having games in hand on France as they look to close the gap to the top.
October 9: Kazakhstan vs Bosnia and Herzegovina – kick-off 2pm
October 9: Finland vs Ukraine – kick-off 5pm
Belgium top the FIFA world rankings and pulled further clear in Group E. They are now eight points clear of the Czech Republic and Wales, who are set to battle it out for second place.
October 11: Estonia vs Wales – kick-off 7.45pm
October 11: Belarus vs Czech Republic – kick-off 7.45pm
Friday 8th October 7:00pm
Denmark have continued where they left off at Euro 2020, and they kept their perfect record during World Cup qualifying intact with a sixth straight win, beating Israel 5-0. They are now just two wins from securing top spot in the group and a place at the World Cup finals.
Scotland (11 points), Israel (10 points), and Austria (seven points) form the chasing pack, but Steve Clarke’s side’s impressive 1-0 win in Vienna puts them in pole position for the runners-up spot in the group with a game against Israel at Hampden Park up next in October.
October 9: Scotland vs Israel – kick-off 5pm
October 9: Faroe Islands vs Austria – kick-off 7.45pm
October 9: Moldova vs Denmark – kick-off 7.45pm
Saturday 9th October 4:00pm
Kick off 5:00pm
Saturday 9th October 7:40pm
Kick off 7:45pm
Group G is proving too tight to call with six games played. Netherlands (16 points) lead the pack after their 1-0 win over Latvia, while Norway (14 points) and Turkey are on their heels.
October 11: Netherlands vs Gibraltar – kick-off 7.45pm
October 11: Latvia vs Turkey – kick-off 7.45pm
October 11: Norway vs Montenegro – kick-off 7.45pm
Croatia and Russia are still locked on 16 points, but Croatia now lead the way in Group H on goal difference.
October 11: Croatia vs Slovakia – kick-off 7.45pm
October 11: Cyprus vs Malta – kick-off 7.45pm
October 11: Slovenia vs Russia – kick-off 7.45pm
England surrendered their perfect record in Poland after conceding a late equaliser but still have a healthy four-point over Albania and five-point advantage over Poland.
Hungary remain in touching distance of a play-off place.
October 9: Andorra vs England – kick-off 7.45pm
October 9: Hungary vs Albania – kick-off 7.45pm
October 9: Poland vs San Marino – kick-off 7.45pm
Germany lead the way in Group J and extended their lead after beating Romania 2-1.
October 11: North Macedonia vs Germany – kick-off 7.45pm
October 11: Romania vs Armenia – kick-off 7.45pm
October 11: Iceland vs Liechenstien- kick-off 7.45pm
Friday 8th October 7:40pm
How many European nations qualify?
A total of 13 slots in the final tournament are available for UEFA teams. The 55 teams have been split into five groups of five and five groups of six.
The winners of the 10 groups will qualify automatically for the finals, which for the first time will be played in November and December of 2022 to avoid the punishing summer heat in the Middle East.
What happens if you finish second in your group?
A further three places will be fought out between the 10 group runners-up and the two highest-ranked teams from the Nations League who have not already qualified or finished in a runners-up spot.
These 12 teams will be divided into three play-off paths, each featuring four countries, to determine the final three European berths. The format will consist of two knockout rounds from which the three additional teams qualify.
When will the qualifiers be played?
The qualifiers will be played between March and November 2021, with play-offs scheduled for March 2022.
Matchday 7: October 8-9 2021
Matchday 8: October 11-12 2021
Matchday 9: November 11-13 2021
Matchday 10: November 14-16 2021
What’s the fixture schedule?
The tournament will feature 32 teams in eight groups of four.
Four matches will be played each day during the group stage, which will run over a 12-day period and see winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16.
Matches will only be assigned to particular venues after the finals draw, so organisers can choose optimal kick-off times to suit television audiences in different countries, as well as supporters out in Qatar.
The finals draw is scheduled to take place in April 2022, after the March window for international fixtures.
Unlike at Euro 2020, there will be a third-place play-off game on December 17.
Group stage: November 21- December 2
Round of 16: December 3-6
Quarter-finals: December 9/10
Semi-finals: December 13/14
Final: December 18
When will the matches kick off?
FIFA has confirmed the first two rounds of matches will kick off at 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10pm local time (10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm in the United Kingdom).
Kick-off times in the final round of group games and knock-out round matches will be at 6pm and 10pm local time (3pm and 7pm UK time).
The final is scheduled to kick off at 6pm local time (3pm UK time)
What are the venues?
The group games will take place across eight stadia: Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Lusail Stadium, Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, Education City Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium.