Ukraine vs Finland Live FIFA World Cup Qualifying 2021
France starts their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign at home to Ukraine on Wednesday in the odd position of having not yet played the Euros. Les Bleus are the titleholders after their 2018 success in Russia and they also have the UEFA Nations League finals to look forward to after qualifying as League A Group 3 winners. These two met at Stade de France just a few months ago and Didier Deschamps' men won 7-1 with Olvier Giroud scoring twice.
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Kylian Mbappe is available for selection despite a knock over the weekend as he scored twice in Paris Saint-Germain's 4-2 victory over Olympique Lyonnais in Ligue 1. Manchester United's Paul Pogba is present in the squad as is Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele who has earned a recall due to his good recent performances. Tanguy Ndombele, Thomas Lemar and Alphonse Areola are also back while Eduardo Camavinga and Houssem Aouar are on under-21 duty with the Euros coming up.
Four losses from five across all competitions and a disastrous end to League A Group 4 in the Nations League makes this a tough spell for Andriy Shevchencko and his players. With Bosnia-Herzegovina and an improving Finland also in the same World Cup qualifying Group D from the UEFA region, the fight to finish behind France promises to be strong.
With the deferred UEFA Euro 2020 tournament starting from June 2021, three matchdays will be held back-to-back over the week starting Wednesday (March 24). The FIFA World Cup 2022 European qualifying schedule will resume again in September after the regular club season and Euros get over.
How do the FIFA World Cup 2022 European qualifiers work? The FIFA World Cup 2022 European qualifiers will be played in two stages. The group stage will see the 55 European teams divided in 10 groups of five or six teams each. Belgium, France, Italy, Spain – the four teams who reached the 2021 UEFA Nations League finals – are in the smaller five-team groups
In the group stage, each team will play the other teams in a round robin format. The eventual 10 group winners will qualify directly for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The 10 runners-ups, meanwhile, will move onto the second round or play-offs. There, they will be joined by the two best group winners of the UEFA Nations League 2020-21 chosen through their overall ranking.
These two teams, obviously, cannot be the ones which have qualified directly for the FIFA World Cup 2022 final tournament as European qualifiers group winners or the ones which entered the play-offs as European qualifiers group runners-up.
The 12 teams will then be drawn into three play-off paths consisting of four teams each. Each play-off path will see the teams play a one-off semi-final and a final. The three winners from each play-off path will qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2022.