World Cup 2022 qualification: Northern Ireland to face Italy, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Lithuania in Group C

Alex Pattle
Monday 07 December 2020 18:29
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Northern Ireland will face Italy, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Lithuania in their qualifying group for the 2022 World Cup.

Northern Ireland were drawn in Group C as their opponents in the qualifying campaign for the tournament in Qatar were revealed.

A rapidly improving Italy represent the toughest challenge for Northern Ireland.

Historically the Northern Irish have struggled in fixtures against Italy as well, having one won, drawn two and lost six.

 Switzerland also mark competent opposition, though Northern Ireland have a better record against them, with two wins, two draws and two losses.

Northern Ireland will see their games against Bulgaria and Lithuania as more winnable, in any case.

Group C

  • Italy
  • Switzerland
  • Northern Ireland
  • Bulgaria
  • Lithuania

Groups in full

A Portugal, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan

B Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia,

C Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania

D France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan

E Belgium, Wales, Czech Republic, Belarus, Estonia,

F Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Islands

G Netherlands, Turkey, Norway, Montenegro, Latvia, Gibraltar

H Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta

I England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, San Marino

J Germany, Romania, Iceland, Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein

Key dates

Matchday 1: 24–25 March 2021

Matchday 2: 27–28 March 2021

Matchday 3: 30–31 March 2021

Matchday 4: 1–2 September 2021

Matchday 5: 4–5 September 2021

Matchday 6: 7–8 September 2021

Matchday 7: 8–9 October 2021

Matchday 8: 11–12 October 2021

Matchday 9: 11–13 November 2021

Matchday 10: 14–16 November 2021

Play-offs: 24, 25, 28, 29 March 2022

World Cup: 21 November–18 December

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