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Clashes that have surprisingly never happened – Qatar 2022 World Cup

The list of potential unprecedented meetings includes duels between European heavyweights

With nearly all the qualification places at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ having now been filled, expectation is mounting ahead of Friday’s Final Draw. Every team going into the hat could be drawn against nations they have never faced in the world finals before. FIFA has drawn up a list of these potential first-time encounters, starting with a meeting between two European giants.

France-Netherlands

The reigning two-time world champions head into their 16th World Cup as one of the eight teams in Pot 1, which contains the highest-ranked sides. Surprisingly, France have never been drawn against three-time runners-up Netherlands, who have ten World Cup appearances to their name. The Dutch are in Pot 2, and a potential duel with the French would be one of the most eagerly-awaited games of the group phase. This is a fixture with some history to it. Runners-up at the two previous world finals, Netherlands missed out on a place at Spain 1982 altogether when they finished behind France and Belgium in Group 2 of the European qualifiers. History repeated itself in the race to Russia 2018, when the Dutch again failed to progress after placing third behind France and Sweden in Group A of the preliminaries.

France v Holland - Euro 2000(tm) - UEFA European Football Championship(tm) -Group D - Amsterdam ArenA Stadium , Amsterdam , 21/6/00.Mandatory Credit:Action Images/John Sibley.France's Christophe Dugarry attacks the Holland Goal....

Argentina-Denmark

Qatar 2022 will be World Cup number 18 for Argentina, who could find themselves in the same group as Denmark, who will be making their sixth appearance in the competition. Many had hoped the two would meet in the semi-finals at Mexico 1986 following the Danes’ impressive showing in the group stage. As it turned out, however, Denmark went down 5-1 to Spain in the Round of 16. The two did meet in the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup in 1995, with the Europeans winning 2-0.

Brazil-Korea Republic

A Seleção, who have never missed a World Cup, and are preparing for their 22nd in a row, are another side who could be facing new opposition in Qatar, namely Korea Republic, soon-to-be 11-time participants.

Bildnummer: 11161570 Datum: 07.08.2012 Copyright: imago/Action Plus..07.08.2012 Manchester, England. 2012 Olympic Games mens football tournament. Brazil forward Neymar and Korea defender Jaesuk Oh in action during the semi final match between Brazil and South Korea. xTimxWilliamsx PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY ActionPlus20258095; Olympia London Olympische Spiele Sommerspiele Sommer Fussball Nationalteam Länderspiel xcb x1x 2012 quer premiumd o0 Südkorea Jae suk....Image number 11161570 date 07 08 2012 Copyright imago Action Plus 07 08 2012 Manchester England 2012 Olympic Games Mens Football Tournament Brazil Forward Neymar and Korea Defender Oh in Action during The Semi Final Match between Brazil and South Korea PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Olympia London Olympic Games Summer Games Summer Football National team international match x1x 2012 horizontal premiumd o0 South Korea Jae Suk

Germany-Japan

Lurking in Pot 2 will be Germany, a team that every Pot 1 side will be anxious to avoid. With 19 World Cups already under their belts, the Germans could be pitched against Japan, who are in Pot 3, having qualified for a seventh time.

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 16: Fussball: Laenderspiel 2004, Yokohama; Japan - Deutschland ( JPN - GER ) 0:3; v.l.: Bastian SCHWEINSTEIGER / GER, Keiji TAMADA / JPN 16.12.04. (Photo by Sandra Behne/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Belgium-Cameroon

One of the eight top seeds, Belgium might find themselves drawn against Cameroon for the first time ever. The Africans are in the finals for the eighth time, while the Europeans are making their 14th appearance.

Uruguay-Poland

Qatar 2022 is also World Cup number 14 for two-time winners Uruguay, who are in Pot 2. Potentially awaiting them are Poland from Pot 3, who have never faced the Uruguayans before, despite this being their ninth world finals.

WARSAW, POLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Edinson Cavani of Uruguay and Kamil Grosicki of Poland during the international friendly match between Poland and Uruguay at National Stadium on November 10, 2017 in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo by Rafal Rusek/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images)

Old foes

The Final Draw could also throw up a latest installment or two in some of the World Cup’s most frequent fixtures, with Germany facing the prospect of taking on Argentina or Serbia for the seventh time in the competition. Netherlands could cross swords with Argentina or Brazil for the sixth time in World Cup history, while mouth-watering encounters such as Brazil-Serbia and England-Germany could also be on the menu again, also for a sixth time.

Football - Germany v Argentina - FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 - Final - Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 13/7/14..Actionshot, Germany's Mesut Ozil in action against Argentina's Lionel Messi..Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Alex Morton..

Most frequent clashes

* Only involves nations qualified for Qatar 2022.

GameNumber
Argentina-Germany7
Germany-Serbia7
Argentina-Netherlands5
Brazil-Mexico5
Brazil-Netherlands5
Brazil-Serbia5
England-Germany5

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