Zlatan's Sweden comeback edges closer

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World governing body FIFA confirmed the six pots of teams on Friday, based on its new list of world rankings, ahead of the 7 December draw in Zurich.

Belgium is the world's No.1 team while France sits at No.2 in FIFA's rankings, having triumphed at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The European qualifiers begin with three match days in March, meaning FIFA World Cup preliminaries begin before the delayed UEFA Euro 2020 finals.

Dangerous teams in Pot Two include the likes of Poland, which boasts Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski, and Sweden, which could by then have Ibrahimovic back in its ranks.

Ibrahimovic has hinted he wants to come out of international retirement, and coach Janne Andersson this week held a positive meeting with the Milan striker about that possibility.

Should Ibrahimovic come back on board, Andersson would likely want him involved well ahead of UEFA Euro 2020, which is due to take place in June and July of next year.

Andersson said: "When Zlatan opened up for games in the national team, it felt natural and important to meet and discuss this as soon as possible. 

"I am glad that we managed to get a meeting so quickly."

Ibrahimovic is Sweden's record goalscorer but the 39-year-old Milan striker last played for his country at UEFA Euro 2016.

He is the top scorer in Serie A this season with 10 goals in six appearances.

FIFA World Cup pots for Qatar 2022 qualifying draw:

Pot One: Belgium, France, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands

Pot Two: Switzerland, Wales, Poland, Sweden, Austria, Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey, Slovakia, Romania

Pot Three: Russia, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Czech Republic, Norway, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Greece, Finland

Pot Four: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Israel, Belarus, Georgia, Luxembourg

Pot Five: Armenia, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Andorra

Pot Six: Malta, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, San Marino