The UEFA preliminary draw took place as a virtual event in Zurich on Monday, the 7th of December.
Russia will face Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta in Group H matches.
All teams within a group will play each other twice in a home-and-away format between March 2020 and November 2021. The ten group winners will qualify directly for Qatar 2022, with the ten runners-up advancing to the play-offs. Besides the ten runners-up from the group stage, the play-offs will also include the two best group winners from the UEFA Nations League 2020/21 overall ranking that did not qualify directly for Qatar 2022 and did not enter the play-offs as runners-up. The 12 teams will be split into three play-off paths, which will feature single-leg knockout matches in March 2022 to determine the last three European representatives in Qatar.
World Cup 2022 is scheduled to take place Qatar from 21 November to 18 December 2022.