- 8 Dec 2020 8:02 AM
Hungary will play against England for the first time since 2010 and for the first time in a competitive match since the 1984 European Championship qualifying campaign.
The two nations last met in a World Cup fixture during qualifying for the 1982 World Cup in Spain.
Poland, meanwhile, last faced Hungary competitively in Euro 2004 qualifying.
Albania last took to the pitch against Hungary in a friendly in Budapest in 2014, while San Marino were rivals in the race to reach Euro 2012 and Andorra in qualifying for the most recent World Cup in 2018.
Hungary head coach Rossi was philosophical on hearing the outcome but was also bullish in his assessment of the group and of his team's chance of progression:
"Once again, it has been proven that I am generally out of luck with such draws, although it's true that we could have been drawn in a more difficult group," Rossi stated immediatedly after the draw.
"I think we've been drawn in a moderately difficult group of six. One noteworthy point is that the group includes three teams led by Italian head coaches.
Although both of our stronger group opponents only finished third in their Nations League groups, this should not deceive us, as England were semi-finalists at the last World Cup and are currently fourth in the world rankings, while the Poles, who are in 19th place, have Robert Lewandowski, who holds the record for most goals scored in a World Cup qualifying campaign with 16 strikes.
Albania, I think, is one of the stronger teams to come from the fourth pot of seeds.
Andorra are ranked 151st and San Marino are not in the top 200, but it is precisely in the case of Andorra that we should remember these smaller teams can be terribly dangerous if we do not take them seriously enough.
We must prepare for every match thinking in the same way - we can't think for example that it will be easy against Andorra as we know from the past that this not the case. If we do this and we go on the same run as we did in the autumn series of fixtures, everything is open.
This time, again, we are not the favourites to win our group, but we have managed to overturn form on paper several times in recent months, and we will do our best to be able to do it again!" Rossi concluded.
The full draw:
A: Portugal, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan.
B: Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia, Kosovo.
C: Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania.
D: France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia, Kazakhstan.
E: Belgium, Wales, Czech Republic, Belarus, Estonia.
F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Islands, Moldova.
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, North Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein.
The World Cup qualifiers will begin in March 2021 and end in November the same year.
There will be three fixtures in March and September and two each in October and November.
Thirteen teams from Europe will qualify for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Of these, ten (the winners of each of the ten World Cup qualifying groups) will progress automatically and three via play-offs.
In addition to the ten group runners-up, two national teams will take part in the play-offs based on their Nations League results (the two teams with the best Nations League finishes, and who aren't amongst the World Cup qualifying group winners or runners-up).
The European World Cup qualifying play-offs will be comprised of three branches, each with four teams, in a semi-final-to-final system in March 2022.