India were clubbed with Asian champions Qatar in the preliminary draw of the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 Fifa World Cup on Wednesday.

Apart from Qatar, The Blue Tigers have been grouped with Oman, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh in Group E. The four best runners-up across all groups will advance to the third round.

India face an uphill task to qualify from the group with only the top two teams progressing from their group to the main round and also sealing AFC Asian Cup qualification in the process.

The Blue Tigers’ will most likely have to vie with Gulf Cup champions Oman to squeeze into the top two, with Asian champions Qatar strong favourites to take the top spot. However, Afghanistan could also prove to be a tricky opponent.

India though would be expected to improve their finish from the last edition when they finished bottom of the group after defeats to Guam and Turkmenistan. India will play their first qualifier match on September 5 against Oman.

More to follow.