Four years seems like an eternity. But in soccer, continental events and tournaments like the Euros and Champions league help fans get by every year in anticipation of the biggest event on earth—the World Cup. France are the defending champions lifting the coveted trophy in 2018. Most pundits and punters had their money on other top-seeded teams like Germany, Brazil, and Belgium. It’s France, however, who extraordinarily stole the show. Once again, it’s that season where football unites the world for a piece of expert showmanship. Top online betting sites are just as eager for another breathtaking tournament with the best odds for punters.
Here are the teams in the respective groups and the dates.
It’s the 22nd edition of the tournament, and Qatar is the host nation. This will be the first time the World Cup has been hosted in the middle east and an Arabic country. Thirty-two teams will participate, and the host is seeded in group A alongside Senegal, Ecuador, and the Netherlands. Senegal will kick off the tournament against 3-time finalists, the Netherlands, on November 21st.
The second game of the day will feature Qatar squaring it off against Ecuador, the first time the hosts have participated in the tournament. On November 25th, they will face Senegal as the Netherlands face Ecuador. The final group games will be on November 29th when The Netherlands face Qatar as Ecuador plays Senegal. The Netherlands are favourites to top the group, while Senegal, the African champions, might just edge out Ecuador.
England, Iran, and the USA confirmed their place as Wales awaits either Ukraine or Scotland in their playoff slated for June 1st. Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the playoff scheduled in Glasgow was postponed. The winner will face Wales on June 5th for the final spot in the group.
In the group’s first game, England will square it off with Iran on Monday, November 21st, seeing the USA face either Wales, Ukraine, or Scotland. Either of these trio will face Iran on November 25th, while England faces the USA. On the 29th, the final games will feature either Wales, Ukraine, or Scotland against England as Iran will play the USA.
England are the favourite to top the group with an experienced squad featuring some of the more prolific players in club football. On the other hand, the USA has a wealth of young talents who have impressed, especially in European club football.
Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Poland will fight it out for the two spots to advance to the round of 16. Two-time winners Argentina are expected to top the group as Mexico and Poland will play for the final spot at the expense of Saudi Arabia, being considered the underdogs. On November 22nd, Argentina starts against Saudi Arabia, and then later in the day, Mexico plays Poland.
Defending champions France will play Denmark and Tunisia. There is a playoff game where Peru will play either against Australia or the United Arab Emirates to determine the final spot in this group. Denmark will play against Tunisia on Tuesday, November 22nd, and later in the day, France will play either against Australia, UAE, or Peru. France and Denmark are the favourites, especially after showcasing their class in the qualifiers.
Spain is the top-seeded team in this group, featuring Germany and Japan. There is an intercontinental playoff between Costa Rica and New Zealand to determine who takes the last spot in the group. Spain won the World Cup the first time an African country hosted the tournament in South Africa in 2010, while Germany lifted the trophy in 2014. Germany kickstarts the group by squaring off against Japan on Wednesday 23rd, while Spain plays either Costa Rica or New Zealand later in the day. Spain and Germany are expected to progress to the last 16 because of the talent in their ranks.
Morocco, Croatia, Belgium, and Canada make up the group. The first game is on Wednesday, November 23rd, and Morocco will play Croatia, and Belgium will play Canada in the afternoon kick-off. Croatia lost in the final in 2018 to France, and the side is largely unchanged with some exciting young players, while Belgium finished a respectable third in 2018. These two are favourites to advance, but Canada and Morocco might just have a point to prove as they play an exciting blend of attacking football.
Switzerland, Cameroon, Brazil, and Serbia make up the group. Brazil has won the World Cup a record 5-times and is consistently among the favourites in every tournament. The rest of the teams are evenly matched. It’s too close to call, setting this group as one that might have either team pull a surprise. Switzerland starts on November 24th against Cameroon while Brazil plays Serbia in the afternoon.
This group comprises Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, and South Korea. The first game will be Uruguay against South Korea, and then Portugal will play Ghana in the afternoon fixture on November 24th. Portugal and Uruguay boast some of the more experienced players, especially from the European leagues, meaning they are among the top-rated teams in the tournament and favourites in this group.
The round of 16 will take place between December 3rd to December 6th. The quarter-finals will be played on December 9th and 10th, while the semi-finals will be on December 13th and 14th.
The semi-final losers will play on December 17th to determine 3rd place. Lastly, the Qatar World Cup 2022 winner will be decided on Sunday, December 18th, to bring the tournament to a close.
All matches are scheduled in eight stadiums in five cities. Both the Education City and Ahmad Bin Ali Stadiums are in Al Rayyan, and the Al Janoub Stadium and the Khalifa International Stadium are in Al Wakrah. While Stadium 974 and Al Thumama are in the capital Doha.
The Al Bayt Stadium is in Al Khora, and the Lusail Iconic Stadium is in Lusail and will be the venue for the final. The teams France, Brazil, England, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, or Germany, are widely expected to make the last four, with most punters putting their money on Portugal or Brazil to lift the trophy this time.