The 2022 World Cup is here! Though it’s been known for years now, it still feels surprising that many of the world’s major leagues have screeched to a halt for the first World Cup to take place in the Winter. It is certainly different, and you won’t want to miss a second of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar!
FIFA World Cup 2022 Schedule
The 2022 World Cup for the first time will be running in the Winter as the Summer temperatures in the middle of the desert were surprisingly perhaps a bit too hot for a competitive game of football.
The World Cup will be kicking off on the 20th of November 2022, with the hosts Qatar taking on Ecuador. The first round of group games will start the day after with interesting matchups including England Vs. Iran, Senegal Vs. The Netherlands, and the United States Vs. Wales. The group games will run all the way through until the 2nd of December.
The first batch of knockout games, the Round of 16, will be on the 3rd of December ending on the 6th of December. There is then a short break and we’re into the Quarter-finals on the 9th and 10th. The Semi-finals are on the 13th and 14th of December. The Third place Play-off on the 17th. And the World Cup Final will start on the 17th of December. Just in time for Christmas. To keep on top of results, the FIFA website is a good place to check.
- Group stage: 20th November – 2nd December
- Round of 16: 3rd December – 6th December
- Quarter-finals: 9th December – 10th December
- Semi-finals: 13th December – 14th December
- Third place play-off: 17th December
- World Cup Final: 18th December
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To learn more about where to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup, take a look at our Knowledge Base entry.
Qatar World Cup Stadiums
Qatar infamously had to build a collection of stadiums for the 2022 World Cup that were big enough for an audience as large as the World Cup. Here is what they ended up with:
- Lusail Iconic Stadium – 80,000 capacity in the city of Lusail, the main stadium and will host the final
- Al Bayt Stadium – 60,000 capacity in Al Khor
- Stadium 974 – 40,000 capacity in Doha, is made out of storage containers
- Al Thumama Stadium – 40,000 capacity also in Doha.
- Education City Stadium – 45,350 capacity in the city of Al Rayyan
- Ahmed bin Ali Stadium – 44,740 capacity also in Al Rayyan
- Khalifa International Stadium – 40,000 capacity in Al Rayyan
- Al Janoub Stadium – 40,000 capacity in Al Wakrah
Top teams that failed to qualify
Before we get into who could potentially win the World Cup. Let’s take a moment to remember those left behind.
By far the biggest team to miss out on the 2022 World Cup is Italy. Fresh off their penalty shootout victory in the Euro 2020 tournament last year. They narrowly missed out by losing to North Macedonia in a play-off game. Elsewhere in Europe, Scandinavia specifically, both Sweden and Norway missed out on a trip to Qatar. Both Scotland and Ukraine also miss out.
In Africa, the ever-dominant AFCON team Egypt missed out on qualification. Not a great year for the Egyptians after they lost to Senegal in last year’s AFCON. Nigeria also didn’t qualify, after crashing out to Ghana. Algeria also won’t be coming to Qatar.
In South America, the almost ever-present likes of Colombia, Chile and Peru won’t be gracing us with their presence at the World Cup this year sadly.
World Cup Predictions
The 2022 World Cup is very difficult to predict who could walk away winners. There are many external factors at play that could impact any team. Especially the players that play in Europe who have just had their seasons interrupted. From a fitness point of view, we could see a lot more injuries from teams that have a large number of their players playing in Europe.
In Group A, the favourites will always be The Netherlands, but they have massively underperformed in recent years, not even qualifying on more than one occasion. But maybe this could be their comeback year. Though Senegal will be no slouches. Hot off the heels of a dramatic AFCON win. That confidence could take them a long way.
England will be the favourites of Group B, and after a strong showing at Euro 2020, they will want to go one further and take home their second-ever World Cup. But poor performances leading up to the tournament will have fans worried.
Argentina came close to winning back in 2014, before being killed by a late German goal. Could this be Messi’s year? Both Mexico and Poland will be difficult opponents, but they probably won’t be able to get too deep into the knockout stages.
Group D is home to the current holders, France. They have an exceptionally deep squad with quality in every single position. They will most certainly be a big favourite to win the tournament outright. Though there is also Denmark, who famously “under dogged” their way to a Euro win in 1992.
Group E is probably the “Group of Death” for the 2022 World Cup. Germany has been on something of a rejuvenation as they look to move on from Low and an older squad. But they are always dangerous and should never be underestimated.
The same could be said for Spain. They are rebuilding after a period of dominance in the early 2010s. Japan, have a great squad as well (and history with Germany after 2018). It will be interesting to see how they hold up. I feel sorry for Costa Rica sandwiched between these big teams, but maybe they can cause an upset?
Group F has Belgium, a team full of talent that has bottled almost every single opportunity to do something with it. Their golden era of players is coming to a close, could the FIFA 2022 World Cup be their last opportunity to get the trophy their talent deserves?
Croatia, 2018 finalist, has also aged significantly. But they are a team that is always full of quality and play wonderful football. They are certainly one to watch.
This group is could look easy for Brazil but it is anything but. All three of Serbia, Switzerland, and Cameroon are full of fantastic players that have shown they can sink bigger teams. But Brazil, like France, also have a very deep squad, with one of the most exciting attacks they’ve had in a long time. You certainly won’t want to miss a single Brazil game, that’s for sure.
Probably the second toughest group. Portugal will have their work cut out against all three of Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea. All of these teams could go quite far in the tournament, though Korea may be short of their talisman Son. A big blow for them.
Laid out bare like this, it is really hard to choose an obvious winner. But I do think that France and Brazil will be the teams to beat.
Don’t miss a second with our Sports Knowledge Base!
You definitely won’t want to miss a second of this 2022 World Cup. Even just the novelty of it being in the Winter will add something different. And offers a bunch of variables teams have never had to contend with before. Make sure you become a Premium member today, for the ultimate uncapped streaming experience!
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