France were winners of the 2018 World Cup
Kylian Mbappe and France will be looking to defend their crown in Qatar

FIFA World Cup 2022: Groups, schedule, dates, TV and kick-off times, all you need to know


We have all you need to know for Qatar 2022, including odds, fixtures, venues and TV information.


When and where is the World Cup being held?

The 2022 World Cup runs from November 20 to December 18 at eight different stadiums in the Gulf state of Qatar - the first time the tournament has been held both in the Middle East and in European winter.

The opening match will be staged at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor between Qatar and Ecuador on November 20, with the final taking place at Lusail Stadium in Lusail on December 18.

How many teams take part and what is the format?

The format is the same as for World Cup 2018, with 32 teams divided into eight groups of four.

The top two teams in each group qualify for the round of 16, with four single-legged knockout rounds ultimately deciding the winner.

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Which teams have qualified for the World Cup and what are the groups?

All 32 spaces were filled following a lengthy qualifying campaign. Qatar qualified automatically as hosts for what is their first World Cup appearance.

Several high-ranking countries failed to make the cut, however, with Euro 2020 winners Italy not in attendance for the second World Cup running after losing to North Macedonia in the first stage of UEFA's play-offs. Chile and Colombia missed out from CONMEBOL.

Canada are competing for the first time since 1986, while Iran might be the most surprising qualifier from the AFC sector.

  • Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
  • Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales
  • Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
  • Group D: France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia
  • Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan
  • Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
  • Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
  • Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea

Who has won the World Cup previously?

Brazil have won the World Cup more than any other team, lifting the trophy on five separate occasions. They are also the only nation to have played in every edition of the tournament.

Germany and Italy (both four wins) are their nearest rivals in the charts, followed by a trio of two-time winners - Argentina, holders France and Uruguay, who won the inaugural World Cup in 1930.

England, who were famously crowned champions at Wembley in 1966, and Spain make up the list with one title each.

  • 5 - Brazil (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
  • 4 - Germany (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014) | Italy (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006)
  • 2 - Argentina (1978, 1986) | France (1998, 2018) | Uruguay (1930, 1950)
  • 1 - England (1966) | Spain (2010)

When are the World Cup matches and what are the kick-off times?

Sunday November 20

Group A: Qatar 0-2 Ecuador

Monday November 21

Group B: England 6-2 Iran
Group A: Senegal 0-2 Netherlands
Group B: USA 1-1 Wales

Tuesday November 22

Group C: Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia
Group D: Denmark 0-0 Tunisia
Group C: Mexico vs Poland (Stadium 974, Doha; kick-off 4pm)
Group D: France vs Australia (Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah; kick-off 7pm)

Wednesday November 23

Group F: Morocco vs Croatia (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 10am)
Group E: Germany vs Japan (Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 1pm)
Group E: Spain vs Costa Rica (Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 4pm)
Group F: Belgium vs Canada (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 7pm)

Thursday November 24

Group G: Switzerland vs Cameroon (Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah; kick-off 10am)
Group H: Uruguay vs South Korea (Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 1pm)
Group H: Portugal vs Ghana (Stadium 974, Doha; kick-off 4pm)
Group G: Brazil vs Serbia (Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail; kick-off 7pm)

Friday November 25

Group B: Wales vs Iran (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 10am)
Group A: Qatar vs Senegal (Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 1pm)
Group A: Netherlands vs Ecuador (Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 4pm)
Group B: England vs USA (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 7pm)

Saturday November 26

Group C: Tunisia vs Australia (Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah; kick-off 10am)
Group C: Poland vs Saudi Arabia (Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 1pm)
Group D: France vs Denmark (Stadium 974, Doha; kick-off 4pm)
Group C: Argentina vs Mexico (Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail; kick-off 7pm)

Sunday November 27

Group E: Japan vs Costa Rica (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 10am)
Group F: Belgium vs Morocco (Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 1pm)
Group F: Croatia vs Canada (Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 4pm)
Group E: Spain vs Germany (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 7pm)

Monday November 28

Group G: Cameroon vs Serbia (Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah; kick-off 10am)
Group G: South Korea vs Ghana (Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 1pm)
Group H: Brazil vs Switzerland (Stadium 974, Doha; kick-off 4pm)
Group H: Portugal vs Uruguay (Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail; kick-off 7pm)

Tuesday November 29

Group A: Netherlands vs Qatar (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 3pm)
Group A: Ecuador vs Senegal (Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 3pm)
Group B: Wales vs England (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 7pm)
Group B: Iran vs USA (Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 7pm)

Wednesday November 30

Group D: Australia vs Denmark (Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah; kick-off 3pm)
Group D: Tunisia vs France (Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 3pm)
Group C: Poland vs Argentina (Stadium 974, Doha; kick-off 7pm)
Group C: Saudi Arabia vs Mexico (Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail; kick-off 7pm)

Thursday December 1

Group F: Croatia vs Belgium (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 3pm)
Group F: Canada vs Morocco (Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 3pm)
Group E: Costa Rica vs Germany (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 7pm)
Group E: Japan vs Spain (Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 7pm)

Friday, December 2

Group G: South Korea vs Portugal (Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 3pm)
Group G: Ghana vs Uruguay (Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah; kick-off 3pm)
Group H: Serbia vs Switzerland (Stadium 974, Doha; kick-off 7pm)
Group H: Cameroon vs Brazil (Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail; kick-off 7pm)

Round of 16

Saturday December 3
49 - Winners of Group A vs Runners-up of Group B (Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 3pm)
50 - Winners of Group C vs Runners-up of Group D (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 7pm)

Sunday December 4
52 - Winners of Group D vs Runners-up of Group C (Al Thumama Stadium, Doha; kick-off 3pm)
51 - Winners of Group B vs Runners-up of Group A (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 7pm)

Monday December 5
53 - Winners of Group E vs Runners-up of Group F (Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah; kick-off 3pm)
54 - Winners of Group G vs Runners-up of Group H (Stadium 974, Doha; kick-off 7pm)

Tuesday December 6
55 - Winners of Group F vs Runners-up of Group E (Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 3pm)
56 - Winners of Group H vs Runners-up of Group G (Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail; kick-off 7pm)

Quarter-finals

Friday December 9
58 - Winners of 53 vs Winners of 54 (Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 3pm)
57 - Winners of 49 vs Winners of 50 (Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail; 7pm)

Saturday December 10
60 - Winners of 55 vs Winners of 56 (Al Thumama Stadium, Doha; kick-off 3pm)
59 - Winners of 51 vs Winners of 52 (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 7pm)

Semi-finals

Tuesday December 13
61 - Winners of 57 vs Winners of 58 (Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail; kick-off 7pm)

Wednesday December 14
62 - Winners of 59 vs Winners of 60 (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 7pm)

Saturday December 17
63 - Third place play-off (Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 3pm)

Final

Sunday December 18
64 - The World Cup final (Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail; kick-off 3pm)


Who are the World Cup host cities and how big are the stadiums?

There are eight host stadiums across five cities in the tiny state of Qatar - for context, it is smaller in area than Yorkshire (11,437 to 11,897 km²).

The area of Qatar that is inhabited by its population of just 1.69 million is, however, far smaller, with much of the state vacant desert.

All of the stadiums are within a 35-mile radius of the capital Doha.

Lusail

Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium
Capacity: 80,000

Al Khor

Stadium: Al Bayt Stadium
Capacity: 60,000

Doha

Stadium: Stadium 974
Capacity: 40,000

Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium
Capacity: 40,000

Stadium: Education City Stadium
Capacity: 45,350

Al Rayyan

Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium
Capacity: 40,000

Stadium: Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
Capacity: 44,740

Al Wakrah

Stadium: Al Janoub Stadium
Capacity: 40,000


How can I watch the World Cup on TV?

TV coverage in the UK will be shared between the BBC and ITV.

It is believed the TV rights for the entire tournament netted FIFA a total of around $1.9bn.


Who are the favourites to win the World Cup Golden Boot?

Personal glory is the order of the day in the race for the World Cup Golden Boot, a prize that will be pursued by the world's very best this winter.

Tottenham Hotspur striker and England captain Harry Kane, who won the award in Russia in 2018, heads the market.

The 29-year-old has now scored 51 goals in 75 international appearances for the Three Lions, and has started the domestic season in good goalscoring form.

Harry Kane scores from the spot
Harry Kane was on the scoresheet from the spot in England's final game before the World Cup

Kane will face stiff competition for the crown of top tournament scorer, though.

French duo Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema are prominent in the betting, with Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, the world’s leading goalscorer in international football history, splitting the pair.

In what is likely to be the 37-year-old's final chance at winning the World Cup or a Golden Boot, Ronaldo will certainly be looking to add to his 117-goal Portugal tally (191 caps).

The same could perhaps be said for Argentina legend Lionel Messi, who has been in scintillating form at club level and enters calculations for this award.

Lionel Messi kisses the Copa America trophy
Lionel Messi will hope to add another accolade this winter after helping Argentina win Copa America in 2021

World Cup 2022 Golden Boot Award (odds via Sky Bet)

  • Harry Kane - 7/1
  • Kylian Mbappe - 8/1
  • Cristiano Ronaldo - 12/1
  • Karim Benzema - 14/1
  • Lionel Messi - 14/1
  • Romelu Lukaku - 16/1
  • Neymar - 18/1
  • Raheem Sterling - 20/1
  • 25/1 bar

Who are the favourites to win the World Cup Golden Ball?

Introduced by FIFA in 1982, the Golden Ball award is presented to the best player at each World Cup.

A shortlist of the best players in the tournament is drawn up by the FIFA technical committee before a winner is voted for by media representatives.

As you would imagine, the contenders for the Golden Ball are very similar to the Golden Boot favourites.

There is precedent for a different name to be in the running, however. Luka Modrić won the award in 2018, a personal consolation after his Croatia side were beaten 4-2 by France in the final.

Mbappe was named young player of the tournament in Russia, and another strong run for France could see him step up to the top prize.


Who are the favourites to win the World Cup?

World Cup outright preview
CLICK HERE for our World Cup outright preview

Brazil have consistently been the bookmakers' favourites to lift the trophy in Qatar.

Despite losing the Copa America final to rivals Argentina last year, the five-time world champions enter the tournament with an excellent chance.

Sporting Life's preview of the Copa América semi-final match between Brazil and Peru, including best bets and score prediction
The bookies consider Brazil the favourites to win in Qatar

Holders France have been slotted in as second favourites with most bookies, seeking to become the third country in World Cup history to retain the crown.


Will England win the World Cup?

A string of uninspiring performances has seen England pushed out recently, but they remain one of the likelier contenders according to the odds.

While they showed signs of life by fighting back from 2-0 down to ultimately draw 3-3 against Germany in their final game before the World Cup, Gareth Southgate's men are now on the worst run of any England men's team since 1993, without a win in six matches.

England boss Gareth Southgate has some tough choices ahead
England boss Gareth Southgate is under pressure heading into Qatar 2022 despite recent major tournament success

Before Luke Shaw reduced the deficit in that Nations League fixture at Wembley they hadn't scored from open play for a staggering 565 minutes.

What cannot be ignored, however, is the simple fact that England reached the semi-finals in Russia in 2018 and the final of Euro 2020.

World Cup 2022 winner (odds via Sky Bet)

  • Brazil - 9/2
  • France - 5/1
  • England - 13/2
  • Argentina - 7/1
  • Spain - 8/1
  • Germany - 9/1
  • Netherlands - 12/1
  • Belgium - 14/1
  • Portugal - 14/1
  • 28/1 bar

Odds correct before the tournament

World Cup: More from Sporting Life

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