World Cup schedule, groups and brackets

Each point represents a game

Each point represents a game

Each point represents a game

Each point represents a game


The 2022 World Cup is set to kick off in Qatar in November, moved from its usual spot on the sporting calendar to avoid the summer heat.

The United States men’s national soccer team, led by coach Gregg Berhalter and star striker Christian Pulisic, have qualified for the 2022 World Cup, an improvement on their disastrous and unsuccessful 2018 campaign .

The United States landed in Group B with England, Wales and Iran. England and the United States are due to meet in a highly publicized clash in Qatar on November 25, the day after Thanksgiving. The Americans open their World Cup campaign against Wales on November 21.

The presence of host country Qatar, a footballing minnow who never qualified for the World Cup, as the top-seeded team threatened to produce a disappointing Group A. .

The Dutch, three-time World Cup finalists, have once again become a force for UEFA thanks to world-class talents such as Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong. Senegal, meanwhile, won the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year and have a front line led by Bayern Munich star Sadio Mane up front. While any nation that successfully navigates the South American qualifiers shouldn’t be underestimated, Ecuador look like the long shot of the group.

Group A analysis

Recent relegation to the UEFA Nations League aside, England have all the makings of a World Cup contender after claiming third place four years ago in Russia and advancing to the final of the UEFA Nations League. Euro 2020. Tottenham striker Harry Kane sets the tone, Chelsea winger Raheem Sterling keeps opponents off balance and rising stars like Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Mason Mount look set for the world stage.

On paper, the United States should be the marginal favorite to join England in their progression: the Americans have won both the Concacaf Nations League and the Gold Cup and boast an unprecedented wealth of young stars testing themselves in Europe’s top leagues, including Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic, Juventus’ Weston. McKennie and Sergiño Dest of AC Milan. But a turbulent qualifying run and disappointing friendlies in September could open the door for Wales, which has plenty of veterans – competing in its first World Cup since 1958 – and an Iranian side that dominated the qualifying campaign in Asia.

Group B analysis

After Lionel Messi finally led Argentina to an international title last summer, when the Albiceleste topped rivals Brazil for the Copa America crown, can the 35-year-old football icon top his legacy with an elusive World Cup title? There are few – if any – more compelling narratives in Qatar.

The Argentinian heavyweights are joined in the group by a Mexican side who have fallen on hard times – having failed to win the Concacaf Nations League or the Gold Cup or finish atop the region in FIFA Cup qualifying. world – but who is still looking to win his first knockout game. since 1986. A Polish side led by Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski, winners of the last two FIFA Men’s Player of the Year awards, will also be vying for a place in the round of 16 alongside Saudi Arabia.

Group C analysis

After collapsing in the second round of the European Championship last year, France will be looking to get back on track and become the first nation to repeat themselves as World Cup champions since Pelé and the Brazil did it in 1962. The French have the talent to succeed. : Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappé, a teenage prodigy four years ago, has become a superstar in his own right, while prolific Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has returned from five-year international exile.

The sentimental favourite, however, is a Danish side led by Manchester United playmaker Christian Eriksen – back on the pitch and thriving after suffering a traumatic cardiac arrest in the opener of the United Nations race. Danes at Euro 2020. The group is completed by Tunisia and Australia, two teams that have combined to get past the group stage just once and have never won a knockout game.

Group D analysis

Only one group in Qatar includes several former World Cup winners, and that’s Group E. The two former winners happen to be not that far off from their last victories either: Spain were champions in South Africa in 2010, while Germany won the crown in Brazil in 2014. Both sides have changed since those World Cup-winning campaigns, but these two European rivals are sure to battle it out for top spot in the group.

The other two teams here have experience playing spoiler against perennial contenders on the biggest stage. Costa Rica, who enjoyed a memorable run to the quarter-finals in 2014, were the last of 32 teams to reach this year’s tournament, sealing their place after a fourth-place finish in Concacaf qualifying and victory in the playoffs. Japan hit knockouts in 2018 and impressed in a shutout win over the United States last month.

Group E analysis

For most of the past four years, Belgium have occupied the top spot in the FIFA rankings. The Red Devils regularly feature some of the best players in the world – from star midfielders Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) and Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) to Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku, who has been tied as second best 2018 World Cup goalscorer. Despite all that talent, a major trophy eluded the Belgians. In what will likely be the last round of their ‘Golden Generation’ they will try to change that in Qatar.

After finishing atop the Concacaf qualifying table, Canada are entering their first World Cup in over 30 years, led by a generation of talented young players. Morocco have been in some uproar after their CAN quarter-final exit but Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech is back after a spell away from the national team. And then there’s Croatia: just four years away from a trip to the World Cup final in Russia, this could also be the last major tournament for its own “Golden Generation”.

Group F Analysis

Brazil aren’t just favorites to win Group G. They’re a popular choice to win the entire tournament – and for good reason. The top-ranked Brazilians will contest their country’s sixth World Cup (and first since 2002) with one of Qatar’s deepest sides. With stars like Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain and Vinícius Júnior from Real Madrid, A Seleção enters the World Cup with just one defeat – to rival Argentina in July 2021 – in their last 29 appearances.

It will be difficult to prevent a team as talented as Brazil from finishing first here, but the other three countries will face off for second place in the group in the knockout stage. Serbia are a strong contender to challenge for that spot, arriving in Qatar in impressive form behind strikers Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) and Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus). Switzerland qualified for the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 in the summer of 2021 by knocking out reigning world champions France, while the Cameroonian outsider will try to progress through the group stage for the first time since. 1990.

Group G Analysis

This group is one of the most difficult to predict among Qatar’s eight. Favorites here, Portugal, needed two playoff wins to even secure their place at the World Cup. This could be the last major international tournament for Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, the 37-year-old Manchester United star, and all eyes will be on to see if he and Argentina’s Lionel Messi can renew their rivalry one last time somewhere. in the knockout stage. .

Uruguay have a talented cast of characters – led by entertaining but controversial striker Luis Suárez – but it remains to be seen whether they can put the pieces together to make a deep run beyond the group stage. South Korea will ride on the strength of Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min, one of the world’s top scorers and biggest stars. After a rocky exit from AFCON earlier this year, Ghana will be hoping to turn the page on a better performance in Qatar.

Group H analysis

The group stage will end on December 2, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the round of 16 starting the following day. The round of 16 will pit the teams that finished first in their group against the teams that finished second in a corresponding group, so the teams in group A will play the teams in group B, C with D and so on. Once these matchups are confirmed and the table set, each team’s potential path to the final becomes clearer. From now on, matches cannot end in a draw, so FIFA overtime and shootout rules will apply. To avoid too many rematches, teams from the same groups will be positioned on opposite sides of the bracket, so they cannot meet again until the final, or the match for third place if they lose in the semi-finals .

The United States men’s national team will play in the most balanced World Cup group, Group B. According to FIFA rankings, there are only 15 positions between the highest ranked team in the group, England, which is fifth, and the lowest, Iran. , which is 20th. Conversely, there are 52 positions between the two extremes of Group H, which includes ninth-placed Portugal and 61st-placed Ghana in the tournament.

Eight groups of four teams will be drawn from the six FIFA confederations.

North, Central America and the Caribbean

Eight groups of four teams will be drawn from the six FIFA confederations.

And Costa Rica (31) or New Zealand (101)

North, Central America and the Caribbean

Eight groups of four teams will be drawn from the six FIFA confederations.

North, Central America and the Caribbean

Eight groups of four teams will be drawn from the six FIFA confederations.

North, Central America and the Caribbean

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