2022 WORLD CUP PREVIEW: GROUP-BY-GROUP, TEAM-BY-TEAM GUIDE
The 2022 World Cup is finally here. 4 and a half years after the last one, the world’s biggest tournament heads to Qatar for the first ever winter World Cup. There’s a lot of information to take in, but we at We Love Sport want to give you a pint sized preview.
This preview is going to look at only a few things, rather than bore you with a 10,000 word essay. We’ll tell you the groups, one line on each teams chances and the venues. Short, sweet and informative.
And as Qatar is so far away, make sure you find your nearest We Love Sport pub to watch the World Cup!
The group draw
Like the last edition, the World Cup will start with 32 teams split into 8 groups of 4:
- 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
What can each nation expect?
There’s 32 nations, so an in-depth factfile on all teams is simply boring, so we’re going to give a one liner on each team’s hopes this winter.
Qatar: A team better than people expect in one of the easier groups, but unlikely to progress.
Ecuador: Expectations of the knockouts and it is possible, but not favourites to qualify.
Senegal: AFCON winners and should qualify in second, dependent on Sadio Mane heavily though.
Netherlands: Easy group for a team full of strong players, aiming to go deep into the competition.
England: Should fly through the group, talented squad expecting to build on semi finals in 2018.
Iran: A country being overlooked, rarely concede & are experienced here, don’t be shocked to see them in RO16.
USA: Strong players at big European teams and will be expecting RO16 at the least.
Wales: Players not at the same level as Euros, again looking for RO16 but could be disappointed.
Argentina: Copa America holders looking very strong and are one of the tournament favourites.
Saudi Arabia: Respectfully, here to make up the numbers in a very hard group.
Mexico: Strong World Cup pedigree and will be going toe to toe with Poland, expecting Quarters.
Poland: The exact same as Mexico, just without the regular World Cup appearances.
France: Current Champions aiming to defend their crown, but needing a better showing than at Euros.
Australia: Not a bad team by any means, but thrown into a group with two great European sides. Out.
Denmark: Semis in the Euros and nothing to suggest Quarters or Semis is out of reach in Qatar.
Tunisia: Similar to Australia, not a bad team but simply no chance in a tough group.
Spain: A strong, young team who went under the radar in 2021 who are definitely aiming for Semis.
Japan: Very good team and not all hope is lost, but they’re not likely to qualify out of a very hard group.
Germany: A revived German team under Flick and winning the tournament isn’t out of the question.
Costa Rica: Had an amazing 2014 tournament but its just not going to happen again this year.
Belgium: Not quite the team of the past decade and shouldn’t be expected past the Quarters at best.
Canada: 36 years in the making so they’ll enjoy their only three games in Qatar, home by December.
Morocco: Side full of flair but in a hard group, but will entertain the masses.
Croatia: Unlikely to see the final again but they’ll make themselves proud almost certainly.
Brazil: 5 time winners are favourites and rightfully so, anything less than winning is failure.
Serbia: A strong European side and its incredibly close between them and Switzerland, RO16 at best.
Switzerland: Consistent side at every tournament, but out in the RO16 at best.
Cameroon: Would be silly to rule out Cameroon completely but their group has not been kind to them.
Portugal: Strong squad the whole way up the pitch but you can never predict how they’ll perform.
Ghana: A good team but likely to come up short to Uruguay.
Uruguay: An ageing squad but the quality is still there, so aiming for the Quarters isn’t crazy.
South Korea: Another side who is full of good players, but the group is a tough one.
You’re not the only one who hasn’t got a clue about stadiums or cities in Qatar, but we’ve got your back.
There are 8 stadiums being used in the tournament and they’ve all been built or rejuvenated in the past 5 years so it’s all fresh and ready for the world to see.
The games will take place in eight different stadia: Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Lusail Stadium, Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, Education City Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium.
All but Al Bayt Stadium (60,000) and Lusail Stadium (80,000) who host the Semi-Finals & Final have a capacity of 40,000.
We Love Sport
Quite frankly, this is the pinnacle of all sport. And we are the pinnacle of all venues to watch sport. With that, get down to your nearest We Love Sport venues for the World Cup as it is the place to be. Whether it be Japan v Costa Rica or the World Cup final, there is nowhere better to watch than with us at We Love Sport!