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World Cup schedule, teams and brackets

Each dot represents a recreation

Each dot represents a recreation

Each dot represents a recreation

Each dot represents a recreation


The 2022 World Cup is ready to kick off in Qatar this November, moved from its ordinary spot on the sports activities calendar to keep away from the summer season warmth.

The U.S. males’s nationwide soccer staff, led by Coach Gregg Berhalter and star ahead Christian Pulisic, certified for the 2022 World Cup, an enchancment from its disastrous and unsuccessful 2018 marketing campaign.

The U.S. landed in Group B together with England, Wales and Iran. England and the United States are set to fulfill in a high-profile conflict in Qatar on Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving. The Americans open their World Cup marketing campaign towards Wales on Nov. 21.

The presence of host Qatar, a soccer minnow that has by no means certified for the World Cup, because the seeded staff threatened to provide an underwhelming Group A. But the draw managed to nonetheless serve up a pair of dark-horse contenders: the Netherlands and Senegal.

The Dutch, three-time World Cup runners-up, have re-emerged as a power in UEFA because of such world-class skills as Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong. Senegal, in the meantime, gained the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this 12 months and boast a entrance line led by Bayern Munich star Sadio Mané up entrance. Although any nation that efficiently navigates South American qualifying shouldn’t be underestimated, Ecuador appears just like the group’s lengthy shot.

Group A evaluation

Its current UEFA Nations League relegation apart, England has all of the makings of a World Cup contender after claiming third place 4 years in the past in Russia and advancing to the Euro 2020 closing. Tottenham striker Harry Kane units the tone up prime, Chelsea winger Raheem Sterling retains opponents off stability and rising stars like Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Mason Mount look prepared for the worldwide stage.

On paper, the United States ought to be the marginal favourite to affix England in advancing: The Americans gained each the Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup and boast an unprecedented wealth of younger stars testing themselves in Europe’s prime leagues, together with Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic, Juventus’s Weston McKennie and AC Milan’s Sergiño Dest. But a rocky qualifying run and underwhelming September friendlies may open the door for veteran-heavy Wales — competing in its first World Cup since 1958 — and an Iran squad that dominated in Asia’s qualifying marketing campaign.

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Group B evaluation

After Lionel Messi eventually led Argentina to a global title final summer season, when the Albiceleste topped rival Brazil for the Copa America crown, can the 35-year-old footballing icon cap his legacy with an elusive World Cup title? There are few — if any — extra compelling narratives in Qatar.

The heavyweight Argentines are joined within the group by a Mexico staff that has fallen on powerful instances — failing to win the Concacaf Nations League or Gold Cup or end atop the area in World Cup qualifying — however continues to be seeking to win its first knockout spherical recreation since 1986. A Poland squad led by Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski, winner of the previous two FIFA males’s participant of the 12 months prizes, may even vie for a spot within the knockout spherical alongside underdog Saudi Arabia.

Group C evaluation

After crashing out within the second spherical of final 12 months’s European Championship, France will look to get again on observe and turn out to be the primary nation to repeat as World Cup champion since Pelé and Brazil did so in 1962. The French have the expertise to tug it off: Paris Saint-Germain ahead Kylian Mbappé, a teenage prodigy 4 years in the past, has blossomed right into a full-blown celebrity, whereas prolific Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has returned from a five-year worldwide exile.

The group’s sentimental favourite, nevertheless, is a Denmark staff led by Manchester United playmaker Christian Eriksen — again on the sphere and thriving after struggling a traumatizing cardiac arrest within the opening recreation of the Danes’ Euro 2020 run. The group is rounded out by Tunisia and Australia, two groups which have mixed to make it previous the group stage simply as soon as and have by no means gained a knockout spherical recreation.

Group D evaluation

Only one group in Qatar contains a number of previous World Cup winners, and it’s Group E. It so occurs that the 2 previous winners additionally aren’t all that far faraway from their most up-to-date victories: Spain was the champion in South Africa in 2010, whereas Germany took the crown in Brazil in 2014. Both squads have modified since these World Cup-winning campaigns, however these two European rivals will certainly be vying for the highest spot within the group.

The different two groups right here have expertise enjoying the spoiler towards the perennial contenders on the largest stage. Costa Rica, which went on a memorable run to the quarterfinals in 2014, was the final of the 32 groups to achieve this 12 months’s match, sealing its spot after a fourth-place end in Concacaf qualifying and a playoff win. Japan reached the knockouts in 2018 and impressed in a shutout win over the United States final month.

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Group E evaluation

For a lot of the previous 4 years, Belgium held the highest spot in FIFA’s rankings. The Red Devils frequently function a few of the world’s greatest gamers — from star midfielders Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) and Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) to Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku, who tied because the second-leading scorer on the 2018 World Cup. Despite all that expertise, a significant trophy has evaded the Belgians. In what is going to in all probability be the ultimate run for his or her “Golden Generation,” they’ll attempt to change that in Qatar.

After ending atop the Concacaf qualifying desk, Canada is at its first World Cup in additional than 30 years, led by a proficient crop of younger gamers. Morocco has seen some tumult following its quarterfinal exit at AFCON, however Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech is again after a spell away from the nationwide staff. Then there’s Croatia: Only 4 years faraway from a visit to the World Cup closing in Russia, this may occasionally even be the final main match for its personal “Golden Generation.”

Group F evaluation

Brazil isn’t only a favourite to win Group G. It’s a preferred option to win the entire match — and for good motive. The top-ranked Brazilians will contend for his or her nation’s sixth World Cup (and first since 2002) with one of many deepest squads in Qatar. With stars like Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar and Real Madrid’s Vinícius Júnior, A Seleção enters the World Cup with only one loss — to rival Argentina in July 2021 — in its previous 29 matches.

It might be exhausting to cease a staff as talent-laden as Brazil from ending first right here, however the different three nations will battle it out for the group’s second place within the knockout stage. Serbia is an efficient candidate to problem for that spot, arriving in Qatar on a powerful run of kind behind strikers Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) and Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus). Switzerland made it to the quarterfinals of Euro 2020 in the summertime of 2021 knocking out defending world champion France alongside the way in which, whereas underdog Cameroon will attempt to make its first journey previous the group stage since 1990.

Group G evaluation

This group is likely one of the tougher to foretell among the many eight in Qatar. The favourite right here, Portugal, wanted two wins within the playoffs to even safe its spot on the World Cup. This might be the ultimate main worldwide match for Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo, the 37-year-old Manchester United star, and all eyes might be watching to see if he and Argentina’s Lionel Messi may renew their rivalry one closing time someplace within the knockout stage.

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Uruguay has a proficient forged of characters — fronted by entertaining but controversial striker Luis Suárez — but it surely stays to be seen if it could possibly put the items collectively to make a deep run previous the group stage. South Korea will journey on the energy of Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min, one of many world’s greatest scorers and largest stars. After a rocky exit from AFCON earlier this 12 months, Ghana will hope it could possibly flip the nook towards a stronger efficiency in Qatar.

Group H evaluation

The group stage will wrap on Dec. 2, with the highest two groups from every group advancing to the knockout rounds starting the following day. The spherical of 16 will pair groups that completed first of their group with groups that completed second in a corresponding group, so group A groups will face off with group B groups, C with D and so forth. Once these matchups are confirmed and the bracket is ready, every staff’s potential path to the ultimate turns into extra clear. From right here on out matches can not finish in a tie, so FIFA’s additional time and shootout guidelines will apply. To keep away from too many rematches, groups from the identical teams might be positioned on reverse sides of the bracket, in order that they gained’t be capable to meet once more till the ultimate, or the third place recreation ought to they lose within the semifinals.

The U.S. males’s nationwide staff will play in probably the most balanced World Cup group, Group B. According to the FIFA’s rankings, there are solely 15 positions between the highest-ranked staff within the group, England, which is fifth, and the bottom, Iran, which is twentieth. Conversely, there are 52 positions between the 2 extremes in Group H, which incorporates Portugal, ranked ninth, and Ghana, ranked at a match low 61st.

Eight teams of 4 groups will pull from the six FIFA confederations.

North, Central America and Caribbean

Eight teams of 4 groups will pull from the six FIFA confederations.

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

North, Central America and Caribbean

Eight teams of 4 groups will pull from the six FIFA confederations.

North, Central America and Caribbean

Eight teams of 4 groups will pull from the six FIFA confederations.

North, Central America and Caribbean



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