The 2022 World Cup in Qatar begins on November 20 with 32 teams aiming to reach the final and become world champions on December 18.
The tournament will be the first to be held in the Arab world and only the second to be held in Asia, after Japan and South Korea hosted the event in 2002. This edition will be the last to feature just 32 teams , with the tournament expanded from 2026 to feature 48 nations.
Reigning champions France will be among the favourites, although no team has successfully defended the World Cup since Brazil in 1962, alongside fellow Europeans England, Spain and Belgium. Brazil and Argentina are also likely to feature in the Round of 16, while Senegal could represent Africa’s greatest hopes of winning for the first time.
England will face play-off winners Wales in Group B with the United States and Iran. Spain and Germany were drawn in a tough Group E with Japan and Costa Rica, while Portugal face Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea in a well-balanced Group H.
Hosts Qatar start their tournament against Ecuador, before taking on Senegal and the Netherlands – the latter duo was to be the first game of the 2022 World Cup before organizers moved Qatar’s match one day earlier. Due to excessive summer temperatures in the Gulf state, the Qatar World Cup will be the first to be staged in winter rather than summer.
Check out the full World Cup fixtures and schedule below.
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.
Group stage: November 20 to December 2
Round of 16: December 3-6
Quarter-finals: December 9-10
Semi-finals: December 13-14
Final: December 18