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What are the 2022 World Cup Groups?

Ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, we’re going to take a look at the Group Stages of the competition, with a total of 32 teams looking to compete to become world champions.

32 teams are divided into groups of four for the World Cup group stages, with these eight groups being listed from Group A all the way down to Group H.

This is the first World Cup that will be held in the winter, with it starting on 20th November, with home nation Qatar facing Ecuador, whilst the final is scheduled to take place on 18th December.

Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal & Netherlands

Qatar

Host nation Qatar will be competing at a World Cup for the first time in their history. They will be managed by ex-Barcelona youth coach Felix Sanchez at the tournament and come into it in good spirits, having won the Asia Cup in 2019 via a 3-1 win over Japan in the final.

Their captain, Hassan Al-Haydos is their most capped player at just 31 years of age, having made 163 appearances, scoring 33 times and will be hoping to inspire his side in what is a tough group for them.

Ecuador

Ecuador managed to pull off an incredible feat, by qualifying for the World Cup for the first time since 2014 when the tournament was played in Brazil. They managed this via a fourth-placed finish in the CONMEBOL group as they accumulated 26 points in 18 games.

They are coached by former Boca Juniors manager Gustavo Alfaro, whilst their top scorer and captain is ex-West Ham United forward Enner Valencia, who has managed 35 goals in 72 caps and now plies his trade at Turkish Super Lig giants Fenerbahce.

Senegal

Africa Cup of Nations champions Senegal were also drawn in Group A after finishing top of qualifying Group H containing the likes of Togo, Namibia and Congo before beating Egypt 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 aggregate scoreline in the third qualifying round.

Ironically, it was the Egyptians that they beat in the final of AFCON, having drawn with them 0-0 before winning 4-2 on penalties.

They also qualified for the World Cup in 2018, but, were knocked out in the group stages. They are managed by Aliou Cisse, whilst Kalidou Koulibaliy of Chelsea captains the side. Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane is the Lions of Teranga’s all-time top goalscorer with 33 goals.

Netherlands

The Netherlands are arguably the best team to have never won the World Cup and will hope that Louis van Gaal can change their fortunes having led them to the 2014 semi-final in Brazil.

In 2010, the Dutch made the final of this competition in South Africa, but, were beaten by Spain. Notably, they qualified out of Group G in the European World Cup qualifiers with 23 points, finishing ahead of both Norway and Turkey whilst Memphis Depay scored 12 times - the top scorer in European qualifying.

They are priced at 12/1 to win the World Cup (seventh favourites) and with talents such as Frenkie de Jong, Virgil van Dijk, Depay, Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij and more there is no reason as to why they can’t go all the way.

Group B: England, Iran, USA & Wales

England

Third favourites England head into this tournament hoping to go one better than what they managed in Euro 2020 when they finished as runners-up to Italy.

Gareth Southgate’s men are priced at 6/1 to win the tournament itself and will be hoping that captain Harry Kane can keep up his goalscoring record, as the Tottenham man fired in 12 goals during qualifying and now sits just three goals behind Wayne Rooney’s all-time record of 53 goals.

England finished top of qualifying Group I with 26 points from 10 games, ahead of the likes of Poland, Albania and Hungary.

Having made it to the final of Euro 2020 and the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, can the Three Lions make the next step and win it in Qatar?

Iran

Iran will be taking part in their third World Cup in a row under the leadership of ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz.

Their current active top scorer is Sardar Azmoun of Bayer Leverkusen who has netted 40 times in 63 games, they also have notable players amongst their ranks such as ex-Brighton man Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Porto forward Mehdi Taremi.

After initially topping Group B consisting of Iraq, Bahrain, Hong Kong and Cambodia, Iran qualified four the third round of qualifying, where they once again finished first in Group A ahead of the likes of South Korea and the UAE.

USA

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be the U.S’ first World Cup since 2014, having failed to qualify for the Russian edition last time out.

Coach Gregg Berhalter lead the U.S to a third-place finish in round three of qualifying with 25 points from 14 matches, just six goals better off than the likes of Costa Rica who ended up having to go through inter-confederation play-offs.

Noticeably, they did win the Gold Cup last year and have shown significant improvements since their failure of 2018. They also have a host of notable players on their books, such as Matt Turner (Arsenal), Tyler Adams (Leeds), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Brendan Aaronson (Leeds) and more.

Wales

Wales managed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 by beating both Austria and Ukraine in European World Cup qualifying play-offs after finishing second in Group E behind the likes of Belgium, but, ahead of the Czech Republic, Estonia and Belarus.

The Dragons will be dreaming of another run like they had in Euro 2016 when they made a shock semi-final appearance.

If rumours are to be true, this could likely be Gareth Bale’s first and only World Cup. The 33-year-old former Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur man who now plies his tried at LAFC is Wales’ captain and is also their all-time top scorer with 40 goals in 106 appearances.

Wales are priced at 11/10 to advance from this group.

Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico & Poland

Argentina

Two-time World Cup winners Argentina will be looking to build off their recent Copa America and UEFA Cup of Champions successes to win the tournament in Qatar. They are priced at 15/2 to win the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

Lionel Scaloni’s men finished second in CONMEBOL qualifying with 39 points from 17 games, winning 11 and drawing six.

At 35 years of age, this will likely be Lionel Messi’s last World Cup. The PSG forward holds the record for most caps for La Albiceleste, with 162 to his name, whilst he is also their all-time top scorer with 86 goals.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia are competing in the World Cup finals for a second successive time, with this being their sixth appearance as a whole.

They enter this tournament under the management of former Lille and Morocco coach Herve Renard who guided them to top of Group D in Asian qualifying ahead of Uzbekistan, Palestine, Singapore and Yemen, before seeing off the likes of Japan and Australia in the third round qualifying group to finish top once again.

In terms of notability, their whole squad more or less plays in the Saudi Pro League, but, the likes of Salem Al-Dawsari of Al-Hilal did have a loan spell at Villarreal back in 2018 and is their active top scorer with 17 goals in 65 caps.

Mexico

Mexico are a nation that features regularly at World Cups, having played in every World Cup since Italia 1990.

They are currently coached by ex-Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino and do have some talented players amongst their ranks, such as Hector Herrera (Houston Dynamo), Edson Alvarez (Ajax), Raul Jimenez (Wolves) and Hirving Lozano (Napoli). They are captained by the experienced Andres Guardado who has 175 caps to his name.

El Tri managed to qualify for the tournament via a second-place finish in North American World Cup qualifying, finishing on 28 points from 14 matches.

Poland

Next up is Poland, who managed to qualify as runners-up to England in Group I, before beating Sweden 2-0 in the play-offs.

This will be the Poles’ eighth World Cup finals appearance. They are currently managed by former Legia Warsaw coach Czesław Michniewicz, whilst their captain is Robert Lewandowski of Barcelona, who also holds their record of all-time top scorer with 76 goals, whilst also being their most capped player of all-time with 132 appearances.

Group D: France, Australia, Denmark & Tunisia

France

Current world champions France are priced at 11/2 to retain their crown, having won it for a second time at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Manager Didier Deschamps is one of a select few to have managed their national side to World Cup glory, whilst also captaining them in 1998.

Les Bleus comfortably topped Group D in qualifying ahead of Ukraine, Finland, Kazakhstan and Bosnia & Herzegovina. They will be desperate to bounce back from their Euro 2020 disappointment when they were knocked out in the Round of 16 by Switzerland on penalties.

Australia

Australia famously managed to qualify for this World Cup via inter-continental play-offs, as they beat Peru 5-4 on penalties after a 0-0 draw, with dancing goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne in goal.

They have qualified for each of the last five World Cups and will be hoping to get out of the group stage for the first time since Germany 2006, where they made it to the Round of 16.

The Socceroos are managed by former Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold, whilst ex-Brighton and Valencia goalkeeper Matt Ryan is actually their captain - the 30-year-old currently plies his trade in Denmark.

Denmark

Euro 2020 semi-finalists Denmark will be looking to give a good account of themselves once again under Kasper Hjulmand.

The Danes, who are captained by AC Milan defender Simon Kjaer easily topped Group F of European World Cup qualifying, having amassed 27 points from nine matches, scoring 30 and conceding just three against the likes of Scotland, Israel, Austria, the Faroe Island and Moldova.

Notably, they have played at five other World Cups, with France 1998 being their most successful when they reached the quarter-finals.

Tunisia

The final team in Group D is Tunisia who are featuring in back-to-back World Cups for just the second time in their history.

Tunisia finished top of Group B in the second round ahead of the likes of Equatorial Guinea, Zambia and Mauritania before defeating Mali 1-0 in the third round to qualify.

The Eagles of Carthage are managed by Jalel Kadri and have some notable players such as ex-Sunderland forward Wahbi Khazri and Manchester United midfielder Hannibal Mejbri who is currently on loan at Championship side Birmingham City.

Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany & Japan

Spain

2010 World Cup winners Spain enter this tournament with the odds of 15/2 to win it.

They managed to make the semi-finals of Euro 2020 under Luis Enrique and will be looking to make the most of what is a talented group of players that saw them comfortably top Group B of European World Cup qualifying ahead of Sweden, Greece, Georgia and Kosovo.

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets is their most capped active player with 137 appearances to his name - the 34-year-old also captains the side. Their active top scorer is Atletico Madrid forward Alvaro Morata with 26 goals.

Costa Rica

As mentioned above, Costa Rica could only finish fourth in North American World Cup qualifying, behind the likes of Canada, Mexico and the U.S, forcing them to play an inter-continental play-off match against New Zealand which they won 1-0.

They will need a 2014 World Cup-esque effort to qualify out of a group containing the likes of Spain and Germany in it. Luis Fernando Suarez has the likes of ex-Fulham playmaker Brian Ruiz as captain, the Liga Deportiva Alajuelense man currently has 144 caps for his country.

Costa Rica have some experienced campaigners amongst their ranks such as Ruiz’s club teammate Celso Borges with 153 caps to his name, as well as Keylor Navas, Joel Campbell and Bryan Oviedo.

Germany

Germany will be looking to have a positive tournament under the guidance of ex-Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick.

Die Mannschaft crashed out of the group stages in 2018 as holders of the competition, before being defeated 2-0 by England in the Round of 16 at Euro 2020.

Flick’s side are priced at 9/1 to become world champions a fifth time and will be looking to top the group ahead of Spain. Typically, Germany strolled through World Cup qualifying, winning nine of their 10 matches in Group J which consisted of North Macedonia, Romania, Armenia, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Japan

Japan managed to scrape through Asia’s World Cup qualifiers via a second-place finish in Group B of the third round behind Saudi Arabia.

Former Sanfrecce Hiroshima manager Hajime Moriyasu is currently in charge of the Samurai Blues and will no doubt be keen to get the most out of a squad that has bags of experience with the likes of Maya Yoshida as captain, whilst having some in-form stars such as Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic.

Since failing to qualify for the USA World Cup of 1994, Japan have appeared at every tournament, with their three Round of 16 finishes at the Japan and Korea World Cup of 2002, South Africa in 2010 and Russia in 2018 being their best tournaments.

Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco & Croatia

Belgium

Group F of the FIFA World Cup sees Belgium in it, a team that has promised so much but underwhelmed, with their third-place play-off finish at the Russian World Cup of 2018 being their best finish to date.

The Red Devils are still managed by Roberto Martinez, however, their golden era is dwindling a little, having seen the likes of Vincent Kompany and more retire. They are at 14/1 to win the World Cup.

Eden Hazard is Belgium’s captain, whilst Jan Vertonghen is their most capped player of all time with 139. The former Spurs man recently moved back to Belgium with Anderlecht after two seasons at Benfica. Their top goalscorer is Romelu Lukaku with 68 goals in 102 caps.

Belgium finished as comfortable winners of Group E in European World Cup qualifying with 20 points from six matches, ahead of the likes of Wales, Czech Republic, Estonia and Belarus.

Canada

Sensationally, Canada managed to qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1986 under the leadership of English coach John Herdman, who moved into the men’s managerial role after coaching the women’s national side for seven years between 2011 and 2018.

The Maple Leafs finished top of the North American World Cup qualifying group, partially thanks to a deadly strike force of Cyle Larin and Jonathan David who scored 22 between them. Les Rouges also had other notable players to be thankful for too, such as Atiba Hutchinson of Besiktas, Junior Hoilett (Reading) and Alphonso Davies of Bayern Munich who even managed to net five goals himself.

Canada are priced at 10/3 to defy all odds once against and to qualify from their group.

Morocco

Morocco’s qualifying campaign was emphatic, as they finished top of Group I in Africa’s World Cup qualifiers with 18 points from six games ahead of Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Sudan. After this, they would go on to hammer DR Congo 5-2 on aggregate.

Despite of this, Vahid Halilhodžić was sacked due to falling out with several key players such as Hakim Ziyech, as well as having disagreements with the Moroccan football president.

The captain of the national side is Romain Saiss, formerly of Wolves, whilst they also have the likes of Achraf Hakimi who plies his trade at PSG, as well as Noussair Mazraoui (Bayern Munich), Amine Harit (Marseille) and Youssef En-Nesyri (Sevilla).

Croatia

2018 World Cup finalists Croatia are the final team in Group F and will be looking to carry on their progress under Zlatko Dalic.

Vatreni managed to top Group H of World Cup qualifying ahead of Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta and will be dreaming of causing some more World Cup upsets in what could be the final tournament for Luka Modric who recently turned 37 years old.

Modric is currently his national side’s captain and also has the most caps for his nation, with 152 appearances.

Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland & Cameroon

Brazil

Brazil enters this World Cup as favourites at 9/2 having topped CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying with an impressive record of 17 wins and three draws, equating to 45 points from 17 matches.

Many believe that Tite’s men have the flair and experience to win their first World Cup since 2002 having significantly improved under his leadership, winning the Copa America in 2019, and narrowly losing out to Argentina in 2021.

This could be the tournament where Neymar lives up to expectations, with the PSG man just three goals short of Pele’s all-time scoring record of 77 goals. They have a terrific mix of experience in the shape of Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, and Casemiro, whilst having prodigious young talents such as Vinicius Junior. Can they break their 20-year World Cup drought?

Serbia

Serbia managed to stun many in World Cup qualifying, as they beat Portugal to win Group A, which also consisted of the Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg and Azerbaijan.

Former Guangzhou R&F manager Dragan Stojkovic is the man who will lead them out, with Dusan Tadic as captain. Notably, in-form Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is their all-time top scorer with 46 goals in 74 appearances.

The Serbs haven’t managed to get out of the World Cup group stages since France 1998 when they reached the Round of 16, a record that they will be desperate to change.

Switzerland

Like Serbia, Switzerland also pulled off a major shock by beating European champions Italy to the top of Group C, as they won five and drew three of their eight matches in Group C.

The Swiss showed in Euro 2020 that they do have the capability to pull off some shocks, having defeated current world champions France, and could potentially even be a dark horse to go far in the tournament on current form.

Since the European Championship, Murat Yakin has taken over as coach from Vladimir Petkovic, whilst Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka is their captain.

Cameroon

Cameroon will be hoping for a good showing after they dramatically knocked Algeria out of African World Cup qualifying via a 124th-minute winning goal from Karl Toko-Ekambi to seal a win on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.

Prior to this, they had also knocked out Ivory Coast by finishing top of Group D which also contained the likes of Mozambique and Malawi.

The Indomitable Lions are managed by legendary figure Rigobert Song and will be determined to build on their third-place finish at AFCON earlier on this year.

Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay & South Korea

Portugal

Group H, sees Portugal feature in it after being forced to go through the European World Cup qualifying play-offs after finishing second-place behind Serbia in Group A.

Thankfully for the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, whose last tournament it could be at the grand age of 37, they made it through after beating Turkey 3-1 and North Macedonia 2-0 to spare their blushes.

Ronaldo himself is the captain and holds the all-time top scorer record in international football, firing in 117 goals in 189 caps. As for their coach Fernando Santos, he still remains after notably leading them to both the European Championship in 2016 and the UEFA Nations League in 2018/19.

Ghana

Like many in African World Cup qualifying, Ghana’s qualification was dramatic and hard-fought, as they beat Nigeria 1-0 on away goals thanks to a Thomas Partey strike.

Prior to this, they had topped Group G on goals scored ahead of South Africa, who also got 13 points. Their other opponents in the second round of qualifying were Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.

Ex-Borussia Dortmund midfielder Otto Addo is their current manager, whilst Andre Ayew will captain the Black Stars at this year's competition.

Uruguay

Uruguay managed to qualify for the World Cup for the fourth time in a row via a third-place finish in the South American World Cup qualifying group.

La Celeste, who are managed by Diego Alonso and captained by record appearance holder Diego Godin accumulated 28 points from 18 matches and will feel that this could be the end of an era, with the likes of Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Godin and more in the twilights of their careers, leaving it to the likes of Fede Valverde and Darwin Nunez to pick up the mantle.

South Korea

The 32nd and final team on this list is South Korea, who will be looking to give a good account of themselves after narrowly finishing second behind Iran in the third round of qualifying, after topping Group H in the second round ahead of Lebanon, Turkmenistan, Sri Lanka and North Korea.

The Taeguk Warriors' most notable player is Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur who is their captain and will be the man that manager Paulo Bento looks towards to inspire his side, especially after seeing him win the 2021/22 Premier League Golden Boot.

South Korea’s best World Cup campaign saw them finish fourth at their home World Cup in 2002, a memorable feat that would take a monumental effort to be achieved in Qatar.

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