FIFA World Cup 2022: Opening Ceremony, groups, fixtures, final, dates, Socceroos squad, how to watch in Australia, odds and everything to know

Cristiano Ronaldo missed a training session with Portugal because of a stomach bug that will rule him out of a World Cup warmup match against Nigeria.

Portugal is scheduled to play against Nigeria in Lisbon before flying to Qatar, and coach Fernando Santos said Ronaldo will not feature in the game.

Ronaldo’s build-up to the World Cup has been fraught following the release of excerpts of a TV interview in which the five-time Ballon d’Or winner said he feels “betrayed” by Manchester United and does not respect manager Erik ten Hag.

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Portugal’s opening group game at the World Cup is against Ghana on November 24 with South Korea and Uruguay also in the group.

With the showpiece tournament just days away, here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

When is the World Cup?

Football’s biggest tournament properly kicks off Monday, November 21 at 9pm (AEDT) with competition occurring over the next four weeks. As is usually the case, most matches will be played in the middle of the night for Australian audiences.

How to watch the World Cup in Australia?

Every match of the World Cup will be available on SBS.

Under the new extended trading hours policy for premises, select establishments will also be allowed to open in the early hours of the morning for eager football fans to watch.

Wide World of Sports will be extensively live blogging the tournament beginning on Monday evening, November 18.

How does the World Cup fixture work?

The 32 teams are split into eight groups of four. Each team will play the other three teams in its group once, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the knockout stage.

There are four knockout stages: the round of 16, quarter finals, semi finals and the final. 

Which teams have qualified for the World Cup so far?

The tournament will comprise 32 teams who will compete across 64 matches.

Asia: Qatar (hosts), Japan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Korea

Oceania: Australia

Africa: Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia

Europe: Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Wales

North America: Canada, Mexico, USA, Costa Rica

South America: Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Uruguay

Which nations are in which World Cup group?

World Cup previews: All 32 squads | Group A | Group B| Group C | Group D | Group E | Group F | Group G | Group H

Who is in the Socceroos’ squad?

Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan (C), Danny Vukovic, Andrew Redmayne

Defenders: Harry Souttar, Kye Rowles, Milos Degenek, Aziz Behich, Fran Karacic, Nathaniel Atkinson, Thomas Deng, Bailey Wright, Joel King, Keanu Baccus

Midfielders: Jackson Irvine, Aaron Mooy, Ajdin Hrustic, Riley McGree, Cameron Devlin

Forwards: Jamie Maclaren, Martin Boyle, Awer Mabil, Garang Kuol, Craig Goodwin, Mitchell Duke, Jason Cummings, Mat Leckie

Who is in Australia’s group?

The Socceroos were drawn in Group D alongside reigning champions France, Denmark and Tunisia.

France (FIFA men’s world ranking No.4)

The defending champions were hardly troubled in qualifying, going undefeated and locking up a spot in Qatar on the penultimate matchday with a thumping 8-0 win over Kazakhstan.

Denmark (FIFA men’s world ranking No.10)

A 1-0 win over Austria was enough for Denmark to top their European qualifying group with two games remaining, finishing well ahead of Scotland in second place, even with the latter triumphing on a final day dead rubber.

Tunisia (FIFA men’s world ranking No.30)

Tunisia were matched up against Mali in a two-legged play-off, with the only goal across 180 minutes of football coming via a Moussa Sissako own goal.

When do the Socceroos play?

France vs Australia – Wednesday November 23, 6:00am (AEDT), Al Janoub Stadium

Tunisia vs Australia – Saturday November 26, 9:00pm (AEDT), Al Janoub Stadium

Australia vs Denmark – Thursday December 1, 2:00am (AEDT), Al Janoub Stadium

How did Australia qualify for the World Cup?

In case you missed it, Australia had to go through two tense sudden death qualifiers to reach Qatar; first against the UAE, and then Peru. The latter, of course, ended in a penalty shootout victory, with Andrew Redmayne writing his name in Australian sporting history.

When and where is the World Cup final?

The World Cup final will be played on Monday, December 19 at 2:00am (AEDT). The decider will take place at the tournament’s largest venue, the Lusail Stadium.

Who is the favourite to win Qatar 2022?

Brazil (FIFA men’s world ranking No.1): $4.50 odds per PointsBet

The five-time champions secured qualification with plenty of games to spare, winning 14 and drawing three of their 17 matches. It was one of the most impressive qualifying campaigns ever, as they easily finished on top ahead of arch-rivals Argentina.

The other teams who are among the favourites to take out the World Cup include Argentina ($6.50), France ($7.50) and England ($9.00).

Who are the previous winners of the World Cup?

2018: France
2014: Germany
2010: Spain
2006: Italy
2002: Brazil
1998: France
1994: Brazil
1990: Germany
1986: Argentina

1982: Italy
1978: Argentina
1974: Germany
1970: Brazil
1966: England
1962: Brazil
1958: Brazil
1954: Germany
1950: Uruguay
1938: Italy
1934: Italy
1930: Uruguay

With five titles, Brazil is the most successful World Cup team and is also the only nation to have played in all 22 editions of the tournament.

Where is the next World Cup being held?

Following Qatar 2022, the next World Cup is expected to take place in June and July 2026, with an extended format due to the increase in teams to 48 nations.

A trio of nations – including the USA, Canada and Mexico – will host the 2026 World Cup with games divided between the countries.

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Amelia J. Bell

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