World Cup 2022 predictions: Chris Sutton predicts opening round of group games in Qatar

Last Updated on November 19, 2022 by

BBC Sport football expert Chris Sutton predicts the outcome of the 64 matches at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

It kicks off with the opening games for each group, in which France face Australia, as well as England against Iran and Wales against the USA.

Sutton also picks his two teams from each group to advance to the playoffs.

He’s rooting for France to win the World Cup, believes England will reach the quarter-finals and Wales won’t make it out of his group.

Contents

GROUP A

GROUP A

Sutton’s pre-tournament picks: Netherlands (winners) and Senegal (runner-up). Ecuador took third place, and Qatar fourth.

Qatar v Ecuador (20 November, 16:00 GMT)

Qatar v Ecuador (20 November, 16:00 GMT)

Qatar must expect home advantage to pay off, but I doubt it. It will be very difficult for them to leave this group – in fact, I think they will finish at the bottom.

Ecuador is a defensive team, so there won’t be many goals in this opening game, but they should still find a way to win.

Senegal v Netherlands (21 November, 16:00)

Senegal v Netherlands (21 November, 16:00)

Here I am: This is my first game commentating for BBC Radio 5 Live at the World Cup.

Sadio Mane is out of the tournament which is a big blow for Senegal. They won the African Cup earlier this year, but it was difficult for them to score goals, even with him in the team.

Senegal are strong in defense and don’t concede much, but this lack of cutting edge could cost them if they reach the playoffs.

I am very confident that the Netherlands will reach the last 16, and I think they can surprise few people in this tournament.

It may seem strange to say that the Dutch are dark horses here, as they traditionally have a strong international side, but I’m not so sure that’s been the case in recent years.

However, you look at this team, and they have a lot of talented players. If they click, they can go far, and should win here.

GROUP B

GROUP B

Sutton’s pre-tournament picks: England (winners) and United States (runner-up). Iran took third place, and Wales fourth.

England v Iran (21 November, 13:00)

England v Iran (21 November, 13:00)

This is not to brag, but I expect England to win all their group games and start a push as the tournament progresses.

Having said that, the centre-back position scares me and I think everyone is waiting to see if Gareth Southgate goes three or four at the back, and if Harry Maguire starts against Iran.

There’s a strong chance that Maguire could, but he hasn’t played enough games for Manchester United this season, so will he use these team games to get back to sharpness? England have to win them, and can’t afford any mistakes.

Iran drew with Portugal at the last World Cup, so this shouldn’t be seen as a fluke, and they are well organized with a threat from Porto striker Mehdi Taremi.

England have more quality throughout the team, but I don’t think it will be easy, especially in the first game.

USA v Wales (21 November, 19:00)

For me, this first game for Wales is all about whether they reach the last 16, and what worries me the most is the fitness of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen.

Wales have other capable players and they will try to find Kieffer Moore and the likes of Daniel James and Brennan Johnson will try to escape.

That worked in qualifying but, to make an impact in Qatar, they need big performances from Bale, Ramsey and Allen and I’m not sure they’re in a position to do that. I’m still not sure who can if they don’t step up.

If Wales win this game I think they will go through, but I don’t think they will. The United States is a young team and most of them are new to the World Cup as well, so it will be close, but I’m going for the USA.

GROUP C

Sutton’s pre-tournament picks to go by: Argentina (winners) and Mexico (runner-up). Poland finished third, and Saudi Arabia fourth.

Argentina v Saudi Arabia (22 November, 10:00)

Saudi Arabia were thumped 5-0 by Russia in their opening match of the 2018 World Cup and they must be worried that they will now receive the same treatment from Lionel Messi and co.

Messi is the story, of course, and everyone is talking about whether this will be his year, but the whole Argentina team is playing well, scoring a lot of goals and their long unbeaten run – that will not be under threat here.

Mexico v Poland (22 November, 16:00)

Mexico have an experienced side, but they haven’t been in form of late.

Poland aren’t exactly flying either, and the hope is Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski and Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski, who has been phenomenal this season.

So it’s hard to call this group. I’m going to Mexico to take second place behind Argentina, but I think they’ll start with a draw.

GROUP D

Sutton’s pre-tournament picks to go through: France (winners) and Denmark (runner-up). Australia third and Tunisia fourth.

Denmark v Tunisia (22 November, 13:00)

Tunisia’s strength is at the back and Ellyes Skhiri who sits in front of their defense is a key man for them.

Denmark’s main task will be to break them down, but I expect Christian Eriksen to find a way.

France v Australia (22 November, 19:00)

Australia not picking West Bromwich Albion midfielder Tom Rogic is a mistake. His former Celtic team-mate Aaron Mooy made the team and his experience will help him.

Graham Arnold’s side come into the World Cup on the back of a five-match winning streak, so they’ll be as safe as can be… at least until they meet France.

Like I said, the headlines are my tip to win again. It would be a big surprise if they didn’t start with a win.

GROUP E

Sutton’s pre-tournament picks to go through: Spain (winners) and Japan (runner-up). Germany third and Costa Rica fourth.

Germany v Japan (22 November, 13:00)

People call Group B the toughest team based on the team standings but this looks much more difficult.

Most people expect Germany to join Spain in the last 16, but don’t underestimate Japan as they have some very talented technical players.

I’m not sure about this side of Germany. They may have stalled in Qatar, but their patchy form over the last 12 months suggests they could be a soft touch: Japan will have some options here.

Spain v Costa Rica (22 November, 16:00)

Spain have some exciting young talent in midfield. I’m a bit worried about the defense, but Costa Rica are unlikely to give too much of a test.

Costa Rica are a fairly straightforward team when they attack, but they usually sit deep and are another team that don’t score many goals.

GROUP F

Sutton’s pre-tournament picks to go through: Belgium (winners) and Croatia (runner-up). Morocco finished third and Canada fourth.

Morocco v Croatia (23 November, 10:00)

Morocco were the hipster team at the 2018 World Cup and were unlucky to make it out in the group stage. They still play open, wide football so should be just as entertaining this time around.

This is a tough one to call as they will get something out of Croatia as they get some of their younger players with the experience of survivors from their 2018 finalist squad. I don’t know what to expect yet. they

This is a team that won’t really surprise me, although on paper you’d think at least one of the two European teams would go through.

Belgium v Canada (23 November, 19:00)

Forget Morocco, because Canada is the hipster team in this tournament, and it’s good to see Mexico in the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

I’ve finished fourth in Group F, but I don’t rule out a surprise or two, if Alphonso Davies is fit and Jonathan David can be among the goals.

Belgium are a pretty obvious choice as the winning team and should definitely win this opening game, but I have reservations about them defensively – Roberto Martinez still relies heavily on Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, both of whom are now on the mend.

Looking ahead, there are also a couple of questions. Romelu Lukaku has an injury and it’s been a long time since we’ve seen Eden Hazard at his best; so they probably won’t go into this World Cup as strong as last time.

GROUP G

Sutton’s pre-tournament picks to go: Brazil (winners) and Serbia (runner-up). Switzerland finished third and Cameroon fourth.

Switzerland v Cameroon (24 November, 10:00)

Switzerland knocked France out of Euro 2020 on their way to the quarter-finals, but I don’t see them having the same impact at this World Cup.

Xherdan Shaqiri has been their friend in recent years, but he is now playing in MLS, so a lot will be on the shoulders of Granit Xhaka – who has been excellent for Arsenal this season – and Red Bull Salzburg’s young striker Noah. Okafor, who is definitely a player to watch.

Let’s face it, these two sides and Serbia are probably playing second in the group behind Brazil, but I don’t think Cameroon’s defense is strong enough to make it to the last 16.

Brazil v Serbia (24 November, 19:00)

Serbia don’t have that much strength in depth in their squad, but they have a lot of talented players in their strongest XI, and they will be a big threat in the gaps.

They might give Brazil a scare or two here, although I don’t expect any surprises with the final result.

Brazil are in excellent form, losing just one of their last 29 matches – the 2021 Copa America final against Argentina.

Neymar is the best diver at this World Cup, but he’s scoring a lot of goals, and we’ll likely see him do both in the coming weeks.

GROUP H

Sutton’s pre-tournament picks to go through: Portugal (winners) and South Korea (runner-up). Uruguay third and Ghana fourth.

Uruguay v South Korea (24 November, 13:00)

It’s a very open group and I changed my mind a couple of times about who was going to pass.

Uruguay’s old front line of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani works against them, but South Korea also lacks cutting edge, although they can control games through their possession.

We don’t know if Son Heung-min will be able to start against Uruguay, but his form for Spurs has been mixed this season even before he broke his eye socket.

Portugal v Ghana (24 November, 16:00)

At number 61 in the world, Ghana are the lowest ranked team in the tournament and it is a difficult game for them to start.

Portugal have some world-class players in their squad, but I don’t know how things will go with Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been in incredible form at Manchester United and has thrown his toys out of the car. He seems to blame everyone else for this rather than himself.

At 37, Ronaldo is not the player he once was, but after what has happened in recent months he will be desperate to perform well at this World Cup.

He loves being the center of attention, but now he has to let his football do the talking, which he hasn’t done this season.

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Will World Cup 2022 happen in Qatar?

The 2022 World Cup kicks off on Sunday with the opening Group A match between Qatar and Ecuador. Stay tuned for kick-off at 19:00 (16:00 GMT). The national soccer teams will not be the only ones playing in this year’s World Cup.

Where will the 2022 World Cup be held?

Is Qatar qualified for World Cup 2022?

The 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification was the qualifying process that decided the 31 teams that would join host Qatar in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

What country is disqualified in 2022?

Why Chile wanted to disqualify and ban Ecuador from the 2022 World Cup: FIFA rules on Byron Castillo’s eligibility explained. There’s no arguing now: Ecuador will compete in the 2022 World Cup – despite last-minute appeals by other countries that they should be kicked out of the tournament.

Which teams can still qualify for World Cup 2022?

All 32 teams have officially qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including the host country. The last two spots were filled by the winners of the intercontinental playoffs on June 13 and June 14.

Will Qatar 2022 happen?

2022 Ùأس اÙعاÙÙ ÙÙرة اÙÙد٠Kaʾs al-Ê¿Älam li-kurat al-qadam 2022 Qatar 2022 2022 Ùطر
Host countryQatar
The datesNovember 20 to December 18

Will there be fan zones in Qatar 2022?

Crews are putting the finishing touches on fan sites and attractions across the country. The 1.2 million fans who will visit Qatar for the tournament will find a cityscape that has transformed in the decade since they won the bid to host the event.

Will Qatar 2022 serve alcohol?

Qatar 2022 is the first World Cup to be hosted in a Muslim nation where access to alcohol is restricted. Two days before the start of the World Cup in Qatar, soccer’s world governing body FIFA confirmed that no alcohol will be sold in the eight stadiums that will host the tournament’s 64 matches.

Is World Cup 2022 still in Qatar?

The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022⢠will be played from November 20 to December 18 in Qatar. It will be the 22nd edition of the competition, and the first to be played in the Arab world. The World Cup group stage draw took place in Doha, Qatar on 1 April 2022 to set the stage for the tournament.

Why is Qatar 2022 being boycotted?

Widespread by fans and watched by millions on television, “Boycott Qatar 2022” has become a rallying cry for clubs, supporters and players who oppose this month’s World Cup and who want to highlight human rights and environmental concerns in the host country.

Will World Cup 2022 happen in Qatar?

The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off on November 21 in what will be the first winter edition in the competition’s history. The world’s best players will take center stage in Qatar as the action continues until the final on December 18.

Do you shake hands in Qatar?

Qatar’s religious law forbids touching unmarried women. The exception to this rule is the handshake in a formal greeting, which people may refuse as a sign of respect.

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Who is the founder of soccer?

Records trace the history of soccer back more than 2,000 years to ancient China. Greece, Rome and some parts of Central America also claim to have started the sport; but it was England that saw the transition of soccer, or what the British and many others around the world call “soccer,” to the game we know today.

Who named football first? The British coined the term football in the late 1800s to refer to Association Football, the sport we know today as football/soccer. “Football” was chosen as a way to distinguish it from another type of football… Rugby Football.

Who is the father of soccer?

Ebenezer Cobb Morley
the parentsEbenezer Morley and Hannah Maria

Who is the man who invented football soccer?

Who is the Father of Football? Ebenezer Cobby is an original father of the Morley Football Association. He was the founder of Barnes Football Club in 1862 and captained the team for several years. Barnes Football Club played its first ever football match in 1863 against Richmond Football Club.

Who first invented football?

Chiefly responsible for the transition from this rugby-like game to the sport we know today as soccer was Walter Camp, known as the “father of American football.†As an undergraduate and medical student at Yale from 1876 to 1881. , Camp played halfback and served as team captain, the equivalent of the coach at the time.

Who actually invented soccer?

Records trace the history of soccer back more than 2,000 years to ancient China. Greece, Rome and some parts of Central America also claim to have started the sport; but England was the transition to football, or what the British and many others around the world call ‘soccer’, to the game we know today.

WHO country invented soccer?

Football as we know it today – sometimes known as association football or soccer – began in England, when the Football Association established rules in 1863.

Which country is the father of soccer?

Contemporary history: WHERE AND WHEN WAS FOOTBALL INVENTED? The modern origins of football began in England over 100 years ago, in 1863.

Who invented soccer in the world?

According to FIFA, modern football began in England in 1863. However, the oldest form of kicking the ball appears to have originated from a 2nd and 3rd century Chinese military manual called Tsu’ Chu.

Will Qatar 2022 serve alcohol?

Qatar 2022 is the first World Cup to be hosted in a Muslim nation where access to alcohol is restricted. Two days before the start of the World Cup in Qatar, soccer’s world governing body FIFA confirmed that no alcohol will be sold in the eight stadiums that will host the tournament’s 64 matches.

Will there be alcohol in Qatar? Qatar is an Islamic country and although alcohol is not banned, drinking or drinking in public spaces is a crime. Alcohol is only available to those over 21 in licensed hotel restaurants and bars. Expats living in Qatar can also purchase alcohol through a permit system.

Can you drink alcohol in Qatar 2022?

Licensed hotel bars and restaurants will be allowed to sell alcohol. You must be at least 21 years of age to purchase alcohol anywhere. There are several restrictions to be aware of. Drinking in public outside of authorized areas is strictly prohibited, as well as public drunkenness.

Can you buy alcohol in Doha Qatar?

The sale of alcohol is strictly controlled in Qatar, and is only allowed in the Muslim nation in hotel bars and restaurants away from the street. Alcohol restrictions forced FIFA sponsor Budweiser to sell its products outside match venues and fan zones.

Can you buy alcohol in shops in Qatar?

Alcohol is only available in licensed hotel restaurants and bars, and expatriates living in Qatar can obtain alcohol through a permit system.

Is World Cup 2022 still in Qatar?

The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022⢠will be played from November 20 to December 18 in Qatar. It will be the 22nd edition of the competition, and the first to be played in the Arab world. The World Cup group stage draw took place in Doha, Qatar on 1 April 2022 to set the stage for the tournament.

Which field will the World Cup be played in 2022? Al-Rayyan Stadium will host seven matches in Qatar in 2022.

Will World Cup 2022 happen in Qatar?

The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off on November 21 in what will be the first winter edition in the competition’s history. The world’s best players will take center stage in Qatar as the action continues until the final on December 18.

Will Qatar 2022 happen?

2022 Ùأس اÙعاÙÙ ÙÙرة اÙÙد٠Kaʾs al-Ê¿Älam li-kurat al-qadam 2022 Qatar 2022 2022 Ùطر
Host countryQatar
The datesNovember 20 to December 18

Is Qatar qualified for World Cup 2022?

The 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification was the qualifying process that decided the 31 teams that would join host Qatar in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Why is Qatar 2022 being boycotted?

Widespread by fans and watched by millions on television, “Boycott Qatar 2022” has become a rallying cry for clubs, supporters and players who oppose this month’s World Cup and who want to highlight human rights and environmental concerns in the host country.

How much did Qatar bribe FIFA?

An additional $480 million was also offered by the government of the State of Qatar, three years after the initial bid, which brings Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup to $880 million. The documents are now part of a bribery investigation by Swiss police.

Why are people protesting Qatar?

Outraged by Qatar’s many injustices, fans held huge banners condemning the Gulf state’s exploitative treatment of migrant workers, abuses against the LGBTQ community and damage to the environment.

How long will Qatar 2022 last?

The 2022 World Cup will take place from November 21 to December 18 and is special for a few reasons: at just 28 days, the 2022 World Cup will be the shortest since the 1978 edition.