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The 2022 FIFA World Cup is here!

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is here!

It’s here. It’s huge. It’s the 2022 FIFA World Cup and we’ve got all the info about how you can watch it all – at home or on the go – plus your team-by-team guide

By Chris Miller, Writer

It’s that time when people around the globe come together in celebration of the beautiful game to enjoy a month-long festival of football. This men’s FIFA World Cup will be a bit different – in the autumn, during the regular football season for most countries, and in a nation that’s about the size of Yorkshire – but with most of the planet’s best male players involved, and literally billions following the action from Qatar on TV, it will as always be a hugely enjoyable event.

 

All the matches are live on the BBC and ITV channels and streaming services, which means you can watch them all on your telly – and in fact you can enjoy them wherever you are thanks to Virgin TV Go. This brilliant app is available to all Virgin TV customers to register on up to five devices (and view on two devices simultaneously – handy for the final round of World Cup group matches) at no extra cost.

 

It’s available for iPhone, iPad, Android mobile or tablets, and Windows and Mac laptops and desktops. And what’s more, Virgin TV 360 customers can also manage their recordings or stream their recordings around the home with the Virgin TV Go app. Find out more about managing your Virgin TV Go app here:

 

 

 

 

England and Wales have both qualified for this World Cup and they’ve been drawn to play each other in the group stage, which makes an already intriguing tournament even more interesting for UK-based fans. We include Scottish and Northern Irish fans in that, who will presumably be staying resolutely neutral and wishing both teams well when their neighbours face off. Right?

 

England reached the semi-final last time, while Wales are competing in their first World Cup finals for 64 years. Below you’ll find every single fixture in the tournament and where to watch it, but here are the crucial group games featuring England and Wales.

 

England v Iran

Monday 21 November, 1pm, BBC One HD (CH 101)


Wales v USA

Monday 21 November, 7pm, ITV HD (CH 113/103) + S4C HD (CH 104/166)


Wales v Iran

Friday 25 November, 11am, BBC One HD (CH 101) + S4C HD (CH 104/166)


England v USA

Friday 25 November, 7pm, ITV HD (CH 113/103)


Wales v England

Tuesday 29 November, 7pm, BBC One HD (CH 101) + S4C HD (CH 104/166)

 

And while you probably know a fair bit about your favourite national team – whether that’s Wales, England or one of the others – there are of course 32 countries competing in Qatar. So before you settle down to enjoy Saudi Arabia v Mexico or Costa Rica v Japan, you can read up on every single nation taking part with our comprehensive guide and impress your mates with your extensive knowledge!

 

And remember you can follow all the live action wherever you are in the UK, as long as there’s WiFi, 3G or 4G, at no extra cost thanks to Virgin TV Go. Simply download the free app, which is available to all Virgin TV customers, and start watching.

 

Qatar

Star player: Veteran forward and captain Hassan Al-Haydos, Qatar’s most capped player with 170 appearances.

 

The manager: Spaniard Félix Sánchez, formerly of the legendary Barcelona coaching system, has been part of the national set-up since 2013 and in charge of the senior side since 2017. He guided Qatar to victory in the AFC Asia Cup in 2019.

 

FIFA ranking: 50

 

Our prediction: Despite home advantage, we’re not sure a squad inexperienced at the top level – this is their first World Cup and all the players are based in the Qatari league – will get out of the group.

 

Team trivia: They’re the first team to play their very first World Cup match on home soil since Italy in 1934.

 

Ecuador

Star player: Midfielder Moises Caicedo is the engine of the team, rampaging from box to box and driving his side forward with relentless energy.

 

The manager: Gustavo Alfaro took charge in 2020 and unexpectedly guided Ecuador to South America’s fourth qualification place, ahead of the likes of Colombia and Chile, for only their fourth appearance at a World Cup finals.

 

FIFA ranking: 44

 

Our prediction: It’s a young squad and making it out of the group will probably prove beyond them.

 

Team trivia: Caicedo is one of three Ecuadoreans at Brighton & Hove Albion, where he’s joined by Pervis Estupiñan and Jeremy Sarmiento (a former England youth international). All are in the World Cup squad.

 

Sénégal

Star player: Without Bayern’s Sadio Mané, the country’s talismanic forward who was ruled out at the last minute with a knee injury, Watford’s mercurial Ismaïla Sarr will need to step up.

 

The manager: You may remember Aliou Cissé from his stints in midfield for Birmingham and Portsmouth in the Noughties. Under him, Sénégal have reached two Africa Cup of Nations finals, winning one, and went out of the 2018 World Cup agonisingly on the disciplinary tiebreaker rule.

 

FIFA ranking: 18

 

Our prediction: With a talented squad, the Lions of Teranga will qualify from this group, and could be a tough opponent for England in the round of 16.

 

Team trivia: No one has made it to 100 caps for Sénégal – their most-capped player, Henri Camara, got 99. Everton’s Idrissa Gana Gueye is on 96, so he could hit three figures if they reach the second round.

 

Netherlands

Star player: Memphis Depay is remembered in England for an unsuccessful spell at Man Utd, but only Robin van Persie has scored more goals for the Netherlands, and he’s consistently been a clutch player for his country.

 

The manager: No, you’re not having flashbacks to 20 years ago – it really is Louis van Gaal (like Depay, also known for having a torrid time at Old Trafford), who’s in his third spell as the national coach.

 

FIFA ranking: 8

 

Our prediction: The Dutch will be determined to succeed having missed the last World Cup. They’ll win the group and reach the quarter-finals.

 

Team trivia: They’re the only country to reach three World Cup finals without ever winning one.

 

England

Star player: It has to be Harry Kane, top scorer at Russia 2018. This England team is set up to create chances for the Spurs striker – could he become the first man to claim the Golden Boot twice?

 

The manager: Gareth Southgate made a nation whole again four years ago as he guided England to a creditable fourth place and also took his team to the final of the last Euros, although his cautious tactics and some awful recent results have led to criticism.

 

FIFA ranking: 5

 

Our prediction: They’re top seeds and should win this group, although England fans know all too well never to make assumptions about such things. The last two tournaments have brought a semi-final and a final. Can they go one better? In tricky playing conditions, we’re afraid it’s unlikely.

 

Team trivia: No team have lost more World Cup penalty shoot-outs than England’s three. But although it may seem like they happen in every World Cup, it’s just been good old-fashioned defeats for the Three Lions since 2006.

 

Iran

Star player: Porto’s Mehdi Taremi was a late bloomer but he’s making up for lost time: at 30, he’s scoring freely at both domestic and international level, and will be eager to make up for a late miss against Portugal in 2018 that would have put Iran through to the knockouts for the first time.

 

The manager: Carlos Queiroz, formerly Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Man Utd, led Iran to the 2014 and 2018 World Cups but his current stint in charge only began in September.

 

FIFA ranking: 20

 

Our prediction: There’s no shortage of talent and experience in Team Melli, as they’re known, and they could surprise a few people. The match against Wales will be crucial.

 

Team trivia: Former striker Ali Daei was the leading international goalscorer of all time until last year when his record was taken by Cristiano Ronaldo. But Iran still claim the highest-scoring midfielder of all time: Karim Bagheri with 50.

 

USA

Star player: Christian Pulisic is a veteran in this young team at the age of 24, and the Americans will rely on the Chelsea forward for goals and leadership.

 

The manager: Gregg Berhalter played 44 times for the US (and 19 times in the Premier League for Crystal Palace) and took over as manager in 2018, with the remit to overhaul an ageing side. They’re CONCACAF champions, but recent results and performances haven’t been great.

 

FIFA ranking: 16

 

Our prediction: Youthful enthusiasm won’t take the US into the second round.

 

Team trivia: The US reached the semi-final of the first World Cup in 1930. Five of their 16-man squad, and head coach Robert Millar, were born in Scotland.

 

Wales

Star player: Never mind his injury record and lack of club playing time – Gareth Bale is still the man for Wales. He scored all their goals in the qualifying play-offs, and the longer he’s on the pitch, the better Wales’s chance of success.

 

The manager: Rob Page was thrust unexpectedly into the top job but has proved a calm and thoughtful presence on the touchline as he led his country to – you may have heard about this – their first World Cup since 1958.

 

FIFA ranking: 19

 

Our prediction: It’s going to be a tough scrap for qualification from this group but we think Wales can do it, although a quarter-final place is probably out of reach.

 

Team trivia: Wales have the unusual record of never having picked a player from their own national league to play for the national team.

 

Argentina

Star player: Oh, bloke who wears number 10. PSG, used to play for Barcelona. You know the one… At 35, this is almost certainly Leo Messi’s last World Cup. He’ll want to leave his mark on the tournament.

 

The manager: When former assistant Lionel Scaloni became head coach in 2018 it was his first time in charge of any senior team. After initial scepticism, he won over the doubters with a Copa America victory in 2021 and leads the Albiceleste to Qatar with confidence.

 

FIFA ranking: 3

 

Our prediction: They’ll breeze through this group and probably to the semi-finals, where they could meet Spain or Brazil – which sounds like an all-time World Cup classic match to us.

 

Team trivia: The South American continental championship comfortably predates both the Euros and the World Cup – Argentina hosted the first in 1916. They’re also the current holders.

 

Saudi Arabia

Star player: Salem Al-Dawsari, a talented winger who spent some time in Spain with Villarreal – but he’ll need to recover fully from recent surgery if he’s to make an impact in Qatar.

 

The manager: Hervé Renard, a nomadic French coach for whom the Saudi job is his sixth role managing a national team. He’s won two Africa Cup of Nations titles and led Morocco to the 2018 World Cup finals.

 

FIFA ranking: 51

 

Our prediction: Despite some undoubted talent and a canny coach, they’ll finish bottom of this tough group.

 

Team trivia: The Saudis qualified for their first World Cup in 1994 and made it to the second round thanks partly to an all-time wonder goal from Saeed Al-Owairan, who earned himself the nickname “the Maradona of the Arabs”.

 

Mexico

Star player: Winger Hirving “Chucky” Lozano became the most expensive Mexican player ever when he signed for Napoli in 2019 and he’s having a terrific season in Serie A.

 

The manager: Gerardo “Tata” Martino made a good start but recent inconsistency has seen his popularity plummet, with his tactics questioned and his team labelled boring. A certain Mr Southgate may sympathise.

 

FIFA ranking: 13

 

Our prediction: Almost incredibly, Mexico have reached the last 16 of every World Cup since 1994 but never progressed any further. Could they break the curse in 2022? Er, probably not.

 

Team trivia: Mexico participated in the inaugural World Cup in 1930 but it took them till 1962 to actually win a match in the finals. No team has suffered more World Cup defeats than their 27.

 

Poland

Star player: Robert Lewandowksi remains a phenomenal goal machine at 34, having transitioned smoothly from a Bayern shirt to a Barcelona one. He’s got 76 for Poland too, putting him behind only Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at this World Cup for international goals.

 

The manager: Unheralded former under-21 boss Czesław Michniewicz, who’s coached numerous teams in Poland without ever threatening to be a success, took over from Paulo Sousa in January and led his country through the play-offs and into the finals.

 

FIFA ranking: 26

 

Our prediction: They’re hard to beat and can always rely on goals from Lewandowski. Their clash with Mexico will decide second place in the group.

 

Team trivia: Poland’s Ernst Wilimowski is the only player to score four in a World Cup match and lose. It was against Brazil in 1938.

 

France

Star player: Somehow it isn’t Karim Benzema, the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner. PSG forward Kylian Mbappé is a fleet-footed, wildly popular global superstar – and between him and Benzema, plus the dynamic young midfield duo Eduardo Camavinga and Aurélien Tchouaméni, France have some serious match-winners.

 

The manager: Didier Deschamps, who’s been in post since 2012. France may be world champions but he’s under a bit of pressure following their failure against Switzerland in the Euros and some dodgy recent results.

 

FIFA ranking: 4

 

Our prediction: They’ve got class throughout the squad and their path to the semi-final looks fairly straightforward. If they can deal with the conditions – and avoid fighting among themselves – they could well defend their title.

 

Team trivia: France hold several unwanted World Cup records, including the only team to have players red-carded in multiple finals (Marcel Desailly in 1998 and Zinédine Zidane in 2006) and worst performance by defending champions (2002, un point).

 

Australia

Star player: Gone are the days of Mark Viduka and Tim Cahill: this Socceroos squad is lacking in household names. Melbourne City’s Mathew Leckie has been getting the goals recently, although look out for rising star Garang Kuol, who’s agreed to join Newcastle in January.

 

The manager: Graham Arnold, who’s been involved in the national team set-up on and off since 2006. In a recurring theme for this World Cup, he’s assisted by a former Man Utd coach, René Meulensteen.

 

FIFA ranking: 38

 

Our prediction: Qualifying for their sixth straight finals is impressive, but they don’t have enough quality to get to the next round.

 

Team trivia: The earliest recorded football match in Australia took place on 7 August 1875 between the inmates and staff of Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum in Wacol (now the Park Centre for Mental Health).

 

Denmark

Star player: Christian Eriksen, who’s made a remarkable recovery from his shocking near-death experience at last summer’s Euros. Now at Man Utd, he’s in good form and still Denmark’s main threat.

 

The manager: Kasper Hjelmund was a low-profile appointment in 2020 – apart from a brief spell at Mainz, he’d only coached Lyngby and Nordsjælland in the Danish league – but he steered Denmark to the Euro 2020 semi-finals and qualified for Qatar comfortably.

 

FIFA ranking: 10

 

Our prediction: This is arguably the best Denmark team since the exciting side of the mid-1980s – but they’ll probably need to beat France in the group to avoid Argentina in the second round. If they do that, all bets are off.

 

Team trivia: Striker Ebbe Sand bagged the fastest goal ever by a substitute when he scored 16 seconds after coming on against Nigeria at France 98.

 

Tunisia

Star player: Winger Youssef Msakni is not only talented, he’s also desperate to impress after missing the 2018 finals through injury. He also has the advantage of having played in the Qatar league for almost a decade.

 

The manager: Jalel Kadri’s 20-year coaching career has taken him to 18 clubs in Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Libya. He was promoted from assistant manager after this year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

 

FIFA ranking: 30

 

Our prediction: They underperformed at the Cup of Nations, squeaking through their group in third place and going out to Burkina Faso. The Eagles of Carthage won’t soar into the knockout phase.

 

Team trivia: Tunisia were the first African team to win a World Cup match, beating Mexico 3-1 in 1978.

 

Spain

Star player: He may be just 19 but stylish Barcelona midfielder Pedri already has the look of a generational talent around whom the team will be built for years.

 

The manager: As a player, Luis Enrique managed a successful move from Real Madrid to rivals Barcelona, so uniting the traditionally divided Spain squad must have been a breeze after that. He’s got them playing lovely football and they qualified with ease.

 

FIFA ranking: 7

 

Our prediction: They’re brimming with creativity but will the lack of an out-and-out goalscorer cost them? Perhaps, but we expect them to reach at least the quarter-finals – where they could well face Brazil.

 

Team trivia: Spain’s 2010 champions were the lowest-scoring World Cup winners ever with eight goals in the tournament. They won all their knockout games, including the final, 1-0.

 

Costa Rica

Star player: Keylor Navas. The veteran goalkeeper has had a fantastically successful career in Europe at Real Madrid and PSG. He may have been pushed down the pecking order in Paris but if he’s at his best, Costa Rica have a chance.

 

The manager: Luis Fernando Suarez was manager of Ecuador when they reached the last 16 in 2006, and has also coached Honduras and numerous clubs around South America, mainly in his native Colombia.

 

FIFA ranking: 31

 

Our prediction: Remember 2014, when they won their group – ahead of former champions Uruguay, Italy and England – and were a penalty shoot-out away from the semi-final? Just goes to show you can never really predict anything in the World Cup. Having said that, we doubt that feat will be repeated…

 

Team trivia: Costa Rica are by far the most successful Central American team in World Cup history, having qualified six times. The next best are Honduras, who have been at just three tournaments.

 

Germany

Star player: Bayern midfielder Jamal Musiala has come almost from nowhere to be arguably the best performer in the Bundesliga this season. And he’s not 20 till February.

 

The manager: Hansi Flick was given the job of rejuvenating Der Mannschaft after the Jogi Löw era grew stale and ended in disappointment at Euro 2020. He injected some youth into the team and they promptly qualified for Qatar before anyone else.

 

FIFA ranking: 11

 

Our prediction: Germany ranked outside the top 10? Does that mean the 2014 champions may not reach the quarter-finals? You never write them off, of course – but there’s a tough last-16 tie waiting whether they finish first or second in Group E.

 

Team trivia: Born in Stuttgart, Musiala grew up in south-west London and played for England at under-15, under-16, under-17 and under-21 level before deciding he was in fact German, which surely had nothing to do with wanting a better chance of winning the World Cup.

 

Japan

Star player: It’s a squad without major stars, but forward Daizen Maeda had a real impact when he arrived at Celtic last season and will hope to repeat his exploits on the world stage.

 

The manager: Hajime Moriyasu won two J1 league titles with Sanfrecce Hiroshima before entering the national team set-up. He’s been in charge since 2018.

 

FIFA ranking: 24

 

Our prediction: The Samurai Blue are good enough to give Germany and Spain a scare but they’re unlikely to finish in the top two.

 

Team trivia: In 2018 Japan and Sénégal finished their group with identical points and goals records, but Japan went through by virtue of having fewer yellow cards – the only time this has happened.

 

Belgium

Star player: Kevin de Bruyne, who’s been arguably the best creative midfielder in the world for the past five years or so – but at 31, the Man City man is running out of time to power his national team to success.

 

The manager: Former Swansea, Wigan and Everton boss Roberto Martínez has stayed in his role despite repeated disappointment in tournaments. With an ageing squad, and his contract running out soon, this looks like his last chance for glory with the Red Devils.

 

FIFA ranking: 2

 

Our prediction: This generation’s Belgium team have never lived up to their reputation in tournaments. They’ll walk the group, no doubt, but will they cope with a difficult last-16 match, probably against major European rivals?

 

Team trivia: The first mainland European country to play football? Belgium, when it was introduced there by an Irish student in 1863. They also played in the first official international match outside Britain, a 3-3 draw with France in 1904.

 

Canada

Star player: Alphonso Davies, who’s a rampaging full-back at Bayern Munich but usually plays in an attacking midfield role for his country. At 22 he already has four German titles and a Champions League winners’ medal.

 

The manager: Englishman John Herdman, who in 2018 made a highly unusual move when he went from head coach of Canada’s women to the men’s team. With a talented generation of players coming through, he’s been a success and is leading Canada into their first World Cup finals since 1986.

 

FIFA ranking: 41

 

Our prediction: Their quality could surprise a few people but this is probably a tournament too early for this young team – especially without their first-choice goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau of Los Angeles FC, who broke his leg in the recent MLS Cup final. Watch out for them when they co-host in 2026, though.

 

Team trivia: Canada have never scored a goal in the World Cup finals. They have only qualified once, but still. They’ll be keen to put that right this time.

 

Morocco

Star player: Right-back Achraf Hakimi has been a huge success at clubs in Germany, Italy and now France with PSG, and is equally adept at defending and attacking. Like an upgrade on Trent Alexander-Arnold.

 

The manager: One of Hakimi’s predecessors at right-back in the national team, Walid Regragui has been in the job for just a handful of matches and is very much an unknown quantity.

 

FIFA ranking: 22

 

Our prediction: Powered by Hakimi and other top players such as Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech, they could definitely reach the last 16.

 

Team trivia: Two of Morocco’s most capped players, Youssef Safri and Youssef Chippo, both played for Coventry City.

 

Croatia

Star player: Luka Modrić, who seems to have been around since Croatia finished third in France 98 (he didn’t actually make his international debut till 2006). His right foot is still an absolute wand.

 

The manager: Zlatko Dalić led them to the World Cup final in Russia, ensuring his place as a national legend. Can he coax another epic performance from his team?

 

FIFA ranking: 12

 

Our prediction: When your star player is 37, however good he is, it’s not a great sign. We’re not expecting a repeat of their achievement in 2018.

 

Team trivia: Modrić was the only men’s Ballon d’Or winner between 2008 and 2021 not named Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

 

Brazil

Star player: It’s probably Neymar – or at least Neymar will definitely tell you it is. In fairness to the €222 million man, who’s frequently been branded a diver and a party animal, he’s in brilliant form for PSG this season and there’s a good chance he will light up this tournament.

 

The manager: Adenor Leonardo Bacchi – known as Tite – was manager at 11 different Brazilian clubs, including three stints at Corinthians, before landing the Seleçao job in 2016.

 

FIFA ranking: 1

 

Our prediction: For the first time since 2002, this could be Brazil’s year. They’ve got the forwards with silky skills as usual, but now there’s defensive steel and midfield discipline to back it up. The squad looks flawless.

 

Team trivia: Tite has also coached in the Middle East at Al Ain and Al Wahda in Abu Dhabi. Could this give Brazil even more of an edge?

 

Serbia

Star player: Dušan Vlahović made a big-money move to Juventus earlier this year and has been banging in the goals in Serie A. He has the potential to be a global superstar.

 

The manager: Dragan Stoijković was one of the world’s best players in his time and illuminated Italia 90 playing for Yugoslavia, though his career was curtailed by injury. He’s been head coach since 2021.

 

FIFA ranking: 21

 

Our prediction: A few top talents won’t be enough to get them through the group stage.

 

Team trivia: Serbia also faced Brazil and Switzerland in the group stage at the 2018 World Cup. They’ll be keen not to lose to both again this time.

 

Switzerland

Star player: They’re not a team of superstars. Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Yann Sommer is one of the world’s best keepers, and Monaco striker Breel Embolo is a rising star. But it’s all about the collective.

 

The manager: One of Switzerland’s best ever players, Murat Yakin, who took over from Vladimir Petković after the Bosnian led the team to their first ever Euro quarter-final last year.

 

FIFA ranking: 15

 

Our prediction: They’re inveterate underperformers, but could their Euros achievement spur them to greater things? We wouldn’t be surprised, although we can see them taking points off Brazil then going out meekly in the last 16.

 

Team trivia: Switzerland are the only team to go out of a World Cup without conceding a goal in a match. In 2006 they were knocked out in the second round on penalties after a 0-0 draw with Ukraine.

 

Cameroon

Star player: Midfielder André-Frank Zambo Anguissa didn’t pull up any trees at Fulham but he’s a player transformed at Napoli this season, driving his team to the top of Serie A.

 

The manager: Former Liverpool and West Ham defender Rigobert Song, who took over from Tony Conceição earlier this year following the Indomitable Lions’ semi-final exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.

 

FIFA ranking: 43

 

Our prediction: Fans of a certain age have fond memories of Cameroon and their dancing striker Roger Milla at Italia 90. Sadly they won’t be dancing when they finish bottom of the group.

 

Team trivia: Song, who played 137 times for Cameroon, shares a record with France legend Zinédine Zidane: they’re the only players to have been sent off in two World Cups.

 

Portugal

Star player: The scowling Man Utd forward who isn’t quite as effective as he used to be and loves a good old moan. Do we mean Cristiano Ronaldo or Bruno Fernandes? Even we’re not sure.

 

The manager: Former Sporting, Porto and Benfica coach Fernando Santos, who won Euro 2016 with Portugal. He’s been in the role since 2014. Though we’re pretty sure Ronaldo’s actually in charge.

 

FIFA ranking: 9

 

Our prediction: They’re obviously talented, but they’re ageing – defender Pepe still gets a start at 38 – and they’re missing key players like Liverpool’s Diogo Jota. We predict a group-stage exit and maybe a tantrum or two.

 

Team trivia: Former Portugal keeper Ricardo holds the record for most saves in a shoot-out with three – set in 2006 against, of course, England.

 

Ghana

Star player: Bilbao-born Iñaki Williams declared for Ghana this year and made his debut against Brazil in September. An experienced forward with over 350 senior appearances for Athletic, he could have a galvanising effect on this team.

 

The manager: Otto Addo took over from Milovan Rajevac in February and led the Black Stars through the play-offs successfully, knocking out arch-rivals Nigeria.

 

FIFA ranking: 61

 

Our prediction: They’re the lowest-ranked team at the tournament and they’re a long way from the 2010 side who came within a missed penalty of the semi-finals. They won’t get out of the group.

 

Team trivia: English and Irish fans will spot a familiar face in the coaching set-up: Chris Hughton, the former Spurs and Ireland defender and Newcastle and Brighton manager, is Ghana’s technical advisor.

 

Uruguay

Star player: Rodrigo Bentancur has caught the eye with his classy performances in Tottenham’s midfield this season. At 25 he already has more than 50 international caps.

 

The manager: Óscar Tabáres was one of the world’s longest-serving international managers when he stepped down last December after 15 years to be replaced by Diego Alonso, who’s lost only one game since taking charge.

 

FIFA ranking: 14

 

Our prediction: With talents like Betancur, Liverpool’s Darwin Nuñez, Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde and the experienced forwards Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani, they could well top this group and make it to the quarter-finals.

 

Team trivia: Uruguay are the only holders not to defend their World Cup title. They boycotted the 1934 tournament in Italy in a huff after they deemed that European teams had shown insufficient respect to the 1930 finals they hosted.

 

South Korea

Star player: Tottenham’s Son Heung-min is at BTS levels of popularity in his home country, where fans will be praying that he recovers from a facial injury in time to turn on the skills in Qatar.

 

The manager: Former Portugal midfielder and manager Paulo Bento has been the Taegeuk Warriors’ boss since 2018.

 

FIFA ranking: 28

 

Our prediction: They’ll beat Portugal in heroic style and make the last 16… where they’re likely to meet Brazil.

 

Team trivia: The Korean Republic are perennial qualifiers and have been at every tournament since 1986. However, they have the most first-round eliminations with eight – a record jointly held with Scotland, who aren’t at this World Cup, so if they do it again in Qatar they’ll be out on their own.

 

When can I watch every match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

With 64 matches to watch, from the gripping group stage to the nail-biting knockout phase, you’ll need to know when and where they’re on – and you can do just that with our interactive guide! Just click or hover over the plus signs next to the groups to see the details of the games, including channels and kick-off times.

 

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