FIFA World Cup Schedule - A Guide to the 2022 Tournament

World Cup 2022 - Every match counts!

The time has finally almost come, as the world’s biggest sporting event is right around the corner. Thirty-two teams compete for the right to be declared the best soccer country on the planet, and it all kicks off soon. In this breakdown of the World Cup schedule, we’ll be giving you all the key World Cup 2022 dates, providing info on the tournament, and even exploring some World Cup betting sites. Ready? Let’s kick off our exploration of the 2022 World Cup Schedule.

Stages of the Tournament

The tournament is a long, ongoing process that features multiple stages. There is a lot of international soccer played before the tournament even gets going, and then the true excitement begins. Let’s look at the different stages of this major tournament.


The qualifiers feature all the international teams competing for their chance at the 32 spots that make up the World Cup. The host team is guaranteed a spot in the tournament, and the other teams compete for the 31 remaining spots. 

Europe: 13 European teams qualify by playing each other in a 55-team tournament. The teams are sorted into ten groups of five or six, and they play amongst themselves. The winner of each of the ten groups advances, and three teams earn their spot in a playoff.

For the other continents, qualifying follows different formats. For South and North America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania, the teams compete in preliminary rounds. There are several rounds until there are only a select number of teams left. These teams square off, playing each other once at home and once away. Based on the standings, a certain amount of teams in each continent at the top of the standings will proceed. Qualifying has been wrapped, with teams like World Cup Team Canada earning their spot in the tournament. 

Here are how many teams from each continent proceed:

  • North America (4)
  • South America (4)
  • Africa (5)
  • Asia (5+1)
  • Oceania (0)

The draw, which took place on April 2nd, determined the field.  


The format for the World Cup features 32 teams. They are organized into eight groups of four. Each team plays the other teams in their group once, for a total of three games. Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw, none for a loss. The two top teams in the standings from each group will proceed to the knockout round.

The knockout round has 16 teams, with the winner of each group playing the runner-up of another group. The games are single-elimination, with penalty shootouts. After that, there will be eight-teams remaining in a quarterfinal.

Following that, there are four teams left for a semi-final. After that, the winners of each game play each other in the finals to claim their shot at glory, while the losers of the semi-finals play for third place.

Knockout Stage Bracket

With the best teams in the world competing against each other, we are certainly in for an exciting thrill. Here is a bracket of the teams still remaining in this tournament.

Important Dates and Times

The FIFA World Cup 2022 schedule is a complicated thing, and there’s much to know. Below, we include a list of key dates of the World Cup 2022 dates. Here’s a look at the current World Cup schedule:

Games One: World Cup kicks off on November 20th. Teams play the first match until November 24th.

  • Games Two: November 25th-28th
  • Games Three: November 29th-Dec 2nd
  • Knockout Round: December 3rd-6th
  • Quarterfinals: December 9th-10th
  • Semi-Finals: December 13th-14th
  • Third-Place Game: December 17th
  • Finals: December 18th


Qatar is on the other side of the world, so naturally, the games will be played at irregular times. Kickoff times for the Group Games will be 5 am, 8 am, 11 am, and 2 pm for those on Eastern Time. Knockout Games will be either 10 am or 2 pm, and the final will be at 10 am.

The draw

The World Cup Draw recently took place, with all the teams set in Groups, save for the few that have yet to qualify due to the need for an international playoffs. The Draw is when teams are all selected according to their region and placed in the groups in which they’ll compete for the World Cup. Some of the important groups to note include Canada’s group, which is Group F, which features the Canadians, Belgium, Morocco, and Croatia. Another group that looks interesting is Group E, which includes perennial powerhouses Spain and Germany. 

Other leagues

The World Cup is typically held much earlier in the year, so the World Cup 2022 dates are irregular. This will mess with domestic leagues. It is uncertain how they will adjust to these changes. What is likely is that the players will have a tighter turnaround time than normal, playing league matches very close up to the date of the World Cup kickoff.

Qualified Teams

Let’s look at the teams that punched their tickets to the tournament:

  • Qatar: Auto-qualify as tournament host
  • Argentina: Clinched spot atop top four in South American standings
  • Belgium: Won their group in European qualifying
  • Brazil: Clinched spot atop top four in South American standings
  • Canada: This will be Canada’s first World Cup since 1986.
  • Cameroon: Qualified first on CAF (Confederation of African Football)
  • Croatia: Won their group in European qualifying
  • Denmark: Won their group in European qualifying
  • Ecuador: Took the fourth spot in the South American qualifiers
  • England: Won their group in European qualifying
  • France: Won their group in European qualifying
  • Germany: Won their group in European qualifying
  • Ghana: This will be Ghana’s fifth appearance at a World Cup.
  • Iran: Clinched spot among top four teams in the Asian tournament
  • Japan: Qualified for the seventh straight time.
  • Mexico: Qualified second in the CONCACAF group
  • Morocco: This will be their seventh World Cup
  • The Netherlands: Won their group in European qualifying
  • Poland: Second place in their group in European qualifying
  • Portugal: Second place in their group in European qualifying
  • Saudi Arabia: Won their qualifying group
  • Serbia: Won their group in European qualifying
  • Senegal: CAF Third Round winner
  • South Korea: Clinched spot among top four teams in the Asian tournament
  • Spain: Won their group in European qualifying
  • Switzerland: Won their group in European qualifying
  • Tunisia: This will be their seventh World Cup
  • Uruguay: Two-time winners took third place in their qualifying group
  • USA: This will be their twelve World Cup

Betting on the World Cup 2022

We’ve given some insight into the World Cup 2022 Schedule; now, let’s get into the betting aspect of it all. If you were wondering how to bet on the World Cup, there is a lot to know. Before you go placing those crazy World Cup parlays, browse these next sections for some insight into betting on the World Cup.

You can bet on two key outright markets right now. Those are who will win the tournament overall and who will win the Golden Boot, which means be the top goalscorer.

Because so much is undetermined, there are some crazy odds that bettors could theoretically take advantage of. There’s also a lot of potential for things to go sideways because a lot can happen between now and November, including injuries and more. 

Most popular markets

Let’s explore some of the most popular markets that bettors will certainly be engaging with when the World Cup arrives.

  • Outrights: Outrights you can engage with well in advance of the tournament. Outrights are distant outcomes such as who will be the tournament’s top scorer or who will win the tournament.
  • Moneyline: Moneyline is a bet that is on one of the three outcomes of a game: Team A Win, Draw, Team B Win. If you pick England on the Moneyline, that means you’re betting for England to win the game.
  • Double Chance: Double Chance is similar to Moneyline, except it’s on two of the outcomes, typically Team A/B to Win or a Draw. It is a safe market because two out of the three potential results happening will result in you winning. However, if you bet on a big underdog to tie or win, then you can still earn some serious winnings.
  • Correct Score: Correct score is a difficult market to nail down but can have massive payoffs if you get it right. Correct Score is when a bettor picks the exact correct score for the game. This is risky because the likelihood is low but has a high reward.
  • Player Props: Player Props are a personal favorite market. Player props are bets that are on an individual’s performance within a game. If you are watching Belgium play England, you can bet on whether Lukaku will score a goal or how many saves Pickford will have.
  • Parlays: Parlays are a type of bet where bettors tie several bets into one, with each bet needing to hit for the bet to succeed. The odds increase the more different bets you include in the parlay. If you parlayed England, Germany, and Uruguay to win their games, all three would need to triumph for the bet to hit.

World Cup Strategies

The World Cup schedule is mostly fully formed right now, with the only changes set to come as the international playoffs begins in June. However, there is still a lot bettors now know and plans can be made, especially now that the groups are mostly set. Let’s look at some different World Cup strategies that bettors should consider as they start planning for kickoff.

In other tournaments, travel has been a factor, as teams go from place to place. The last tournament was set in Russia, a vast country, with games played in several locations. Travel won’t be a factor in this tournament, as Qatar is a tiny nation. However, what will be a factor is fatigue.

This tournament is set to be the World Cup that takes place over the shortest period of time ever. Not only that, but players will be playing games with their clubs potentially right up to the tournament, as this event is set in an abnormal time of year. The incredibly hot temperatures of Qatar are not likely to help the matter.

With this in mind, keep your eyes on things like players that have a grueling road to the World Cup and are playing league games all the way up to the tournament. There is a chance that the players that are having to do this will not be in top form and set their team back.

We’d also recommend watching players in the lead-up to the cup. If you’re a soccer fan and bettor and enjoy making EPL parlays, watch the players that you know will be featured in the tournament. See how they’re performing and use that to shape your strategy.

The last tip we’d give is to always keep in mind grouping.

The Groups have now been set, and this is something that very much determines teams’ chances in the cup. For example, Japan and the winner of New Zealand vs Costa Rica will have a very slim chance of emerging from Group E, because this is an immensely difficult group featuring Spain and Germany. The road to the knockout rounds runs through the teams you play, so always keep that in mind.

Interesting World Cup Facts

Let’s take a look at some interesting facts pertaining to the World Cup 2022 Schedule and the upcoming games.

  • This is the first World Cup hosted in the Middle East. It has been played on every continent except Oceania.
  • Qatar is the host, and the reason the World Cup is being played in November-December is due to the scorching summer temperatures of the nation. Typically, the World Cup is played in the summer.
  • This is the shortest schedule for a World Cup since 1978. The reason it is shorter than normal is that the atypical timing of it interferes with domestic leagues, so they are trying to reduce the impact it has
  •  It has been announced that the World Cup is moving from 32 teams this year to 48 teams in the next World Cup. This will make the tournament all the more grueling, so the odds for any team outright will shrink.
  • The next World Cup will be hosted in North America! Canada, Mexico, and the United States will play host to the global game. Games are likely to be spread across Canada, with likely host sites in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.
  • The last time a team not from Europe won the World Cup was in 2002. Only teams from Europe and South America have won the tournament.


Which teams have won the most World Cups throughout history?

Historically, only teams from South America or Europe have won the World Cup, as this is where many of the world’s best players are located. The teams with the most World Cups are Brazil, with five wins, and Italy and Germany, with four, have the second-most wins.

Who is currently favored to win the World Cup?

The teams favored to win the World Cup are the usual suspects. In order, the teams with the best odds to win are Brazil, France, England, Spain, Germany, and Argentina. Canada is +15000 to win the tournament. However, there is still much to be decided.

How long will this year’s tournament run for in total?

This year’s World Cup goes from November 20th to December 18th. This is a very short amount of time for a World Cup tournament, as it is less than a full month. However, due to the strange timing of the tournament, this is being done to make sure players don’t spend too much time away from their domestic teams.

Why is the tournament being played at such a strange time?

Typically, the World Cup is played in the middle of summer, often in June or July. But June and July in Qatar are unbearably hot, as this nation is in the Middle East, which is covered in desert. To make the temperatures better for players and fans, the decision was made to move the World Cup to winter, when temperatures are less hot. It will still be very hot in Qatar; it just won’t be as bad as if the games were played in the summer.

What are World Cup Free Picks?

These are Free Picks created by our expert gamblers to provide insight into the most important matches of the day. They are updated daily and the product of extensive research. The goal is to give users a free resource that can help offer tips and insight into upcoming games that might be good to gamble on. They’re completely free and intended to help our users.