FIFA WORLD CUP 2022 – ROUND 1 PREVIEW
The FIFA World Cup 2022 kicks this Sunday with hosts Qatar taking on the surprise package from the South American qualifiers, Ecuador. As always, comprehensive free live coverage will be offered in the UK by BBC and ITV.
Premier League fans will be familiar with Brighton’s Pervis Estupinan and Moises Caicedo but outside of those two and Bayer Leverkusen’s Piero Hincapie and former West Ham striker Enner Valencia it’s likely that the average football fan will be discovering many of their players for the first time.
The entire Qatari team plays in the Qatar Stars League so outside of regular watchers of that league, it’s likely that their team will be a mystery to most.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 will take place in qatar from Sunday 20 November until 18 DECEMBER.
With the Premier League on hiatus, the Liberty Shield preview will shift to the World Cup and we’ll preview each round of games. Let’s jump in and take a look at the three most enticing games of the first round of group stage matches.
What channel are the England World Cup matches on?
The BBC has landed two of England’s three World Cup group matches, including the fixture against Iran on the second day of the tournament.
In the latest share between free-to-air broadcasters, ITV screen the second match against USA, and potentially the last 16 and quarter-final.
Terrestrial channels have negotiated a share over coverage for major tournaments between themselves for more than 50 years and ITV are said to have had first pick this year.
The group stage England tie against Wales will be on the BBC but the corporation would then be waiting until the semi-final to screen another potential Three Lions match. ITV will also have coverage of the USA’s match against Wales on November 21.
It is the first World Cup to be held at this time of the year, so that has also challenged broadcasters BBC and ITV, who will be sharing the coverage while balancing this tournament with some of their flagship shows.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Round 1 | Senegal vs Netherlands
Monday 21 November | 1600 GMT | ITV Live TV Streaming
When the draw was made, these sides were widely viewed as the likely teams to progress from Group A.
Senegal defeated Egypt on penalties in the third round of the CAF qualifiers to earn their spot at this World Cup and cap a hugely successful run for the team who had defeated the same team by the same method in the AFCON final back in February. This is only Senegal’s third World Cup, and the first time they have achieved consecutive qualifications for the marquee tournament. With that AFCON victory, which followed a second place finish at the 2019 AFCON, this is very much the golden age of Senegalese football.
Senegal’s team is build around an experienced spine, with Edouard Mendy in goal, Kalidou Koulibaly in defense, Idrissa Gueye and Cheickou Kouyate in midfield and Sadio Mane upfront. Those five players have spent long careers in top European leagues, with all bar Kouyate being players with considerable Champions League experience under the belts. They have replenished their ranks well, with players like Abdou Diallo, Krepin Diatta, Pape Gueye, Ismaila Sarr, and Boulaye Dia all making an impact. They have young talent in Pape Matar Sarr, Bamba Dieng, Iliman Ndiaye and Nicolas Jackson who point towards a very bright future as well.
Sadio Mane’s injury, sustained less than two weeks ago, has now been confirmed to have ended his tournament before it’s begun, but will now present an opportunity for someone like Sheffield United’s Ndiaye or Villarreal’s Jackson to make their mark on the biggest stage.
The Netherlands lost Mane’s former Liverpool teammate Gini Wijnaldum to injury when the midfielder broke his leg shortly after making a loan move to Roma. It’s a big blow for Louis Van Gaal who relied heavily on the midfielder as one of his leaders in the team. Wijnaldum has been a key figure for the Dutch team over the past six years, establishing himself as one of the first names on the team sheet and will be missed in Qatar.
This will be their 11th appearance at the World Cup, and having missed out on qualification in 2018 they will be keen to make an impact. Their failure to even make the tournament in 2018 was a huge disappointment having finished 3rd in 2014, and reached the final in 2010. The Dutch are arguably the most prominent footballing nation not to win the World Cup, having finished as Runners-Up on three different occasions.
This team will be heavily reliant on their defense to keep them in the mix, with Virgil Van Dijk as the lynchpin of a back three, likely flanked by Jurien Timber and Nathan Ake. They’ll be functional and hard working in midfield and have matchwinners in Memphis Depay, Cody Gakpo and Steven Bergwijn. Their biggest issue is the goalkeeping position. The three selected goalkeepers have a combined eight caps, with likely starter Remko Pasveer having only two caps at the age of 38. Six-time capped Justin Bijlow is the most talented of the three but it remains to be seen if he will have Van Gaal’s trust.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Round 1 | Uruguay vs South Korea
Thursday 24 November | 1300 GMT | BBC Live TV Streaming
Thursday is the most exciting day of the opening week with two really interesting games that demand your viewing.
First up we have Uruguay taking on South Korea in a Group H meeting that presents an fascinating clash of styles and should throw up some really high quality individual battles.
Uruguay finished third in the CONMEBOL qualifiers behind Argentina and Brazil and will come into the tournament among the teams tagged as “dark horses” to do well given the quality they have in their team and the experience in the squad. This is likely to be The Last Dance for the great core of Muslera, Caceres, Godin, Suarez and Cavani. Those five have been the core of Uruguay’s squad for over a decade and they will want to end their time in the squad on a high.
Joining them is an outstanding group of players who will be able to keep Uruguay playing at a high level for years to come. The star of the team is Real Madrid midfield Fede Valverde who has gotten better in each of the last three seasons and may well be the best midfielder in the world right now. Darwin Nunez and Ronald Araujo are the other two young stars who are making names for themselves at two of Europe’s biggest clubs, Liverpool and Barcelona respectively. Youngsters like Facundo Pellistri, Facundo Torres and Manuel Ugarte all have big futures ahead and will be good squad options due this tournament.
Uruguay are, of course, two-time World Cup winners having won the competition in 1930 and 1950, and have also finished fourth on four occasions. This will be their 14th World Cup overall and their fourth successive competition.
It’s a difficult opening test for Uruguay though, coming up against a South Korea team that plays a very disciplined style of football and is always hard to break down. They are not a glamourous team but do possess two outstanding talents in Napoli central defender Kim Min-Jae and Tottenham attacker Son Heung-Min. Son has carried the attacking burden for his nation for many years but Hwang Hee-Chan of Wolves, Lee Kang-in of Mallorca and Jeong Woo-Yeong of Freiburg they do have other talented players who are capable of winning a match for their team.
South Korea finished 2nd in their AFC Qualification group behind Iran, something that will have disappointed them, and secured a 11th World Cup appearance for the nation. This will be their 10th consecutive trip to the competition and they will be dreaming of matching, or improving on their best ever finish of 4th back in the 2002 World Cup, which they hosted with Japan.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Round 1 | Brazil vs Serbia
Thursday 24 November | 1900 GMT | BBC Live TV Streaming
The second must-watch game on Thursday sees one of the favourites, Brazil, taking on my personal dark-horses to reach the final four in Serbia.
Brazil need little introduction. They have qualified for every World Cup, 22 in total counting this year and two more than anyone else. They have won five World Cups, in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. Again, that is more than anyone else. They have also won the most games at the World Cup, 73, and scored the most goals, 229.They are the true royalty of international football, much to the chagrin of Argentina and other rivals including Germany who rank second in appearances, games won, goals scored and most important tournaments won. The Germans will argue that they have reached eight semi-finals and Brazil’s seven and 13 semi-finals to Brazil’s 10 but Brazil will just shrug and point to their five trophies.
This Brazilian team, though heavily fancied, falls short of the quality of past teams, particularly in their defense. Their fullback situation is a mess and with Thiago Silva still starting in central defense they have a glaring weakness against quick teams. They do have an incredible goalkeeper, good options in midfield and support attacking positions but they fall a bit short upfront where Richarlison is likely to lead the line. Head Coach Tite has a couple of big decisions to make, at fullback on both sides, on the right wing, upfront and in the second central midfield spot next to Casemiro. It appears likely that Danilo, Alex Sandro, Raphinha, Richarlison and Fred will get the nod in those spots but each comes with a question mark.
They strolled through the CONMEBOL qualifiers, finishing top with a six point gap over Argentina and a 17 point lead over 3rd placed Uruguay despite not playing the full compliment of 18 games. Their game with Argentina was called off over Covid tests and as the points weren’t needed the game was never replayed.
Serbia are huge. Literally. This is a team with giant men everywhere. Goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic is 6’3 and may only be the 5th tallest player in the team. They play a high pressing, possession based game as their default system but are more than capable of sitting back into a defensive block and punishing teams on the counter attack using the pace and elite crossing ability of Filip Kostic to feed their twin tower attack of Alexandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic, with another giant arriving late from midfield in the shape of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
Serbia will be aware that they can’t match Brazil in terms of technical ability, but they will also be aware that nobody will be able to match them in terms of physicality. They are likely to be a nightmare to defend against when it comes to set-pieces with the delivery of Kostic and Dusan Tadic being ever-reliable, and the aforementioned trio along with defensive giants Nikola Milenkovic Strahinja Pavlovic all offering aerial dominance on the end of corners and free-kicks.
Serbia topped Group A of the UEFA qualifiers ahead of Portugal and the mighty Republic of Ireland to secure their 12th appearance at the World Cup, fourth since the break-up of Yugoslavia and third since they and Montenegro decides to go their separate ways. It’s the first time since 1962 that they have qualified for consecutive tournaments, and they will be hoping to get out of the group stage for the first time since they struck out on their own. As part of Yugoslavia they finished fourth twice and will be hoping to make a similar impression this time around. They certainly have the talent to do so.
How to watch the FIFA World Cup 2022 from anywhere…
The FIFA World Cup 2022 will be streamed live for free on BBC and ITV as well as their respective BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Smart TV, Now TV, FireTV etc.
But these streaming services are not available to everyone, for example when you load Sky Sport in the USA, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal, Australia, Dubai, Canada etc. you will get an error message.
BBC IPLAYER ONLY WORKS IN THE UK. SORRY, IT’S DUE TO RIGHTS ISSUES. IN THE UK? HERE’S SOME ADVICE.
This is basically because their streaming services are geoblocked based on the IP address being used to access it. You must be a UK domestic web user to access BBC and ITV live tv streaming.
- Get a UK IP address for the FIFA World Cup 2022
- If you want to watch on your Windows PC, Mac, FireTV, iPhone, iPad or Android then you can get a UK Proxy or VPN Apps from Liberty Shield, FREE for 48 hours and then from only £8.99 per month.
- Prefer to watch on supported media streaming devices like Now TV, Smart TVs, Apple TV, Xbox, PS4, Roku etc? You’ll need a UK configured VPN Router setup as British, available from only £18.99 with Worldwide Shipping available.
Furthermore; BBC and ITV aren’t the only geographically-censored streaming services a VPN or Proxy will allow you to access. Other UK services like Channel 4, Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime and BritBox are available. Plus with the option to switch to our USA service whenever you like, you can access Hulu, HBO GO, Netflix and Pandora. Essentially you can access international content from virtually anywhere!
World Cup 2022 TV schedule (all times GMT)
Sunday November 20
Qatar vs Ecuador 4pm BBC
Monday November 21
England vs Iran 1pm BBC
Senegal vs Holland 4pm ITV
USA vs Wales 7pm ITV
Tuesday November 22
Argentina vs Saudi Arabia 10am ITV
Denmark vs Tunisia 1pm ITV
Mexico vs Poland 4pm BBC
France vs Australia 7pm BBC
Wednesday November 23
Morocco vs Croatia 10am ITV
Germany vs Japan 1pm ITV
Spain vs Costa Rica 4pm ITV
Belgium vs Canada 7pm BBC
Thursday November 24
Switzerland vs Cameroon 10am ITV
Uruguay vs South Korea 1pm BBC
Portugal vs Ghana 4pm ITV
Brazil vs Serbia 7pm BBC
Friday November 25
Wales vs Iran 10am BBC
Qatar vs Senegal 1pm BBC
Holland vs Ecuador 4pm ITV
England vs USA 7pm ITV
Saturday November 26
Tunisia vs Australia 10am BBC
Poland vs Saudi Arabia 1pm ITV
France vs Denmark 4pm ITV
Argentina vs Mexico 7pm ITV
Sunday November 27
Japan vs Costa Rica 10am ITV
Belgium vs Morocco 1pm BBC
Croatia vs Canada 4pm BBC
Spain vs Germany 7pm BBC
Monday November 28
Cameroon vs Serbia 10am ITV
South Korea vs Ghana 1pm BBC
Brazil vs Switzerland 4pm ITV
Portugal vs Uruguay 7pm ITV
Tuesday November 29
Ecuador vs Senegal 3pm ITV
Holland vs Qatar 3pm ITV
Iran vs United States 7pm BBC
Wales vs England 7pm BBC
Wednesday November 30
Tunisia vs France 3pm BBC
Australia vs Denmark 3pm BBC
Poland vs Argentina 7pm BBC
Saudi Arabia vs Mexico 7pm BBC
Thursday December 1
Canada vs Morocco 4pm BBC
Croatia vs Belgium 4pm BBC
Japan vs Spain 7pm ITV
Costa Rica vs Germany 7pm ITV
Friday December 2
Ghana vs Uruguay 4pm BBC
South Korea vs Portugal 4pm BBC
Serbia vs Switzerland 7pm ITV
Cameroon vs Brazil 7pm ITV