FIFA WORLD CUP 2022 – ROUND OF 16 PREVIEW
The group stage is over, but there’s no rest for the 16 teams remaining in the 2022 World Cup as the Round of 16 begins immediately! As always, comprehensive free live coverage will be offered in the UK by BBC and ITV.
The round of 16 will take place over four days, starting Saturday and running through until Tuesday. After Tuesday’s games we will get the first days off of this World Cup. A two day break from the hectic pace of this tournament will lead into the quarter finals, and from there the pace of the tournament will slow as the stakes get bigger.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 will take place in qatar from Sunday 20 November until 18 DECEMBER.
Let’s take a look at what the Round of 16 has in store for us.
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 of 16 | Netherlands vs USA
Saturday 3 December | 1500 GMT | BBC Live TV Streaming
The first of the round of 16 games sees the Netherlands meet the USA for the sixth time, but the first time in a competitive match. The previous five were all friendlies, with the last taking place in 2015. That game, which produced a 4-3 win for the USA, marked the end of a four game winning streak for the Dutch that had dated back to 1998. Based on the dates of the fixtures, it seems like these sides, barring that 2015 game, used to play as a warm up game for the Netherlands before a major tournament. This time, the stakes are much higher.
Louis Van Gaal’s team never looked in any danger of failing to qualify for the knockout stages, but likewise never looked fully comfortable in their own skin as they made their way through Group A. They defeated Senegal 2-0 after a very poor game of football, with late goals by Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaassen enough to secure the three points. Next up was a 1-1 draw with Ecuador, where Gakpo put them ahead after six minutes before they spent the rest of the game as largely second best. Enner Valencia equalised early in the second half and the Dutch never looked like they might retake the lead. Gakpo’s goal, on six minutes, was one of only two shots they managed in the game and the only one on target.
With four points secured from their first two games, they had the relatively straightforward task of beating Qatar to secure a place in the knock-out round. They did it, a 2-0 win with goals from Gakpo and DeJong enough to overcome the hosts, but again it was less than inspiring. They just don’t look very cohesive, especially in midfield and attack. Van Gaal hasn’t struck the right balance with this team. They are strong defensively, which gives them a great chance for a deep run in the competition, but they’re very pedestrian in midfield and while Gakpo has scored in each game they look very ordinary in attack. The hope is that Memphis Depay will sparkle from here on, and they really need him to.
The United States Men’s National Soccer Team have been one of the surprise packages of the competition, and if games were played over 60 minutes they might be considered real contenders to win the entire competition! They dominated the first half of their opening game against Wales, and took a 1-0 lead through Timothy Weah on 36 minutes. They started the second half in less assured fashion but were still the better team until they started to flag badly on the hour mark. Gareth Bale’s 82nd minute penalty gave Wales a draw they barely deserved and left the Americans facing what might have been an uphill battle to progress from the group.
They dominated England for an hour, but failed to find the goal they deserved before they grew tired. Even when their legs got heavy and changes happened, they were still the better team and kept England’s defence honest for the entire game. In their final game, they got the win they needed but not even a fraction more as a 1-0 scoreline saw them overcome Iran. Christian Pulisic got the goal, and hurt himself in the process, and again they were easily the better team for the first hour of the game.
America will need a fast start in this game, and they need to take advantage of it. They should be able to outrun the Dutch in midfield if Weston McKennie and in particular the brilliant duo of Tyler Adams and Yunus Musah can maintain their outstanding form. They Dutch will rely on their Virgil Van Dijk marshalled defence to keep things tight, and hope that Gakpo and Depay can find a way to open the US defence, which is yet to concede a goal from open play.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Round of 16 | England vs Senegal
Sunday 4 December | 1900 GMT | ITV Live TV Streaming
This will be the first ever meeting between these two nations and it promises to be a big test of England’s credentials as potential World Cup winners.
England navigated Group B in relatively comfortable fashion but that was largely due to the ineptitude of two of their opponents. They began with a 6-2 win over Iran, a game in which they were quite poor in for the first 30 minutes. Once Luke Shaw’s cross found Jude Bellingham’s head and they went 1-0 up, they settled into the game and tore a poorly organised Iran team to shreds. Iran can be excused for perhaps not being fully prepared mentally given what’s going on in their homeland but to their credit they did manage two goals which exposed some issues in the England defence.
In their second game they were outplayed by the USA and were fortunate that the Americans forgot to pack a striker before coming to Qatar. The American midfield simply bullied their English counterparts and forced Harry Kane to drop deeper and deeper in search of the ball. A 0-0 draw flattered England but they were able to bounce back with a 3-0 victory over Wales, which also featured a really poor first half from both teams before an excellent Marcus Rashford free-kick, a tidy finish from Phil Foden and a second from Rashford wrapped up the three points.
Senegal are perhaps a bit fortunate to have qualified but they came through a tough group and deserve credit for that. They nullified the Dutch for 84 minutes, before losing as mentioned above, but bounced back with a 3-1 win over hosts Qatar that was notable for the improvements to their shape, especially defensively were Abdou Diallo was moved into the middle and Ismail Jakobs slotted in at left back. These changes allowed them to play a higher defensive line and compress the space in midfield more which in turn gave Gueye and Mendy less ground to cover and more opportunities to create turnovers.
In their final game, they defeated Ecuador 2-1. Ecuador, over the course of the three games, were probably a better team than Senegal but took quite a negative approach to this game and that allowed Senegal to seize second place in the Group A. Ismaila Sarr put them ahead with a first half penalty, before Moises Caicedo equalized for Ecuador mid-way through the second half. Kalidou Koulibaly, Senegalese legend and team captain, came up big when his team needed him most with a brilliantly taken winner just three minutes after Caicedo’s goal and sent Senegal’s fans wild with celebration. It must be said, the Senegalese fans have been undeniably the best of the tournament with their constant singing and dancing.
England will be heavy favourites heading into this game but Senegal seem to be growing in strength with each passing game. They’ve improved defensively during the tournament, and though they do miss Sadio Mane’s presence in attack others are starting to step up. With their pace, they could be a threat to England on the counter. England’s biggest issue in their last two games has been a failure to supply Harry Kane with touches in the opposition box, that needs to change or they might be heading home earlier than expected.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Round of 16 | Japan vs Croatia
Monday 5 December | 1500 GMT | BBC Live TV Streaming
These sides meeting at this point isn’t a surprise as a lot of people predicted Japan to emerge ahead of either Spain or Germany from Group E, and Croatia were seen as a likely qualifier from Group F. What is surprising is that it’s Japan who come into this game having won their group.
Japan overcame two of the last three World Cup winners in stunning fashion to top Group E but left people still unsure as to how good they really are because of how the group broke down. They began by upsetting Germany 2-1, coming from behind to overcome the 2014 winners with late goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano after Ilkay Gundogan had put the Germans ahead with a first half penalty. Japan had 26% of the possession and lived on the counter attack. In their next game they lost 1-0 to a Costa Rica team fresh off a 7-0 defeat to Spain. The problem for Japan in that game was simply that they had too much of the ball, 54%. They didn’t get the counter attacking opportunities they were seeking. It seemed like that defeat had wasted their victory over Germany and put paid to their hopes of progression.
Instead, they produced a masterclass in how to win without the ball as they defeated 2010 champions Spain 2-1 with second half goals from Doan and Ao Tanaka after Alvaro Morata had given Spain an early lead. Japan had only 17% of the possession in this game and it suited them to a tee. They were able to draw Spain on to them and hit them with lightning fast counter attacks using quick transition and willing overlappers. That 2-1 win saw them not just qualify, but stunningly top a group they had seemed to make a mess of with that defeat to Costa Rica.
Croatia began with a dull 0-0 draw with Morocco, a game in which they struggle to break down the resolute Moroccan defence but never looked in any danger of losing. They followed that up with a dominant 4-1 win over Canada, falling behind early but roaring back with goals from Andrej Kramaric, Marko Livaja, Kramaric again and Lovro Majer giving them a comprehensive win and putting them in a great position to progress from the group.
They went into their final game knowing that a win would see them win the group, but that they only needed a draw to advance. That game, against Belgium, had a loser leaves town feeling to it and that’s how it turned out, but Croatia were very nearly the ones on the plane home. After a dreary 80 minutes were Croatia managed to control most of the proceedings they then gifted Romelu Lukaku four gilt-edged chances. Had the Belgian striker converted just one of them, his team would have progressed and Croatia would have gone out as a result of Morocco’s win over Canada. Instead, Lukaku made a mess of all four and Croatia survived.
This game is set up to favour Japan’s approach of having as little of the ball as possible and hitting their opponents with fast-paced breaks. This Croatian team is a little bit slow in certain areas, and will want to dominate the ball. They profile as potential victims to Hajime Moriyasu’s masterplan. This will be the fourth meeting of these sides, and the third at a World Cup. Both sides hold a win, with their last contest – at the 2006 World Cup, ending in a draw.
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 Round of 16
- 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!