Welcome to the second part of our four part series about the forthcoming FIFA 2022 World Cup Finals being held in the gulf state of Qatar. Check out Part One here!

Starting on November 20th and running until the final on December 18th, the tournament will feature 32 of the best teams in the world battling it out for the right to call themselves the new World Champions, following on from France who last won the trophy back in 2018.

In this article, we are going to begin with how the 2022 World Cup Finals is organised, where the games will be played, who the referees will be for the tournament as well as some of the main rules and regulations you should be aware of, especially for the knockout phase of the competition.

Then we will continue with our preview of the Group Stage by looking at Group C and Group D in more detail.

Remember, you can enjoy a wealth of World Cup 2022 betting at bet365 Sport both now in advance of the tournament starting, as well as pre-match markets galore and extensive In Play betting available across every match of the tournament.

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Let’s now begin this second part of the series with a look at how the 2022 World Cup Finals is going to be organised, starting with the format of the tournament itself.

World Cup 2022 – Tournament Format

The World Cup Finals tournament is divided into two separate phases.

  • Phase 1 – The Group Stage

The Group Stage sees the 32 teams that qualified for the World Cup Finals competing in a group of four teams. The draw for the groups was made many months ago now and teams have been preparing for the games they will face in this stage of the tournament.

Each team will play the other teams in its group once over 90 minutes with the aim of finishing first or second in the group to qualify for the next stage of the tournament.

If a team finishes third or fourth, then they are eliminated from the tournament after the Group Stages.

Teams finishing level on points are separated by their goal difference and then the number of goals scored. If they are still equal at this point then the team with the best record against the other team or teams level on points with them will progress from the group.

The Group Stage will last from the 20th November through until the 2nd December 2022.

After which the 16 qualifiers from the Group Stage will move onto the next phase of the tournament.

  • Phase 2 – The Knockout Stages

The 16 qualifiers are then allocated a place in the Knockout Stages depending on their group and the position that they finished in their group.

During the knockout stages, all games are played to a conclusion with 30 minutes of extra time and then penalties used to decide the winner in the event of a tied game.

Teams that lose a knockout stage game either by scoreline or on penalties are eliminated from the tournament, while the winner moves on to the next phase of the tournament.

There are five rounds to the Knockout Stages of the tournament:

  • Round of 16 (8 matches) – 3rd to 6th December
  • Quarter Finals (4 matches) – 9th & 10th December
  • Semi Finals (2 matches) – 13th & 14th December
  • 3rd/4th Place Match (1 Match) – 17th December
  • World Cup Final (1 Match) – 18th December

Players tend to head back to their clubs after their nation is eliminated from the tournament which means that some players will not be back with their respective teams until just before the Christmas period.

World Cup 2022 – Stadia, Capacity & Host Cities

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The 2022 World Cup Finals in Qatar will be contested at just eight venues across Qatar:

  • Lusail Iconic Stadium (80,000 capacity) in Doha
  • Al Bayt Stadium (60,000 capacity) in Al Knor
  • Education City Stadium (45,320 capacity) in Al-Rayyan
  • Stadium 974 (40,000 capacity) in Doha
  • Khalifa International Stadium (45,416 capacity) in Doha
  • Ahmed bin Ali Stadium (44,740) in Al-Rayyan
  • Al Thumama Stadium (40,000) inDoha
  • Al Janoub Stadium (40,000) in Al-Wakrah

The opening ceremony and first game of the World Cup will be contested at the Al Bayt Stadium, with the final being played at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.

Stadium 974 is a World Cup first as it is a purpose-built stadium from shipping containers and is designed to be taken down and re-used, possibly in Africa or at another World Cup Finals.

World Cup 2022 – Referee List

The full list of officials for the World Cup Finals in 2022 is as follows:

  • Abdulrahman Al Jassim (Qatar)
  • Ivan Barton (Slovenia)
  • Chris Beath (Australia)
  • Raphael Claus (Brazil)
  • Matthew Conger (New Zealand)
  • Ismail Elfath (United States)
  • Mario Escobar (Guatemala)
  • Alreza Faghani (Iran)
  • Stephanie Frappart (France)
  • Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
  • Mustapha Ghorbal (Algeria)
  • Victor Gomes (South Africa)
  • Istvan Kovacs (Romania)
  • Ming Na (China)
  • Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)
  • Szymon Marciniak (Poland)
  • Said Martinez (Honduras)
  • Antonio Mateu (Spain)
  • Andres Matias Matonte Cabrera (Uruguay)
  • Mohammed Abdulla Mohammed (UAE)
  • Salima Mukasanga (Rwanda)
  • Michael Oliver (England)
  • Daniele Orsato (Italy)
  • Kevin Ortega (Peru)
  • Cesar Ramos (Mexico)
  • Fernando Rapallini (Argentina)
  • Wilton Sampaio (Brazil)
  • Daniel Siebert (Germany)
  • Janny Sikazwe (Zambia)
  • Anthony Taylor (England)
  • Facundo Tello (Argentina)
  • Clement Turpin (France)
  • Jesus Valenzuela (Venezuela)
  • Slavko Vincic (Slovenia)
  • Yoshimi Yamashita (Japan)

World Cup 2022 – Main Rules & Regulations

Alongside the main rules and regulations mentioned above for the World Cup Finals 2022, the following rules also apply:

  • Any player that has a yellow card against their name from the qualifying campaign ahead of the finals will have that yellow card wiped from the record for the tournament start.
  • Any pending suspensions from the qualifiers are not carried into the World Cup Finals provided that the suspension is for yellow cards only.
  • If a player has a pending suspension for a red card, then that will be carried into the World Cup Finals and will be served in the first game or games for that player and team.
  • If a player gets two yellow cards in two separate games in the World Cup up to the quarter final stage, then they will be suspended for the next game.
  • If a player receives a red card, then they are suspended for the team’s next fixture.
  • Depending on how severe the penalty for the red card was, FIFA can apply additional sanctions on the player should they deem it necessary to do so.
  • Once a team reaches the semi-finals of the tournament, any yellow cards awarded during the tournament are wiped for members of their squad from the semi-finals onwards.

World Cup Group Stage Preview – Groups C and D

Group C

  • Argentina
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Mexico
  • Poland

Group C Fixtures

22nd Nov – Argentina v Saudi Arabia – Lusail Iconic

22nd Nov – Mexico v Poland – Stadium 974

26th Nov – Poland v Saudi Arabia – Education City

26th Nov – Argentina v Mexico – Lusail Iconic

30th Nov – Poland v Argentina – Stadium 974

30th Nov – Saudi Arabia v Mexico – Lusail Iconic

Predicted Results

  • 22nd Nov – Argentina v Saudi Arabia – Lusail Iconic – Argentina win
  • 22nd Nov – Mexico v Poland – Stadium 974 – Draw
  • 26th Nov – Poland v Saudi Arabia – Education City – Poland win
  • 26th Nov – Argentina v Mexico – Lusail Iconic – Draw
  • 30th Nov – Poland v Argentina – Stadium 974 – Argentina win
  • 30th Nov – Saudi Arabia v Mexico – Lusail Iconic – Mexico win

Final Standings Prediction

Group C – 1st Argentina, 2nd Mexico, 3rd Poland, 4th Saudi Arabia

Players To Watch

Argentina – Lionel Messi (Att), Lautaro Martinez (Att), Angel Di Maria (Mid)

Saudi Arabia – Fahad Al-Muwallad (Mid), Salem Al-Dawsari (Mid), Saleh Al-Shehri (Att)

Mexico – Hirving Lozano (Mid/Att), Raul Jimenez (Att), Jorge Sanchez (Def)

Poland – Robert Lewandowski (Att), Piotr Zielinski (Mid), Arkadiusz Milik (Att)

Group D

  • France
  • Australia
  • Denmark
  • Tunisia

Group D Fixtures

22nd Nov – Denmark v Tunisia – Education City

22nd Nov – France v Australia – Al Janoub

26th Nov – Tunisia v Australia – Al Janoub

26th Nov – France v Denmark – Stadium 974

30th Nov – Australia v Denmark – Al Janoub

30th Nov – Tunisia v France – Education City

Predicted Results

  • 22nd Nov – Denmark v Tunisia – Education City – Denmark win
  • 22nd Nov – France v Australia – Al Janoub –  France win
  • 26th Nov – Tunisia v Australia – Al Janoub – Australia win
  • 26th Nov – France v Denmark – Stadium 974 – Draw
  • 30th Nov – Australia v Denmark – Al Janoub – Denmark win
  • 30th Nov – Tunisia v France – Education City – France win

Final Standings Prediction

Group D – 1st France, 2nd Denmark, 3rd Australia, 4th Tunisia

Players To Watch

France – Kylian Mbappe (Att), Antoine Griezmann (Att), Paul Pogba (Mid)

Australia – Aaron Mooy (Mid), Tom Rogic (Mid), Matthew Leckie (Att)

Denmark – Christian Eriksen (Mid), Kasper Dollberg (Att), Mikkel Damsgaard (Att)

Tunisia – Hannibal Mejbri (Mid), Wahbi Khazri (Att), Youssef Msakni (Att)