Over the next couple of weeks, we should get a much clearer idea of which teams will make up the 32 teams that will compete later this year at the 2022 World Cup Finals in Qatar.

We already know that Qatar qualifies as hosts and that we have ten teams qualified from Europe, plus a couple from South America and Asia, while one team from North and Central America has also confirmed their place in the tournament.

With a host of playoff games, plus the final games in group stages set to be played over the coming weeks, by the end of it, we should know 29 or the 32 teams that will compete in the World Cup Finals.

The final three will be decided with the completion of the delayed Path 2 tournament in Europe and the Inter-Conference playoffs between the AFC Fourth Round Winner and the 5th Placed CONMEBOL team, and the CONCACAF 4th placed team and the Oceania Qualifier.

These final games will be played in June to decide who claims those final berths at the Finals.

You can enjoy plenty of pre-event World Cup Finals betting with bet365 Sport at the moment, as well as plenty of great betting on the games listed below throughout the next couple of weeks.

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Europe

World Cup Playoffs – Thursday 24th March – 7.45pm

Path 1

  • Wales v Austria
  • Scotland v Ukraine – Postponed – Set to be played in June 2022, Likely 10th June)
  • Path 1 Final – Wales or Austria v Scotland or Ukraine (Likely 13th June)

Path 2

  • Sweden v Czech Republic
  • Poland qualify for Path 3 final after opponents Russia were expelled from the tournament.
  • Path 2 Final – Poland v Sweden or Czech Republic (27th March)

Path 3

  • Italy v North Macedonia
  • Portugal v Turkey
  • Path 3 Final – Portugal or Turkey v Italy or North Macedonia (27th March)

Ten teams have already qualified for the finals from Europe with Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Croatia, England and Germany all winning their qualification groups.

The remaining three places will be decided by who wins through each of the Paths in the playoff games outlined above.

Our Tips

Wales look a solid bet to beat Austria this week (17/10) and I think the smart money is on Italy (1/5) and Portugal (2/5) to win their games and to contest the Path 3 final.

The Sweden v Czech Republic game is a harder one to call but with home advantage, I’m backing the Swedes to go through, but it may take extra time and penalties to decide it, so I would go for the draw here at 23/10.

Asia

Birds Nest Stadium China

24th March

Group A

  • South Korea v Iran
  • Iraq v United Arab Emirates
  • Lebanon v Syria

Group B

  • Australia v Japan
  • China v Saudi Arabia
  • Vietnam v Oma

29th March

Group A

  • Iran v Lebanon
  • United Arab Emirates v South Korea
  • Syria v Iraq

Group B

  • Japan v Vietnam
  • Saudi Arabia v Australia
  • Oman v China

With South Korea and Iran already qualified from Group A, all that is to be decided in that group is who finishes third and enters the playoff against the third place team from Group B.

That will be either Japan, Saudi Arabia or Australia, with two of those three teams set to qualify in the top two spots, with the other entering the 3rd place playoff.

The 3rd place playoff will be played in June in Qatar, with the winner progressing to face the fifth placed team from CONMEBOL (South America) for a place in the World Cup Finals a week or so later.

Our Tips

My feeling here is that Saudi Arabia and Japan will hold on to top two spots in Group B and move on to the World Cup Finals, leaving Australia to contest the third place game. That looks like being against the United Arab Emirates, but much hinges on the Iraq v UAE game on 24th March.

I’d still fancy Australia to go through the third-place match against either of those sides to reach the inter conference final.

Africa

25th March – 1st Leg Games

  • Egypt v Senegal
  • Cameroon v Algeria
  • Ghana v Nigeria
  • D.R.Congo v Morocco
  • Mali v Tunisia

29th March – 2nd Leg Games

  • Senegal v Egypt
  • Algeria v Cameroon
  • Nigeria v Ghana
  • Morocco v D.R.Congo
  • Tunisia v Mali

After a lengthy qualifying campaign to reach this stage, ten teams remain in with a chance of qualifying as one of Africa’s five representatives at the 2022 World Cup Finals. Those ten teams have been drawn into one of five two-legged games, the winner of which will qualify for the World Cup Finals.

Our Tips

Given how tight the African Cup Of Nations was earlier this year these games will be incredibly close. In those first leg ties I like the look of Morocco (6/5), Cameroon (11/10) and Mali (11/10) to land narrow wins, while he Egypt v Senegal and Ghana v Nigeria games I think are good draw options (19/10 And 2/1 respectively).

However if forced to pick who to qualify after the two-legged games I’d plump for Morocco, Cameroon, Mali, Egypt and Nigeria.

CONCACAF (North & Central America)

24th March – Matchday 12

  • Jamaica v El Salvador
  • Panama v Honduras
  • Mexico v United States
  • Costa Rica v Canada

27th March – Matchday 13

  • Canada v Jamaica
  • El Salvador v Costa Rica
  • United States v Panama
  • Honduras v Mexico

30th March – Matchday 14

  • Panama v Canada
  • Jamaica v Honduras
  • Mexico v El Salvador
  • Costa Rica v United States

The top three teams in the final group stage qualify for the World Cup Finals, with the fourth-place team qualifying for the inter-confederation playoff against the winner of Oceania qualifying.

That inter-confederation playoff takes place in Qatar in mid-June and the winner will earn a spot at the World Cup Finals.

Canada have already qualified for the World Cup Finals as one of the top three teams.

The final three games in qualifying will be played on the 24th, 27th and 30th March.

Our Tips

This is a race between four teams for two qualifying spots and a place in the Inter-Conference Finals in June. Mexico and the United States hold the remaining two qualifying spots behind already qualified Canada at the moment, but they face each other in a huge game in Mexico on Friday.

The winner of that game will likely finish second in the group but it does mean that if Panama can beat Honduras and/or Costa Rica can beat Canada, then the team that loses the game will be under pressure from either or both these two teams.

With the United States playing Panama at home and then Costa Rica away in their last two games, while Panama take on the U.S and Canada, there are still multiple potential outcomes in this qualifying section.

However, I do feel that it will be Canada, Mexico and the United States who come through as qualifiers, with Costa Rica sneaking through to make it into the Inter-Conference Playoff in June.

CONMEBOL (South America)

Copa America Bets

Matchday 17 (Thu 24th & Fri 25th March)

  • Colombia v Bolivia
  • Paraguay v Ecuador
  • Brazil v Chile
  • Uruguay v Peru
  • Argentina v Venezuela

Matchday 18 (Wed 30th March)

  • Peru v Paraguay
  • Ecuador v Argentina
  • Venezuela v Colombia
  • Chile v Uruguay
  • Bolivia v Brazil

Brazil and Argentina have already confirmed their place in the World Cup Finals and will finish in the top two positions. The third place and fourth place teams will also qualify for the finals, with the fifth-place team entering an inter-conference playoff against the team that wins the third-place playoff in the Asian Conference.

My gut feeling here is that Ecuador and Uruguay will clinch the two last automatic qualification spots, with Colombia, Chile and Peru battling it out on the final day for fifth spot, with Peru perhaps the most likely to claim it.

Our Tips

With Brazil and Argentina through, the battle is now on for the final two automatic qualification spots and the place in the inter-continental playoff for the fifth place team. With two games to go, Paraguay and Venezuela are eliminated from contention for either, while Bolivia’s chances are very slim on reaching the 5th placed spot and they are effectively out.

Ecuador just need a win to assure themselves a place in the finals and they could get that against Paraguay. Similarly, a win for Uruguay over Peru would likely ensure that they progress as a qualifier, unless Chile land a surprise win away to Brazil.

Oceania

21st March

Group B

  • Papua New Guinea v New Caledonia
  • New Zealand v Fiji

24th March

Group A

  • Solomon Islands v Tahiti

Group B

  • New Zealand v New Caledonia
  • Fiji v Papua New Guinea

The Oceania qualifying campaign is being held in Qatar as a standalone tournament.

Oceania teams will complete their group phase of the tournament with matches on Monday 21st March and Thursday 24th March. There will then be two semi-finals (27th March) and a final (30th March) to decide which team progresses.

The tournament has been hit with a number of teams having to cancel games due to Covid-19 outbreaks, which has left the tournament in a fragmented state, especially Group A, where the Solomon Islands and Tahiti will likely qualify for the semifinals, given that the Cook Islands and Vanuatu have reported Covid-19 outbreaks in their squads.

Vanuatu have withdrawn from the competition meaning just one more game will be played in Group A to decide which of the two teams from that group progress to the semifinals.

The winner of this tournament will play the 4th place team from CONCACAF (North and Central America) in June for a place in the finals.

Our Tip

Such a strange qualifying campaign this one with so many games cancelled but even so, it would be a huge surprise if anybody other than New Zealand comes through to qualify for the inter-conference playoff in June.