FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group Stages Prediction


Davin Shin, Staff Writer

The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is upon us, and sports fans around the world are buzzing with excitement. Only occurring every four years, the World Cup is the most viewed sporting event internationally. 

To start, this World Cup is especially unusual, as it is being hosted in November, rather than during the European soccer offseason (which happens in the summer). The downsides of a World Cup in November has already been shown, as numerous players throughout the world got injured during their club team matches, including Paul Pogba (France), Sadio Mané (Senegal), Timo Werner (Germany), Giovani Lo Celso (Argentina), and many more.

Although this World Cup has been riddled with injuries, this particular one in Qatar will be extraordinary. Big names like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo—players who have defined this generation of soccer players as one of the best—will be participating in what is most likely their last World Cups. Other well-known players such as Robert Lewandowski (Poland), Neymar Jr. (Brazil), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Luis Suárez (Uruguay), and Gareth Bale (Wales) will also have the opportunity to finish their international career in this momentous event. This will make this World Cup one of the most significant we have seen in a while, as these legends attempt to cement their GOAT (Greatest of All Time) status.

In the Group Stages, the first part of this remarkable tournament, 32 countries from around the world will participate. The structure is simple: there are eight groups (A-H) of four teams each. The top two teams in each group move on to the knockout stages of the tournament. All of the teams had to take part in qualification matches for the World Cup (except for Qatar, as they are the host country) and were placed according to their placement in the qualifying stages. This is what makes every Group Stage unique and interesting.

Here are my predictions for each Group Stage:

Group A – 1. Netherlands, 2. Senegal, 3. Ecuador, 4. Qatar

The Netherlands (led by Virjil Van Dijk) is a great soccer nation and has proven to be a reliable contender for the World Cup almost, if not, every time. Senegal (captained by Kalidou Koulibaly) also has a solid team, although they will be without Sadio Mané, their star player. Ecuador and Qatar will not be able to keep up with the power of the Netherlands and Senegal.

Group B – 1. England, 2. USA, 3. Wales, 4. IR Iran

England, led by captain Harry Kane, has the most talented players in this group, and is one of the best teams in the world. They should be first place with ease. This year, the Christian Pulisic-led USA has been successful in producing one of their better soccer teams. My prediction is that they will beat Wales, but their recent shaky form could be their downfall to Gareth Bale and the Wales national team.

Group C – 1. Argentina, 2. Poland, 3. Mexico, 4. Saudi Arabia

The Argentina national Team, led by captain Lionel Messi, have a 36-game undefeated streak. They should be able to come out of this group in first place with relative ease. The situation between Poland (Cap. Robert Lewandowski) and Mexico (Andrés Guardado) is interesting, but I predict that Robert Lewandowski’s striking abilities will help Poland get past Mexico and qualify for the Round of 16.

Group D – 1. Denmark, 2. Tunisia, 3. France, 4. Australia

Denmark is a commonly underestimated team, but with Captain Simon Kjær, they are actually one of the better teams in this tournament. Tunisia (Cap. Youssef Msakni) does not have a great team, but I put them to qualify because I chose defending champions France (led by Hugo Lloris) to get eliminated in the group stages. Crazy, right? There is always one crazy group in the World Cup, and I predict that it will be this one, due to the alleged “Champions Curse.” The Champions Curse is said to affect the champions of the previous World Cup tournament when they play in the next World Cup tournament. Since 2002, the champions of the previous World Cup have gotten out in the Group Stages of the following one.

Group E – 1. Spain, 2. Japan, 3. Germany, 4. Costa Rica

Spain (led by Sergio Busquets) and Germany (Manuel Neuer) are widely considered to be the favorites to advance, but I think Japan (Cap. Maya Yoshida) can pull somewhat of an upset in this group. Japan is not a team to underestimate, and Germany has been struggling as of yet (such as losing to England in the Round of 16 of the 2020 Euros).

Group F – 1. Croatia, 2. Belgium, 3. Canada, 4. Morocco

Belgium (led by Eden Hazard) is past its golden generation, although not much was produced by it. They are still ranked number 2 by the FIFA World Rankings, but I put Croatia (Luka Modrić) to beat out Belgium in the group stages. Canada (Atiba Hutchinson) and Morocco (Romain Saïss) just don’t have the talent or firepower to take on Croatia and Belgium.

Group G – 1. Brazil, 2. Switzerland, 3. Serbia, 4. Cameroon

Brazil (Cap. Thiago Silva) has the best odds to win the World Cup this year, and has an enormous amount of talent in its squad. Meanwhile, Switzerland (Granit Xhaka) and Serbia (Dušan Tadić) will most likely be fighting for the second spot, and I think Switzerland will take the spot—although barely— with its experienced players and tendency to do well on the big stage.

Group H – 1. Uruguay, 2. Portugal, 3. South Korea, 4. Ghana

Last but not least, here is Group H. Arguably the most balanced group of the tournament, I believe Uruguay (led by Diego Godín) will beat Portugal (Cristiano Ronaldo) for the top spot in the group. But in this group, anything is possible. A South Korea (Son Heung-min) and/or Ghana (André Ayew) upset wouldn’t be surprising either.


The World Cup Group Stages gives a chance for every qualified country to impress, with heartbreak, happiness, and drama all around. There will be upsets, there will be domination, and there will be intense matches. I’m excited to see which teams can make it to the knockout stage!