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TheDyspatch’s World Cup Group Stage Viewing Guide

Tomorrow morning (or 7PM in the evening, in Qatar), the 2022 FIFA World Cup will kick off. Routinely the most-viewed sporting event in the world, the World Cup occurs every four years, and this one will only last 29 days, because it’s been crammed into the middle of the season.

Part of what makes the World Cup so interesting is the fact that every single game is televised. Even non-football fans tune in to witness their nations face off. In that spirit, we at TheDyspatch figured we should write up a viewing guide, so you know what to watch and when to watch it over the next month or so. The number next to a team’s name denotes their FIFA ranking entering the World Cup.

All group stage matches will be covered in English on Fox or Fox Sports 1 in the United States, and viewers who use streaming services can find matches on fuboTV or Peacock Premium.

All Times Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Sunday, November 20: Group A Kicks Off Play

Qatar vs. Ecuador, 11 AM

Breakdown: Hosts Qatar kick off play at 7 PM local time. Rumors of a bribe paid to Ecuador have already been floated on Twitter, albeit from rather questionable sources. Either way, this will be the first match of World Cup football in well over 4 years thanks to the later start date, so viewership should be very high. 

Monday, November 21

England vs. Iran, 8 AM

Senegal vs. Netherlands, 11 AM

USA vs. Wales, 2 PM

Breakdown: Group B favorites England take on a tricky Iran team to kick off the first full day of matches, followed by dark horses Senegal vs. a dangerous Netherlands looking to make their mark in their first tournament since finishing 3rd in 2014. Finally, team USA returns to World Cup action for the first time since their 2014 R16 loss to Belgium, while Wales are at their first World Cup since 1958 (yes, you read that correctly). 

Tuesday, November 22

Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia, 5 AM

Denmark vs. Tunisia, 8 AM

Mexico vs. Poland, 11 AM

France vs. Australia, 2 PM

Breakdown: Lionel Messi and Argentina begin the day’s slate so early that even the most ardent West Coast Messi fans may choose to sleep instead, but Saudi Arabia should pose them no trouble. Denmark and Tunisia will be one to watch, as both teams will likely be battling it out for 2nd place in group D – and the same goes for Mexico and Poland. France are hoping to avoid the winner’s curse, but their opening matchup vs. Australia should be a cakewalk.

Wednesday, November 23

Morocco vs. Croatia, 5 AM

Germany vs. Japan, 8 AM

Spain vs. Costa Rica, 11 AM

Belgium vs. Canada, 2 PM

Breakdown: Two interesting groups start their play, as Morocco and Croatia will be the first matchup in Group F, perhaps the tournament’s most wide-open. Both Germany and Japan will be looking to put 2018 disappointments behind them, while Spain should overwhelm a mediocre Costa Rica side. Finally, Belgium and Canada is a match with some serious upset potential – Belgium’s aging golden generation vs. an upstart Canadian side that romped in CONCACAF qualifying.

Thursday, November 24

Switzerland vs. Cameroon, 5 AM

Uruguay vs. South Korea, 8 AM

Portugal vs. Ghana, 11 AM

Brazil vs. Serbia, 2 PM

Breakdown: The last two groups play their first set of matches, as the always-interesting Swiss face off against a solid Cameroon team in the early match before always-tough Uruguay  play against a South Korea side looking to pull off a very doable upset. Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal will begin perhaps their final World Cup campaign together against Ghana, and Brazil should steamroll Serbia in the day’s final match.

Friday, November 25

Wales vs. Iran, 5 AM

Qatar vs. Senegal, 8 AM

Netherlands vs. Ecuador, 11 AM

England vs. USA, 2 PM

Breakdown: Wales gets Iran early, while hosts Qatar will have a difficult time stopping Senegal, even without Sadio Mané. The Netherlands should be able to handle a tough Ecuadorian side, while England will be looking to get revenge on the US after finishing 2nd in the group in 2010.

Saturday, November 26

Tunisia vs. Australia, 5 AM

Poland vs. Saudi Arabia, 8 AM

France vs. Denmark, 11 AM

Argentina vs. Mexico, 2 PM

Breakdown: Tunisia and Australia get the morning match, then Robert Lewandowksi will follow with a chance to pad his stats as Poland faces Saudi Arabia. France will have to figure out a tricky Denmark team that has Christian Eriksen back in the squad after his scary collapse at Euro 2020, then Messi and Argentina get a matchup against a fading Mexico in the late match.

Sunday, November 27

Japan vs. Costa Rica, 5 AM

Belgium vs. Morocco, 8 AM

Croatia vs. Canada, 11 AM

Spain vs. Germany, 2 PM

Breakdown: This might be the single most interesting day of matches in the group stages, as Japan and Costa Rica begin play before Belgium take on Morocco in what should be one of the most fun matches of the World Cup. Belgium’s better on paper, but Morocco’s talented and tough. Croatia and Canada will be another close matchup, then Spain take on Germany in the marquee matchup of the group stage.

Monday, November 28

Cameroon vs. Serbia, 5 AM

South Korea vs. Ghana, 8 AM

Brazil vs. Switzerland, 11 AM

Portugal vs. Uruguay, 2 PM

Breakdown: Cameroon again get the morning match against a European opponent – Serbia, this time. South Korea face off with Ghana, a match which may be crucial in Group H, and Brazil should handle Switzerland in the next match. Finally, Portugal and Uruguay face off in a rematch of their 2018 knockout match, a 2-1 Uruguay win off an Edinson Cavani brace.

Tuesday, November 29

Ecuador vs. Senegal, 10 AM

Netherlands vs. Qatar, 10 AM

Iran vs. USA, 2 PM

Wales vs. England, 2 PM

Breakdown: The first day of final group stage matches begins with Group A, where Ecuador faces a tough task against Senegal and the Netherlands catch a break with hosts Qatar. Group B follows suit, as Iran takes on the USA in what’s sure to be an interesting match between two relatively even sides, and two U.K. countries face off in England and Wales.

Wednesday, November 30

Tunisia vs. France, 10 AM

Australia vs. Denmark, 10 AM

Poland vs. Argentina, 2 PM

Saudi Arabia vs. Mexico, 2PM

Breakdown: France and Denmark should cruise past Tunisia and Australia in the early matches, respectively. Mexico should glide past Saudi Arabia in one of the afternoon matches, but Argentina vs. Poland will be interesting for those who closely followed the Messi-Lewandowski 2021 Ballon D’or “battle,” especially if that match ends up mattering.

Thursday, December 1

Croatia vs. Belgium, 10 AM

Canada vs. Morocco, 10 AM

Japan vs. Spain, 2 PM

Costa Rica vs. Germany, 2 PM

Breakdown: Groups E and F play their final matches. Both of the Group F matches should be very interesting, as all four teams are relatively even, but Japan and Costa Rica face uphill battles against Spain and Germany, respectively, in Group E.

Friday, December 2: Final day of the Group Stages

South Korea vs. Portugal, 10 AM

Ghana vs. Uruguay, 10 AM

Serbia vs. Switzerland, 2 PM

Cameroon vs. Brazil, 2 PM

Breakdown: The final day of the group stages brings a couple decent matches. First off, South Korea and Portugal face off in what could be (but probably will not be) Cristiano Ronaldo’s final World Cup match (it’s likelier that he nabs a goal or two in a match that won’t mean much either way), and Ghana and Uruguay get a 2010 rematch (the infamous Suarez handball match). Serbia and Switzerland in the afternoon could be a crucial tilt in Group G, while Brazil should be able to float past a solid Cameroon outfit.

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