Socceroos FIFA World Cup guide: Players, fixtures and how to watch

Socceroos players celebrate their sides victory to reach the FIFA World Cup in Qatar..
The Socceroos will kick-start their FIFA World Cup campaign in Qatar against world champions France. (Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images)

After four long years the 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to kick off in Qatar with 32 teams playing 64 games over four weeks in a bid to win the most coveted trophy in sport.

The Socceroos just scraped in to Qatar after a ‘miracle’ victory over Peru in their June qualifier.

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Five months on and Graham Arnold has picked a mixture of veterans and a host of bright new talent in a bid to shock the world.

And with Qatar and Ecuador kicking-off the first match on Monday 3am (AEST), here’s everything you need to know about the Socceroos' games, players, opponents and how to watch them.

When does FIFA World Cup start?

The Qatar World Cup runs from Sunday 20 November to Sunday December 18 (Qatari time). Aussie football fans can expect a lot of late nights and early rises - timezone differences mean games will be played at 9pm, midnight, 3am or 6am AEDT.

The first game kicks off on Monday 21 November 3am AEDT, with hosts Qatar playing Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium.

It’s the first time the FIFA World Cup has been played outside its usual summer window, mostly because Qatari summers average around 35 degrees Celsius, but can reach absurd highs of 45 degrees Celsius.

A view of Al Bayt Stadium and a FIFA World Cup replica trophy.
The FIFA World Cup will see the event take place in the Middle East for the first time. (Photo by Mohammed Dabbous/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

When do the Socceroos play their games?

Australia are set to play three games against fellow Group D teams:

  1. Australia vs France - Wed 23 Nov, 6am AEDT

  2. Australia vs Tunisia - Sat 26 Nov, 9pm AEDT

  3. Australia vs Denmark - Thu 1 Dec, 2am AEDT

It’s bound to be a tough run - France are the reigning champions after their 2018 triumph and currently sit in fourth place in FIFA’s official rankings. Denmark also boast an impressive team and are officially ranked World No.10. Australian (ranked World No.38) fans will be looking at the Tunisia (World No.30) fixture as a potential three points to leave the last match against Denmark as a qualification shootout.

If the Socceroos do finish in the top two of their group, they progress to the Round of 16 and hopefully beyond - see below for the full games schedule and fixture.

Former New Zealand player Maia Jackman displays the country France.
Australia was drawn in world champion France's group in the FIFA World Cup. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

How to watch / stream the World Cup games

In Australia, SBS will broadcast and stream all 64 games live and free exclusively. If you can’t stay awake to watch them live, you can create a SBS On Demand account to watch games when you want at a more body-clock-friendly time.

Which players are in the Socceroos team?

Head Coach Graham Arnold revealed the 26-man squad to play in Qatar last week. Goalkeeper Mathew Ryan will captain the side in his third World Cup, while 17 players will make their Cup debut.

“It’s been a unique and difficult qualification campaign and we now arrive in Qatar with an exciting squad which will do everything to make Australia proud on the world stage,” Arnold said at the announcement.

Mat Ryan (pictured) gives the thumbs up during a match.
Mat Ryan (pictured) will lead Australia in to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

The full squad includes:

Goalkeepers

Mathew Ryan (FC Copenhagen), Andrew Redmayne (Sydney FC), Danny Vukovic (Central Coast Mariners

Defenders

Harry Souttar (Stoke City), Kye Rowles (Hearts), Milos Degenek (Columbus Crew), Bailey Wright (Sunderland AFC), Thomas Deng (Albirex Niigata), Nathaniel Atkinson (Hearts), Fran Karacic (Brescia), Aziz Behich (Dundee United), Joel King (Odense BK)

Midfielders

Aaron Mooy (Celtic), Jackson Irvine (St. Pauli), Cameron Devlin (Hearts), Ajdin Hrustic (Hellas Verona), Riley McGree (Middlesbrough), Keanu Baccus (St Mirren)

Forwards

Jamie Maclaren (Melbourne City), Mitchell Duke (Fagiano Okayama), Jason Cummings (Central Coast Mariners), Mathew Leckie (Melbourne City), Garang Kuol (Central Coast Mariners), Craig Goodwin (Adelaide United), Awer Mabil (Cadiz), Martin Boyle (Hibernian FC)

World Cup schedule and finals fixture

(Australian time)

Group stage matches: 21 Nov -Dec 3

Round of 16 knockout matches: 4-7 Dec

Quarter Finals: 10-11 Dec

Semifinals: 14-15 Dec

Third-place match: 18 Dec

World Cup Final: 19 Dec

See the full World Cup fixtures on the FIFA site.

World Cup Qatar Groups

Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands

Group B: England, United States, Iran, Wales

Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland

Group D: Australia, France, Denmark, Tunisia

Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan

Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia

Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon

Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea

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