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.
When do the Socceroos play their games?
Australia are set to play three games against fellow Group D teams:
Australia vs France - Wed 23 Nov, 6am AEDT
Australia vs Tunisia - Sat 26 Nov, 9pm AEDT
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.
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.
The full squad includes:
Mathew Ryan (FC Copenhagen), Andrew Redmayne (Sydney FC), Danny Vukovic (Central Coast Mariners
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)
Aaron Mooy (Celtic), Jackson Irvine (St. Pauli), Cameron Devlin (Hearts), Ajdin Hrustic (Hellas Verona), Riley McGree (Middlesbrough), Keanu Baccus (St Mirren)
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)
— Socceroos (@Socceroos) November 8, 2022
World Cup schedule and finals fixture
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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