FIFA World Cup 2022: soccer fans’ guide

The FIFA World Cup 2022 is almost here, and with the opening ceremony just weeks away, followers of the beautiful game can’t wait to get started. Excitement levels are building throughout the sports industry, with the coaches putting the finishing touches to their final selections, players working on fitness and match sharpness. At the same time, officials are booked in to referee the biggest games on the planet.

While all this is going on, fans struggle to contain their excitement. They seek out a distraction, something that will help run down the clock while ensuring they are ready to hit the ground running when the first match kicks off. Some supporters have been booking tickets and making travel plans while others make predictions and place bets at the leading apps, including the big names from Washington sportsbooks to London bookies

Watching the World Cup in person or on television is great; targeting a profit from the matches is something quite special. The leading online bookies allow you to do this. The games may not have begun yet, but the schedule is in place, the groups drawn, and the betting odds available. Have your say on the winner of the World Cup or concentrate on a match. Bet smart, and you could beat the bookies. 

The more you know about the World Cup and how this year’s instalment is being organised, the more chance you will have of making correct predictions. That’s where we come in. Our team of soccer experts lays out this handy guide to the competition, including important dates for your diary, who the pundits are picking and an easy guide to landing a free bet in time for the kick-off.

FIFA World Cup 2022: soccer fans’ guide

Dates for your diary

Here you’ll find the start date, end date and everything in between. The World Cup’s opening ceremony is on 20th November, followed by the first game later that day. The final to decide the World Cup winner happens on 18th December before the closing ceremony files the tournament into the history books.

The opening round of games from the group games will be played between 20th November and 2nd December before we progress to the knockout stages. The Round of 16 begins on 3rd December, with the quarter-finals a week later. Then things start to get interesting. The semi-finals are on the 13th and 14th, with the final played in Lusail on the 18th of December, a day after the third-place playoff.


You may already have chosen the team you expect to win the World Cup later this year. Perhaps it’s the United States who go in search of their first trophy, or it could be England as they aim to bag their first since 1966. There are many great teams in with a chance of securing this prize, and a strong argument could be made for five or more teams, but which side are the bookies, pundits and other experts backing?

Brazil has been the most popular play with the traders, with the Samba Boys judged to be the most likely winner this winner. It’s not difficult to see why many in the know have opted for the South Americans, who rank as the cup’s most successful team. The main danger is expected to come from current holders France. At the same time, Argentina and England should also feature in the latter rounds as they bid for an achievement that will live in the memories of everyone involved. 

Brazil is a worthy favourite but hasn’t gone close to winning a World Cup for many years now. England enters on a dreadful run of form, and they’re difficult to trust, leaving us with France and Argentina from the frontrunners. Les Bleus won it in 2018 in Russia, and they are good enough to repeat the feat in the Qatar sunshine.

Free bet

The leading online sports betting apps offer odds and accept bets on the outcome of the World Cup, including the winner, top goalscorer, player of the tournament, group winners and more. There are also over 100 pre-match and in-play markets available on every game. 

You can land a free bet when signing up as a new customer at a bookie you can trust. Simple register your account, place a bet, and the welcome bonus due will be dropped into your account balance.

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