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World Cup 2022 Groups Table: Predicting the Knockout Bracket

Joe TanseyNovember 27, 2022

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 26: Kylian Mbappe of France looks on during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group D match between France and Denmark at Stadium 974 on November 26, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Ulrik Pedersen/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Thirty of the 32 teams entered in the 2022 FIFA World Cup are still alive to advance to the knockout round.

The permutations are easier for some squads to advance to the round of 16, and only France has officially confirmed its spot in the knockout round.

Qatar and Canada are the two officially eliminated squads. That number could inflate after Monday's games in Groups G and H depending on the results in those four matches.

A handful of squads, including the United States men's national team, face win-and-in situations on their final group matchdays.

Other teams, like Germany, need wins and some help in potentially lopsided matchups to keep their World Cup hopes alive for at least a few more days.


Round of 16 Predictions

Netherlands (Group A winner) vs. United States (Group B runner-up)

Argentina (Group C winner) vs. Denmark (Group D runner-up)

Spain (Group E winner) vs. Morocco (Group F runner-up)

Brazil (Group G winner) vs. Portugal (Group H runner-up)

England (Group B winner) vs. Ecuador (Group A runner-up)

France (Group D winner) vs. Poland (Group C runner-up)

Croatia (Group F winner) vs. Germany (Group E runner-up)

Uruguay (Group H winner) vs. Switzerland (Group G runner-up)


Group A

1. Netherlands - 4 points (+2 goal differential)

2. Ecuador - 4 (+2)

3. Senegal - 3 (0)

4. Qatar - 0 (-4) - eliminated from tournament.

The Netherlands should confirm themselves as Group A winner on Tuesday with a win over Qatar.

The Dutch should outclass the host nation with ease. Qatar was eliminated from advancing to the knockout round after the second matchday. The Qataris have not had enough quality to deal with Ecuador and Senegal, and the same can be said about their matchup with the Dutch.

Most of the Group A attention Tuesday will be on Ecuador and Senegal inside the Khalifa International Stadium.

Ecuador has a one-point advantage over Senegal, and its defense could be massive in that match. La Tri conceded once in Qatar. The concession to the Dutch was the first goal allowed in eight matches for the South American side.

Senegal's back line has been more open lately, as it has one clean sheet in the last seven games.

Ecuador only needs a draw to advance, and even if it wins, it will likely not match the Netherlands' goal output against Qatar.


Group B

1. England - 4 (+4)

2. Iran - 3 (-2)

3. United States - 2 (0)

4. Wales - 1 (-2)

The United States needs a win over Iran to advance out of Group B. Any other result would not allow them to leap over Iran in the standings.

The Americans played three solid halves in the first two games, and they need to have more punch in the final third to beat an Iran side that has a negative goal differential from its 6-2 loss to England.

England should beat the Welsh in a match of regional rivals. Wales will be without goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, who was sent off late in the second half against Iran.

Wales looked the worst of the four Group B sides through two matches, and it may be hard for the Welsh to compete with the England, especially a result needed for the Three Lions to advance in first place.

England has extra motivation to finish in first place because that would allow it to avoid a round-of-16 clash with the Netherlands.


Group C

1. Poland - 4 (+2)

2. Argentina - 3 (+1)

3. Saudi Arabia - 3 (-1)

4. Mexico - 1 (-2)

The Argentina-Poland match will determine the fate of Group C.

Argentina looked relieved after beating Mexico on Saturday, and that help the Albiceleste play with more energy and less stress against Poland.

The South American side should be favored against Poland and a win gets it into the knockout round, and more importantly, it will avoid France in the round of 16.

Poland can still get through to the knockout round with a loss. A Mexico-Saudi Arabia draw allows that to happen.

Mexico will be playing for pride and an outside chance to land a spot in the round of 16. Saudi Arabia struggled to create offense against Poland after beating Argentina in its opener.

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa will be Poland's best friend on Wednesday. If he keeps Saudi Arabia out, Mexico scores one or two goals and Poland loses by just one goal, Poland will go through on goal differential.


Group D

1. France - 6 (+4)

2. Australia - 3 (-2)

3. Denmark - 1 (-1)

4. Tunisia - 1 (-1)

France is assumed to be the Group D winner.

The reigning World Cup champion has two wins from two games, and it should beat Tunisia, even if it rotates some of its squad to stay fresh for the knockout round.

Denmark should be the favored side against Australia. The Danes resided in the same situation at UEFA Euro 2020 and won. They went on to reach the semifinals of that tournament.

Denmark needs a win to leap over Australia, while the Aussies just need a draw from that match to advance.

Tunisia is still alive, but a win over France seems very unlikely with the form that Kylian Mbappé is in. Mbappé is tied for the Golden Boot lead with three goals.


Group E

1. Spain - 4 (+7)

2. Japan - 3 (0)

3. Costa Rica - 3 (-6)

4. Germany - 1 (-1)

All four teams are still alive in Group E.

Germany needs a win over Costa Rica and a bit of help to avoid a second straight group-stage exit.

Costa Rica gained an edge on Germany with a win over Japan on Sunday, but the Ticos could still be outclassed by a roster full of Bayern Munich stars.

Spain's formula to win the group is simple. La Roja needs to beat Japan to finish in first place. A draw combined with a Germany win allows the Spanish to get into the round of 16 in first as well.

Japan beat Germany and then went into a conservative strategy against Costa Rica that cost it that result. Japan could now be on the brink of elimination given how strong Spain is playing.


Group F

1. Croatia - 4 (+3)

2. Morocco - 4 (+2)

3. Belgium - 3 (-1)

4. Canada - 0 (-4) - eliminated from tournament

Croatia and Morocco have the clear advantages going into the final day of play in Group F.

Croatia's attack woke up against Canada to put it on top of the group ahead of Morocco on goal differential.

Belgium has been one of the most disappointing teams in the tournament, and it faces an uphill climb to get out of third place since it plays Croatia.

Croatia outperformed Belgium over 180 minutes of play, and it is expected to at least get a point out of the meeting of 2018 World Cup semifinalists.

Canada's defense allowed numerous wide-open chances to Croatia, and that could once again be its downfall against Morocco. The second-place team in Group F could be the only African side in the knockout round.


Group G

1. Brazil - 3 (+2)

2. Switzerland - 3 (+1)

3. Cameroon - 0 (-1)

4. Serbia - 0 (-2)

Group G is one of two groups with two matches left to play.

Brazil should be fine without Neymar because Richarlison is in some of the best form of any player on the international level. Richarlison scored twice in the opener against Serbia.

The Selecao take on Switzerland on Monday for first place in the group. That could allow Serbia or Cameroon to sneak into second place with a victory in their contest Monday.

Serbia sits at the biggest disadvantage because it conceded twice against Brazil. The European side could make up that gap with a win over Cameroon before it faces Switzerland in the group finale.

Brazil looked like the strongest squad in the first set of matches, and it is the favorite to win Group G until proved otherwise.


Group H

1. Portugal - 3 (+1)

2. Uruguay - 1 (0)

3. South Korea - 1 (0)

4. Ghana - 0 (-1)

Portugal and Uruguay find themselves in the same situation in Group H as Brazil and Switzerland in Group G.

They are perceived as the top two teams in Group H and either side can gain separation on top of the group Monday.

Portugal scored three goals, but it also conceded on two occasions to Ghana. Uruguay had the stronger defensive performance with a clean sheet in a scoreless draw versus South Korea.

Uruguay's defense could hold up against Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. and its attack, led by Darwin Núñez and Luis Suárez, could take advantage of a Portuguese defense that was opened up in the second half by Ghana.