World Cup 2022: Group standings and England's route to the final

An England fan poses/World Cup 2022: Latest group standings and tables - AP
An England fan poses/World Cup 2022: Latest group standings and tables - AP

Will England and Gareth Southgate end 56 years of hurt at the Qatar 2022 World Cup? Will Brazil live up to their favourites tag and lift the trophy? Or will a dark horse emerge triumphant?

The long-awaited tournament kicked off on Sunday with the host nation losing to Ecuador in Group A. That was the first of 64 games taking place during a feast of football that runs all the way until December 18.

You can have your say with The Telegraph's World Cup predictor. Select which of the 32 teams will finish first, second and third place in each group. Then choose the winner of each knockout round to find out who you think will be crowned World Cup champions.

How many groups are there?

There are eight groups of four teams at this year's World Cup.

How many teams are there?

There are 32 teams competing in Qatar.

What is the latest standings?

Which groups are England and Wales in?

England and Wales have both been drawn in Group B. England started with a 6-2 win over Iran while Wales drew 1-1 with the USA later in the day.

Despite a disappointing Nations League performance, the Three Lions are favourites to win their group. The winner of Group B would come up against the runners up of Group A.

What are the other teams to keep an eye on?

Other leading teams include reigning champions France in Group D, who England could meet in the quarter-finals if both finish top of their groups. To make it through, France must try to get the better of Denmark, Australia and Tunisia. They beat Australia 4-1 in their opening match.

Elsewhere, Germany and Spain will battle it out alongside Costa Rica and Japan in Group E. While Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea vie for supremacy in Group H.

Brazil, the five-time champions face Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon in Group G.

Fellow South Americans Argentina are also tipped to go far in this year’s tournament, but were stunned by Saudi Arabia in their opening game in one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history.

In Group F, Croatia and Belgium are favourites to make it to the knockouts ahead of Canada and Morocco.

What is the World Cup 2022 schedule?

If England win Group B

The winners of Group B will play the runners-up of Group A – Qatar, Holland, Ecuador, and Senegal.

France, who are favourites to win Group D, over Australia, Tunisia and Denmark, and would face the Group C runner-up in the last 16 (Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico or Poland) for the chance to face England in the quarter-finals, should Southgate's men progress.

If England reached the semi-finals, they could meet either Belgium or Portugal, strong contenders in Group F and H, and a potential final could see England meet Spain, Brazil, or Germany.

If England finish as runners-up in Group B

This would set up a clash between the winner of Group A, and if England were to beat Holland, they could have the chance to face Argentina or Denmark in the quarter-finals.

In this scenario, should England make it to the semi-finals, their opponents might be one of either Spain, Germany, or Brazil, the cream of the crop from Groups E and G, to set up a possible final against France, Belgium, or Portugal in Lusail.

Quarter-finals

The first two quarter-finals will take place on Friday, December 9, at 3pm, with the other two fixtures on Saturday, December 10, at 3pm and 7pm.

Semi-finals

The semi-finals will take place on Tuesday, December 13 and Wednesday, December 14.

Final

The World Cup final will take place on Sunday, December 18 at 3pm at Lusail Iconic Stadium.