ITV announces blockbuster World Cup 2022 squad

ITV announces blockbuster World Cup 2022 squad

Updated: 3 months, 3 days, 44 minutes, 5 seconds ago
ITV announces blockbuster World Cup 2022 squadThursday 27 October 1:47pm

ITV begins the countdown to the biggest football tournament of the year with the announcement of their World Cup 2022 line up.

Viewers will be guided through the tournament by the stellar team, providing comprehensive coverage, expert analysis and the very best action on ITV. 

Live games and highlights will be broadcast on ITV, providing a comprehensive coverage package and content across ITV Football’s social platforms, including Twitter, Facebook,  Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, ensuring fans will not miss a single minute of the action.  

Led by main presenters Mark Pougatch, Laura Woods and Seema Jaswal, ITV’s World Cup squad will offer incredible insight, expertise, opinion and analysis from Ian Wright, Roy Keane,  Gary Neville, Karen Carney, Graeme Souness, Joe Cole, Eniola Aluko, Nigel De Jong, Nadia Nadim and Hal Robson-Kanu. 

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Commentary will come from, Sam Matterface, Clive Tyldesley, Jon Champion and Seb  Hutchinson, Joe Speight, supported by co-commentators Lee Dixon, Ally McCoist, John Hartson and Andros Townsend. Reporting during the tournament will be Gabriel Clarke and Michelle Owen.

ITV’s coverage will be complemented with a referee analyst to break down and explain all of the key on-field decisions, with Peter Walton taking up that role.  

Following its coverage of Euro 2020 which saw ITV draw the biggest single channel audience ever for any game of football, 27.4m, for England’s semi-final against Denmark, ITV will show  32 live matches in a packed schedule kicking off on Monday 21st November with two group stage games, Senegal v Netherlands at 4pm (UK time) and USA v Wales at 7pm (UK time).  

ITV will broadcast England’s second game of the tournament on Friday 25th November against the USA, 7PM (UK time), in what is sure to be an important fixture as England battle to get out of Group B. 

The first weeks of the tournament on ITV will also bring viewers Argentina v Mexico in what many predict will be Lionel Messi’s last World Cup, reigning world champions France v  Denmark, Spain v Costa Rica, Portugal v Uruguay, and many people’s favourites Brazil v  Switzerland, among a range of other crunch fixtures as the best in the world battle to get out of their respective groups.  

ITV’s live coverage continues throughout the knock-out stages, with first and second pick of the  Round of 16 and first pick of the quarter finals. ITV will also broadcast one of the semi-finals and the final.  

In case you miss any of the action, ITV will broadcast daily highlights of all other games on each match day throughout the World Cup, which will also be available on the ITV Hub. 

ITV is building excitement for the FIFA World Cup 2022 from this weekend, with a specially  produced new on-air trail. Featuring ITV pundits Ian Wright and Eniola Aluko, the trail elicits that  unique, spine-tingling sensation that World Cups can bring.

Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, said: “The World Cup is the biggest sporting event of the year and ITV are committed to bring viewers the very best extensive coverage of the tournament accompanied by expert punditry and analysis. We will immerse viewers into the  tournament with our live coverage, highlights shows, podcasts, online and social media content,  ensuring viewers do not miss a minute of the action.” 

What our pundits are saying

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Ian Wright

What are you most looking forward to about the 2022 World Cup? 

Watching the best players in the world and just enjoying the variety of stories of the different players and countries. There are also some great grudge, rivalry matches that I’m looking forward to. For example, I want to see Ghana vs Uruguay so the Black Stars can make things right from 2010. 

Who do you think will win and why?

Argentina – just coming off the back of winning the Copa America last year, it’s a fantastic squad and it might be the last World Cup for Messi. They can play beautiful attacking football but they also know how to really grind out results when needed.

How do you think England and Wales will do?

England have shown they can get to the latter stages of big tournaments – we have good tournament experience now and we’d do well to get to the semi-final stages again. For Wales I’d like to see them get out of the group stages, once they do that anything can happen.

Who do you think will be the stand out stars of the tournament and why?

Pedri – it’s his first World Cup and this is the next step in his career. Jude Bellingham – he’s thriving at Dortmund, we’ve seen big consistent performances from him in the Champions League. One of the most exciting young players in the world and no doubt he will thrive under the spotlight of the World Cup. Sadio Mane - he’s tasted success winning the African Cup of Nations last year. He’ll want to lead Senegal as far as he can. Aurélien Tchouaméni - No Pogba or Kante means he and Camavinga have to step up. Mohammed Kudus – we’ve seen his performance in the Champions League, now we can see it on the biggest stage.

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Gary Neville

What are you most looking forward to about the 2022 World Cup? 

I would definitely say the Group Phase.  Having experienced the World Cup for the first time in Russia, those first 10 days when all the fans are there mingling together, is the most special atmosphere. It’s something I’ve not experienced before having only ever played in World Cups and as a player you are almost hidden away from all this excitement of the fan experience.  

Who do you think will win and why? 

I’m going to go for England! They’ve gone from semi-final, final, runner up and now they are going to go one more. I think they are on a growth over the last few years and I don’t buy into this idea that the Nation League’s performance is them - they played four games in the middle of summer that actually nobody was stimulated by and I think the two games they played recently against Italy and Germany are tough games that you can lose in any single year. So, come the tournament, hopefully injuries won’t take too much of a hold and I’m going to go for  England. If not England I’m going to go for France or Argentina!

How do you think England and Wales will do? 

Well I’ve just talked about England and I think Wales will be gallant losers! 

Who do you think will be the standout stars of the tournament and why?

I’m going to go with Messi because I think it’s his last hurrah, he will have the bit between his teeth to do something spectacular and try and equal what Maradona did all those years ago. Also, I am going to go with Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham because I think they are in great form and I believe it will be important to them both to do well in this tournament on an international stage.

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Roy Keane

What are you most looking forward to about the 2022 World Cup? 

The amount of games. Obviously I’m a football fan and managed to play in a World Cup in 1994. It’s always exciting - who's going to turn up, who's not going to turn up.

Who do you think will win and why?

It’s going to be hard to stop Brazil. Brazil have such great strength in depth at the moment and some real quality players across the squad. I think France also have some brilliant players and England will come up just short.

How do you think England and Wales will do?

It’ll be tough for Wales, but I fully expect them to get out of the group. Bale and Ramsay have shown before they can bring it to the special occasions but I don’t know much football they are getting before the tournament and how sharp they’ll be. For Wales to progress in the knockout rounds, Bale and Ramsay will need to show up and push the team through. England will have no problem getting out of the group - they'll be far too strong. Huge pressure on Harry Kane to produce and I still worry about England defensively and the goalkeeper.

Who do you think will be the stand out stars of the tournament and why?

I would love to see Jude Bellingham have a good tournament. For such a young kid, he plays way beyond his years, looks a good athlete and is mature. He’s getting a good run of games now for Borussia Dortmund and recently started for England against Germany, so I hope he takes that momentum into the World Cup.

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Graeme Souness

What are you most looking forward to about the 2022 World Cup?

It’s going to be unique - if you're a football nut you can go there and see four games of football in one day due to the proximity of the stadiums. It’ll be a true footballing festival.

Who do you think will win and why?

I think for the first time in a long time there is no obvious favourite. I think England will be in with a good shout as long as Harry Kane is scoring goals. England could go close if Harry is on form, if not they’ll be home early.

How do you think England and Wales will do?

I’ve never seen football where it’s all about one man but I think for England and Wales that is the case. If both Harry Kane and Gareth Bale have good tournaments, we’ll see how far their teams can go.

Who do you think will be the stand out stars of the tournament and why?

I can see Phil Foden and Harry Kane standing out for England. Pedri for Spain could also be a stand out star. In many people's eyes Lionel Messi has never had a good World Cup but this year could be his swansong.

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Eni Aluko

What are you most looking forward to about the 2022 World Cup?

I think the timing of the World Cup being in the winter is a leveller as it is new for every team and will hopefully bring surprises in terms of the parity across the tournament. I am looking forward to games in England’s group, especially against Wales and the USA. Group E with Spain and Japan is also an exciting group.

Who do you think will win and why?

It is very difficult to call this World Cup. I believe Argentina are the strongest team going into the tournament and have everything to win it, including it being Messi’s last World Cup.

How do you think England and Wales will do?

I believe England will reach the semi finals. I’m not confident England will reach the final of this tournament, but hope I am wrong! Wales I believe will reach the last 16.

Who do you think will be the stand our stars of the tournament and why?

Rafael Leão for Portugal. He has been in incredible form last season and this season for AC Milan and Portugal and will form part of a very strong Portugal team. Jude Bellingham for England. I believe Bellingham should start for England in the World Cup. He has been the best young midfielder in Europe so far this season. Vinícius Júnior for Brazil. I believe Vini will be a breakout star at the World Cup. He has established himself as a Real Madrid superstar and I think he will relish the opportunity of a World Cup.

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Karen Carney

What are you most looking forward to about the 2022 World Cup?

It’s my first World Cup as a pundit. Just being with the team here at ITV is so exciting and being a part of it is just incredible.

Who do you think will win and why?

France are suffering with a lot of injuries at the moment so will need their players back fit to compete. Of course, I would love to see England win but Brazil and their squad are so strong, Brazil could do it.

How do you think England and Wales will do?

For England it’s a case of pushing on from being a Euro finalist to winning it. That gap is very hard and to do that I think they need to be more expansive but that could leave them open a little bit, which is a concern. I am really excited to see Wales - I hope they have a good tournament for their fans and could surprise a lot of people.

Who do you think will be the stand out stars of the tournament and why?

I really like Vinícius Júnior. I watched him in the Champions League final and absolutely loved him. Of course, I want Harry Kane to shine. If England are going to progress, they will need him firing on all cylinders. For France, I would like to see Mbappe go for it!

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Hal Robson-Kanu

What are you most looking forward to about the 2022 World Cup?

It’s without a doubt the biggest, global sporting event. Every four years it just seems to get bigger and bigger. Experiencing this as a spectacle, where we will see the world's greatest players competing on that global stage is going to be phenomenal.

Who do you think will win and why?

Based on previous World Cups, I think Brazil will do really well, they have superstars in their team. In previous years they've had a weaker defence, but defensively I think they are much stronger now. I also expect the likes of France to do well but at this stage I would say it’s too early to call.

How do you think England and Wales will do?

As Britain, we’ve had some great tournaments over the last few years. For England, I think they’ll need a little bit of luck to push them towards the latter stages of the competition. For Wales, we have seen what can happen at these major tournaments and with it being our first World Cup in a long time, there is going to be a real buzz about it. I think they could surprise a lot of people if the key players stay fit.

Who do you think will be the stand-out stars of the tournament and why?

The likes of Mbappe are going to tear it up. Neymar, we all want to see what he can do on that global stage. From a home nation's perspective, we expect Harry Kane and Gareth Bale to do well. They can both change games for their sides and have massive impacts on the tournament.

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Nigel De Jong

What are you most looking forward to about the 2022 World Cup?

I am looking forward to the World Cup being hosted in a country where you get all of the teams and stadiums together within a 50km radius. It’s the chance to see multiple games in one day and having the fans interact with each other from such a close distance.

Who do you think will win and why?

I’ll always go for an underdog, so therefore I am going for the Netherlands. As everyone always goes for the more familiar teams, I feel there is less pressure on the Dutch. Van Gaal as a coach has really got the team working for each other without the really big superstars. That for me is the reason they can succeed.

How do you think England and Wales will do?

I think both teams can do well or even better than their current form. England obviously have the pressure of performing, but with the right players they will do well. Wales have no pressure as they are not favourites to win the tournament, so that’ll give them a good chance to progress.

Who do you think will be the stand out stars of the tournament and why?

Phil Foden, Memphis Depay, Jude Bellingham and Vinícius Júnior, are my top picks. The youngsters who have a lot to prove on the highest stage in world football and are already cemented their places in their domestic teams. These players are creative and can change the course of a game.

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Andros Townsend

What are you most looking forward to about the 2022 World Cup?

Watching the best teams and players in the world come up against each other in the biggest tournament in world football.

Who do you think will win and why?

I think the French will win because they have the best young team, who are set to come of age.

How do you think England and Wales will do?

I think England, providing they avoid the French, could get a semi-final, maybe even a final. Wales I think could do well and potentially get to a quarter-final.

Who do you think will be the stand-out stars of the tournament and why?

Without a doubt, Mbappe. He impressed at the last World Cup and could show again just how good he is on the biggest stage. I also think Harry Kane could stand out and potentially win the Golden Boot and if not will almost certainly challenge for it.

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John Hartson

What are you most looking forward to about the 2022 World Cup?

I’m looking forward to being part of a great team with ITV. I am very privileged to be working at a World Cup and to see Wales perform. It’s been 64 years since we last qualified and I am hoping that Wales do well. It’s exciting - it’s the World Cup, it’s the holy grail of football!

Who do you think will win and why?

Right now, I would pick Brazil. I think they are incredibly strong with the likes of Vinícius Júnior and Neymar.

How do you think England and Wales will do?

I’d love them both to come out of the group together. I would gladly let England win the group and Wales to come second. If Wales have the players available, they can do well. Gareth Bale still produces in the big games but we will need him to find his form ahead of the tournament. We surprised a lot of people in 2016! England are a fantastic team - they’ve been to a final and a semi-final in recent years. I expect them to win the group and Gareth Southgate will be setting his sights high, I am sure.

Who do you think will be the stand out stars of the tournament and why?

Vinícius Júnior for Brazil on the left-hand side. He was brilliant for Real Madrid last season in the Champions League. If Malik Tillman goes to the tournament for the USA, I would expect him to stand out. He’s a fantastic talent. Jack Grealish could become a star in this tournament. He was winning games on his own for Aston Villa, so hopefully he can find that similar consistent form for England.

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Lee Dixon

What are you most looking forward to about the 2022 World Cup?

Putting aside all the controversy about the World Cup being held in Qatar, I am really looking forward to seeing the country. A completely different culture and as with all World Cup’s it’ll be unique.

Who do you think will win and why?

I think Brazil will win it. They have a really exciting team right now. Neymar, Vinicius Jr and Antony will be leading from the front with pace to burn.

How do you think England and Wales will do?

I think both will get through the group stage. England's form has been patchy to say the least and the injuries are piling up. A semi final, hopefully a minimum but maybe a quarter final given the injury list and the expectation of a nation to go one better might hinder them.

Who do you think will be the stand out stars of the tournament and why?

Bukayo Saka for one. He has shown a great deal of maturity since missing that penalty in the Euro’s. I believe this kid is going to have a big World Cup. Ansu Fati for Spain I’ve seen and he is a talent for sure. Phil Foden can win a game on his own - this might be his World Cup too!

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Nadia Nadim

What are you most looking forward to about the 2022 World Cup?

I'm looking forward to seeing some of the best players in the world get together, and I'm excited to see what has been rumored to be Lionel Messi's last World Cup.

Who do you think will win and why?

It's a tricky question, but I would go for France or England. It would be fun if England could win the same year as the women won the Euro’s.

How do you think England and Wales will do?

I think England will do well, they are one of my top four teams, and I hope that Wales makes it out of the group, even though I think it will be England and USA that advance.

Who do you think will be the stand out stars of the tournament and why?

Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Ronaldo. I also think that we will see a new star being born in Takefusa Kubo from Real Sociedad who plays for Japan.

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Ally McCoist

What are you most looking forward to about the 2022 World Cup?

The opportunity to once again see some of the best players and teams in the World compete.

Who do you think will win and why?

Brazil. They are solid defensively, excellent goalkeepers and great flair players in forward areas. Possible outsiders, I would go for Portugal.

How do you think England and Wales will do?

England have actually got the ability to go all the way however they also have the potential to be eliminated at the knockout stages as they have question marks over them defensively. I also think Wales have the potential to qualify for the latter stages and get out of their group

Who do you think will be the stand-out stars of the tournament and why?

Vinícius Jr of Brazil. He has blistering pace mixed with goal scoring ability. Also, Jude Bellingham of England, a fearless young player going right to the top.