FIFA World Cup 2022: Favourites, Predictions and Odds
The World Cup is the jewel in the crown of international football, providing drama, heartbreak, joy, and controversy since its inaugural tournament in 1930. This time around, the competition is being held in Qatar, and for the first time in its history, it’ll be played in the winter months, to avoid the sweltering heat of the Middle Eastern summer. Qualification for the tournament threw up some surprises, most notably European champions Italy failing to make it through, but many of the usual suspects are there and will be vying for glory on the biggest stage.
Qatar World Cup
This is the second time the competition has been held in Asia, albeit on different sides of the vast continent. The 2002 World Cup was held in Japan and South Korea, the first time it was hosted by a country outside of Europe or the Americas. The tournament will be held between 21st November and 18th December, and played in five stadiums, several of which have been purpose-built for the event. The final will be played at Lusail Iconic Stadium, just north of the capital city, Doha.
Who will win?
There are familiar faces among the favourites, with Brazil (+400) tipped to take their fifth title in Doha. Defending champions France (+550) are second favourites, even with a winless run in the UEFA Nations League, and England (+550) third, despite a poor showing in pre-tournament friendlies. The odds are partly determined by the relative strength or weakness of the group each team is in – Serbia, Switzerland, and Cameroon are in with Brazil. France will face Australia, Denmark, and Tunisia in group D, while England has to contend with the United States, Wales, and Iran. All three are heavily favoured to top their groups.
Of course, there are plenty of other nations that have won – or strongly challenged – for the World Cup. The 2010 champions Spain (+800) are rated fourth but will have a seriously tough time with Germany (+1000), who will be looking to bounce back after being dumped out at the group stage in 2018. Expect the two to be 1st and 2nd in their group, but those positions could be vitally important for the next round’s draw. As per normal, expect a strong showing from Argentina (+900), Netherlands (+1100), Belgium (+1200), and Portugal (+1200). Also, keep an eye on Uruguay and the 2018 runners-up Croatia. For more odds and predictions, check out a list of betting sites for FIFA World Cup. Additionally, these sites can be your window towards betting on your own favourites, or placing a bet on those that are already predicted to win. Plus, you can explore different types of bets and even find some great bonuses.
Groups and games to look out for
As mentioned, Spain vs Germany looks to be the biggest game of the group stage – both strong attacking teams with World Cup pedigree. But there are plenty of other matches that could provide drama and excitement for fans and bettors alike.
France vs Denmark
France plays Denmark in group D – the Danes recently defeated them in the Nations League, so the French will be out for revenge. Denmark has received a shot in the arm from the return of Christian Eriksen after his frightening collapse at Euro 2020. Eriksen has made a remarkable recovery, scoring 2 minutes after his return to international football, against the Netherlands, as well as playing a vital role in Brentford’s Premier League campaign.
The last group on the list looks set for some great tussles. Portugal – led by Cristiano Ronaldo in what is probably his last World Cup – will be favourites, but the group is filled out by Ghana, Uruguay, and South Korea – teams that have all reached the knock-out stages of the finals before. Ghana and Uruguay have history too – a dramatic and controversial quarter-final at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa which Uruguay won on penalties will spur on the Africans.
Argentina vs Mexico
Group C favourites Argentina seem to always be in the thick of it at the World Cup, looking to add to their tally of two titles (they’ve been runners-up four times as well). But Mexico has overturned top sides on the biggest stage, outplaying Germany last time around. Their playing styles should combine to create an exciting game.
This group is notable for the inclusion of the host, Qatar. This is the nation’s first World Cup, having always fallen just short in qualification. They aren’t fancied to progress beyond the group stage, in with Ecuador, African Cup of Nations champions Senegal, and the ever-ready Netherlands, who are always hungry for victory in the tournament. But it’ll be interesting to see how much the home crowds buoy Qatar, and if they can use their local support to cause an upset.
England vs Wales
Wales are in their first World Cup since 1958 – the second in their history – and a match against neighbours England is always lively. Wales proved they have what it takes at the world level when they reached the semi-finals at Euro 2016, and England has looked great at big tournaments, finishing runners-up at Euro 2020, and reaching the semi-finals at the last World Cup in Russia.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is hotly anticipated. For all the predictions and odds you’ll see floating about, be prepared for some serious drama, and major upsets along the way. The biggest tournament in world football always throws up some surprises.