A Look at the Favorites for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar
The FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar marks the first time the quadrennial tournament will be held in the Middle East. Because of Qatar’s warm climate, the country had to design and build new stadiums with advanced cooling solutions. At the same time, the tournament itself will take place in November and December as opposed to during the summer, as has historically been the case.
National team players naturally look forward to the World Cup as it’s one of the world’s largest and most prominent sporting events. But it’s a highly anticipated event for sports bettors, who can wager on future outcomes and single-game bets like the moneyline, over under, and whether or not a particular player will score a goal.
There will be many interesting storylines in Qatar 2022, including the host nation participating in its first World Cup. Other countries appearing in the tournament for the first time include Canada, which finished first in CONCACAF qualifying ahead of Mexico and the US, Ghana, and Ecuador.
However, none of those countries are expected to advance past the Round of 16 to the Final. Below are four of the tournament favorites.
The Southern American soccer superpower is always a favorite to win the World Cup. One of the best soccer nations globally, Brazil has won a record five World Cups and is the betting favorite in most, if not all, sportsbooks.
Neymar, a standout forward for Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1, will once again star for the Brazilian side. One of the most accomplished goal scorers, Neymar has scored more than 70 goals for the Brazilian national team throughout his career.
Brazil lost 2-1 to Belgium in the 2018 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals in Russia. The team will be poised to get back to the Final and should face minimal opposition from its Group G competitors: Serbia, Switzerland, and Cameroon.
It’d be foolish not to include the reigning World Cup champions as favorites for the 2022 World Cup even if France had a disappointing showing at the Euros, where they blew a 3-1 lead in the last 10 minutes of its quarter-final match against Switzerland. The French national team still boasts some of the most talented players globally and should have added motivation to prove themselves in 2022.
Of course, France is also heavily favored to win its group. The team is paired in Group D with Denmark, Tunisia, Peru, Australia, or the United Arab Emirates, depending on which team advances through the last qualification round.
Whether warranted or not, England is always considered a favorite in the World Cup. The country has always had talented players, from David Beckham to modern stars like Luke Shaw, Jadon Sancho, and Harry Kane.
Yet, England has largely disappointed its rabid fanbase with its performance at the World Cup. Since winning the tournament as hosts in 1966, England has advanced past the quarter-finals just twice. The team didn’t qualify for World Cups in 1974, 1978, and 1994. It is, however, coming off of a fourth-place finish (its best since 1990) at the 2018 World Cup and reached the finals of the 2020 Euros.
England is far and away from the favorites in Group B, including Iran, the United States, Scotland, Wales, and Ukraine.
Like England, Spain hasn’t performed well since winning its first and only World Cup in 2010. Spain finished 23rd in 2014, failing to advance past the Group Stage, and lost in the round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
However, Spain is also considered a soccer powerhouse that produces some of the best talents in the world. This year’s squad is no different, and because most of the players compete in La Liga, Spain should have the added benefit of increased team chemistry.
Spain won its World Cup qualification group and has plenty of momentum heading into the 2022 World Cup. The team will be challenged by Germany in Group E but should still qualify for the round of 16 ahead of Japan and one of New Zealand or Costa Rica.