Preparations for the greatest football spectacle on Earth have been completed, the stadiums and infrastructure to host the event are now ready. For the first time in the history of the World Cup, the tournament will be hosted in the Middle East, as teams and their supporters begin heading to the tiny Gulf nation of Qatar.
Despite various controversies which surrounded the choice of Qatar as tournament host, including the unusual scheduling for this time of year, the 2022 FIFA World Cup is finally about to commence. The levels of excitement and enthusiasm in the country itself are reaching fever pitch, while organisers are keen to put on a spectacular football extravaganza, one that will provide the global audience with enduring positive memories.
Over the coming days, national teams from 32 countries will be naming their final squad selections, each of them heading into the tournament filled with hopes and ambitions. But given the intensity of the competition, taking place within a compact timeframe between 20 November and 18 December, which of the participating teams has the best chance of becoming World Cup champions?
The Key Contenders
Ahead of such an important global competition as the World Cup, clearly anything is possible with so many quality players and teams participating. But according to the oddsmakers at most leading online bookmakers, Brazil is considered to be the outright winner favourites. This is largely unsurprising, due to their national team having won the tournament five times in the past.
However, the most recent triumph for Brazil came in 2002, two decades ago, which means they have also fallen short of expectations at the last three tournaments. Comparing the latest 2022 FIFA World Cup betting options is certainly recommended, firstly to get the most competitive odds available, along with finding the most appealing promotions for the tournament. This is why SBO has produced an extensive guide covering every angle.
Beyond the ambitions of Brazil, their South American rivals Argentina are considered to be the closest contenders, particularly given their form heading into the World Cup. The Albiceleste side hasn’t lost an international fixture since 2019, plus they also beat Brazil in the 2021 Copa America final, underlining their potential to become World Cup champions this year.
Further browsing of odds highlights that as reigning 2018 champions, France will be keen to retain their title, making them strong contenders to win the 2022 World Cup title. Just as interestingly, regardless of their last World Cup victory dating back to 1966, many tipsters believe that England will be in with a serious chance of success, regardless of their poor international form of late.
Underdogs to Take Seriously
Whenever a major football tournament is held, there is always the scope for upsets and surprises. The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar promises to be no different in that regard, amidst the prospect of potential upsets and surprises, as the so-called lesser nations aim to push beyond the boundaries of their expectations.
Due to the tournament being hosted for the first time in the Middle East, underestimating teams from the region could prove to be a mistake. Qatar as hosts will be keen to give a good account of themselves, as well neighbouring Saudi Arabia, with both nations aiming to reach the knockout phase at the very least. Likewise, due to geopolitical tensions beyond sport, Iran will be worth monitoring carefully, up against England, Wales, and the USA in Group B.
Brazilian legend Pele once predicted an African side might win the World Cup, and while that hasn’t come true yet, teams from the continent continue to get stronger. Regarded to have the best potential, Senegal head into the tournament positioned 18th in the official FIFA Men’s International Team World Rankings, indicating they will be tough opponents for any rival.
Finally, the quality and technical ability of Asian teams continue to progress impressively. Japan will certainly fancy its chances of making the knockout phase, while South Korea has already demonstrated its potential, having reached the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup. Both sides are packed with talented players, making them capable of springing more than a few surprises, once the 2022 World Cup in Qatar gets underway.