It’s Qatar 2022 World Cup! The hour when the world’s most eagerly anticipated sports tournament kicks off is nearly upon us. If anyone is in doubt, they shouldn’t be anymore. Thanks to the 2022 World Cup Draw, a glittering ceremony held in Doha, Qatar, on April 1st, we now have 29 confirmed teams for the group stage. Three are still under review at the time of writing, but that’s quite immaterial because the competition’s official schedule has already been on FIFA.com, the competition’s official website. We’ll have the requisite quota of 32 top teams raring to lock horns in Qatar from November 21st. The mandate? To determine the deserved winner of the most prestigious trophy in team sports. World football is more unpredictable than ever, with underdogs slapping favorites with stunning upsets almost daily. Nonetheless, a few nations have already cropped up as early favorites, and justifiably so.
Soccer originated in England, but beautiful soccer was born in Brazil. And it’s not just beautiful soccer; it’s winning soccer too. Brazil is the world’s most decorated World Cup nation, having clinched the trophy five times. Almost twenty years since they last laid hands on it, and each passing world cup piles pressure on the Brazilian national men’s team to bring the trophy back to its rightful place. It’s not any pressure they’re likely to crack under, however. The Seleção Canarinho boasts some of the world’s best players and a wealth of experience in international tournaments. The furor generated by Brazil not winning any soccer competition is a testament to the lofty expectations they have for themselves. Brazil has the shortest odds to come up trumps at Qatar 2022 – an average of 9/2 across significant bookmakers. Every Brazilian citizen will be on their knees, hoping the bookies are proven right.
France is the second-most fancied nation at the 2022 World Cup, at 11/2 average odds across bookmakers. That shouldn’t come as a surprise – France is World Cup defending champs, having wrapped up the 2018 showpiece with a scintillating 4-2 win over Croatia. A fantastic football team coached by the seasoned Didier Deschamps, France, has the armory to take on anyone at the 2022 World Cup. The competition has a long and illustrious history, founded nearly a century ago in 1930. However, only twice (Italy 1934 & 1938 and Brazil 1958 & 1962) has any team successfully defended their trophy. It would be a dream for Deschamps and his troops to bring the world to its knees again in 2022!
As one of the world’s top footballing teams, and home of the famed and fabled English Premier League, it’s beyond agonizing that England has not won a major trophy since the World Cup in 1966. The English team is one of the nations capable of winning any of football’s top honors, only to come up short every year. Their latest tournament heartbreak was at the UEFA Euro 2020 Final, where they led in the 2nd minute but flopped out on penalties to eventual winners Italy. The bookmakers have the Three Lions at 11/2 to balm English hearts at the 2022 World Cup, and it’s apt reasoning not based on England’s reputation alone. England in Group B is against a couple of clear underdogs in Iran and the USA and relative underdogs in Ukraine/Scotland/Wales. One of the three will seal the final spot in the group once done with the qualification process, but none should improve an insurmountable hurdle for England’s lions. Once through to the final stages, they’ll aspire to prove their undeniable mettle and possibly arrive at the final showpiece on December 18th at full steam.