The World Cup competition is often the main highlight of every football year it occurs. This competition operates at the highest level, bringing players from all across the world’s best football leagues to compete for the ultimate trophy.
This tournament is set to be one for the history books. This year, Qatar will host the competition. The tournament will open on November 20th (16:00 GMT/UTC) in the capital city of Qatar, Doha, at the Al Bayt Stadium.
A total of 32 country teams will converge in Qatar for the 22nd edition of the World Cup competition. These countries will include Qatar itself, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Morocco, Switzerland, Ghana, the Korean Republic, Cameroon, Serbia, Canada, England, France, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Germany, The United States, Senegal, Wales, Poland, Australia, Costa Rica, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Ecuador The Netherlands, Uruguay, Croatia, Denmark, and Mexico.
The Grouping of National Teams
As in previous editions of this competition, the countries in attendance will group into eight, each comprising four country teams. One win earns a team three points, while a draw earns a team one point. Lastly, teams get zero points if they lose. The first game of the tournament will be between Qatar and Ecuador.
The Qatar 2022 Schedule
After the group stage comes to the knockout stages. Below is a schedule for each round of the 2022 tournament in Qatar:
- November 20th: Opening ceremony/match;
- December 2nd: Final group games;
- December 3rd-6th: Round of 16 games;
- December 9th-10th: Quarterfinals;
- December 13th-14th: Semifinals;
- December 17th: Third-place match;
- December 18th: Final.
Previous Winners and the National Teams to Watch Out For
The World Cup tourney, just like most football competitions, is very unpredictable. However, narrowing the list of competing countries to just a few is pretty straightforward. We shall classify these teams as class one and those to mainly watch out for.
These class-one country teams include:
If you plan to gamble on countries in this competition, you should pen down these teams, as the trophy will most certainly end up in the hands of one of them.
Looking at the competition groupings, Argentina, a two-time winner, will surely waltz through its group comprising Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Poland. Argentina is undoubtedly one to watch out for as they are one of the favorites to win the competition.
Brazil has the most wins in this competition, one time more than the next, which is Germany. The five-time South American winner is bound to battle Argentina and co for the trophy, having played in 7 finals since the competition began.
England, France, Spain
England, France, and Spain have only won the competition once, with France being to the finals for a total of two. It is certainly not going to be an easy group for the Spanish team as they happen to be in Group E with the four-time winner, Germany.
Belgium finished in their best-ever position, third, in the 21st edition of this competition in 2018. The country is one of the dark horses to monitor during this competition. It could be quite a confronting group stage, with Croatia in contention for finishing first in the group.
Portugal has never won this competition or reached the finals of this competition. However, they managed to finish in third place in 2006. Portugal may have some competition by being grouped with Ghana and the two-time South American winner, Uruguay.
For us, Germany slots right behind Brazil, France, and Argentina as countries that will most likely leave Qatar with the World Cup Trophy. The four-time winner won the competition last in 2014, having reached the most all-time World Cup finals of a record of eight.
With our analysis, sports bettors would feast on sure odds involving Argentina, Brazil, Germany, England, and Portugal in the group stage. The main highlight of the group stage in this year’s edition would be the Group E match between Spain and Germany.
Top Markets and Odds
France winning the competition back in 2018 makes them a favorite to win the competition again in 2022. Also, this competition in Qatar would be the last of its kind as the next one would comprise 48 countries in all. For bettors, you should know that the top-three favorites to win the Qatar World Cup competition are Brazil (+400), Argentina (+550), and France (+650). The team with the lowest odds of winning at Qatar is Canada, which has not been in this tournament since 1986.
However, strangely enough, most sportsbooks do not think Croatia could pull off what they achieved in the 2018 competition again by reaching the final in Qatar. The odds of them winning this competition is +5000. The Netherlands is a potential dark horse in Qatar’s race to the finals of this competition. With +1200 odds, the Netherlands ranks behind England, Spain, and Germany at 7th on the odds table.
The most current African champion, Senegal, has +8000 odds of winning this competition. It may not be a clear run to the knockout stages, but the only contender for Senegal in Group A is the Netherlands, who will most likely leave the group on top.
World Cup Betting Trends
European teams have finished as winners of the last four world cup competitions, including Italy in 2006, Spain in 2010, Germany in 2014, and France in 2018. Also, there have been five European winners in the last six, with Brazil being the only non-European team in the mix. In the last seven World Cup competitions, France is the only country to finish on top twice within that span. This stat strengthens their odds and claims of winning the competition again in 2022.
Also, the last country to win the World cup as a host would be France in 1998. Following the trend of host countries from 2002 to 2022, there is no chance that Qatar could retain the trophy in their country. Regardless of the unfortunate row of host countries not getting close to winning the competition recently, six host nations have won the world cup in all 21 previous editions of the competition.
To damper the odds of any African country winning the competition, it is on record that no African country has ever qualified for the quarter-finals of this competition. Also, the last 11 winners of this competition are from European and South American nations.
Our Final Prediction
The 22nd World Cup competition set to take place in Qatar this month may be the last competition for the two contestants to the seat of the greatest player of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Qatar’s competition may be the final dance for these two.
However, everyone would be much more on the lookout for the eventualities of Lionel Messi’s Argentina than Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal. Regardless, each of these countries will amass a lot of viewers and supporters from around the world.
Other stars to grace this competition include Neymar from Brazil, Kylian Mbappe from France, Kevin DeBruyne from Belgium, Robert Lewandowski from Poland, Harry Kane from England, and many others.
We predict that the winner of this year’s World Cup will be between Nations of Brazil and Argentina. With the information we presented in our article, you should be able to make well-informed betting decisions once the competition starts.