With the FIFA 2022 World Cup just around the corner, who are the form teams heading into the showpiece tournament and who are the favourites to lift the trophy in December?
For the first time ever, the FIFA World Cup will be held in November and December in 2022. This is because the host nation, Qatar, experiences extremely hot weather during the traditional summer months of June and July when the World Cup would traditionally be held. Even in November and December, the temperatures are expected to get above 30°C which will potentially play into the hands of teams that are used to playing in warmer conditions.
The scheduling of the World Cup also comes at a strange time for most major leagues around the world. Whilst some countries do have a winter break, the November break comes right in the middle of the season with many leagues playing fixtures up until the week before the World Cup is due to kick off.
We have already seen a number of players ruled out through injury as the condensed fixture lists lead to many players, especially those in the Premier League, playing twice a week as they accommodate league, European and domestic cup competitions.
Despite the unusual timing of the World Cup, excitement is starting to build with most teams now having completed their pre-tournament warm-ups and squad announcements expected in the weeks leading up to the start of the tournament, with many players still playing for their places.
Who are the favourites for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar?
As you might expect, the favourites for the 2022 FIFA World Cup are dominated by the teams that are near the top of the FIFA World Rankings. They are also dominated by teams that have won the tournament in the past, giving us many memorable World Cup moments along the way. Here is a look at the favourites and their form heading into the World Cup.
As you might expect, Brazil are the heavy favourites to win their sixth World Cup in Qatar. They currently top the world rankings and head into the World Cup off the back of a strong qualifying campaign that saw them go unbeaten, winning 14 and drawing three of their 17 fixtures. Across all fixtures, they only conceded 5 goals, scoring 40 times.
Brazil are 5.50 with Betway Sports to lift the trophy for an unprecedented sixth time and it is hard to look past Brazil when talking about the favourites for the 2022 World Cup. They have been drawn in Group C in Qatar alongside Cameroon, Switzerland and Serbia, a group which they should easily win.
Boasting some of the world’s best players including Neymar, Vinicius Jr., Raphinha, Ederson, and Casemiro to name but a few, Brazil will be the team to beat in Qatar.
Defending champions France will once again be heavily backed for victory in Qatar. France have won the World Cup twice in their history – once on home soil in 1998 and then in 2018 in Russia where they overcame Croatia in the final.
France are 7.00 with Betway to lift the trophy in Qatar and they head into the tournament full of confidence despite a defeat in their final friendly match against Denmark who they will face in the group stage. Like Brazil, France went through the qualifying games unbeaten, winning five and drawing three of their matches, conceding just three goals.
France also boasts a number of high-profile names in their squad including Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezman, and recently crowned Balon D’Or winner, Karim Benzema. As well as Denmark, France will also face Australia and Tunisia in the group stage.
Another South American giant to be heavily favoured in Qatar is Argentina. They are currently the third-ranked team in the world and like Brazil, came through the qualification stage unbeaten, winning 11 and drawing six of their matches and conceding just eight goals along the way. Brazil and Argentina finished streets ahead of nearest rival Uruguay in the qualifiers and they will head into the tournament full of confidence that they can add to their two previous victories on the biggest stage.
Argentina are 7.50 with Betway to lift the trophy in Qatar and any team that includes Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala and no-nonsense defender Lisandro Martinez will fancy their chances against any team.
They have been drawn in a group alongside Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Poland – a group they are heavily favoured to win. The draw also means that if they top the group and Brazil top their group, they will be on opposite sides of the draw and could end up facing each other in what would be a mouth-watering final.
England are the fourth-favourites with Betway Sports to lift the World Cup for what would be just the second time. Last time out in Russia, they fell just short, losing in the semi-final to Croatia and in the recent European Championships, they fell at the final hurdle, losing on penalties to Italy in the final.
Betway Sports has England at 9.00 to lift the World Cup and end 56 years of hurt since they last won a major tournament in 1966. Like the other favourites, England went unbeaten in the qualifying matches, winning eight and drawing two of their ten fixtures. Their form in the Nations League has been patchy as they suffered relegation from League A. A World Cup, however, brings a different intensity and England will be hoping to go one step further in Qatar and finally bring football home.
Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands also head into the tournament full of confidence and are expected to make a push to the latter stages of the competition.
The tournament kicks off on Sunday 20 November when hosts Qatar take on Ecuador in Doha.