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Who will win the 2022 World Cup?

BY SKYSPORTS
11.14.2022
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1xBet assesses the odds of the main favourites.

The World Cup will be a unique event in football history. Firstly, the tournament’s timing is unusual: due to the scorching summer heat, the championship in Qatar will start on November 20th. Thus, many national championships will be interrupted for the sake of the World Cup.

But that’s not all: the Qatari authorities have issued an unprecedented array of stringent requirements for fans attending the championship. Alcohol is forbidden, men will not be allowed to wear short shorts, sleeveless shirts or even shirts with v-necks (and this in 30-degree heat). Plus, women will need the necessary amount of long skirts together with shirts to cover the shoulders, neck and elbows. Official buildings cannot be photographed, Qataris should not be stared at, cups of Arabic tea must only be held with the right hand, and the list continues…

How will all this affect the players’ form and the mood of the fans? Which of the coaches will adapt to the unusual schedule better? Can the players themselves bear this brutal climate? We will find out the answers to these questions very soon. Still, a few teams will be favourites to win in any climate, and leaving before the quarter-finals would be a national tragedy for their fans.

Below are 1xBet’s odds for the nine strongest national teams in the championship and a brief analysis of their prospects of taking home more than just a nice tan.

Portugal – 13

This team has a great selection of attacking players. Fernando Santos can field Milan’s leading scorer Rafael Leão, Atlético Madrid’s Joao Felix, Manchester City’s dazzling playmaker Bernardo Silva and Manchester United’s midfield leader Bruno Fernandes. In defence, Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo are indispensable for Man City, and the veteran Pepe is also ready for action.

And then there is Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner who is not shining in the new season. He often starts a game on the bench or remains out of the squad entirely. But could the legendary player be saving his energy for what will most likely be his last World Cup? If Fernando Santos, the Portuguese coach, can ignite the veteran’s brilliance, this side could achieve plenty, even without the injured Diogo Jota.

Netherlands – 13

The Orange look menacing after the return of celebrity coach Louis van Gaal, who led the team to third place in the 2014 World Cup. There’s little doubt that the renowned guru has brought back the attacking brilliance of the national team. This was confirmed when the Netherlands crushed Turkey 6-1 in their key encounter for the top spot in the qualifying group. Plus, in 2022, they have already twice beaten a powerful Belgium side that until recently topped the FIFA rankings.

When it comes to the national team, attacking players Memphis Depay and Frankie de Jong forget that they do not always get a place in Barcelona’s starting line-up. Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt are one of the best pairs of central defenders at the national team level, and their competition will be Stefan de Vries of Inter Milan. However, Van Gaal has used three centre-backs more than once, and there could well be a place for the starting line-up of the star trio at the tournament. Had Georginio Wijnaldum not picked up an injury in the summer, the prospects would have been even brighter. Despite this, the Netherlands are ready to surprise.

Belgium – 12

If the tournament had been held two years ago, bookmakers and fans would have believed in the Belgians much more. However, the team’s performances at the recent UEFA European Championship (the Red Devils were eliminated in the quarter-finals) and then in the Nations League, have not been impressive. Plus, Belgium lost at the Euros to the future champions, and in the Nations League. However, as goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has publicly stated, the players were not overly motivated in that tournament.

The World Cup is a different story though. Courtois, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne will all be doing their best. It is not quite clear who can take to the pitch: Courtois has barely recovered from sciatic nerve inflammation, while Lukaku has problems with his left thigh muscle, and might not take to the pitch until the end of the year. Alas, without Romelu, Belgium will be a different team, and they will need a miracle to knock out any of the top sides.

Most of the main stars of Belgium’s ‘golden’ football era, who won bronze medals at the World Cup in 2018, will be present. They are a very experienced, well blended team – and at tournaments like this, chemistry means a lot.

Germany – 10

The previous World Cup was a nightmare for German fans, as the 2014 World Cup champions failed to qualify from the group. When that failure was compounded by relegation in the last eight at UEFA EURO 2020, it was clear that the team was in need of a serious revamp. But it wasn’t about the age of the players – what was needed was to change the principles of the game itself.

Joachim Löw retired in the summer of 2021, and Hansi Flick became the new German coach. Now, the Germans have started to play with more vigour. Rigid tactics have disappeared, but the loss to Hungary in the Nations League was a clear setback. And in the rest of the summer and autumn matches, the German national team generally drew and achieved only one victory – over Italy.

Yes, veterans Neuer and Müller are still energetic, while Kimmich, Sane and Gnabry look great in Bayern. Also worth noting is that the younger brigade, Havertz, Musiala and Adeyemi, have repeatedly demonstrated their immense potential. But the important thing is that Germany now has problems in games against strong opponents, and no one knows if Flick can solve them in only a few weeks.

Spain – 8,6

Luis Enrique made the only team that could realistically beat Italy in the Euro 2020 finals – but they lacked stamina in the penalty shoot-out. More importantly though, is that these Spaniards are young and able to control the ball for the entire 90 minutes. The tactic “as long as we have the ball, the opponent cannot score” is the essence of Luis Enrique’s football.

So far, this football has brought results: in the Nations League, the team finished first in their group. However, that tournament wasn’t an easy stroll down the Plaza Mayor: the Furia Roja lost to Switzerland and, in the decisive match against the Portuguese, the team could only win thanks to the inspired play of their goalkeeper.

The current Spanish team does not need a prima donna with an exorbitant ego, therefore Sergio Ramos was excluded from both the European Championship, and the upcoming main event in Qatar. But anyone who is open to learning from the coach who inspired Messi, Neymar and Suarez to a Champions League victory is welcome guest in the national team. Pedri, Gavi, Ferran Torres, Unai Simon – these guys are in the national squad for the long haul, so get used to it.

England 7,6

The third place is shared by two teams. Let’s start with the English, if only because the Three Lions are fraught with problems right now. In the UEFA Nations League, the team finished last in the group, behind the Germans, Italians, and even the Hungarians. Not a single win in six games is a dismal warning sign. A true World Cup medal-contender team should play far better.

James is certain to miss the tournament through injury, while Walker and Phillips are also in doubt. Sancho, Shaw, Henderson, and Man United centre-back Harry Maguire, are not performing at their best. Also, Grealish is getting too little game time at Manchester City. But even with all that in mind, the potential of English football is so great that one wants to believe in this team.

Argentina – 7,6

Lionel Scaloni was not a massive football star. He was a tough footballer whose best years were at Spanish Deportivo, with seven games for the national team and a trip to the 2006 World Cup. This year, however, he could make history as the coach of the team that will win the Mundial.

Scaloni crossed paths with a young Messi at the 2006 World Cup. It may have helped the coach to now incorporate the superstar into the national team’s game. Messi is the alpha and omega of this team, who shines while others do the heavy lifting. In the past year and a half, Argentina has won their first South American championship since 1993 and defeated Italy in the Finalissima. Perhaps this World Cup will be its ultimate triumph.

France – 6,55

The reigning champions have to be among the favourites for the tournament. In terms of the length of their list of potential candidates, France could give anyone a head start. However, on the eve of the tournament, the Tricolours were without Kante and will almost certainly lose Pogba. The centre of midfield was built around that pairing, with Paul even practising in defence for the national team. Add to that the lacklustre form of forward Antoine Griezmann, and…

Defending the title depends on an appreciation of Deschamps’ ability to build a different style of play than four years ago. After all, there are plenty of new stars. Camavanga and Tchouameni, who play together at Real Madrid, are in midfield, while Gendouzi has risen to the top level at Marseille. In attack, Nkunku, last season’s best Bundesliga player, and Dembele, La Liga’s best assist, are ready to ignite. Let’s also not forget that the French attacking team will be led by the recently crowned Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema. If France fails, they have only Deschamps to blame.

Brazil – 5

In goal a choice of superstars – Alisson and Ederson. The centre of defence features Thiago Silva, Militao and Marquinhos. In the middle of the pitch will be the hard-working Fabinho and Casemiro, plus the creative Paqueta and Fred. Finally, the attack with Neymar, Vinicius, Rodrigo, Martinelli and Antoni. Yes, the flanks of the defence are a bit sagging – Dani Alves, Danilo and Alex Telles’ best years are behind them – but despite this, the Brazilians are incredibly impressive.

Even more impressive is that Tite has brought the national team players to an almost club-like cohesion. The coach has been working with them for years, remaining even after the 2018 World Cup debacle. Any other leader would have been snubbed for relegation in the quarter-finals, but in Tite’s case the Brazilian football bosses appreciated the team’s level of play – and within a year it had won the Copa America. They have not won a World Cup since 2002. Time for a sixth?

You can answer these and other questions by betting on 1xBet. Choose your favourites and make money on football’s showcase event with a trusted bookmaker!

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