Brazil are the bookmakers’ favourite to win the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022; the longest odds on a Seleçao victory in Qatar were 9/2 on Friday, according to Oddschecker. Obviously, no discussion of the main contenders is complete without mentioning the five-time champions - but, to be honest, they’ve been more of a quarter-final team since their last World Cup triumph in 2002. Brazil has been eliminated in the last eight of three of the four tournaments that have followed their victories in Japan and South Korea. The only time they advanced past the quarterfinals was on home soil in 2014, and they were humiliated by Germany in the semi-finals.
Brazil are the in form team heading into Qatar 2022. The Seleçao have won six of their last six matches, winning five of them by three goals or more, scoring 22 goals and conceding only two. Recent victories include 5-1 victories over Tunisia and South Korea, Ghana 3-0 as well as 4-0 victories over Chile and Bolivia. Japan are the only side that came close to stopping Brazil in June, losing 1-0 to a late Neymar penalty in Tokyo. Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain and Richarlison of Tottenham Hotspur are the top scorers this period, each with four goals. Neymar’s four goals have all come from penalty kicks.
The best bet on France winning the World Cup is 33/5, making them the second favourite. When you consider that Didier Deschamps’ men are the tournament holders, that’s not surprising. Furthermore, they are a country that produces talent like it’s out of style - just ask Real Madrid, who have four Frenchmen in their squad, including talismanic Karim Benzema. PSG’s French connection in Le Blues is led by Kylian Mbappe.
France’s recent results have been highly suspect. They have only won one of their last six games and were lucky to avoid relegation from the top tier of the UEFA Nations League earlier this month. In Group A1, they were defeated at home and away by Denmark, and they were defeated in Paris by Croatia. n recent World Cup history, France have had a fairly all-or-nothing tendency. Winners in 1998 and 2018, they failed to qualify in ‘90 and ‘94, and suffered group-stage meltdowns in 2002 and 2010.
Including Les Bleus’ opening-round exit 20 years ago, four out of the last five defending champions have gone out of the following World Cup at the first hurdle.
It really shouldn’t become five out of six: drawn in a group with Denmark, Australia and Tunisia, France surely have too much for the latter two, at least. But on current form, who knows?
Argentina are two-time world champions, though you have to go a little further back in time - 36 years, to be exact - to find their most recent victory. According to Oddschecker, the best odds on an Albiceleste victory in Qatar are currently 38/5. Argentina have evolved into a team with realistic title aspirations since Lionel Scaloni took over in the aftermath of that disastrous campaign in Russia.
The South Americans won their first Copa América since 1993 in 2021, after embarking on an unbeaten run that continues to this day. Scaloni’s men have now gone 35 games without losing, putting them within striking distance of Italy’s world-record streak of 37 games without losing, set between 2018 and 2021.
Paulo Scaloni’s men easily qualified from South America, and Argentina enter the World Cup with skipper Lionel Messi in top form after a difficult first season at Paris Saint-Germain. Messi has 10 goals and eight assists in 13 appearances for club and country so far in 2022/23. His braces against Honduras and Jamaica have put the PSG man in the right frame of mind to win the one trophy that has eluded him ahead of what is likely to be his final World Cup.
England are another candidate for the World Cup; as many people are unaware of this. The Three Lions enter the tournament in doubtful - if not utterly poor shape. They have failed to win in six consecutive matches, all of which came in a Nations League campaign that resulted in relegation from League A. Given their last performance in Russia 2018, the bookies appear to believe they can produce something special, as the longest odds on an English World Cup victory are currently 17/2, placing them fourth in the betting.
Spain are 9/1, Germany are 11/1, the Netherlands 29/2, Portugal 16/1, Belgium 18/1, and Denmark are 35/1 to win the trophy on December 18th at the iconic Lusail Stadium in Qatar.