Qatar 2022 favorites and possible surprise teams

 

The 2022 World Cup kicks off on November 21 in Qatar, with superstars from around the world preparing for a chance at worldwide glory in the Middle East.

After winning on Russian territory in 2018, France are the defending champions, but several countries have their eyes set on knocking them off their throne. European champions Italy are the biggest absentees after losing to lowly North Macedonia in the playoffs. The Azzuris joined Russia, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Algeria, Norway, Nigeria, and Serbia as the biggest sides to miss out on a slot in Qatar.

Thirty-two countries will battle for the ultimate prize on football’s biggest stage, but who are the favorites to win it, and who are the outsiders who may surprise us? There cannot be a better time to check out the odds at bet365 Canada to add to the thrill of who you think stands out the best chance.

The favorites

Brazil have not won the World Cup since 2002, although they are five-time winners with experienced players like Neymar, Vinicius Junior, Thiago Silva, Fabinho, and Alisson at their disposal.

Holders France are another team that is expected to put up a strong fight for the title, with a star-studded group that features Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema, and Paul Pogba understanding what it takes to win a major tournament.

England advanced to the semi-finals in 2018 before reaching the final on home soil at Euro 2020, and the Three Lions are back in contention. Their recent poor showing in the Nations League should not fool you.

Just behind them are 2010 champions Spain, who have a promising young group at their disposal, and perennial contenders Germany and Argentina. Argentina hopes to see Lionel Messi win the one big honor that has escaped him in a brilliant career.

Belgium, who have slid from the top of the FIFA global rankings, may believe that 2022 offers their golden generation – including Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard – one final chance at international glory.

Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, who qualified via the play-offs, are another side vying for a place in the final, alongside a resurgent Netherlands team brimming with talent. Captain Virgil Van Dijk, Memphis Depay, and Matthijs de Ligt lead the Oranje park in Qatar.

Denmark, who have welcomed Christian Eriksen back into their ranks following his cardiac attack at Euro 2020, are seen as possible surprise contenders for a place in the finals.

The underdogs

Croatia made it to the final in 2018, with Luka Modric closing in on the Ballon d’Or, but can they do it again four years later?

Uruguay, who still have experienced Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez in their ranks, are outsiders, with reigning African Cup of Nations champions Senegal also being considered.

With young energy on their side, the United States are unlikely to make the final cut, with Poland, powered by prolific Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, regarded as other outsiders capable of causing a huge shock.

Other teams to keep an eye on include Mexico, Canada, Ghana, and hosts Qatar, who have a slim chance but could benefit from playing on home turf.

Ghana’s Black Stars have welcomed a wealth of talent in English-born Tariq Lamptey, Hudson-Odoi, Edward Nketiah, and Atletico Bilbao’s Inaki Williams to their ranks, and could cause one of the biggest surprises of the tournament.