Argentina, Brazil and England overwhelming favourites to win the World Cup 2022
Argentina, Brazil, England favourites to win World Cup 2022
European nations have won the last four world cup editions, so why are Brazil and Argentina deemed top two favourites to win the prodigious tournament this winter season.
For starters, we've been swayed by Brazil's enticing array of offensive potential, headlined by Neymar, Vinicius Junior, Raphinha, Richarlison, Gabriel Martinelli, and Gabriel Jesus. Brazil are not only capable of tearing apart defences, but they are also great at keeping the ball out of their own net during World Cup qualifying. However, they have not faced a European team since Belgium eliminated them in the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. That remains an open question.
Argentina is entering the tournament on the back of a 35-game undefeated streak, and coach Lionel Scaloni believes his team can provide an emotional send-off for captain Lionel Messi, who has stated that this is his final World Cup. (Though he might return in 2026, when he'll be 39 years old.) Argentina's confidence was boosted after defeating Brazil in the 2021 Copa America final in Rio de Janeiro's iconic Maracana stadium. This is a powerful, comfortable, and unified team with the potential to win the entire tournament.
My concern is that if Argentina wins their group against Mexico, Poland, and Saudi Arabia, they will face Denmark in the Round of 16 of the 2020 Euros, despite Christian Eriksen's suffering and near-tragic death. The Danes are exuberant outsiders.
Defending champions France, despite rumoured camp splits and a troubling muscle injury to Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema, are still stacked with talent, even with Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante, and Christopher Nkunku out by injuries. As a youngster four years ago, rising phenom Kylian Mbappe lit up the occasion with his incredible pace and goals.
However, you can never be certain of what you will receive from France. Remember what occurred the previous time they defended the championship in 2002, when they were eliminated in the group stage, and the infamous player mutiny in South Africa in 2010. They have the potential to win, but they are just as likely to fail, as they did in Euro 2020 when they lost to penalties against Switzerland.
England have become good tournament performers under self effacing manager Gareth Southgate, reaching the Euro 2020 final and the World Cup semifinal in 2018. If Harry Kane can replicate his Golden Boot form from Russia and promising teenagers like Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice, and Mason Mount succeed, the Three Lions have a chance to make another deep run. However, there are too many doubts about the condition and health of defenders Harry Maguire, John Stones, and Kyle Walker, while midfielder Kalvin Phillips has played only 54 minutes this season.England look vulnerable if pitched against one of the top teams later in the tournament.
Germany, four-time winners, tend to get neglected these days. They can only improve on their lacklustre performances and group-stage elimination in Russia. Coach Hansi Flick has orchestrated something of a revival, and the team is a formidable battle for any opponent. However, there are no Jurgen Klinsmann or Miroslav Klose to score the goals, therefore they appear to be doomed in the knockout phases.
Luis Enrique, Spain's coach, wants his squad to be daring, playing out from the back and pushing opponents high up the pitch. They may beat certain teams, but they, like the Germans, lack a consistent goal scorer unless Alvaro Morata goes on a scoring spree. Nonetheless, Spain is technically good enough to advance far in the competition.
The train from Belgium appears to have departed the station. They reached the semifinals four years ago, but now they are four years older. Those years have not been kind to some, particularly Eden Hazard, who has fallen into obscurity at Real Madrid. With leading scorer Romelu Lukaku out injured, the Red Devils are unlikely to deliver.
Portugal's chances no longer hinge solely on Cristiano Ronaldo. Bruno Fernandes, Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva, and Joao Felix are among the players on their roster. The fact that they still use a 39-year-old Pepe in defence is concerning, but this is another technically skilled nation capable of going far.
Uruguay have managed to assemble an exciting squad. They have a good mix of exuberant youth and senior pros. The likes of Real Madrid's Federico Valverde, Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez, and Tottenham Hotspur's Rodrigo Bentancur join the old guard of Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, and Diego Godin. If they get the balance right, they could definitely pose a serious threat for the opposition.
This World Cup may come four years too soon for Gregg Berhalter's youthful United States side, which includes Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Sergio Dest, and Tyler Adams, all of whom have Champions League experience. They should finish second in England's group, ahead of Wales and Iran, thanks to the fearlessness of youth.
The Welsh, who are playing in their first World Cup in 64 years, rely on Gareth Bale to deliver more tournament magic. His late goal in LAFC's MLS Cup victory showed that he can still pull rabbits out of hats, but injury has robbed him of playing time, making you worry if he can be as sharp as he needs to be. Joe Allen is another key player hit by injury. The first game against the USMNT is pivotal.
Louis van Gaal will need to do well to lead the Netherlands to the semifinals again, like he did eight years ago. The legendary Dutch coach, who is battling cancer, has a vibrant team led by Virgil van Dijk and with winger Cody Gakpo as a possible breakthrough star. However, the squad relies on Memphis Depay up front, who has been sidelined since September.
In Group G, clubs like Serbia and Switzerland are capable of making Brazil work hard. Senegal tops the African challenge, but their top player Sadio Mane is a significant question. That is inhumane. Ghana had a tumultuous qualifying and does not appear to be the force it once was. Japan, who outplayed the US in September, will be exciting to watch with their frantic high press and sparkling football, while Ecuador's 6-1 qualification win over Colombia highlighted the fantastic young talent they have coming through.
Apart from South Korea's journey to the semifinals as co-hosts in 2002, Asian teams have a poor record. Their current squad is sluggish, and national idol Son Heung-damaged min's eye socket last week doesn't help their cause. Other teams, like the hosts Qatar, will play with defiance, pride, and most likely tremendous organisation — they will give stiff opposition, but they lack the quality to challenge the big boys.
Prediction: Argentina to win the World Cup
This game involves an element of financial risk and may be addictive. Please play responsibly at your own risk.
This game is applicable for people 18+ only.