Football fans across the globe are in for a treat later this year as the 2022 FIFA World Cup is staged in Qatar.
Five-time winners Brazil are favourites with the bookmakers to win the tournament, but several other teams have a genuine chance of lifting the trophy.
The latest World Cup 2022 betting ranks reigning champions France as the biggest danger to Brazil, while Argentina, Spain and Germany are also strongly fancied.
With punters already wagering on the outcome, we take a closer look at the World Cup and predict who we think will emerge victorious.
World Cup 2022 Schedule
The 2022 World Cup features 32 international teams and is scheduled to take place from November 21 to December 18.
The opening stage features eight groups of four teams, with the top two in each section progressing to the knockout phase. The schedule is as follows.
- November 21 – World Cup begins.
- December 2 – Last group stage fixtures.
- December 3-6 – Round of 16.
- December 9-10 – Quarter-finals.
- December 13-14 – Semi-finals.
- December 17 – Third place play-off.
- December 18 – Final.
Games from the round of 16 onwards are played as a single elimination knockout, with extra-time and penalties used to determine the outcome if necessary.
World Cup 2022 Groups
The 32 qualifying teams are split in eight groups of four. Each team plays against once against the others in their section in the opening stage. The groups are as follows:
- Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands.
- Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales.
- Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland.
- Group D: France, Australia/UAE/Peru, Denmark, Tunisia.
- Group E: Spain, Costa Rica/New Zealand, Germany, Japan.
- Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia.
- Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon.
- Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea.
World Cup 2022 Preview
Brazil are worthy favourites for the World Cup after impressing during qualifying, but they could find it difficult to win the tournament.
It is now 20 years since the Samba Kings lifted the prestigious trophy and their recent record at the finals has not been good.
The weight of expectation has weighed heavily on Brazil in recent years and it would be no surprise to seem the fall short once again.
France will fancy their chances of following up their success at Russia 2018, although no team has achieved that feat since Brazil managed it 60 years ago.
England are ridiculously short in the betting given they have never won a major tournament on foreign soil and manager Gareth Southgate’s lack of tactical acumen.
Spain and Germany have been drawn together in Group E, but they should have no difficulty progressing to the knockout stage.
However, with Belgium or Croatia likely to be their opponents in the round of 16, some big guns could exit the tournament before the quarter-finals.
With doubts hanging over several of the main contenders, Argentina appeal as the value bet to win the World Cup for the third time.
Their recent 3-0 victory over Italy in the CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions was hugely impressive and highlighted their World Cup credentials.
A solid defence and Lionel Messi pulling the strings in attack makes Argentina a tempting proposition to see off their rivals at Qatar 2022.