2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup Early Predictions
2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup Early Predictions
- Group A—Qatar, Netherlands, Ecuador, Senegal
- Group B—England, USA, Wales, Iran
- Group C—Argentina, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Mexico
- Group D—France, Denmark, Australia, Tunisia
- Group E—Germany, Spain, Japan, Costa Rica
- Group F—Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
- Group G—Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
- Group H—Portugal, Uruguay, Ghana, Korea
Since the beginning of the 2022 World Cup group stage draws that were held on April 1 this year, there were still a few group stage slots that were undetermined. But as the final stages of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers finally come to a close with Australia beating Peru 5-4 on penalties, and Costa Rica defeating New Zealand 1-0 to officially cement their spot in the world’s biggest football tournament in Qatar.
And weeks earlier, Ukraine beat Scotland 3-1 in a fixture delayed by the war, but fell to Wales, leaving them only a whisker away from qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.
Now that the group stages have been finalised for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, these are some of our very early football predictions of which two countries will be advancing to the knockout stages.
Lucky for our host nation Qatar, they got away with being drawn into a relatively easy group on their journey to the round of 16. Advancing to the knockout stages should not be a problem for the Dutch with their arsenal of Frenkie de Jong, Virgil van Dijk, and Memphis Depay.
But life could be difficult for the host nation as new Bayern Munich transfer Sadio Mane intends to lead his Senegalese side to the knockout stages—losing to two teams with a FIFA World Ranking below 45.
Being the highest ranked team of the group with a solid 5th place on the FIFA world ranks, England has visibly struggled in the UEFA Nations League after their incredible performances during the 2018 World Cup and 2020 Euros but manager Gareth Southgate is expected to improve the situation by this coming world cup.
In the United States, the loss of centre-back Miles Robinson proves to be a huge setback for the team as of now. But he is expected to recover and be in good condition ahead of the group stages. They currently have their most talented lineup, but Gregg Barhalter’s lack of tournament experience could prove to be a hurdle in their World Cup campaign. If they play their cards right, the young team should have enough to make the round of 16 even if Iran becomes a much bigger challenge than many might have expected.
This is the first group among the eight that does not go chalk at the 2022 World Cup. Argentina is in good shape to make their way through to the knockout stages in what is likely to be Lionel Messi’s last world cup appearance.
Argentina is now on cloud nine with its longest unbeaten run in international football—31 games. And since this could be Messi’s last appearance, it seems that he has finally been given the type of support system that he has lacked at previous World Cups. Mexico, having last beaten a World Cup team since the last eight matches, does not seem to be on track for making to the round of 16. Would the team break the curse?
Poland’s superstar striker Robert Lewandowski will be working to justify whatever transfer he makes this summer as Rybus has been excluded from the national squad following his transfer plans. Meanwhile, Brighton’s Jakub Moder’s absence could be a setback for the team as the midfielder has been out of action for six months, but the six uncapped players in the squad looking to make their international debuts during the international break could do the Polish squad some good.
Having been in top form after the 2018 World Cup, and having one of the best players in the form of Kylian Mbappe, the French are easily the favourites to advance into the round of 16.
Denmark may have gotten lucky and got themselves a good draw, but their current performance has been slightly overrated by the FIFA, meaning that the true extent of their performance can only be seen then.
Meanwhile Tunisia’s squad could do more with experience as they only have 19 year old Hannibal Meibri from Manchester United, while Australia have to find their seat in the world cup by beating Peru on penalties.
While Denmark may have defeated France in the UEFA Nations League, France will have bounced back and become the World Cup.
Luis Enrique has revitalised a Spain side desperately in need of fresh ideas after a dismal 2018 World Cup. Having young blood in the likes of Pedri and Gavi make Spain one of the most exciting, youthful teams around, giving them a much needed boost when it comes to cementing their position as one of the titans of european football, hence should not be counted out as potential winners.
Meanwhile, the German squad is also in the middle of a generational shift, but nevertheless remains a threat that is in quick transition. Although Japan and either Costa Rica or New Zealand could end up creating an upset, you can surely expect the two titans to progress.
With two world cup winners in this group, Spain and Germany are two of the world’s best and most historic international football sides in the world. Both are expected to sail into the knockout stages, the one other possible upset being Germany topping the group standings despite their lower FIFA ranking.
The twilight of Croatia and Belgium’s squad may be nearing as they are now nearing the end of the prime of their Golden Generation after having spectacular moments but just short of the big one—winning the fabled World Cup. Luka Modric, along with his Belgium counterparts Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, should easily cruise to respectable standings in the group standings.
But Canada, having won the CONCACAF Champions League, could upset Croatia and take their spot in the round of 16 instead.
What is crazy is that the Brazilian team are already fighting themselves before fighting their competition. But as the world’s top ranked team, Brazil deserves its top billing in an otherwise solid Group G after having an unbeaten qualifying run. However, Serbia and Switzerland remained unbeaten in qualifying while Cameroon only took three points in five of its six matches in the final round of qualifying.
These teams have the merit to be on par with Brazil, but the biggest upset that could possibly happen is 24-year-old striker Luka Jović, who could well be the breakout star of the 2022 World Cup by taking down Switzerland and moving onwards to the round of 16. Not to mention that the likes of Dusan Vlahovic, Dusan Tadic, and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic give Serbia a holistic edge in terms of attacking talent that could make the difference to their performance in this edition of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Portugal is expected to sail into the round of 16 with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo—a mainstay of the Portuguese squad—Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, and Diogo Jota. Once fledgling players, these men have now become a formidable force to reckon with. Perhaps in the greater scheme of things concerning Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal also finds itself transitioning into a new era. That said, this could very well be the 37-year-old’s final World Cup, so hold on to the idea of the Euro 2016 winners pushing hard to make it out of Group H.
Uruguay, another force to reckon with, have a variety of established veterans with numerous World Cup tournaments under their belt—Luis Suárez, Edinson Cavani, Diego Godín, and promising young talents such as Darwin Núñez, Ronald Araújo and Federico Valverde. With a kaleidoscope of upcoming stars and established veterans, the team are expected to sail through the knockout stages.
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