The World Cup 2022 is unlike any other. Being played in the desert midway through the European club season, there are unique challenges for players and managers alike.
There is an element of the unknown with scorching temperatures and many stars already suffering with fatigue after a gruelling first few months of the 2022-23 campaign.
Familiar nations are among the favourites to lift the trophy, though. Let’s delve into the World Cup outright market.
Best odds for the World Cup 2022 Winner
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The favourites: Brazil
Five-time champions and the number one-ranked side in the world, Brazil don’t have the easiest group with Switzerland, Serbia and Cameroon, but they managed to avoid any of the other powerhouse nations.
Presuming they win the section, Brazil will face one of Portugal, Uruguay, South Korea and Ghana in the last 16.
Brazil head into the competition in great form, with seven consecutive victories. Neymar has been on fire for PSG at the start of the campaign, and while their full backs are a clear weakness, this is a squad with top-tier talent throughout.
Tite saw his team lose the Copa América final to Argentina last July, but this group has accumulated tournament experience since their disappointment in Russia with a Copa América triumph in 2019.
And while Brazil deserve to be seen as favourites, the 4/1 price is too short to represent value in a single-match knockout.
A contender: Argentina
It is easy to get swept up in the romantic notion of Lionel Messi winning the World Cup at his final opportunity. Argentina are more than a fairy tale story heading to Qatar, however, with a squad possessing better balance than previous tournaments.
They pipped Brazil in the Copa América final last year, and have continued their exceptional run by failing to win just once in 2022, which was a 1-1 draw with Ecuador in March.
An attack built around Messi and Lautaro Martinez, who has 21 goals in 40 caps, is lethal. The midfield is solid, and there are decent options in defence, including Manchester United’s Lautaro Martinez and Tottenham’s Cristian Romero.
Three wins are probable from a group with Poland, Saudi Arabia and Mexico.
Argentina have scored 14 goals in their last four matches, and their attack could have some fun in the first round. They are a good wager at 13/2 to finish as the competition’s top scorers at Sporting Index.
A contender: France
France’s odds to win the World Cup have slipped in the lead up to the tournament.
A few months ago, the defending champions were neck-and-neck with Brazil. Injuries to some key players have contributed to that slide, as have some poor results with just one win in six matches since March.
Didier Deschamps still has a squad loaded with top-tier talent even with Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante ruled out. Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema are the tournament’s most fearsome front two, and plenty of bettors are going to be tempted to back Les Bleus at this price.
Their group isn’t the trickiest, and if they come out on top, they will likely avoid Argentina in the round of 16.
England’s chances of claiming the crown
Like France, England’s results in the Nations League were disappointing.
Other than Reece James, though, Gareth Southgate has all of his key players available, and the Three Lions have a favourable group alongside the USA, Wales and Iran.
Southgate has his fair share of doubters, but his tournament record cannot be argued with.
This England squad has a mix of players at their peak and ascending youngsters like Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka. The vast majority featured during the run to the Euros final in 2021.
With tournament experience from last summer and Russia four years ago, this looks a good price for England to win their first major tournament since 1966.
The underdog: Germany
Germany have ushered in a new era, moving on from many of the squad which brought World Cup glory in 2014 and looking ahead to a future around talents like Jamal Musiala. This isn’t a naïve group without experience, however, as Hansi Flick still has Thomas Müller, Joshua Kimmich and Ilkay Gundogan at his disposal.
It would be foolish to write Die Mannschaft off this winter, yet their path through the competition is fraught with danger, particularly if they finish second in Group E behind Spain.
On paper, this Germany squad is just a bit behind some of the other contenders. This price is a bit too short.
A look at the past winners of the World Cup
The World Cup 2022 will be the 22nd edition of the tournament. Eight different countries have won the World Cup, with Brazil leading the way with five. The defending champions heading into this year’s tournament are France.
- 1930: Uruguay
- 1934: Italy
- 1938: Italy
- 1950: Uruguay
- 1954: Germany
- 1958: Brazil
- 1962: Brazil
- 1966: England
- 1970: Brazil
- 1974: Germany
- 1978: Argentina
- 1982: Italy
- 1986: Argentina
- 1990: Germany
- 1994: Brazil
- 1998: France
- 2002: Brazil
- 2006: Italy
- 2010: Spain
- 2014: Germany
- 2018: France
All odds are subject to change