As the international break drew to a close, so did the last chance to catch a glimpse of each national team’s squad ahead of the winter World Cup. Following the last run of matches, here is a look at who could be in with a chance at winning the inaugural competition in the Middle East, in Qatar 2022.
The Seleçāo are many pundits’ favourites to win this year’s tournament. Boasting long-standing stars such as Neymar, Thiago Silva, and Casemiro, along with emerging talents on the national scene such as Raphinha and Lucas Paquetá, it appears Tite’s team has the perfect blend of experience and excitement. Brazil certainly knows all about success in this tournament, having featured in every edition and having won it a record five times.
Aside from their tournament history, the Seleçāo’s recent form has also been formidable. Tite’s side has lost just one of their 30 competitive games since their quarter-final loss to Belgium in the 2018 World Cup. They, therefore, appear to be an assured bet for success in 2022. Sites such as Bodog allow users the chance to enjoy the best World Cup odds ahead of this year’s edition of the tournament, where Neymar and co. will be out for revenge following heartbreak in the Copa America 2021 final against Argentina.
Fim de jogo! Com gols de Raphinha (2), Richarlison, Neymar e Pedro, a Seleção Brasileira venceu a Tunísia por 5 a 1.
📷: Lucas Figueiredo / CBF pic.twitter.com/6ag0ABR5AT
— CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) September 27, 2022
France tends to be discussed as a potential winner for any upcoming tournament, and the 2022 World Cup is no exception. With the pragmatic yet ever-sturdy Didier Deschamps at the helm of one of the world’s most dazzling squads, Les Blues are the tournament’s current holders. Retaining their title would be some feat, however, given that only Italy (1934 and 1938) and Brazil (1958 and 1962) have gone on to win back-to-back World Cups.
What may work against France’s favor, however, is Les Blues’ recent form. With just one win in six Nations League games – their most recent result a 2-0 defeat away to Denmark – Deschamps’ side is far from flying. Add to that the injury woes of star man Karim Benzema and France could see their title defense get off to a difficult start.
So, how do you find this away kit?
— French Team ⭐⭐(@FrenchTeam) September 25, 2022
England is also often cited as favourites for each tournament, although these voices often come from their own country. This year, however, the hype might be real. Gareth Southgate’s men have steadily improved their tournament finishes since his arrival, following a 2018 semi-final finish with a loss in the Euro 2020 final to Italy on penalties. With a star-studded squad, Southgate certainly has the tools at his disposal for success in 2022.
Standing in England’s way appears to be Southgate’s ability to utilize this talent. Finding a formation in which to integrate them all has proven difficult for the England manager, and his recent team selections have frustrated many. This was evidenced in the Three Lions’ recent run of form, as they were relegated from the Nations League’s top tier following a winless campaign in Group 3. Can Southgate turn their recent form around and win England’s first competitive trophy since 1966?
Those final preparations 👌 pic.twitter.com/9zcp7KD6Wd
— England (@England) September 26, 2022
This year’s World Cup is certainly unprecedented, taking place in a completely new location at an unfamiliar time of year. This may be the perfect setting for an underdog to capitalize, meaning the winner could well come outside of these three nations. In 2022, anything is possible.