The most awaited date in the calendar year 2022 has to be Monday 21st November, the day the 2022 World Cup kicks off. Teams are already in preparation, months before and after Wales, Australia and Costa Rica secured the final slots, it is all systems go.
FIFA has approved 26-man squads for the participating nations, and we are going to see another meeting of the giants from all the continents. France enters the competition as defending champions, Belgium will want to make this one count as their ‘Golden generation’ enters the twilight stage of their career.
Bigwigs, Italy, the European champions, miss out for the second straight time, and the Netherlands return after missing the last World Cup. Brazil, the most successful nation in this competition, will be hoping to add on the title they last won in 2002 in Japan.
As they return to Asia, will the odds favor them, to match Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team of 2002? Only time will tell. This and more of the World Cup predictions 2022 on SportyTrader will give a clearer picture of who the favorites for this showpiece will be.
Brazil have obviously done well in the run-up to this competition, and their array of stars give the impression they can get it right after finishing outside the top four in Russia 2018. They will have to get their act together though, as mostly it is the pre-tournament hype that has failed them and made their star players targets for the most physical encounters we have experienced in the past competitions.
France, as defending champions, will definitely be among the teams to watch. They failed to live to the billing at Euro 2020 and though they recovered to win the UEFA Nations League, they’ve slumped in recent matches. They will not be in a position to defend the Nations League title, but that performance they’ve had there, will give them a view of what to change. An inspired France can’t be ruled out; they will rise. With Karim Benzema back, you’ll have the feeling they are a stronger unit now.
Germany were dismal in the 2018 competition, going in as champions, but failing to go past the group stages. They’ve had a lot of restructuring since, as they try to get back to the quality they had in 2014 as they dismantled Brazil in Rio. They are still a work in progress but after their failures in Russia and at Euro 2020, there’s a feeling they are getting stronger under Hansi Flick.
Spain is also a team in transition. The golden generation that had Andres Iniesta, Xavi, David Villa, Cesc Fabregas et al, has never really been replaced. They have exciting players and the last of that golden generation, Sergio Busquets continues to lead the youngsters. They did get to the Nations League final, but the feeling is they aren’t yet at the stage to go into the World Cup as favorites.
Argentina will be one group hard to overlook. In recent times, they’ve been superb. Lionel Messi seems to get some extra inspiration when playing for his nation and he will be the cog in the team once again. This is expected to be his final World Cup, the fifth, and after inspiring Argentina to the Copa America, this is a chance to sign out in style. Argentina will definitely rank among the favorites.
We can’t also overlook Portugal. If we were to pick a team with a massive combination of individual talent, Portugal would be the one. Of course, Cristiano Ronaldo will be the highlight here, but away from him, this is a team that will be ranked among the favorites for the competition.