Who Is Likely To Make The 2022 World Cup Final This Year?
With the 2022 World Cup lurking just around the corner, the anticipation and preparations are starting to intensify. 32 nations will be aiming to be the best and reign supreme in Qatar.
This edition of the tournament will be held during European winter. The weather could be the greatest curveball of all. A curveball that could make this the most open and competitive World Cup for quite a while.
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar could perhaps be the most open ever. The likes of England and France have largely fluffed their lines during recent Nations League fixtures. Many feel their respective hopes of victory may have just taken a substantial dent.
A dent that has already applied some pressure on the shoulders of both Gareth Southgate and Didier Deschamps. If there is a saving grace for either manager, it will be the Nations League not meaning much in the grand scheme of things.
Winning the World Cup is the main objective for both countries. The two nations currently find themselves in the top three outright betting odds. However, an uptick in performance is going have to be found rather quickly.
Interestingly, the form guide has pencilled in a potential meeting between these two nations in the last eight of this year’s World Cup. If this is to be the case, the winner may eventually also reach the final.
With England being placed in Group B, the draw is one that could have gone a lot better. However, at the same time it could have gone a lot worse and with the United States, Wales and Iran serving as the opposition. The expectation will be to finish top of their four-team mini league.
While it is not just national pride that will be the fuel that drives England in the group stage. There is also the small matter of trying to avoid the Netherlands in the Round of 16. Something that can be achieved if both nations win their groups.
Although the avoidance of one giant, will only delay the meeting with another. That is if France do what is expected of them early on and top Group D. Getting the better of either Mexico or Poland in the Round of 16, will still lead them to the Three Lions.
A road that could serve as a de-facto playoff for a place in the final. Although there is still the small matter of a semi-final to also deal with, England knocking out France or vice versa would surely provide enough impetus to brush past their final four opponent.
Which means if one of these two English Channel neighbours are to appear in the showpiece event on December 18th, the question is who will await them. An answer that is likely to come in the form of samba football.
SOUTH AMERICAN FLAIR
Football that was founded in Brazil and with the South American giants being synonymous with the World Cup, they will look to end their hiatus as champions. A hiatus that is currently coming close to 20 years.
Not since 2002 when Ronaldo’s redemption story came to a perfect end, have Brazil managed to rule the roost at the World Cup finals. Although they do not quite have the same swagger as two decades ago, they are making up for it when it comes to pragmatism.
Because in any World Cup that took place between 2006 and 2018, there is a sense that Brazil have often flattered to deceive. They do not need reminding about their own personal nadir as the 2014 hosts.
With the weight of a whole nation on their shoulders, the hosts crumbled in the semi-finals and after conceding seven goals to eventual winners Germany. It was their darkest day since losing the 1950 World Cup on home soil.
That though was then and thankfully for manager Tite and his players, this is now. Not only do they still have an abundance of attacking talent in the shape of Neymar, Richarlison and Gabriel Jesus. They also have an element of steel in both midfield and defence.
This should serve them well in Group G. They have been paired with Serbia and Switzerland once again and are unlikely to have too many issues when it comes to topping the standings.
Should Brazil rank first in Group G, they will likely avoid Portugal in the Round of 16. However, just like a potential England or France meeting in the last eight, a global juggernaut will be around the corner in the last eight.
Because with Germany and Spain being paired together in Group E, it arguably makes this half of the potential knockout bracket even tougher and if Belgium win Group F, they will likely go up against one of their major European counterparts.
THINGS COULD GET MESSI
Therefore, one of this trio will be pencilled in to face Brazil in the last eight. If the South Americans can clear this almighty hurdle, then a first World Cup final appearance in 20 years will be in touching distance.
However, there could be the small matter of Argentina lying in wait for Brazil in the semi-finals. Lionel Messi will be looking to finally snare the one trophy that has eluded him up until now. The prospect of a South American super clash is rather mouth-watering.
This is likely to be Messi’s final attempt at hoisting the World Cup high. After leading Argentina to the Copa America last summer, he certainly has the taste for even more silverware.
Which means the World Cup final of 2022 may have a Europe versus South America feel to it. With England or France representing the former, it will be down to Brazil or Argentina to represent the latter.
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