The tournament includes 32 teams, in eight groups of four, with 16 teams qualifying for the knockout round.
France is the defending champions from 2018, while Croatia, Belgium, and England also made the all-Europe semifinals.
Each team will play three group games with three points awarded for a win and one for a draw. The top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout round of 16 teams.
This will be the final World Cup of 32 teams before expanding to 48 teams for the 2026 tournament in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Brazil has the most World Cup wins in history, with five titles and seven trips to the finals. They have reached the semifinals in 11 of 21 World Cups.
Germany and Italy both have four titles, but the Italians didn’t qualify for Qatar 2022. Argentina, France, and Uruguay are the other countries with multiple titles, as each has won twice.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 schedule kicks off with host Qatar against Ecuador in Group A play on November 21.
The group stage lasts 12 days, with the knockout rounds beginning on December 3. The final will take place on December 18 in Lusail.
International tournaments haven’t been the strong suit for Argentina over the last 30 years. But they broke through to win Copa America in 2021 and backed it up with a win over Italy in the Finalissima in June.
They will be sentimental favorites this winter as well since this will be the last run for the golden era of Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, and Nicolas Otamendi. Messi and Di Maria teamed up to win the 2008 Olympics but in the World Cup have two quarterfinal appearances, a runner-up in 2014 and a round of 16 loss in 2018.
This time could be different given the path for Argentina in Qatar. Group C is very manageable, with Mexico, Poland, and Saudi Arabia as the opponents.
The first two knockout round games should see Argentina as the favorite, putting them in the semis against another heavyweight.
After missing out on the 2018 edition, the United States return to the World Cup at Qatar 2022. The USA was drawn into Group B, and the World Cup schedule handed them a tricky opener against Wales. They will face England second and finish the group stage against Iran.
With a young squad that lacks major international tournament experience, the U.S. will look to surprise its opponents.
They have played well in qualifying, with two wins and a draw against Mexico in the last 15 months. The U.S. also beat Qatar in the 2021 Gold Cup semifinals, knocked off fellow qualifier Morocco 3-0 in June, and tied Uruguay in a friendly.
Christian Pulisic leads the way for a hungry U.S. team, looking to prove that 2018 was a fluke. With the next World Cup on home soil, the Americans can build momentum with a solid run into the knockout round.
Qatar 2022 also gives players like Gio Reyna, Timothy Weah, Jesus Ferreira, and Tyler Adams to make a name for themselves on the international stage.
Group E features European powers Spain and Germany, alongside Japan and Costa Rica. Spain is the favorite at -115, with Germany at +120, Japan at +1000, and Costa Rica at +2000. Germany opens with Japan before facing Spain in the middle game and finishing with Costa Rica.
The Germans disappointed at World Cup 2018 and at Euro 2020, driving these odds down. They didn’t get out of the group stage in 2018 and lost to England in the round of 16 in the Euros.
However, a coaching change from Joachim Low to Hansi Flick turned things around with a new style of play and a change to some younger, hungry players.
After the Euros, Germany won their last seven World Cup qualifiers of 2021 by a combined 31-2. They are so far 2-0-4 in 2022 with four 1-1- draws in a row before they beat Italy 5-2 in June. They will warm up for Qatar 2022 with Nations League games against Hungary and England in September.
This group likely comes down to the game head-to-head with Spain. Spain has gotten the better of Germany lately with wins at Euro 2008, World Cup 2010, and Nations League 2020.
But with Manuel Neuer in goal and young stars like Kai Havertz, Julian Brandt, and Timo Werner complimenting the veterans like Thomas Muller, this could be the team to return Germany to contention.
Brazil is the overall favorite and the safe bet at +200. The Brazilians have a loss and draw against Argentina in the last 15 months, but no other team has knocked off Brazil since 2019.
They have an embarrassment of riches with Neymar, Richarlison, Gabriel Jesus, Vinicius Junior, Phillippe Coutinho, and more, as they head to Qatar as the favorites.
As the defending champions, France is +475 to win it all. They retained head coach Didier Deschamps and a majority of the team that won in 2018.
France, and England, could avoid powers like Spain, Germany, Brazil, and Argentina in their half of the knockout bracket as well.
Picking a Brazil v. France final and wagering on both sides to win before the tournament starts is the smart way to bet the 2022 FIFA World Cup odds.
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