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FIFA World Cup 2022: The ultimate guide to the biggest sporting event of the year

With the results of the World Cup draw having finally been revealed, it’s time to take a look at what’s in store, as well as our top sports betting picks for the tournament.

By LLM Reporters  |  April 7, 2022
Kylian Mbappe of France
Image Credit: canno73/Bigstock.com

There are plenty of exciting sporting events happening in 2022 that are guaranteed to have us on the edge of our seats – but few are likely to be as globally captivating as the FIFA World Cup. Bucking the usual trend of taking place during the summer months, this year, the tournament kicks off on Monday, 21st November to align with host nation Qatar’s cooler months.

With summer highs exceeding 50.4C, it’s perhaps unsurprising, with teams hailing from typically much cooler nations and climates unlikely to be able to play at their best at this time – but while this does mean we have a few extra months to wait until opening day finally arrives, it also means we have more time to figure out when and where to place our bets on the eventual winner.

With the results of the World Cup draw having finally been revealed, it’s time to take a look at what’s in store, as well as our top sports betting picks for the tournament.

Lionel Messi
Can Lionel Messi finally win a World Cup with Argentina? Image credit: Celso Pupo/Bigstock.com

When is the draw for World Cup 2022 and how does it work?

The draw for the 2022 World Cup group stages took place on 1st April in Doha, Qatar, with the results revealed slightly after 5pm UK time.

Featuring a total of 32 World Cup finalists, 29 of which were already known, the teams were divided into four separate pots, with the first of them featuring host nation Qatar and the seven highest FIFA-ranked qualifying nations.

As a general rule of thumb, teams within the same confederation are not drawn together in a group, although an exception is made for Europe, as with 13 representatives in the tournament, this would be almost impossible.

Once the four pots have been decided, one from each is selected to make up each group.

What are the World Cup 2022 groups?

The groups for this year’s World Cup are as follows:

Group A: Qatar (hosts), Netherlands, Senegal, Ecuador
Group B: England, United States, Iran, Wales/Scotland/Ukraine
Group C: Argentina, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia
Group D: France, Denmark, Tunisia, Peru/Australia/UAE
Group E: Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica/New Zealand
Group F: Belgium, Croatia, Morocco, Canada
Group G: Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, South Korea, Ghana
Group H: Portugal, Uruguay, South Korea, Ghana

Neymar
Neymar’s Brazil are hotly tipped as the favourite to win the tournament, with odds of around 5-1 depending on the bookie you choose to place your bets with. Image credit: bettorodrigues/Bigstock.com

Why have some qualifying teams not yet been decided?

While 29 of the 32 teams to play in the 2022 World Cup have now been confirmed, three places still remain up for grabs. This is because the results of some delayed matches are still awaited, with Wales set to face the winners of the yet-to-be-held semi-final between Scotland and Ukraine in the UEFA Path A play-off final. Likewise, Peru will play either Australia or the UAE in the AFC-Commebol playoff, while Costa Rica will take on New Zealand in the Concacaf-OFC playoff.

Who are the favourites to win World Cup 2022?

Following last month’s draw, Brazil are hotly tipped as the favourite to win the tournament, with odds of around 5-1 depending on the bookie you choose to place your bets with. England come in at a close second, with odds of 11-2, while France (also 11-2), Spain (8-1) and Argentina (9-1) currently the third, fourth and fifth favourites.

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer of Germany in action during UEFA EURO 2012 game against Netherlands
Germany have won the World Cup four times, with their most recent success coming in 2014. Image credit: katatonia82/Bigstock.com

Five-times winner Brazil, who last took the title back in 2002, are currently number one in FIFA’s world rankings, and finished top of CONMEBOL’s World Cup qualifiers. England, meanwhile, put on an impressive performance at last year’s delayed Euro 2020 tournament, finishing runners-up to Italy – who incidentally, have failed to qualify for the World Cup this time, which could stand them in good stead to make it to the final.

Nevertheless, reigning champion France are also enjoying some favourable odds to win, and could be the first to triumph in two back-to-back World Cups since Brazil in 1958 and 1962.

Of course, any seasoned sports better will know that it isn’t always the favourites who are eventually crowned champions, so those looking to back a wild card might consider the likes of New Zealand or Costa Rica, depending on which of the two qualify at the final play-offs in June.

Both considered longshots at 750-1, which might look enticing if you’re still learning how to bet on sports – but even for the experienced better, stranger things have been known to happen, and wagering just a few pounds could see you rake in a considerable win should either one go on to prove the world wrong.

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