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World Cup 2022 Outright Preview

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Predictably Brazil and Argentina head the betting to win the 2022 World Cup.

The pair were supposed to meet in qualifying but the suspended game was eventually pulled after the two governing bodies reached a deal with FIFA to cancel the match. That would have been a good indicator as to the pair’s form.

However, the big guns did meet in the Copa America final in July 2021, with Angel di Maria’s goal the difference between the sides.

Since then Brazil topped World Cup qualifying in South America with 14 wins from 17 games and their squad looks loaded with attacking talent.

Vinicius Junior, Neymar, Raphinha, Richarlison and Lucas Paqueta are all likely to start in an attack which has not struggled for goals. But will their defensive line be good enough to keep out some of the world’s best forwards?

Their probable path is also not an easy one with Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands or their rivals Argentina likely to be in the same half of the draw.

Argentina are in the midst of a 35-match unbeaten run and will be inspired by Lionel Messi. The PSG star has had somewhat of a renaissance this season and in his last World Cup he is sure to make his mark.

It’s hard to see past one of those two reaching the showpiece at the Lusail Stadium on December 18, although Germany will have to be swatted aside.

The other half of the draw will likely see Europe’s finest battle it out. 

England and France look the strongest in that half, despite their woeful efforts in the Nations League. 

France won just once game, but they have a squad loaded with talent, while England had a similarly poor campaign which saw them lose twice to Hungary with a 5-0 aggregate score.

Gareth Southgate also has to contend with a number of starters who have not been playing or have been out of form for their clubs.

If he can bind the team together then another big tilt is likely after reaching the semi-finals in 2018 and the final of the European Championships.

Belgium and Spain will attract plenty of punters, but the former have come unstuck twice against the Netherlands in recent months.

Louis van Gaal’s men, who look likely to meet Argentina in the knockout stage, defeated Belgium twice in the Nations League. They were also far from convincing in two games against Wales, who will be lucky to squeeze through Group B.

As far as dark horses are concerned, it could be a shootout between Luis Suarez’s Uruguay and Switzerland.

The pair look set to meet in the round of 16 and the winners could well go on to make the semi-finals.

But we are leaning towards Switzerland, who are 100/1 shots, to be the surprise package.

They have a dependable backline of Ricardo Rodriguez, Fabian Schar and Manuel Akanji as well as keeper Yann Sommer, who kept six clean sheets in qualifying.

They’ve progressed from the group stages at five of their last six major tournaments and knocked France out of Euro 2020.

Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka was a shining light at the Euros and his side went unbeaten to seal first place in UEFA qualifying Group C and beat Euro 2020 champions Italy.

They will rely on Xherdan Shaqiri (31) to create in behind Breel Embolo and Haris Seferovic, but at a big price they could find themselves in the final four.

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