The 2022 FIFA World Cup is fast approaching its climax, with the 32-team tournament starting to be whittled down to its final 8 teams with the conclusion of the Round of 16.
Indeed, at the time of writing, we have already seen a number of shocks take place in the first stages of the competition, with surprise results having been obtained; some of which have sent some of the biggest footballing nations in the world home from Qatar a lot earlier than many would have ever expected.
Belgium and Germany crash out before Round of 16
Both Belgium and Germany are perhaps the two most notable teams to have suffered this embarrassment, with both nations having been eliminated from the World Cup on Thursday after failing to perform in Groups that many would have expected them to do so.
The Red Devils – who were ranked as the No. 2 team in the world by the FIFA World Rankings ahead of the tournament and are likely to drop from that position now – found life extremely challenging in Group F alongside Croatia, Morocco, and Canada, as they were shocked by the Africans after struggling against the North Americans and before seemingly appearing to give up against their fellow Europeans when they needed to win. Indeed, there was dressing room drama amongst the squad, and the manager has since decided to leave his post following the nation’s embarrassment.
Germany were rocked by Japan in their first game of the tournament in an unexpected 2-1 defeat, while the draw against Spain and the win against Costa Rica were not enough as controversy in the match between Japan and Spain regarding whether the goal that was scored should have stood saw the Germans sent home as a result; thus crashing out one of the many favorites to win in the process.
Round of 16 ended with 2 surprises
- 03-12-2022: The Netherlands easily passed the USA (3-1) and Argentina defeated Australia harder than expected (2-1).
- 04-12-2022: France and England smoothly knocked out Poland and Senegal
- 05-12-2022: Croatia won on penalties against Japan and Brazil put on a great show against North Korea (4-1)
- 06-12-2022: Morocco caused a seismic surprise by knocking out Spain on penalties, after the game had finished goalless and Portugal demolished Switzerland (6-1) and reach the quarterfinals.
Quarter Final Fixtures
Friday, 9th December 2022
- 00 Croatia v Brazil
- 00 Netherlands v Argentina
Saturday, 10th December 2022
- 00 Morocco v Portugal
- 00 England v France
Who are the favorites to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup now?
Indeed, with the Round of 16 just finished, the big question remains who will win the biggest football competition in the world.
There will have been fans that will have looked to place bets on the event given its status, with a vast number perhaps have placing wagers on the likes of Belgium (the Golden Generation) or Germany (one of the most successful teams) before the tournament started.
However, with those two now out, those individuals may now be considering new World Cup bets on the teams that still remain in the competition as we enter the knockout stages. So, which teams are considered favorites?
According to the latest odds to have been made available, Brazil remains the main favorite to win the tournament.
- Brazil 2.85
- France 5.00
- Argentina 6.00
- Portugal 7.50
- England 8.50
- The Netherlands 18.00
- Morocco 35.00
- Croatia 50.00
Why are Brazil the favorites?
For many, Brazil have been the favorites to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup for as long as they can remember, and with good reason.
The Selecao – like Argentina – managed to go through the entire qualification process without experiencing a defeat, and they have managed to carry that form with them to Qatar as they are yet to lose a game.
They had managed to qualify for the knockout stage after recording two wins from their opening two games, and many expect to see the team continue to do this throughout the tournament as they have shown they can play good football and produce winning performances whenever they need to.
With this in mind, it is perhaps not a surprise to see Argentina on the list as contenders, too, however some may have felt their defeat to Saudi Arabia in the first game was something to be concerned by. However, with wins against Mexico and Poland, there is confidence that the country that had gone 36 games unbeaten prior to that shock loss is back to its best, with Lionel Messi showing everyone what he is all about once again.
France suffered a shock loss to Tunisia in the final game of Group D but many have put that down to a changed side, while Spain and England are perhaps outsiders as they had results that were unfavorable to them in the Group Stage, too.
With the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup about to commence imminently, there will be plenty of excitement from fans about what is to come in Qatar over the next couple of days, right to the final on December 18. Brazil are the current favorites, but will the Selecao be able to win their first tournament since 2002 and end two decades of hurt? Only time will tell!
Featured image: www.unsplash.ro