World Cup 2022 is looming large and there are plenty of betting opportunities available
The tournament in Qatar gets underway with the group stage opener between host nation Qatar and Ecuador on Sunday 20 November, with the final round of group matches takes place on Friday 02 December (the round of the last 16 kicking-off the following day).
Betting on World Cup Group winners or teams to qualify (or not) for the knockout stage is always popular. There are always a few shocks in the group stage, so let’s take a look at each of the groups and see if we can find a few potential surprises:
Group A: Qatar; Ecuador; Senegal; Netherlands
Group A looks very competitive and a case could be made for all four teams as potential group winners.
The Netherlands are the warm favourites to win the group with the bookies, but they are prone to imploding at times.
Better value could be found in backing Senegal at 4/1 with BetFred to top Group A.
The Lions of Teranga (Senegal) won the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and are probably the strongest of the African contingent at the finals. They can call upon a strong squad, with a wealth of experience in the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Édouard Mendy, Idrissa Gueye and Sadio Mané.
Qatar have to be respected as the host nation, but they will struggle to progress beyond the group stage, with their defensive deficiencies a particular concern.
There’s plenty of quality in Ecuador’s ranks, with a growing emphasis on youth. They could certainly be in contention for the last 16.
Group B: England; Iran; USA; Wales
England are favourites for Group B but, although they should top the group, recent form doesn’t make them an attractive proposition at the available odds.
Iran are not without a few quality players and could prove difficult opposition while, in Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, Wales have the ability to raise their game for the big occasion.
The USA have some talented young players and could be worth backing in a straight forecast to finish as runner-up to England at 15/8 with William Hill.
Group C: Argentina; Saudi Arabia; Mexico; Poland
Argentina come into the finals on a 35-match unbeaten run and are worthy favourites to top Group C.
Mexico haven’t been in great form for a while. They still rely on veterans, look short of attacking options and there is little support for coach Gerardo Martino among fans or the media.
Robert Lewandowski remains key to Poland’s ambitions, but the veteran striker has never really hit the heights on the world stage for his country.
Saudi Arabia are a major force in Asia, but tend to struggle outside. They conceded just a solitary goal in 10 qualifiers and might just be capable of springing a surprise in reaching the last 16 at 7/1 with SpreadEx.
Group D: France; Australia; Denmark; Tunisia
Defending champions France should have few problems navigating their way out of Group D, while Denmark look a solid punt to join them in the knockout stage.
Australia don’t possess the calibre of players they once did and it’s difficult to see them challenging the European nations for the top two spots.
If anything, Tunisia look weaker than Australia and could be worth backing at 10/11 with BoyleSports To Finish Bottom of Group D.
Group E: Spain; Costa Rica; Germany; Japan
Spain and Germany are the powerhouses in Group E, but both have something to prove in Qatar. Spain are the marginal favourites to top the group, but Germany might have the edge at 11/10 with Betway.
Japan can call upon a wealth of experience from major European leagues in their squad and could definitely take advantage should either of the heavyweight teams falter.
Costa Rica found form after struggling early on in qualification, but a largely ageing squad look likely to struggle given the strength of their rivals.
Group F: Belgium; Canada; Morocco; Croatia
It’s widely believed that the time has passed for Belgium’s “Golden Generation” to claim silverware and they might even face a struggle to progress from the group stage.
Croatia still rely heavily on Luka Modric, but there are some talented young players making a name for themselves too.
Morocco have some high-quality players in Achraf Hakimi, Noussair Mazraoui, Nayef Aguerd and Hakim Ziyech. They are certainly capable of causing an upset or two.
Canada are very much a team on the up and impressed in qualification. They look decent value To Qualify at odds of 10/3 with SpreadEx.
Group G: Brazil; Serbia; Switzerland; Cameroon
Brazil can always call on a great depth of talent and rarely struggle at the group stage in major finals. Qatar should be no exception.
Switzerland might not be the most glamorous of teams, but they have plenty of major tournament experience in the ranks and will be well-organised. They could have the know-how To Qualify at 21/20 with BetFred.
Serbia have a wealth of attacking talent at their disposal, but are not the most solid defensively.
Cameroon were largely unimpressive in qualification, but have bolstered their squad by recruiting among the diaspora.
Group H: Portugal; Ghana; Uruguay; South Korea
Portugal have great strength in depth, but coach Fernando Santos isn’t always the most adventurous. Cristiano Ronaldo will undoubtedly lead the line in what will surely be his international farewell.
As with other African qualifiers, Ghana have been active in recruiting new players to the fold. It’s a relatively inexperienced squad though and form has been mixed.
Uruguay will be bidding farewell to the likes of Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Godin at these finals, but have another wave of talent on hand in the likes of Federico Valverde, Darwin Nunez, Ronald Araujo and Rodrigo Bentancur. They could be worth backing at 21/10 with 888sport to Win Group H.
South Korea’s hopes could depend on the availability of key man Son Heung-min, who faces a race against time in recovering from a fracture around his left eye.
World Cup Group Betting Predictions:
- Group A Winner: Senegal @ 4/1 with BetFred
- Group B Straight Forecast: England/USA @ 15/8 with William Hill
- Group C To Qualify: Saudi Arabia @ 7/1 with SpreadEx
- Group D To Finish Bottom: Tunisia @ 10/11 with BoyleSports
- Group E Winner: Germany @ 11/10 with Betway
- Group F To Qualify: Canada @ 10/3 with SpreadEx
- Group G To Qualify: Switzerland @ 21/20 with BetFred
- Group H Winner: Uruguay @ 21/10 with 888sport
* World Cup group betting odds correct at the time of writing. Subject to changes.