FIFA WC Qatar 2022: Preview

FIFA WC Qatar 2022: Preview

After 4 long years, the greatest show on Earth is just a couple of nights away. From Russia to Qatar, the Telstar to Al Riha, dreams to disappointment for some, and struggles to glory for others; the World Cup is back.

When host nation Qatar takes on Ecuador on the 20th of November, 32 teams will battle it out to win the biggest prize in football, but only one shall emerge victorious. In our preview, we take a look at the favourites, the contenders, and the underdogs in this edition of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.



The Seleção might just have the most stacked squad this World Cup. When stars like Ederson, Fabinho, Guimaraes, and Jesus are not guaranteed starters, you know the team has a starting 11 that can beat any side in the world.

Ever since losing the Copa America finals in 2021 on their own patch against arch rivals Argentina, the number 1 ranked team in the world have been dominant and unbeaten. Despite not playing the fancy “samba” football that they usually do, their win percentage has sky rocketed since 2018, as visible in the chart below.

Brazil 2018 World Cup vs 2022 World Cup Qualifiers stats
Brazil 2018 World Cup vs 2022 World Cup Qualifiers stats

Neymar has already stated that this could be his last World Cup, and with Thiago Silva in the same boat, this might be the perfect chance for the legendary footballing nation to bring home its 6th World Cup title.

With a star-studded lineup, form, and a stable manager in Tite, who’s to say otherwise?

Prediction – Winners


When you think of Argentina in World Cups, most fans only tend to think of 2 players – Maradona, and Messi. The former, a World Cup winning phenomenon of the previous generation, and the latter a modern-day GOAT (?) who won his elusive first trophy with the national side just months after Maradona’s demise.

In what could be Messi’s last World Cup, a title in Qatar this year would firmly cement his place as the greatest of all time.

Argentina 2018 World Cup vs 2022 World Cup Qualifiers stats
Argentina 2018 World Cup vs 2022 World Cup Qualifiers stats

But do La Albiceleste have what it takes to go one step beyond their campaign in 2014? From the above graphic, the answer would be a resounding yes. They’ve not just won more games since 2018, but have become sturdier in defense with more clean sheets.

Argentina’s manager Lionel Scaloni has galvanized a formerly broken squad to now play as a unit, not having lost since 2019. With form on their side and stability to back it, this could be Argentina’s best chance to win the biggest prize.

Prediction – Runners-up


The reigning World Champions have had a tumultuous last year or so, in typical Les Bleus fashion. From being favourites and going home early last year in the Euros, to showing patchy form in the qualifiers, and losing out 2 of their stars in midfield – Kante and Pogba through injury, not all is well in the French camp.

They’ve struggled to convert draws into wins despite having an upper hand in all the underlying metrics.

France 2018 World Cup vs 2022 World Cup Qualifiers stats
France 2018 World Cup vs 2022 World Cup Qualifiers stats

However, it cannot be argued that France are perhaps the best equipped to handle such deficiencies. With Balon d’Or winner Benzema, and Mbappe in attack, maybe they’ll have to just outscore their opponents. And what’s to say they won’t?

The Euros from last year might have very well just been a bump in the road and not the norm, and Deschamps’ men will be out to prove that.

Prediction – Semis



England rarely ever go into a tournament in without commotion or drama. Amidst some widely debated team selections, Gareth Southgate will know that anything less than a semis appearance will be considered a failure. Some dodgy decisions in defense over the last year or so have seen their defensive metrics take a hit.

England 2018 World Cup vs 2022 World Cup Qualifiers stats

However, they’ve been faring much better in attack since 2018 as is evident by their possession, big chances created, and shots taken stats. There is no denying that work has gone on behind the scenes to play a better brand of football.

All will depend on whether Southgate can ignore all the noise off the pitch, and have his team of stars believing that it’s truly coming home.

Prediction – Semis


Far from the dominant Spanish era from 2008-2012, La Roja go into this tournament well under the radar. Luis Enrique’s men put on quite a show last year in the Euros, almost reaching the finals.

But the technically gifted midfield of Spain will have to find a way to overcome its woes in front of goal, which might once again be its Achilles’ heal in the knockouts.

Prediction – Quarterfinals


Germany are yet to lose under Hansi Flick. With the ruthlessness of old returning again, there has been quite some progress compared to last year’s dismal performance in the Euros. The last 15 months have drastically improved the worrying stats under Joachim Low’s reign.

Except for shots taken, all their attacking numbers have gone up. They’re keeping more clean sheets, and as a result, are winning more games as well.

Germany 2018 World Cup vs 2022 World Cup Qualifiers stats
Germany 2018 World Cup vs 2022 World Cup Qualifiers stats

However, this is a side that is still rebuilding itself. Lacking elite goalscorers, they will need youngster Moukoko to be a revelation if they are to harbour any hopes of going all the way.

Prediction – Quarterfinals


The side that always flatters to deceive somehow finds itself in a similar position yet again. This will probably be the last proper chance for the golden generation to achieve anything of note with the national team. And yet, this is probably a weaker Belgian side than the one from 2018.

With Hazard not the same player anymore, and Lukaku not in form, it could be a tall order for the Belgian Red Devils to even reach the final four under Roberto Martinez.

Prediction – Quarterfinals


Portugal are perhaps the most inconsistent commodity on the list. They’re capable of defying all odds and doing the unthinkable, like winning the Euros in 2016. But they’re also capable of failing remarkably when they should have no right to.

It is a team that has a deep talent pool to choose from. But as always, and maybe for the last time, Ronaldo will still be the main driving force. However, Portugal’s somewhat archaic style of playing under Santos might once again limit them from what their potential could be.

Prediction – Quarterfinals


After missing out on the World Cup in 2018, the Netherlands will look to re-establish themselves under Van Gaal again. Nobody expects much from this Dutch side after their recent disappointments, and that’s perhaps where their strength lies.

Senegal is Africa’s best hope this time around, and deservedly so. The AFCON champions have some star-studded names. However, with their talisman Sadio Mane ruled out, they could face an uphill battle in the knockout stages.

Denmark had a remarkable run in the Euros last year, having narrowly lost out in the semis. With Eriksen back, they will be a side with ambition and quality. A run beyond the quarters wouldn’t be all too surprising.


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