The Men’s World Cup takes place this winter
Brazil and France are the pre-tournament betting favourites
Read below for our FIFA World Cup 2022 predictions
Daily World Cup Predictions
Iran vs USA - Tuesday 29th November
Iran are 16/5 football betting underdogs for their meeting with Gregg Berhalter’s USA.
A win for either team will guarantee their place in the knockout rounds, with the US on two points from two matches and Iran having beaten Wales on Friday morning.
The Stars and Stripes were superbly organised and industrious in their draw with England. Berhalter set his team up to stop the Three Lions progressing the ball, and it worked.
It perhaps restricted their effectiveness in possession, but a draw was a good result for the USA.
It leaves their fate in their own hands – they face an Iran team who are ranked four places below them in the world rankings and have won just three of their 17 World Cup matches.
Team Melli’s resilience is worth noting here, however. They were thumped 6-2 by England last Monday, and looked set to be the weakest team in the group.
Friday saw a comprehensive beating of Wales, with two late goals being more than they deserved. Iran had 21 shots to 10 and posed a constant threat, particularly when able to attack in transition.
Goal scoring is a worry for the United States. Christian Pulisic and Timothy Weah lead a talented group of forwards, yet the US have now failed to score in four of their last seven.
In two of the other matches over that period, they have scored just once. Pulisic is the only player in the squad with more than 11 international goals, and the Chelsea man has been deployed in a much deeper role in the first two matches.
Goals are not exactly plentiful in most matches involving either of these sides. The USA’s talent should be enough to avoid defeat, but this is going to be a cagey affair between two well-organised sides.
We like Evens on USA to win or draw and under 2.5.
Wales vs England - Tuesday 29th November
England were content drawing with the USA on Friday because they are heavy World Cup betting favourites for their Tuesday night clash with Wales.
Gareth Southgate’s team illustrated their attacking punch against Iran and were defensively resolute on Friday, with the much-maligned Harry Maguire doing his best Nemanja Vidic impression.
It has become one of the cliches of this World Cup to say this is a tournament too far for Wales. With Aaron Ramsey struggling and Gareth Bale ineffective on Friday, though, it is hard to draw any other conclusions.
Joe Allen, too, was abysmal when he came off the bench after recovering from injury. Rob Page’s side must beat England and hope there is a draw in the other match.
Southgate and the two Harrys spoke positively after England’s draw with the US. The Three Lions are in control of Group B, and comparisons to the draw with Scotland at Euro 2020 are fair.
Pragmatism is required in tournament football – England will be more ambitious against Wales in the knowledge a win cements top spot and likely earns a favourable tie in the knockout rounds.
There are swathes of fans and pundits asking for Southgate to make changes, but the same starting line-up is likely here. Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling were well defended by the USA.
With Wales needing to push on from the first whistle, don’t be surprised if England’s wing duo find space in behind as they did against Iran. Both are 2/1 to score anytime on Tuesday night.
The Maguire and John Stones partnership has its fair share of doubters. Both have been dependable for Southgate, though, and England can take real confidence from their defensive display against the USA.
Using that as a platform into the knockout rounds, there is value backing another clean sheet here. England are value to win to nil at 23/20.
France vs Tunisia - Wednesday 30th November
Sam: With two wins from two, France are naturally heavy sports betting favourites for their meeting with Tunisia.
Tunisia have won just once in their last 16 World Cup matches and are yet to find the net in Qatar. They need an improbable win over France and a draw in the other match to make it into the round of 16.
France’s spot in the knockout rounds is secure, but Didier Deschamps’ side will be keen to continue their good form.
Les Bleus have scored six in two matches, with Kylian Mbappe at his brilliant best. It has been organised chaos at points, leaving the defence exposed, but France have the quality to get away with that in the group stage.
Resting players will not be a priority for Deschamps. Mbappe is already eyeing the Golden Boot, and this game is an opportunity to develop further chemistry after numerous injuries over the last few weeks.
The 11/10 price on Mbappe to get on the scoresheet represents superb value – he has fired off 13 shots over two matches and notched four goal contributions already.
A lack of quality in the final third has cost Tunisia. They have 1.8 expected goals to their name, but chances have been missed and they cannot afford to be so wasteful if they are to upset the odds against France.
The fact they have generated good looks will tempt some bettors to back the underdogs at 3/4 to get on the scoresheet.
With France so heavily favoured to win this match, bettors should delve into the bet builder to find some value. Pairing Mbappe to score with a France victory gets to a value price of 7/5.
Ste: The fabulously nicknamed Eagles of Carthage have nothing to lose and everything to gain in Al Rayyan, needing a win against the reigning world champions, Kylian Mbappe and all, having so far failed to score in Qatar. Those who fancy them to do this can be counted on one hand.
If that makes them marginally dangerous there is also the possibility of France boss Didier Deschamps resting some key personnel for the knock-outs, and it shouldn’t be ignored either that a well-organised Tunisian back-line is capable of a shut-out when required. The North African side have kept 11 clean sheets in 15.
An upset – to add to the others we have seen this winter – is available at 57/10 but of far more likelihood of course is a France victory, no doubt hard-fought because Tunisia scrap for every second ball and give nothing for free.
Mbappe will presumably start and presumably at his own insistence, with a Golden Boot up for grabs, and the PSG megastar is 11/10 to score anytime, to supplement his three to date.
Better value, however, lies with Kingsley Coman at 8/1 to break the deadlock, the Bayern star is expected to feature as Deschamps utilizes his talented squad.
Twenty of France’s last 25 goals have arrived in the second period of games and with this being a tournament that typically sees second halves come to life – 67.1% of Qatar 2022’s goals have come after the break up to November 28th – then it makes sense to explore the half market.
Here we find France at a perfectly reasonable 4/5 to win the second 45 which numerically is satisfying and well-priced to boot.
France/France at 13/10 is also a shout because if Les Bleus are on it, then Tunisia could very conceivably be outclassed from the off.
Australia vs Denmark - Wednesday 30th November
Sam: A hard-fought win over Tunisia has given Australia a very real shot at qualification.
The Socceroos are football betting underdogs against Denmark, but a win will guarantee they progress to the last 16. A draw will likely be enough for the Aussies, too, with Tunisia expected to lose to France.
Denmark were a popular dark horse pick in the lead up to the World Cup. A win here will almost certainly take them into the round of 16, but the pressure is obviously on.
Unable to beat Tunisia and losers against France, the Danes were more impressive in the latter of those two matches, though their defence was unable to cope with the brilliance of Kylian Mbappe.
Of course, they are not the first or last team to suffer that fate at the hands of Mbappe.
Denmark’s defence does not have to face a challenge anywhere near that severe in the shape of Australia, but this will be a physical battle, and the Socceroos have found the net in both matches.
With Denmark needing a win, BTTS and over 2.5 goals seem an attractive option. Australia can set out for a draw, however, and the Danish attack has not been in full flow so far.
On the injury front, Nathaniel Atkinson is a doubt for the Socceroos.
Denmark are without Thomas Delaney for the remainder of the tournament, but they have hopes that talismanic central defender Simon Kjaer can start again after sitting out the loss to France.
With Denmark priced as short as 1/2, it is worth investigating a few different markets to find value. The Red And Whites winning to nil is a standout option at 13/10 – Australia’s attack has its work cut out to score for a third straight game.
Ste: Unless Tunisia pull off an astounding result over France in the other Group D fixture then the Danes’ destiny remains in their own hands, despite not yet winning in Qatar.
An opening test against Tunisia proved to be much trickier than anticipated and though on paper it was two points dropped, the avoidance of a disastrous defeat could at least be viewed as a positive in hindsight.
A subsequent loss to France placed Kasper Hjulmand’s side third in the table courtesy of a late Mbappe winner and Denmark can consider themselves unfortunate in that regard.
That though is where the spin ends and the reality check begins.
Because across 180 minutes of tournament football, last year’s Euro semi-finalists have flattered to deceive, and with Christian Eriksen undoubtedly their best performer, not even a lack of creativity can be blamed on their struggles.
Having scored 30 goals to qualify for Qatar – twice the amount of Spain – the Danes managed just two shots on target on their most recent outing, with both Dolberg and Skov Olsen ineffective throughout.
In short, to leave this tournament before the real fun begins would be a huge blow for a team tipped by many as a ‘dark horse’, but they’re going about it the right way.
All of which will be music to Australian ears, buoyed as the Socceroos are after posting only their third ever World Cup triumph in beating Tunisia last Saturday.
It was a historic and feverishly celebrated win that means a draw will very likely suffice in Al Wakrah and given Australia held Denmark to a 1-1 impasse in Russia ’18, they know such an outcome is possible. A draw incidentally offers up 31/10 and is not the worst punt going.
For far better value, however, roll the dice on the Socceroos being ahead at the break at 49/10. Outsiders they might be but they last conceded first six games ago.
Poland vs Argentina - Wednesday 30th November
Sam: A moment of Lionel Messi magic led Argentina to a vital win over Mexico at the weekend.
The final round of Group C fixtures sees a meeting of La Liga betting star Robert Lewandowski and Messi, a clash of two of the world’s greatest players with a knockout stage berth at stake.
Lionel Scaloni made major changes for the match against Mexico. He is expected to name the same starting XI which got the win, and the match should take on a similar pattern with Poland knowing a draw is enough to progress.
This will be like an attack against defence drill at times – Poland will be content to absorb pressure and hope they can snatch a goal on the counter.
Argentina entered this World Cup with a superb record over the last couple of years. Their performances, though, have not met those expectations, even if they were ultimately unlucky to lose to Saudi Arabia.
The pressure is immense in what is Messi’s last shot at World Cup glory, and the majority of the chance creation burden falls on the shoulders of the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner. He is priced at 19/20 to make it three goals in three matches.
Just eight teams have conceded more shots than Poland through the first two matchdays. In attack, only six teams have got off fewer shots.
Timely quality saw them notch a win over Saudi Arabia, but it is reasonable to doubt how they will cope against elite opposition. The Eagles lost three of their four Nations League matches against the Netherlands and Belgium.
Messi is going to deliver for Argentina again. The PSG star to score in a win for the South Americans is 21/20. Alternatively, bettors could pick Lautaro Martinez to score in an Argentina win at a price of 8/5.
Ste: The quality of Argentina’s two goals that downed Mexico last Saturday can only be admired, and there was symbolism attached too as first the aging master Messi arrowed in his eighth World Cup strike before Enzo Fernandez – the next superstar-elect in blue and white – curled home an exquisite effort.
This passing on of the torch was nice to witness, and unquestionably this was a result Argentina desperately needed, after succumbing to Saudi Arabia in shocking fashion in their opening fixture.
Yet still, there is something fundamentally missing at present from a team that began the tournament priced as second favourites.
A defence that went into this World Cup on the back of 13 clean sheets in 15, looks unsure of itself, susceptible to even routine raids.
A midfield that contains time-served artisans is toiling. For all that Messi lit the fuse in Lusail, prior to that he was a peripheral figure.
Of all these failings it is the back-line that most concerns and perplexes. And frankly, if Mexico had any sort of centre-forward of note, this much-fancied side would now be out of the competition and playing only for pride.
Poland meanwhile do have a centre-forward of note and when it comes to the freakishly prolific Robert Lewandowski that is one heck of an under-statement.
After finally converting his first World Cup goal at the fifth time of asking the 34-year-old takes on La Albiceleste unburdened and that makes him an even more dangerous proposition for a celebrated opponent who need something from this clash to progress, most likely a victory. Poland for their part, know a draw will be enough.
Back Lewandowski to score anytime at 13/5. Those odds are rare for a phenomenon who has bagged a goal every 83 minutes for Barcelona this term.
Saudi Arabia vs Mexico - Wednesday 30th November
Sam: Mexico are World Cup betting favourites over Saudi Arabia in what is a must-win fixture for both sides.
With a worse goal difference than Argentina, Saudi Arabia would need Poland to win to go through with a draw. Mexico have a lone point from two matches, and need either a Poland victory or a hefty goal difference swing to progress.
Disappointing in their loss to Argentina, Mexico are desperately short on cutting edge. There was little plan for how they would create chances on the rare occasion they won the ball.
While they have greater quality than Saudi Arabia, there is no doubt which team has been more impressive through the first two fixtures.
The stunning win over Argentina put Saudi Arabia in a remarkably strong position to qualify. Defeat to Poland leaves them needing a positive result here, but it is definitely feasible.
After all, Saudi Arabia had over 60% possession and took far more shots than Poland on matchday two. They have 1.9 expected goals, which is almost double Mexico’s tally.
The Mexicans needing a win, and probably an emphatic one, surely opens up this match. Saudi Arabia probably need a victory too, barring a heavy defeat for Poland.
Over 2.5 goals at 4/6 represents good value despite the grand total of 2.3 expected goals in 180 minutes of action involving Mexico. Both teams scoring at 8/11 is worth consideration too, and bettors could pair those markets for Evens.
In fact, Saudi Arabia to win or draw, both teams to score and over 2.5 goals is a fun way to access some longer odds at a price of 18/5. Mexico have shown little to suggest they deserve their status as 4/6 favourites to win the match.
Ste: As stated above, El Tri are in dire need of a finisher, to capitalize on some enterprising build-up play but with Raul Jimenez only semi-fit their lack of one could prove exceedingly costly.
In his absence, Gerardo Martino has gone with Alexis Vega and Hirving Lozano up top but while each player is capable of turning the live betting market on its head via a moment of magic, clinical they are not.
Between them the tricky, pacy wide-men have scored four in their last combined 22 international appearances.
The inevitable result of missing a striker is that chances are missed, and 15 attempts on goal from their two games so far and no-one yet on the score-sheet tells its own story.
And now come the Green Falcons, in a game that Mexico absolutely have to win to have any hope of qualifying to the knock-outs, and even then a single-goal margin of victory may not be enough. In short, Martino will be depending on moments of magic, plural.
Which won’t be straightforward against a Saudi Arabian side that has largely enthralled in Qatar, backed by a local following that is plentiful and passionate.
Goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais has consistently impressed as too has Kanno in midfield, while in Salem ‘The Tornado’ Al-Dawsari, they possess an attacking talent prone to the spectacular.
The 31-year-old’s remarkable individual effort against Argentina has already secured a spot in World Cup folklore.
The team currently priced at 300/1 in the World Cup betting to lift the trophy were regrettably wasteful against Poland at the weekend but even that is a testament to how they take their game to opponents, scared of precisely nobody.
This is not an underdog who sticks ten men behind the ball. This is an underdog that wants to exhibit their strengths.
Which sadly is not scoring, their 2-1 win over Argentina being the first time in 19 games that the Green Falcons notched more than once. Couple that fact with Mexico’s struggles up front and it’s across to the under/over market we go.
Go for under 2.5 goals at 1/1.
World Cup Tournament Betting Tips
The Men’s World Cup is the biggest story in football betting odds this winter.
Deciding to host the tournament in Qatar was controversial, and it has meant a considerable rejigging of the calendar, but when November rolls around, the excitement for the World Cup will be as visible as ever.
Online betting tabs Brazil and reigning champions France as favourites. England, Germany, Spain and Argentina are four teams in the next group of contenders.
Let’s dive into some FIFA World Cup 2022 predictions.
Senegal win Group A
A popular World Cup odds pick after their AFCON triumph, Senegal head into the 2022 World Cup with a collection of top-end talent, led by Premier League stars Sadio Mane and Edouard Mendy.
The Netherlands are their main Group A rivals, with neither Qatar or Ecuador expected to cause many problems for the top two.
Louis Van Gaal has experience navigating major tournaments, but there have been some disappointing results for the Oranje over the last few years.
Winning the group is well within reach for the Lions of Teranga. Perhaps they can even stage an upset or two in the knockout rounds as well.
Croatia fail to make the knockouts
Matched up with Belgium, Canada and Morocco in the group stage, Croatia are favoured to make it into the last 16.
Luka Modric and co are not the side they were four years ago, though, and it isn’t an outlandish football prediction to pick them to play just three games at the 2022 World Cup.
Morocco aren’t the same threat without Hakim Ziyech, yet they still have experience and a decent squad. Canada are on the upswing, and their high-energy, young team could cause real problems for Croatia and/or Belgium.
Modric has shown he’s still a master in midfield, but this is an ageing team. They are far more likely to fall in the group stage than reach the last eight.
Harry Kane wins Golden Boot
Back in international action and playing the best football of his life, it’s remarkable that Harry Kane isn’t the Golden Boot favourite for the tournament.
Having clinched the Golden Boot award in Russia four years ago, Kane is one of the most prolific strikers in world football and the Tottenham man will thrive as England's main man.
If the Three Lions hit the ground running, a deep run to the latter stages of the competition could be on the cards and Kane will be the spearhead of the attack. Throw in the fact that he takes penalties and that makes Kane a favourable betting prospect.
Serbia qualify from Group G
Group G is the deepest at the 2022 World Cup. Brazil should progress as winners, but there will be fierce competition between Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon for the second spot.
The Serbians stunned Portugal to qualify automatically, and they have a squad which strikes that happy medium between experience and peak-aged core players.
Dusan Tadic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Dusan Vlahovic provide the star power, but the depth of Dragan Stojković’s squad shouldn’t be overlooked.
Positive results against Switzerland and Cameroon will be enough to reach the World Cup knockouts for the first time since 1998.
Belgium fall in Last 16
Matched up with Group E, Belgium will almost certainly be facing Spain or Germany in the second round.
That’s a rough draw for Kevin De Bruyne and co, who have a catalogue of questions to answer before the tournament gets underway in November.
With a defence that is impossible to trust and uncertainty over Romelu Lukaku’s form, Belgium are unlikely to get past a well-drilled Spain side or a talented Germany. A last 16 exit awaits.
England don’t concede in Groups
England have kept clean sheets in 13 of their last 18 matches. Gareth Southgate’s approach to tournament football is well-known.
The Three Lions will prioritise limiting opposition chances, even if Southgate is criticised for the style of play.
Facing Iran, the USA and one of Scotland, Wales and Ukraine, England should win all three group matches comfortably. It might not be thrilling, but three wins to nil is a likely, efficient outcome.
Lionel Messi adds another Golden Ball
Not only can Lionel Messi dominate Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Poland in the group stage. He’s got a potentially favourable draw into the knockout rounds as well, providing Argentina take of business and win Group C.
Messi has come in for criticism for some of his PSG performances. He’s not quite as explosive, but when the moment demands, he’s still got every ounce of magic he had a few years ago.
Watch for Messi to put his nation on his back once again and pick up a second World Cup Golden Ball.
Jude Bellingham wins Best Young Player
There should be no question about Jude Bellingham’s place in England’s best XI.
The Borussia Dortmund man is unlikely to move clubs this summer, but his ability should earn a spot alongside Declan Rice despite Gareth Southgate’s hesitancy to pick players from abroad.
England are once again looking at a deep tournament run. Bellingham is one of the best young players on the planet.
Rivals for Best Young Player are dealing with injuries or face greater competition for minutes – Bellingham can follow in Kylian Mbappe’s footsteps and win the award.
Hugo Lloris wins Golden Glove
With over 130 caps to his name and a World Cup winners’ medal, Hugo Lloris will not be fazed by tournament football.
Occasionally susceptible to errors, Lloris is still an elite goalkeeper and has the ability to pull off mind-bending saves.
Just as Karim Benzema’s Golden Boot chances are enhanced by the likelihood of France reaching the last four, Lloris is going to have plenty of opportunity to prove himself as the best goalkeeper in the tournament.
Brazil disappoint again
While Brazil benefited from the draw, there should be scepticism about this team heading into the tournament.
The last two World Cups have ended in humiliation and disappointment at the hands of Germany and Belgium respectively.
The Seleção still have one of the better squads at the 2022 World Cup, but there is immense pressure on Neymar to deliver in what is his last World Cup at his peak.
Brazil haven’t made the final of a World Cup since 2002, and the weight of expectation grows exponentially heavier with each passing tournament.
Of course, disappointment is relative, but finishing with anything but a sixth World Cup would be a let down.
*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*
FIRST PUBLISHED: 24th May 2022