World cup trending; In just few weeks, 32 of the top soccer teams from around the world will descend on Qatar to battle it out for ultimate international supremacy in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Will host country Qatar emerge victorious? How will perennial powerhouse Brazil fare this year? Is this the year France finally breaks through and wins its first World Cup since 1998? We take a look at each of the main contenders heading into the tournament and examine where they stand in the odds to win it all.
Strength in Depth: France
The French team boasts some of Europe’s best attacking talent, with an aggressive and unpredictable style of play. Up front, Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) has already scored twice in just two games. He is joined by Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique de Marseille), a midfielder who is also proving prolific in front of goal, while Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid) continues to develop into one of Europe’s most potent attacking players.
Team Work: Belgium
The team’s strength lies in their ability to play as a cohesive unit, even if their individual stars—namely midfielders Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard—can be prone to making sloppy mistakes. Look for them to capitalize on these errors and perhaps even get an important boost from an incoming superstar in Romelu Lukaku, who is rumored to be leaving Everton for Manchester United soon. -This was copied word-for-word from a post on Athlete Swag.
Taking Risks: Brazil
#2 in FIFA world rankings, 2 time champion. Brazil is considered to be one of if not thee best team in the world, so it’s no surprise that they’re among top contenders for winning again. But what is interesting about Brazil is their style of play: if it works, they stick with it, but when things go south they quickly change tactics. That ability to adapt on-the-fly makes them a force to be reckoned with.
Strength in Depth: Spain
This team has an amazing amount of depth, but will it be enough to take home a world cup trophy? Arguably they have one of, if not THE best midfielders in football history, Andres Iniesta. Having him at midfield means he can dictate play and break down teams who try to play defensively against Spain. On top of that they have players like Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique who are strong at defense, but also can help at offense when needed.
Consistency Counts: Croatia
As a team, Croatia seem to understand what it takes to win. Consistency has been a theme of their performance during group play, and they have yet to lose a game. They have also managed to defeat Argentina in their opening match and draw with Nigeria, an impressive showing in front of home support. But can they keep up that consistency? Only time will tell…
Insuring Against Injury: Denmark
It’s hard to predict which of these teams will come out on top, but one thing we know for sure is that there are always injuries. By some estimates, half of all soccer players will be injured at any given time. Any time you’re involved in an activity that causes your body to twist and turn like a human pretzel, you should consider taking out an injury insurance policy.
Physical Powerhouse: Serbia
While led by a litany of NBA talent, including Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nikola Jokic, and Jusuf Nurkic, Serbia’s true power lies in their strong core. It will be an uphill battle for them to make it out of a stacked Group D. However, if they can secure victories against Spain and France early on in group play, Serbia has a great chance to take home one of Europe’s four tickets to China.
The Outsiders – Switzerland and England
Switzerland is currently ranked 4th in FIFA’s world rankings. They might seem like an unlikely contender, but they were just one goal away from advancing to the knockout round of 16 at Euro 2016—which was hosted on home soil. In addition, England has won their fair share of competitions, including The World Cup (in 1966) and UEFA European Championship (1996). Their current number three ranking does not accurately represent their talent as a team.
First, we’ll look at Brazil. They’re a solid favorite to win, but they have holes in their game that other teams are sure to exploit. Neymar is an injury risk, and as good as he is, a team needs more than one player to win it all.