For sports fans all around the world, few things are more exciting than the World Cup. Even if you aren’t particularly big into the sport of football, there is still going to be a good chance that you are going to tune into this tournament.
The World Cup always offers amazing entertainment for the best part of a month. There is never any telling who might win the competition and what stars are going to shine. With the competition just around the corner, what are some of the key factors you must keep in mind?
First, before you look at the tournament itself, it is worth looking at the absentees of the 2022 World Cup. There are only 32 teams that can qualify for the World Cup. This means that with every tournament, there are going to be some big teams that did not make the cut.
For this year’s competition, you have Euro 2020 winners Italy not featuring in the finals of the tournament. This came as a massive surprise as the Italians were in hot form going into their qualification. However, North Macedonia caused heartache for the European champions.
Mohamed Salah’s Egypt were also notable absentees from the group stage draw. Despite getting to the final of their AFCON campaign, the Egyptians came up short against Senegal in a playoff. Finally, Norway has looked amazing lately, thanks to young talents Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard. However, they also failed to make the finals of the World Cup.
The Goal Threats
The competition’s top scorer is always a hard one to predict. There is no telling what kind of performances players are going to have, and it is also one that bettors tend to shy away from. Sometimes, the stress of waging on a team to win and backing the top scorer can be too much for fans who usually enjoy betting, which is why some prefer to enjoy other gambling types unrelated to the game instead.
A good example of this is table games, which have been a football fan favorite for years, as they’re usually simple to learn, easy to play, and involve luck, skill, or a combination of both. They’re a great distraction from betting on teams, and many fans even play them at half-time and during commercial breaks when watching soccer on TV as a way to pass the time and enjoy some downtime between the match segments. You can read more information in here if you’re interested in some quick table game entertainment and an alternative to football bets if you find the match becoming a bit too much.
However, if you can handle the heat and unpredictable nature of football, you might find yourself asking this question: who will be chasing that World Cup Golden Boot? Of course, Lionel Messi is looking to leave an impression in what is likely going to be his last World Cup. If his Argentina side has a good campaign and goes far, then there is a good chance that the PSG forward can bag himself the top scorer award.
His teammate Kylian Mbappe is also going to have one eye on that award. His France side will be aiming to regain their trophy. As well as this, a good World Cup for Mbappe could be what he needs to secure his first Ballon d’Or.
England will be going into this World Cup with high hopes after a disappointing Euro 2020 campaign. A major part of their success is going to be down to the performance of captain Harry Kane. If he can bag a lot of goals for his England side, then there is a good chance that the nation can finally bring it home.
So, who are the favorites for the competition? As it stands, Brazil looks to be the bookmakers’ choice to lift the trophy in December. This is despite a loss to Argentina in the Copa America final last July. However, with a good mix of old and new talent, there is a good chance that this Brazil side performs as expected.
Although the holders have not performed well in recent years of the World Cup, France is still very much favored to be challenging for the trophy again. With a good mix of new talent and the original squad that won the competition, it is hard to write off this French team in the World Cup.
England, without a doubt, has one of the most promising and exciting squads in world football right now. With many young players developing well since Euro 2020, it will be a competition filled with hope for the English. They will look to improve on their semi-final disappointment against Croatia in the 2018 World Cup and go two steps further.
The Dark Horses
Every World Cup sees some nations pull off some surprise results and cause big teams some issues. In recent tournaments, this has been the likes of Croatia, Costa Rica, and the USA. So, who might pull off a similar run this year?