The 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar on 20 November 2022. The first Winter world cup concludes on 18 December 2002 and will see 32 teams compete over 64 matches to crowned champions of the world and take home the Jules Rimet trophy. The change in timing of the finals and little time between breaks in domestic seasons and kick off of the event could mean that we will should expect the unexpected from the opening match until the final whistle in the final match of tournament. There are plenty of bets to be made in a variety of markets.
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A bet on the overall winner of the tournament is one of the most popular types of World Cup bet. Of the 7 of the 8 previous winners of the world cup have qualified for this year’s event including current holders, France. A South American side has not won the tournament since 2002, but Brazil and Argentina are many people’s favourites and travel with strong squads and long unbeaten records. England head into the tournament after their semi final appearance in 2018 which represented their best performance in since Italia ’90.
Spain in 2010 were the last first-time winners of the World Cup, but European heavyweights the Netherlands and Portugal are looking to make history. No nation from Africa, Asia, North and Central America or the Caribbean has ever claimed the ultimate prize but could that change here? Qatar are aiming to be the first world cup winning host and debutant since 1934.
If the thought of picking an outright winner is too daunting, why not instead opt to pick a or both finalists. Of the 12 finalists in World Cup history, 8 have made it to Qatar.
The initial stage of the world cup has the teams split in to 8 groups of 4, with the top 2 sides heading through to the knockout phase (winners playing runners up from a corresponding group) and the bottom 2 heading out of the tournament. Every world cup features a so called ‘group of death’ where any of the 4 teams could conceivably qualify. This edition’s group of death is Group H featuring Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea. There are endless possibilities with group stage wagers, from selecting a group winner, to the final ranking of all groups.
The top scorer at a World Cup is awarded the golden boot, and selecting the same could prove to be quite lucrative. The golden boot has only been shared on two occasions, most recently in USA 94, and has never been retained although the last winner, England’s Harry Kane will aim to change that. There are plenty of world class goalscorers outside of the traditional big nations with Poland captain Robert Lewandowski being a two time balon d’or striker of the year and balon d’or runner up Sadio Mane of Senegal scoring 8 goals in 13 games for his country this year. The last two golden boots have been won with 6 goals, whilst the highest in history was 13 scored by Just Fontaine in 1958. 4 of the last 6 golden boot winners have come from Europe and the last 3 winners played in their first world cup.
Simply select who you think will awarded the Golden Ball, which is announced at the conclusion of the World Cup. The Golden Ball was first officially awarded in the 1982 world cup in Spain to Paolo Rossi. Runners up are awarded Silver and Bronze balls respectively. The best player isn’t necessarily awarded to the top scorer (winner as top scorer was Schillaci in 1990) or a world cup winner (last awarded to Romario in 1994) but statistically the winners have at least reached the semi final stage. The key here is the player’s performance in the matches they play, and with 832 players on show there is plenty to pick from. The award is typically dominated by forwards. Although goalkeepers have their own separate award (the golden gloves) they are still eligible for the golden ball too with Oliver Kahn the only person to win both awards. In what could be the last tournaments; Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar will all look to impress.
Was first awarded in the 2006 world cup and is open to players 21 at the start of the calendar year and under. The award has been dominated by Europe with two German and two French winners. Only Kylian Mbappe has been a world cup winner and crowned best young player. English duo, Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka are eligible for the award, as well as Brazilian forwards, Rodrygo and Gabriel Martinelli, and Spain’s Ansu Fati.
Bets can be placed before play gets underway or even during. First goalscorer in a match could offer a great and fast return within 90 minutes if you can accurately predict who will grab the first goal. Alternatively, you could opt to choose both sides to score and reap the rewards should both sides appear on the scoresheet. In respect of result, in addition to win or draw the match score can be predicted.