The 2022 World Cup odds catalogue is live across sportsbooks for the tournament that begins Sunday, Nov. 20, and preparations are continuing at quite a pace. We are already beginning to gauge who will be the genuine contenders in Qatar. In this post, we’ll begin with World Cup Group A odds.
As 32 nations look to secure global supremacy in the Middle East, they must also make sure their soccer holiday is not a short one, hoping to qualify out of the group stage to make their chance of outright victory more realistic.
We aim to weigh up the hopes of each of those 32 teams involved – a guide that starts with Group A.
Group A Team Previews
Each team plays the others in the group once. The top-two finishers after Round Robin play advance from the group to a single-elimination knockout stage. Wins earn three points. A draw is worth one point. A loss is worth zero points.
Outright Odds : First up our focus takes us to the Netherlands and with the Dutch national side having missed out on World Cup qualification four years ago, the return of De Oranje to the global stage will certainly be a welcome one.
Although the Dutch have never wrapped their hands around the World Cup trophy, they are always considered one of the true giants of world soccer. With them finishing runners-up on three separate occasions, they will hope that 2022 is finally their year.
Whether it is or not remains to be seen. Although there are a handful of nations with shorter starting prices, the Dutch will certainly be part of the second tier of contenders. That means it would be foolish to overlook them at this stage.
Group Qualification Odds : While there is no doubt that manager Louis Van Gaal will be pleased with April’s World Cup draw and with the complexion of Group A looking as it is, this Dutch side are almost certainly going to top the table ().
However, they are not looking to simply reach the first round of the knockout phase and when you consider the likes of Memphis Depay and Virgil van Dijk within the likely final squad, they are just two key players who will look to take the nation to a first ever outright success.
Outright Odds : Next out of the four teams in Group A are Senegal and although this current crop is not quite on a par with the class of 2002, the bulk of the squad have managed to qualify for a second successive finals tournament.
For those who consider themselves World Cup historians, they will remember 2002 as the year in which Senegal beat then holders France in the opening game of the tournament and after reaching the last eight that year, they certainly announced themselves to soccer fans across the globe.
However, a repeat of such an impressive feat may be considered a rather big ask in 2022 and therefore, the main focus for now manager Aliou Cisse and his players, will be to also qualify out of Group A.
Group Qualification Odds : Although Senegal have the second shortest odds to qualify out of Group A, their contest with Ecuador may well define who else moves into the Round of 16 and, therefore, progress could well be in the balance.
If it is to be Aliou Cisse’s men, then much will depend on Bayern Munich’s Sadio Mane and if the forward can convert his red-hot scoring form to the international stage, it might just extend Senegal’s World Cup stay by a week or more.
Outright Odds : The third team in our list is Ecuador and like their fellow Group A opponents the Netherlands, they also missed out on World Cup qualification in 2018. Although with a ticket to Qatar securely booked, it also means a fourth finals appearance in six attempts.
Which means the South American nation has become something of a World Cup staple in recent times and although they did little damage in both the 2002 and 2014 editions of the tournament, they did manage to reach the Round of 16 in 2006.
The year when they were eventually dumped out of the tournament by England and a certain David Beckham. That was then though, and this is now and with the group draw being as it is, second place is certainly up for grabs – even if outright success is not.
Group Qualification Odds : Because Ecuador’s outright odds being considered eye watering at best, their sole focus must be on qualification to the Round of 16 and if they can pick up maximum points against Qatar, it will set up the clash with Senegal rather nicely.
With the two sides meeting in the final set of Group A fixtures, it may also be a winner take all scenario at the Al Bayt Stadium and if it comes down to a one-off clash of sorts, you might not want to overlook the South American nation.
Outright Odds : Finally, we look at the hosts of this year’s World Cup and although Qatar are not necessarily the rank outsiders when it comes to winning the 2022 edition of the tournament, the Middle Eastern nation are certainly going to have their work cut out.
Work that might just be made easier because of the weather and with a predominately winter World Cup being the great unknown for us all, the hosts may be able use the excessive heat to their own advantage.
Although with this mitigating circumstance, even the most ardent Qatari supporter is going to truly struggle to justify home success. Especially as no host nation has won the World Cup since France back in 1998.
Group Qualification Odds : If World Cup glory is to allude Qatar at the end of December, their own form of success may just come in the form of knockout tournament football and here, the odds are on offer seem slightly more realistic.
Admittedly the hosts will still find themselves as the outsiders looking in and may have to sacrifice their fixture against the Dutch to succeed. However, if they can benefit from the climate conditions, they might be able to take points off both Senegal and Ecuador.