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2022 World Cup betting news, previews, odds and tournament history

| 14.07.2022

World Cup previews and odds

A page dedicated to the latest World Cup betting odds and stories, plus a brief history of the tournament.

A look at the latest odds to win the tournament in Qatar for which England are 7/1 third favourites behind Brazil and France.

An examination of the various betting markets regarding Gareth Southgate’s team in Qatar, including group winner odds, stage of elimination and going out on penalties!

The various World Cup odds that Ladbrokes have available on Wales, including group winner odds and the stage of elimination.

We look at the main candidates to win the Golden Boot this winter.

Can the Three Lions head coach resolve his side’s issues before they fly to Qatar?

A breakdown of what the World Cup draw means for England and the other favourites to win the tournament and what it could mean in terms of World Cup betting.

FIFA have announced there will be three female World Cup referees at the tournament in Qatar: Stephanie Frappart, Salima Mukansanga and Yoshimi Yamashita.

There will be some notable World Cup absentees for the 2022 tournament in Qatar and we highlight the best players that have failed to qualify.

World Cup history

The World Cup is an international tournament held every four years, one which has expanded since it was first played in 1930 when only 13 nations competed, seven of which came from South America.

Hosts Uruguay beat Argentina 4-2 in the final to win the inaugural tournament and since 1930 they are one of only eight countries to have won the World Cup.

Brazil have won the tournament a record five times, with Germany and Italy on four, while Argentina, Uruguay and France have all tasted success twice.

England’s sole triumph came when they hosted the tournament in 1966 and 44 years later Spain won it for the first and only time, sandwiched between European Championship glory in 2008 and 2012.

Uruguay did not defend their title in Italy in 1934 in protest against those countries that refused to travel to South America four years earlier, but with 36 teams wishing to participate, FIFA had to introduce a qualification process to whittle the numbers down to 16.

Back-to-back titles for Italy

Italy beat Czechoslovakia 2-1 in the final and successfully defended their title four years later in France where they defeated Hungary 4-2 in the title decider.

The Second World War meant the 1942 and 1946 editions were cancelled, but England became the first British team to play at the World Cup in Brazil four years later when they qualified by winning the Home Championship, finishing ahead of Scotland.

The tournament was marred by several withdrawals so only 13 countries competed instead of the scheduled 16. England got off to a winning start with a 2-0 victory over Chile in the group stage, but lost 1-0 to USA and Spain, thus missing out on the final round which was played as a four-team round robin which Uruguay won.

West Germany were crowned champions for the first time in the 1954 renewal which took place in Switzerland where England lost 4-2 to Uruguay in the quarter-finals. West Germany were 2-0 down after 10 minutes in the final, but went on to beat Hungary 3-2, Helmut Rahn scoring the winner six minutes from time.

All four home nations qualified for the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, a feat which has never been repeated, but it was Wales and Northern Ireland that reached the quarter-finals, with England and Scotland failing to get out of their groups.

Pele shines

Northern Ireland were crushed 4-0 by France on the same day Pele scored the only goal for eventual champions Brazil against Wales.

England reached the knockout stage in Chile in 1962, but lost to Brazil, who went on to retain their title with a 3-1 victory over Czechoslovakia.

However, 1966 proved to be the greatest achievement in England’s history as a hat-trick from Geoff Hurst ensured they won the World Cup with a 4-2 extra-time victory over West Germany in the final.

Brazil’s sensational team won all six games at the 1970 World Cup in Chile, including an iconic 1-0 victory over England in the group stage, best known for one of the greatest saves of all time as Gordon Banks somehow kept out Pele’s bullet header. A third World Cup success meant Brazil were allowed to keep the Jules Rimet trophy permanently.

West Germany won it for the second time in 1974, this time on home soil, and Argentina also enjoyed success in front of their own fans at the next World Cup, beating Holland in the final.

England reached the second group stage in 1982, but the tournament was best remembered from a British perspective by Northern Ireland’s 1-0 victory over hosts Spain, although neither Home Nation made it to the semi-finals. Italy won the World Cup for a third time with a 3-1 victory over West Germany during which Marco Tardelli’s celebration for the second goal became an iconic moment.

Diego Maradona took centre stage in Mexico in 1986 as his infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal put Argentina ahead against England, although four minutes later he scored a legitimate goal with one of the greatest runs of all time to knock out Bobby Robson’s side.

Diego Maradona, Argentina v England, 1986 World Cup

Italia 90 inspired a new generation of football fans as England ultimately suffered semi-final penalty shoot-out heartache against West Germany in a match made famous by Paul Gascoigne’s tears. The Germans went on to win a drab final against Argentina.

United States hosted the 1994 World Cup, the first one since World War II not to involve the Home Nations, although Republic of Ireland made up for it under Jack Charlton as Ray Houghton’s goal secured a stunning 1-0 victory over Italy, paving the way for a place in the round of 16 where they came up short against Netherlands.

Brazil beat Italy on penalties for a fourth title and they were in the final again in 1998 when Ronaldo had a convulsive fit hours before kick-off. Initially omitted from the team sheet for the title decider against hosts France, Ronaldo was eventually included in the starting XI, although he barely had a kick as Les Bleus went on to win 3-0 in Paris.

Ronaldo bounced back by scoring both goals in a 2-0 win against Germany in the final of the 2002 World Cup which was held in South Korea and Japan.

England avenged their round-of-16 penalty shoot-out defeat by Argentina in 1998 with a 1-0 win during the group stage of the 2002 tournament, courtesy of a penalty from David Beckham, who atoned for his red card against the same opponents four years earlier.

Despite Michael Owen giving England the lead against Brazil in the quarter-finals, the match turned just before the break when Rivaldo finished off a brilliant run from Ronaldinho, who later struck the winner with a freakish free-kick which caught David Seaman off his line, although a few minutes later he was shown a straight red card for a foul on Danny Mills.

David Beckham, England v Brazil, 2002 World Cup

Sven-Goran Eriksson’s side could not find an equaliser though as Brazil held on and went on to win the World Cup for a fifth time.

Eriksson was also in charge four years later in Germany when England again reached the last eight but Wayne Rooney’s red card against Portugal meant they were up against it, although they only went out on penalties.

Italy won the final in a penalty shoot-out with France, who had star man Zinedine Zidane sent off for a headbutt on defender Marco Materezzi in extra time.

Fabio Capello was at the helm for England at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where the Three Lions finished runners-up to USA in the group stage which meant a round-of-16 encounter with arch rivals Germany, who won a controversial game 4-1 in Bloemfontein.

Fabio Capello, World Cup 2010

Matthew Upson pulled one back with a 37th-minute header and moments later Frank Lampard’s strike comfortably crossed the line off the bar, but the goal was not given and the rest is history.

Midfielder Andres Iniesta scored the only goal of the game against Netherlands in the final to give Spain their one and only World Cup win during a dominant six years for La Roja.

Brazil hosted the 2014 edition where Roy Hodgson’s England embarrassingly finished bottom of the group following defeats to Uruguay and Italy, who also failed to reach the knockout stage.

The tournament was probably best remembered for Germany’s amazing 7-1 victory against Brazil in the semi-finals, although home supporters were at least glad to see arch rivals Argentina lose to Joachim Low’s side in extra time in the final.

In 2018, Kieran Trippier’s brilliant free-kick gave England a fifth-minute lead in the semi-finals, but Ivan Perisic levelled for Croatia and Mario Mandzukic struck the winner in extra time. However, a dominant France team won the World Cup for a second time with a 4-2 victory in the final.

View the latest World Cup odds

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication

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Author

Warren Barner