World Cup winner odds: Kind group draw boosts England hopes
2022 World Cup winner odds and preview
The draw has been made and the countdown to the start of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is well and truly under way.
Here we take a look at some of the leading contenders to win the tournament which takes place in November and December.
Temperatures are in the mid-20s on average throughout the day in Qatar and a warm climate immediately points towards one of the South American countries winning the tournament, so it is no surprise to see Brazil installed as 9/2 favourites in the World Cup winner odds.
Brazil have won the World Cup a record five times and been runner-up on two occasions but their last success came in 2002 and they lost the Copa America final to arch-rivals Argentina last year but topped the South American qualifying table.
Their group campaign will not end until December 2 – the day before the knockout stage begins – after being placed in Group G along with Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon.
The world champions were favourites for glory at Euro 2020 but came unstuck against Switzerland in the last 16.
Didier Deschamps’ side still have one of the best squads of all the nations and were unbeaten in qualifying, although they could only draw three of their eight matches including both meetings with Ukraine.
Strong in all areas, France will be keen to make amends for their Euro 2020 exit and can be backed at 11/2 in the World Cup winner odds.
Gareth Southgate’s young squad will be much the wiser for their experiences at the European Championship and we can expect to see a lot more from the likes of Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham in Qatar.
Southgate is likely to rely on those players that got England to the final and they have been helped by a favourable draw which saw their World Cup winner odds cut, but they have since drifted from 13/2 to 7/1 after poor results in the Nations League this summer.
The Three Lions will meet Iran on the opening day of the tournament, just eight days after the final Premier League games are played before the winter World Cup forces a break.
England also face the United States and a ‘Battle of Britain’ against Wales.
Spain were crowned world champions for the first time in their history in 2010, sandwiched between back-to-back European Championship successes, and a new generation are looking to add to that trophy haul.
Qualification went down to the wire and they went into their final match needing a draw against Sweden to win their group, which they managed thanks to a 1-0 win.
They are in the same group as fellow European heavyweights Germany but also face Japan and Costa Rica so it can hardly be called a ‘group of death’, with Spain 15/2 in the World Cup winner odds.
Lionel Messi helped Argentina win a 10th Copa America title last year and is now eyeing the biggest prize in world football.
They were not always at their best during qualifying but made it through with ease and now face Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland in Group C.
Argentina have not lifted the World Cup since 1986 and are 15/2 to go all the way this time in what is surely Messi’s last chance to match the achievement of Diego Maradona.
Germany almost produced a perfect qualifying campaign with nine wins from 10 matches but it will be best remembered for a shock 2-1 defeat at home to North Macedonia.
That result made up half of the four goals conceded while the 36 goals scored showed this is a team which is strong at both ends of the pitch but Germany failed to make it past the round of 16 at the Euros last year after losing 2-0 to England.
Hansi Flick is now in charge, having succeeded Joachim Low after the Euros, and is 9/1 to win his first tournament in charge in the World Cup winner odds.
Best of the rest
Three-time World Cup runners-up Netherlands failed to qualify for Russia 2018 having been beaten in the 2010 final by Spain before coming third four years later.
They lost their opening qualifier in Turkey but then won seven and drew two of their next nine games and are also unbeaten in their Nations League group which contains Belgium, Poland and Wales.
Louis van Gaal, who led the nation to the semis eight years ago, is in charge for a third time while Virgil van Dijk and Memphis Depay will be key players for the Dutch, who are 12/1 for a maiden win.
Time is running out for Belgium‘s golden generation of players to deliver a major title and they are no longer considered one of the favourites at 14/1 in the World Cup winner odds.
While Kevin De Bruyne is still regarded as one of the best players in the world, Romelu Lukaku has struggled at times since returning to Chelsea while Eden Hazard has been plagued by injuries at Real Madrid.
Belgium qualified with an unbeaten record, though, having lost to Italy in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals, and being drawn with Canada, Morocco and Croatia should not pose too many problems.
World Cup Info
When: November 21-December 18, 2022
How to watch: BBC and ITV
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication