It’s the most-watched sports event in the world – the Football World Cup. It’s a coming together of peoples, nations, and sporting excellence, unlike any other fixture that exists. The Football World Cup delights us, it inspires us, and it moves us. The 2018 edition was no different, with incredible storylines playing out.
Much can change in football, but many of the key teams and players who are active now will be instrumental in deciding who lifts the trophy in two and a half year’s time..
We break down the contenders, the highlights, and the possible outcome of the world’s biggest football game.
The Big Names
Perennial contenders, surprise packages and those hungry to prove a point: these countries are out to show they mean business when the tournament gets started in 2022.
In no particular order, we expect these to be the big names.
- France – The 2018 winners will go into the 2022 tournament full of confidence, with incredible young players like Mbappe to take them forward into a new generation. They will hope to be as punishing in attack as they were in Russia, generating enough goals to propel them to another win
- Brazil – Never count out the spiritual home of football, despite their poor performance in 2018 (failing to get out of the group stages). The magic of players like Neymar comes and goes, but there’s no doubting that Brazil can always produce a stunning performance.
- Senegal – Could 2022 be the year an African team makes its mark on the World Cup? Despite a desperately unlucky finish to their group stage, meaning they failed to progress, Senegal were by far the best African team and will hope to build on that record in Qatar.
- England – After almost a decade out in the wilderness of international football, England returned to the elite tier of football’s greatest competition in 2018 as Harry Kane won the tournament’s Golden Boot. They have followed up with intent and will look to win the Euros in 2020 before turning their attention to the World stage.
- Croatia – The runners-up to France were the surprise package at the 2018 World Cup. Despite this, they shouldn’t be counted out for further good results, even if much of their success depended on the consistent brilliance of the aging Luka Modric. If he can play that well again, Croatia will have a good chance.
- Belgium – One of the most talented squads in football will come to Qatar in 2020 determined to right some wrongs. Kevin de Bruyne and his incredible team came close to winning it all but couldn’t find a way past France in 2018.
Predictions for the Football World Cup
International football seems to make sense approximately never, so guessing the outcome isn’t a walk in the park. But, the outstanding prowess of teams like Croatia, England, and Belgium suggests a run of form that could hold into 2022.
If we’re staking our claim, here’s our prediction for the final match in the Arabian peninsula…
England vs. Brazil
The storybook tussle between two historic footballing powers has everything you could possibly hope for: goals, drama, and despair. Both teams squeak into the final past incredible opponents to set up a battle royale.
Final Score: England 3 – Brazil 3 (England Wins 5-4 on Penalties)
Harry Kane slots home the winner to bring football home for the first time in a generation.
You heard it here first… our predictions for the Football World Cup! To learn about fantasy football, click here.