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2022 FIFA World Cup: Favorites' path to the finals

2022 FIFA World Cup: Favorites' path to the finals

November 14, 2022 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
With the 2022 FIFA World Cup around the corner, it's time to look at the favorites to win the event which kicks off in Qatar.

32 countries from all over the world will soon gather in Qatar to face off in the greatest sporting event on the planet. For almost a month, these countries will battle for supremacy and the right to be crowned the champions. The last edition was deservedly won by France who beat off tough competition from Croatia to secure their second-ever title exactly 20 years after their first in 1998. Nevertheless, much has changed since four years ago.

While the French still remain in contention to win the World Cup trophy once more, a few more sides have positioned themselves well to fight for the accolade. Ahead of the first group game at Qatar, LiveSoccerTV spotlights the favorites for this competition and how the path they could take to successfully arrive at the finals should things go according to plan.


Arguably the prime favorite to secure the World Cup trophy this season, Brazil will begin their campaign in Group G alongside Switzerland, Serbia and Cameroon. Ranked No.1 on the FIFA world ranking list, the roster of the Selecao is one that will send shivers down the spine of their rivals, with the likes of Neymar Jr, Casemiro, Fabinho, Ederson, Vinicius Jr, Thiago Silva, Allsson Becker, and some of the big names in European football competiting for places in the starting lineup.

On paper, Brazil should be progressing to the next round of the competition with ease. Should that happen, they will be left to take on the team that will finish second in Group H. With Portugal being fancied to win Group H, the spot could be contested for by either Uruguay or South Korea, although Ghana could equally pull a suprise and snatch it. We reckon Uruguay will be the winner in this three-team tussle and come up against their South American rivals in the Round of 16. A win for Brazil will put them in pole position to take on the team who who win of the clash between the Group E winner (potentially Spain or Germany) and the Runners-up of Group F (potentially Belgium or Croatia) in the quarter-finals. 

Based on the bracket, Brazil could possibly come up against England, the Netherlands, Argentina, Poland or France and Poland in the semi-finals and finals respectively. Either one of these could also be their opponents in the final.


In what will be Lionel Messi's final World Cup, Argentina will be aiming to get as close to the trophy as possible. Following their success in the most recent edition of the Copa America, Albiceleste are poised to grab the title that has evaded them since the legend of Diego Maradona was written at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. 

As far as the group stage of Qatar 2022 goes, it is expected to be a breeze for Argentina. The objective is to secure top spot in Group C which features Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Poland. In the Round of 16, Argentina could come up against either France or Denmark, depending on who finishes second ahead of Tunisia and Australia. A win over the runners-up of Group D should set the South American champions up for a meeting with either the Netherland, Senegal, England, USA or Wales.

For the semi-final, they could possibly clash with Germany, Spain, Belgium, Croatia, Switzerland, Brazil, Portugal or Uruguay. 


After becoming world champions in the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, the Germans have barely impressed in their appearances in major competition in the last eight years. However, the opportunity to change the narrative will present itself when they take to the field at Qatar in the coming days.

Die Mannschaft were drawn alongside Costa Rica, Germany and Spain in Group E and will fancy their chances of progressing to ther next round with their European counterparts. Should they manage a top-spot finish at the group stage, they will come up against the runners-up of Group F (possibly Croatia or Belgium) in the Round of 16. A second place finish in Group E will equally see them going up against one of the aforementioned teams.

For the quarterfinals, Germany could play Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Portugal, Uruguay, or South Korea. Progression into the semis will see them come up against one of the teams among the Netherlands, England, USA, Wales, Argentina, Denmark, Poland or France. 


English fans are still waiting for "it" to come home and the upcoming World Cup in Qatar will be no different. It has been 56 years since the English last won the intercontinental competition and, this year, they will aim to get closer to the title once more. Four years ago, they were denied the opportunity to feature in the finals by Croatia who eventually lost the trophy to France. Consequently, Gareth Southgate's men settled for fourth and will be inspired to go a step further. 

They will begin the campaign in Qatar alongside Iran, USA and Wales in Group B. On paper, England should top the group, leaving the second position to be contested for by Wales and USA. Should the Three Lions finish ahead of the pack, they will come up against the runners-up of Group A (potentially Senegal or Ecuador). A win in the R16 will put them in the position to play either Mexico, Poland, France or Denmark. 

For the semi-finals, England's opponents could be Germany, Spain, Japan, Belgium, Croatia, Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Portugal, or Uruguay.


Champions France will begin their title defence by eyeing qualification out of Group D. Le Bleus are the favorites to lead the pack comprising of Denmark, Australia, and Tunisia. Finishing in first position will put Didier Deschamps' men in the position to go into the Round of 16 against either Mexico or Poland. This will be the case on the basis that Argentina finishes as the winners of Group C. 

For the quarter-final, France could play against either the Netherlands, Senegal, Ecuador, England, USA or Wales. A potential semi-final clash could be between the current World Cup holders and Germany, Spain, Japan, Belgium, Croatia, Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Portugal, or Uruguay.


After tasting success at South Africa 2010, Spain have struggled to impress in recent editions of the World Cup. This year, La Roja will debut a new generation of talents as they complete their transition and set their sights on returning to global supremacy.

The No.7 ranked team in the world have been paired alongside Germany, Costa Rica and Japan in a group that can deliver a series of upsets at the tournament. Needless to say, they have the personnel to potentially finish as winners or at the least as runners-up and progress to the next round. 

The best case scenario will be for Spain to top the pack and, in that case, they will come up against the second placed team in Group F (potentially Canada or Croatia should Belgium win the group). For the quarterfinal, the bracket suggests that they will play the winner of the clash between the first in Group G and the second in Group H. We anticipate that to be either Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Uruguay, Portugal or South Korea.

Should Spain progress to the semis, their opponents could be one among Netherlands, England, USA, Wales, Argentina, Denmark, Poland and France. 


For Cristiano Ronaldo, it is all or nothing as far as adding the only silverware that has evaded him to his long list of accolades. The Manchester United superstar has one final shot at securing the trophy as, at the age of 37, this will be his last and final appearance at the World Cup. But it will not come easy, rest assured. The Selecao were devoid of luck in the draw as they will begin the campaign in Qatar in one of the most difficult groups at the tournament. 

A ticket to the Round of 16 will be theirs to grab should they secure favorable results against Uruguay, South Korea and Ghana in Group H. In any case where Portugal finishes first, they will take on the runners-up of Group G. Assuing Brazil emerges the winner in the latter, Fernando Santos' side will be locked in a battle win either Serbia, Switzerland or Cameroon. 

In the quarter-final, Portugal could be up against either Germany, Japan, Spain, Belgium, Croatia or Canada. A win will put them a game away from the finals but they would have to beat one of  Netherlands, England, USA, Wales, Argentina, Denmark, Poland or France, to achieve that dream.


Unlikey choice, yes. However, one cannot dispute the strides that the Stars and Stripes have made in recent years as far as world football is concerned. In hindsight, the USMNT have one of the finest crop of talents on their roster - young, hungry and ready to take on the world. 

But their charge will not come without strong opposition. Featuring alongside England, Wales and Iran in Group B, the ride will be all but easy for Greg Berhalter's side. Ideally, the USMNT should finish as runners-up and progress to the next round although Wales will not make the task easy for them. 

In that case, they will be paired with the team to finish first in Group A (potentially Ecuador or Senegal should the Netherlands win the group) for the Round of 16. While this test will be tough, a win for the US will out them on course to take on either Argentina, Mexico, Poland, Denmark or France in the quarter-finals. 

In the semis, their likely opponent will be chosen from among Germany, Spain, Japan, Belgium, Croatia, Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Portugal, and Uruguay.

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