For many football fans, the knockout stages of the World Cup are where it gets exciting. Each game pits one top team against another, and a team that wins in the last sixteen is suddenly just a couple of games away from the final.
We’ve seen enough weird sporting results in the last few years to know that anything can happen in a one-off game, so of course this stage of the tournament is interesting. But for others, there’s nothing to beat the group stage. And before you chuckle at that idea, bear in mind a few points.
While World Cup betting is on a knife-edge when only the best teams are left in, the underestimated joy of a global football tournament is seeing teams you’re not used to watching.
The group stage is also when there is the most football to watch: up to four games a day, which is heaven for many fans. And there is always the Group of Death. That one group which, however it pans out, is going to bring bad news for a team that should really be in the tournament longer. Looking at the 2022 World Cup betting, which group is that this time around?
Some pundits have named this as the Group of Death, and let’s be blunt: we’re not convinced. England need to get past Wales, the USA and Iran in this group. While the meeting with Wales throws up some regional rivalry and the massive complication that is Gareth Bale in a Wales shirt, anyone betting on the World Cup accepts that England should have enough about them to win that game.
The USA national team is not bad, but by the middling standards of past USMNTs it’s far from the best. As for Iran, they are blessed with some highly gifted individuals, but the squad is beset by disharmony and the national FA tried to sack the coach in July to the displeasure of half the squad. They then reinstated him, to the displeasure of the other half. Group of Death? Nah.
This is a little more interesting. Belgium and Croatia were third and second respectively in Russia four years ago, and both will feel that they could have won the whole thing with a bit more luck.
Reasonable analysis and the odds here at in2bet.com.cy, however, suggest that both sides have fallen back a little in the last four years and could be vulnerable. Canada cut a dash through CONCACAF qualifying, leaving the USA and Mexico in their wake, and won’t make life comfortable for anyone, Morocco, meanwhile, may be tipped to end up bottom of the group, but the presence of players such as Amine Harit and Achraf Hakimi makes them a dangerous opponent.
We’re just going to say it: this is the Group of Death. This is particularly bad news for Japan, who will probably be one of its two victims. There are plenty of talented players in the Japanese squad – as any Celtic fan will tell you.
However, they will face Germany, Spain and Costa Rica in this group. That’s two of the last three winners and favourites in World Cup 2022 betting, plus a Costa Rican side which always shows up at the finals. The winner of this group is rewarded with a last-16 game against the runners-up of the group above, so congratulations to anyone in Groups A through D; you’ve definitely got the easier half of the draw.