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Ranking the five favourites to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Football’s most prestigious tournament returns in 2022 with the FIFA World Cup, next year’s competition set to be held during the northern hemisphere’s winter months in Qatar.

It’s an unprecedented change as FIFA grant access and opportunity to less established sporting nations, though the tournament is set to see familiar names contest to be crowned world champions.

Italy – 10/1

The reigning European champions are priced at odds of 10/1 to add the World Cup to their Euro 2020 success, with Roberto Mancini’s side only fifth favourites despite their incredible performances in recent years.

Italy extended their unbeaten run to an international record of 36 games during September’s World Cup qualifiers and Mancini has built a formidable winning machine, combining traditional Italian resilience with a a front-footed attacking approach.

Perhaps the greatest question from their Euro 2020-winning side is how long the long-term centre-back partnership of Leonardo Bonucci and Georgio Chiellini can continue, with the defensive duo set to turn 35 and 38 respectively before the start of the World Cup in Qatar.

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The likes of Lorenzo Insigne and Ciro Immobile are also the wrong side of 30 heading into the tournament, with the Azzurri’s chances perhaps dependent on how those key figures maintain their levels heading into 2022.

Spain – 9/1

Spain reached the semi-finals of Euro 2020 despite some mixed performances during the tournament, initially stumbling during the group stages before five-goal showings against both Slovakia and Croatia.

Having endured a transitional period between the nation’s golden generation and current contingent, the 2022 World Cup will perhaps be the first tournament in which the old guard have been moved on.

Emerging names such as Pedri, Dani Olmo and Mikel Oyarzabal will have to play more prominent roles as La Roja look to return to the pinnacle of international football, after winning three consecutive major tournaments between 2008 and 2012.

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Football has moved on since tiki-taka dominated the landscape, but Spain have an abundance of talent and enough quality to make an impression in Qatar.

England – 7/1

Semi-finalists at the 2018 World Cup before finishing as runners-up at Euro 2020, optimism has surrounded the England national side following decades of disappointments.

Gareth Southgate boasts one of the most talented squads in European football at present, whilst the Three Lions have a side that will continue to grow with its core aged 25 and under.

England’s squad for Euro 2020 contained just three players over the age of 30, whilst another year of experience for name such as Phil Foden, Mason Mount and Jude Bellingham bodes well for a successful tournament.

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Adaptation to the Middle Eastern climate and mental hurdles remain the niggling doubts behind success for England next year, but the current squad is as well-equipped as any in recent memory to end the Three Lions’ wait for major tournament success.

Brazil – 6/1

Perennial contenders and a nation that has enjoyed a special affinity with football’s biggest prize, the record five-time winners will head to Qatar as 6/1 joint favourites to lift the trophy.

Brazil were beaten in the final of this summer’s Copa America, but will head into 2022 with aspirations of success on the global stage for the first time since a Ronaldo-inspired triumph in 2002.

Neymar will once again lead the charge for the South Americans and the PSG superstar will be supported by the likes of Alisson, Marquinhos and Casemiro amongst a strong spine of senior options for Brazil.

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Question marks remain over their defensive strength however, as Brazil seek to transition away veterans such as Thiago Silva and Dani Alves.

France – 6/1

World Cup holders and joint-favourites, France will be seeking to become the first nation since Brazil in 1962 to retain the trophy in Qatar.

Les Bleus disappointed during Euro 2020 and suffered a shock exit at the hands of Switzerland, but man-for-man possess the most talented and deepest squad in international football right now.

Kylian Mbappe will be tasked with spearheading the French charge towards the trophy, with the likes of Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann providing formidable forward options.

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France also boast an exciting collection of emerging names who will hope to establish themselves in Didier Deschamps’ plans, the development of Jules Kounde, Dayot Upamecano and Eduardo Camavinga ones to watch as we approach Qatar 2022.

Read – Ranking the five favourites to win the 2021 Ballon d’Or

Read Also – Ranking the five favourites to win promotion to the Premier League in 21/22

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