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World Cup

World Cup Fantasy 2022: The bookies’ odds

A very unique winter World Cup is about to kick off in Qatar, with 64 matches taking place during this four-week festival of football.

In this article, we’ll take a stock check of all eight groups to see who the bookmakers are backing to reach the knockout rounds.

Why is this important?

For starters, you want to be targeting players with the best chance of hauling in the group stage. Looking at Group C, Argentina are deemed to have a 92.3% chance of progressing to the knockout rounds but Saudi Arabia’s odds are only at 16.7%. The two countries meet in Matchday 1 on Tuesday 22 November, so Lionel Messi immediately looks like a great captaincy pick in the first week.

What’s more, the ‘Wildcard’ in FanTeam’s World Cup Fantasy game doesn’t take place until the quarter-final stage, so you don’t want to be filling your squads full of players from countries who aren’t expected to make the round of 16.

GROUP A

Qatar – Ecuador – Senegal – Netherlands
To QualifyTo Win Group A
Netherlands88.9%71.4%
Senegal57.9%18.2%
Ecuador50.0%14.3%
Qatar16.7%6.7%

Neither of the opening match’s participants is predicted to have a successful group stage, with African Cup of Nations holders Senegal deemed most likely to join the Netherlands in the round of 16.

Louis van Gaal’s men failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and will be focused on making up for lost time.

GROUP B

England – Iran – USA – Wales
To QualifyTo Win Group B
England95.2%75.0%
USA50.0%15.4%
Wales47.6%14.3%
Iran20.0%5.9%

With a 95.2% chance of progression, England are the most-backed team by UK bookmakers – although this may not exactly be true in other countries.

Second place will be a tight race between USA and Wales, with Iran one of the four representatives to have never previously qualified for the next stage.

GROUP C

Argentina – Saudi Arabia – Mexico – Poland
To QualifyTo Win Group C
Argentina92.3%71.4%
Poland52.4%18.2%
Mexico52.4%16.7%
Saudi Arabia16.7%4.8%

In what is assumed to be Messi’s last chance of World Cup glory, Argentina have been given flattering odds of progressing here, as Mexico and Poland will make it tricky to qualify.

The Mexicans have reached the round of 16 in each of the last seven World Cups, also beating Germany 1-0 in 2018. Meanwhile, elite forward Robert Lewandowski has a supporting cast of Matty Cash and Piotr Zielinski for Poland.

GROUP D

France – Australia – Denmark – Tunisia
To QualifyTo Win Group D
France90.9%71.4%
Denmark71.4%25.0%
Australia28.6%9.1%
Tunisia26.7%6.7%

France are the current world champions but their modern appearances in this tournament are extreme. When embarrassed with group stage elimination in 2002, the French started a trend where four of the last five World Cup winners have now been humbled in the first stage of their title defence.

However, beyond Denmark, it’s hard to see who else could force a similar humiliation to that suffered by Germany in 2018.

GROUP E

Spain – Costa Rica – Germany – Japan
To QualifyTo Win Group E
Spain90.0%54.5%
Germany88.9%47.6%
Japan20.0%6.7%
Costa Rica11.1%2.0%

Group E contains giants Spain and Germany, which is why Costa Rica have been ‘awarded’ the lowest probability of progression.

It’s a similar situation to 2014, where they ended up topping their group over England, Italy and Uruguay.

GROUP F

Belgium – Morocco – Canada – Croatia
To QualifyTo Win Group F
Belgium90.0%65.2%
Croatia63.6%28.6%
Morocco33.3%9.1%
Canada26.7%7.7%

It’s a welcome return to the World Cup for Canada, whose only previous outing in 1986 ended without a goal or a point. Bookmakers have them as the weakest here, behind the second and third-placed teams of the 2018 tournament (Croatia and Belgium).

Don’t rule out Morocco as a dark horse, with talent in their ranks like Achraf Hakimi, Youssef En-Nesyri and Hakim Ziyech.

GROUP G

Brazil – Serbia – Switzerland – Cameroon
To QualifyTo Win Group G
Brazil90.0%71.4%
Switzerland50.0%18.2%
Serbia47.6%14.3%
Cameroon22.2%6.7%

No surprise to see Brazil in the lead here, having escaped every group since their poor 1966 campaign. Things look better now that Tite is in charge, rather than Dunga.

What will be interesting is the battle for that second spot, as Switzerland tend to fare well at tournaments: their last four apperarances have all ended in knockout football.

Fellow European side Serbia shouldn’t be taken lightly, though.

GROUP H

Portugal – Ghana – Uruguay – South Korea
To QualifyTo Win Group H
Portugal84.6%61.9%
Uruguay66.7%33.3%
Ghana30.8%7.7%
South Korea30.8%7.7%

Finally, the tightest group of them all. While none of the eight has been universally labelled ‘Group of Death’, the range between these four teams’ odds is smaller than the others and with good reason.

Portugal have a star-studded squad but only finished second in their qualifying group, after a round-of-16 exit at the last two tournaments. Uruguay have done well in recent World Cups, whilst Ghana reached the 2010 quarter-finals and South Korea defeated Germany four years ago.

Who played the most minutes over the March international break?

FPLMarc Newcastle fan that spends far too much time thinking about FPL.

1 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Eytexi
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 4 months ago

    What's the latest on the team-specific-content applications?