The World Cup will therefore kick off on November 20th when the host nation takes on Ecuador. After four weeks of top-class competition, it will all end with the final in Lusail on December 18th.
Everyone has their favourites for success, but will the usual suspects rise to the top or does this year’s tournament have some surprises in store?
Goals win Games
At the end of each World Cup, the player who has scored the most goals are awarded the Golden Boot Trophy. In 2018, Harry Kane’s six goals helped his England team to the semifinals and he claimed the Golden Boot in the process.
For 2022, Kane is the favourite once again as the Three Lions look to go deep into the tournament. His most likely challengers may come from France where Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema are also highly ranked.
One of the most valuable world cup betting tips relates to Golden Boot betting. When looking to identify a winner, the team’s most likely to win the tournament have a better chance of delivering.
That’s why there is a lot of focus on Neymar in Qatar. He has 75 international goals to date and needs just three more to go past Pele’s national record of 77. Brazil are favourites to win the tournament but, despite all these positive trends, their most important striker is merely the fourth favourite to claim the Golden Boot award.
Neymar to finish as the 2022 World Cup leading goal scorer could prove to be the most valuable tip of the tournament.
— FootTheBall FC (@FootTheBallFC) November 21, 2022
Keepers Under the Spotlight
At the other end of the pitch, there is an award for goalkeepers which is known as the Golden Glove, and it is decided by a panel. The keepers will be under the radar across the tournament, and many will be involved in those dreaded penalty shootouts.
The favourite to win the Golden Glove is Alisson of Brazil. This makes sense as his team are favourites to win the tournament. In second place in this market is Belgium’s Thibault Courtois who won the award at Russia 2018.
For this category it doesn’t always follow that the goalkeeper of the winning team will take the Golden Glove. On occasions, a world-class stopper could be all that stands between a weak side and early elimination.
For that reason, it may be worth following the fortunes of Unai Simon of Spain. He is set to feature between the posts of a young team who have huge potential for the future. If Spain can deliver on that potential ahead of schedule, Simon may be a sound bet as the Golden Glove winner.
Simon is the fifth favourite in this market and he’s available at the same odds as Hugo Lloris. France’s captain and first-choice keeper Lloris will also be a popular selection.
It may not be as easy to find markets for the best defender in Qatar, but the media will all have their opinions at the end of the tournament. In the Netherlands squad, the man who needs to be in top form is the Liverpool centre half Virgil van Dijk.
When he moved to Anfield from Southampton in 2017, he became the most expensive defender in the history of the game. Van Dijk has since justified his fee and has brought calm to a previously chaotic Liverpool defence.
Other defenders tipped to shine at Qatar 2022 include Cristian Romero of Argentina, Thiago Silva of Brazil, Benjamin Pavard of France, Antonio Rudiger of Germany and England’s Kieran Trippier.
Crystal Ball Required
FIFA have another individual award known as the Golden Ball. It’s open to any player in all positions, but it is frequently won by midfielders. It’s the trophy for the tournament’s outstanding overall player and it was claimed in 2018 by Croatia’s influential Luka Modric.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi is the favourite to win the Golden Ball at Qatar 2022 while Kylian Mbappe is close behind. Of the midfielders and wingers on show, the England pair of Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling are ranked strongly while Luka Modric will attract attention as the most recent winner.
There are some other, more left-field suggestions but, if England can rediscover their form from Russia 2018 and Euro 2020, Raheem Sterling might just be the player to deliver in this section.
Winners of the major individual World Cup awards aren’t always obvious. This is a chance for everyone to shine and to raise their game so, when looking for likely contenders, consider some of the outsiders in each of these sections.