The FIFA World Cup will take place in the unusual position of winter this year, with the best international teams battling it out for the biggest prize in the sport in Qatar, a move that looks to encourage a boom for the football business in the country.
Here is a look at some of the most attractive options for this year’s tournament, including who has the best chance of lifting the trophy in the final.
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France To win World Cup
The last four FIFA World Cups have been won by European teams, with Italy (2006), Spain (2010), Germany (2014) and France (2018) all prevailing in that period. This indicates the countries from Europe are much stronger than the rest of the world.
Defending champions France can keep up the excellent record UEFA representatives have by coming out on top again. Didier Deschamps not only has tough decisions to make when it comes to his starting XI, but the depth in quality Les Bleus has, means some world-class players won’t make his squad.
France will be motivated to make up for what was a disappointing Euro 2020. They were eliminated on penalties by Switzerland in the last 16 but, since then, they have won the UEFA Nations League and their results have been strong. They also have Karim Benzema in their squad, the man who is being tipped to win the Ballon d’Or Award in 2023.
As of the 26th of August, France is second best in outright betting at +600 with Betway. If successful, they will become the first nation since Brazil in 1962 to win back-to-back World Cups.
Harry Kane Top Goalscorer
Tottenham striker Harry Kane was the Golden Boot winner at the 2018 FIFA World Cup with six goals. The England international can finish the tournament in Qatar as the top goalscorer again where, as of the 26th of August, he is +750.
Kane is the leading talisman in Gareth Southgate’s England team. He is supported by a great group of attacking players, whose primary job is to serve the number nine. The Three Lions should be full of goals at the World Cup, particularly in the group stages. As per the BBC, they are in a relatively-weak group which includes Iran, Wales and USA.
It is also worth looking out for who the penalty takers are in each of the teams at the World Cup. For England, it is Kane who takes the spot kicks. The experienced England captain will be hoping to lead his side deep into the tournament once again with his goals and performances.
Senegal To Win Group A
As reported by CNN, Senegal won the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 2023, so they go into the World Cup buoyed by major tournament success. The African side has been handed a favorable draw in Group A alongside the Netherlands, Qatar, and Ecuador. The European side obviously presents the biggest challenge of those three teams.
If Senegal can avoid defeat to the Netherlands, they will have a great chance of qualifying for the knockout stages as the group winners. In 2002, they reached as far as the quarterfinals, and this group of players is capable of at least replicating that.
As shown in the AP match report, the Netherlands lost to the Czech Republic at Euro 2020, which will give Senegal encouragement that they can pick up a positive result against the team in orange. As of the 26th of August, they are +250 to win Group A.
Cameroon To Qualify from Group G
Brazil is the standout team in Group G of the 2023 World Cup, however, the second qualifying spot is wide open, with Serbia, Switzerland, and Cameroon. The latter of those three teams will fancy their chances of making it through to the last 16 for the first time since 1990.
Cameroon have been in excellent form in 2023. They have lost just one game in 90 minutes across the calendar year and that came against Algeria in the first leg of their World Cup qualification tie. They prevailed 2-1 in the return fixture, before coming out on top with an extra-time goal.
With a lot of players who play their football in Europe, Cameroon has a strong squad that will not be fazed by the biggest occasion in sport. As of the 26th of August, they are +250 to qualify out of their group and that looks a good bet.
The 2023 FIFA World Cup begins on November 22, when hosts Qatar open the tournament against Ecuador.