The group draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was announced on April 1, seven and a half months before the four-week tournament begins in Qatar.
Which teams are winners and losers from the draw? And how might the groupings affect World Cup odds at the online sportsbook?
Mexico hasn’t been as dominant over the last year or so as they have in the past, but they still seemed a likely candidate to make it out of whatever group they were put in.
The ultimate loser was likely going to be the team who was thrown into a group with one of the world powers and then Poland, the lone European team in Pot 3 who has a superstar in Robert Lewandowski in the attack. The Mexican team filled that spot and will now have to find their way into the top half of Group C involving Argentina and Poland.
The Netherlands were stunned four years ago after missing out on the 2018 World Cup, but they are back looking to redeem themselves and face a quite favorable Group A.
Tournament host Qatar, fourth-time participant Ecuador, and AFCON power Senegal round out the group, one that the Netherlands will likely be heavy favorites to be the winners of come November. This may be the easiest path to the knockout round of any team in the tournament.
Japan never seems to get the credit it deserves as a team that has made the knockout stage in three of the last five World Cups, but the Samurai Blue were given a brutal draw for 2022.
Germany and Spain await as two top 12 nations in the FIFA World Rankings while Costa Rice or New Zealand would both make a feisty opponent in the final spot. Japan will have its hands full in Group E.
France will enter this tournament as one of the legitimate favorites and their draw sets up perfectly for them to sweep their group. Denmark made an inspiring run through EURO 2020 following the tragic collapse of midfielder Christian Eriksen, but France’s talent far outweighs Denmark’s as the likely second-place team in this group.
Add in Tunisia and either Peru, Australia, or the United Arab Emirates, and this should be a walk to the top of Group D for the French.
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