We’re still over seven months away from the 2022 World Cup, but it’s never too early to start analyzing the most prestigious football tournament in the world.
32 nations will meet in Qatar this November with the aim of being named world champions after France took home those honors at the tournament’s previous edition in 2018.
For nations like the United States, 2022 marks a return to the World Cup for the first time since 2014, while traditional powers like Brazil and Germany aim to engrave their names in history once again with a title.
Below, ONE37pm hands out its 2022 World Cup predictions ahead of November’s competition in Qatar.
Hosts Qatar weren’t presented with the most desirable group, and it definitely won’t be an easy task getting past pool play with three quality sides.
African champions Senegal will be led by a core of quality Premier League players, including Sadio Mane, Edouard Mendy, as well as Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly.
Meanwhile, Netherlands breezed through qualifying with Memphis Depay’s goal scoring run and defensively they have a very talented group with Virgil van Dijk and Mathijs de Ligt manning the back line.
Ecuador will be a threat, but slowed down towards the end of CONMEBOL qualifying. Qatar can put up a fight after competing in various North and South American competitions over recent years, but it’s likely one-and-done for the host nation.
Who Advances? Netherlands + Senegal
The USMNT won’t be upset with their group, but England obviously presents a significant challenge for the Americans.
The Three Lions have been on the brink of a major title after finishing fourth at the previous World Cup and runners up to Italy at Euro 2020.
The U.S. should be able to get past Iran and whichever team ends up qualifying from Europe, but it’s certainl
Who Advances? England + USA
El Tri will feel fortunate to have their group despite being pitted up against Lionel Messi and Argentina. Mexico finished second in CONCACAF qualifying, but they have a very strong chance of reaching the knockout phase.
Argentina will definitely be the favorites to advance after finishing unbeaten in qualifying and riding a 31-match unbeaten streak to this point.
Saudi Arabia likely won’t have much luck on their side, while Poland can be heavily reliant on one of the top strikers in football; Robert Lewandowski.
Who Advances? Argentina + Mexico
Defending champions France should have a comfortable road to the knockout phase with one of the deepest squads at the World Cup.
Meanwhile, Euro 2020 darlings Denmark have star Christian Eriksen back and they’ll be looking to build off of last year’s success on the biggest European stage.
If Peru gets through qualifying they can certainly present a threat, but their path to the Round of 16, along with Tunisia, will be quite challenging.
Who Advances? France + Denmark
Many will have their attention on Group E with two powerhouses battling it out in Spain and Germany.
Both sides have largely young cores and will be hoping to take that next major leap on the international stage with players like Pedri and Kai Havertz leading the way.
Japan is always a consistent threat in group play, but this isn’t the same team we’ve seen in previous cycles. Meanwhile, Costa Rica will aim to get past New Zealand in order to solidify their spot and the Ticos are an aging team that does have one of the best goalkeepers in the competition with Keylor Navas.
Who Advances? Spain + Germany
This could be the last time we see the ‘Golden Age’ of Belgium with Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard, but this side is still good enough to reach the knockout phase and potentially go further.
Meanwhile, Canada could be one of the most exciting newcomers at this year’s World Cup with Alphonso Davies, Tajon Buchanan and Jonathan David aiming to take the North American side to the Round of 16.
They’ll have a serious challenge from Croatia – who finished second in 2018 – and Morocco, who battled valiantly at AFCON 2021.
Who Advances? Belgium + Canada
Brazil will certainly be favorites to advance after an unbeaten qualifying run and only two major losses in all competitions since 2019.
However, Neymar and Co. will have a battle in terms of which nation finishes second in Group G.
Serbia boasts one of the top young strikers in football with Dušan Vlahovič while Cameroon has a sneaky good squad that is going to look to speed the game up.
Switzerland has been to many knockout rounds with a veteran core led by Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, so don’t be surprised if they ruin someone’s party.
Who Advances? Brazil + Serbia
Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. had their troubles getting to Qatar, but now that Portugal has qualified Portugal are certainly one of the favorites to win the World Cup.
The European nation boasts an incredible amount of attacking talent, while Joao Cancelo and Ruben Dias man the defense.
Meanwhile, a rematch of a 2010 knockout round game ensues with Ghana and Uruguay meeting. Luis Suarez was the famous figure sent off after handling the ball on the goal line, but Uruguay still advanced on penalty kicks.
Expect the South Americans to advance again with a veteran squad looking to make a lasting run to the knockout stage.
Who Advances? Portugal + Uruguay
This is where the competition begins to get serious and the fun truly begins for teams that expect to go all the way at the World Cup.
Although the hosts may not make it to the knockout phase, there’s a ton of star power left in the tournament, including favorites Brazil, France and England.
Who Advances? Netherlands + Argentina + Spain + Brazil + England + France + Germany + Portugal
It’s not rare to see group winners in these latter stages of the World Cup and with so many top teams boasting immense talent this year, there are a lot of European powers at the top.
By this point, we could have all teams ranked inside the top 12 in FIFA’s World Rankings, which would make for some incredible drama in the quarterfinals.
Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and Mbappe would all still be in the competition as well, which would be great for casual fans of the sport.
Who Advances? Argentina + Brazil + France + Germany
We could get a dream semifinals with Lionel Messi and Neymar facing off once again in a rematch of many South American battles previously seen.
Meanwhile, France and Germany have had many great encounters in Europe previously. Les Bleus continue to boast a strong squad with N’Golo Kante and Kylian Mbappe leading the way.
Who Advances? Brazil + France
Messi and Co. fall short of an elusive World Cup, but a third-place finish in Qatar would still be quite good for the legacy of the Barcelona & PSG superstar.
Meanwhile, Germany has been building properly under Hansi Flick and could very well be in the running to win the 2026 World Cup.
Who wins? Argentina
In a battle of Europe and South America, we get a similar result to what we’ve seen in previous World Cups over recent years. Europe continues to reign supreme on the global stage and France does something quite impressive by repeating as champions.
Brazil have all the quality to go deep in this competition and they’ll give France a very good game, especially with a midfield led by Casemiro and Fabinho.
Who wins? France