With the clock ticking down 100 days before the start of the World Cup, here are five things to think about as we await the opening kick in Qatar.
The World Cup is only 100 days away! As the first-ever Winter World Cup and the first to be held in an Arab country draws near, excitement surrounding the tournament continued to grow.
The start date is planned for November 21, but the organizers have requested changes that would allow the World Cup to start a day earlier so that the host nation can have an important place in the opening game.
FIFA has yet to make a final decision. Meanwhile, the days go by. As the tournament approaches, speculation grows as to who can lift the trophy, which dark horses to watch out for, and which teams will fail.
It will also be interesting to see if players like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo can shine, two of the world’s best players who will play in what will probably be their last World Cup.
Here are five things to keep in mind over the past 100 days.
Who are the favorites for the 2022 world title?
With the World Cup not being held on European soil and given the Middle East climate, Brazil and Argentina are the big favorites to win the World Cup. The South American rivals are also favorites due to their stacked squads and winning traditions.
France, the reigning world champions, want to repeat themselves. It’s not easy considering Brazil were the last team to win back-to-back tournaments in 1958 and 1962. No team has made it since.
Who are the dark horses going into the tournament?
Portugal, Germany and Denmark top the list of dark horses. Portugal are led by Ronaldo while Denmark have shown they have some surprises up their sleeves after a scintillating Euro 2021.
Germany, on the other hand, is rarely seen as a dark horse and is usually listed among the favourites. But the Germans have had to rebuild in recent years but they are never stopped from going deep at a World Cup.
Who are the pretenders?
Host nation Qatar has little footballing heritage and has been volatile in recent years. Yes, they will have home support behind them, but little else. They may very well not become the second host country, after South Africa in 2010, not to make it through the group stage.
Belgium and England are the other two. Belgium’s golden generation has gotten so much older. England, on the other hand, have found ways to play poorly at the highest level since winning their only World Cup in 1966.
What are the chances of the USMNT?
United States, who were back at the World Cup after missing out on a win against Russia in 2018, have a young side. Your goal is to get out of the group stage. It’s certainly something that’s a possibility.
The USMNT is in Group B along with Wales, England and Iran. The team’s second game on November 25 (the day after Black Friday Thanksgiving) against England will be the biggest game of the group. It is also one of the five games you can’t miss at the upcoming tournament.
Who will win the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer?
Three players quickly come to mind: Neymar, Messi and Karim Benzema. The teammates at Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar and Messi are currently in top form. Both are expected to lead Brazil and Argentina respectively to the knockout stage.
Frenchman Benzema had a great club season with Real Madrid, guiding the Spanish club to the Champions League title. He also finished the tournament as the top scorer with 15 goals. If Benzema maintains this form, he will rocket to the top of the goalscoring table at the World Cup.
https://fansided.com/2022/08/11/world-cup-2022-preview-favorites-dark-horses-100-days/ 5 things to see 100 days before kick-off