FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Preview

Jeremy Kravitz, Sports Editor

On November 20th, the Qatari national team will play Ecuador, kicking off the World Cup, so it’s time to look ahead and predict the results. 

Group A Prediction: Netherlands, Senegal, Ecuador, Qatar

In a relatively weak group, the Dutch have an opening to capture the top spot. The holders of the African Cup of Nations, Senegal, are filled with European league talent giving them an advantage. Qatar is set to finish last, but the home advantage may surprise us all. 

Group B Prediction: England, USA, Iran, Wales

England seems a step ahead of the US Men’s National Team. Both sides have top talent paired with poor coaches and a poor run of results leading up to the tournament. Iran and Wales are lackluster, giving England the top spot, and the US taking second in their World Cup return. 

Group C Prediction: Argentina, Poland, Mexico, Saudi Arabia

In what will surely be Messi’s last World Cup, the Argentines will likely finish undefeated in Group C. Led by star striker Robert Lewandoski, Poland is looking for redemption after a poor Euro, hoping to edge out an aging Mexican squad.

Group D Prediction: France, Denmark, Tunisia, Australia

France, the reigning World Cup champions, are set to finish first in a rather unremarkable group. After an inspiring Euros run, Denmark should face little resistance to finishing second and moving on.  

Group E Prediction: Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica

Spain and Germany, two previous World Cup winners, have slightly weaker teams this time around. Spain has been narrowly finding better form, and as both teams are set to beat Japan and Costa Rica, the top spot will be for the Spaniards. 

Group F Prediction: Belgium, Croatia, Canada, Morocco

Belgium comes in with its top players in fine form while Croatia seems unlikely to find the spark from their 2018 World Cup run, leading to a one-two finish for the European teams. It’s an unfortunate group for Canada, which has some potential to upset Croatia.

Group G Prediction: Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Cameroon

This could be Brazil’s year, and Group G could very well be a springboard for success. Switzerland is also coming in hot and is looking to take a sweet second spot.

Group H Prediction: Portugal, Uruguay, Ghana, South Korea

In all seriousness, it might not be Ronaldo carrying Portugal to the top spot in Group H. Portugal should do well against average competition, while solid Uruguay and revamped Ghana make for an interesting second spot race.

The top two teams from each group will advance to a four-round knockout stage. The bracket pairs group winners vs. group runner-ups in the first round. 

Semifinal Prediction: Argentina vs. Brazil and France vs. Belgium

Argentina matches up well with Brazil, but the overall talent from Brazil is no match for Messi in his final World Cup. Belgium’s old guard will combine with their young studs to sweep the rug from France, spoiling their back-to-back hopes. 

Finals Prediction: Belgium

Belgium vs. Brazil would be an intriguing final, with Belgium ultimately eking out the win. Kevin de Bruyne will likely lead Belgium to victory, surpassing all odds and finally winning a title within this generation. While Brazil is an incredible team, they will once again fail to win when it matters. 

See the bracket attached for my full knockout round predictions. 

This piece also appears in our October 2022 print edition.