Itâ€™s been an exciting year of soccer so far. The European Championships and Copa America were both dramatic, but now attention turns to the Qatar World Cup in November next year.
With just over a year until kick-off, there are plenty of contenders. So many that it in fancy feels like a game of bingo, with all manner of potential final combinations, winners, and dark horses. And when it comes to bingo, if you have an understanding of the game itself then you really do know that anything can happen.
Of course, football isnâ€™t random though. There will always be teams more likely to win than others, so weâ€™ve examined the odds to uncover who are the World Cup 2022 favouritesâ€¦
Brazil havenâ€™t won a World Cup since 2002, but once again they are favourites with some real talent in their squad. They were runners up in the Copa America a matter of weeks ago, as Argentina triumphed, but they are the South American team most likely to succeed in Asia.
The French were stunned by Switzerland at the Euros, but go into the World Cup as defending champions and second favourite. The French have comfortably one of the best squads in the competition, and players like Kylian Mbappe are only going to get better with age too.
Like this summer, they will be the team to beat once again, and it wouldnâ€™t be a surprise to see them just edge out Brazil as tournament favourites once the competition edges closer.
Gareth Southgateâ€™s Three Lions reached their first major final since 1966 over the summer, and theyâ€™ll be keen to go one better after penalty shootout defeat against Italy. They will have one of the youngest, yet most exciting, squads in the tournament, and some real star quality in the likes of Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Mason Mount. Then thereâ€™s of course the Harry Kane factor.
Theyâ€™ll be one to watch once again, but do they have the mentality to be real winners. The jury is out on that one.
The Spanish looked relatively good at Euro 2020, reaching the Semi-Final before losing to Italy on penalties. Theyâ€™re ahead of Italy for the World Cup according to the sportsbooks though, largely thanks to some excellent young talent. The likes of Pedri, Eric Garcia, Ferran Torres and many other stars could prove to be the next generation of great Spanish players and will certainly be considered one of the favourites as we build up to next year.