The wait for the Qatar World Cup is almost over. The change in the calendar has fans waiting for November anxiously with the final warm up games and Nations League matches over.
Managers of each nation have had their preparations complete and will mostly know what their final squad will be when the time comes to officially announce them.
As fans and punters look to the World Cup odds, there are some teams like France who will be amongst the favorites but having a number of off-field issues which could have negative effects on their performances.
Qatar is hosting its first World Cup and the stadiums have all been built in close distance to each other in comparison to other nations who have hosted the competition.
Travelling to Qatar will for many include a hefty budget, the almost limitless cash that has been pumped into the tournament will see state of the art facilities on offer.
Fans are able to ensure they are close to the action in the incredible facilities and hotels on offer. Qatar has spent billions to get ready for this tournament and those who choose to attend will be able to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience.
There is rarely a World Cup where Brazil aren’t considered one of the favorites for the tournament. Once again, they were unbeaten in qualifying, and have been terrifying opponents with their chemistry on the pitch.
While Vinicius Junior is lighting up La Liga, Neymar is producing some of his best performances at Paris St-Germain and Richarlison and Raphinha have been in excellent form for their clubs as well. The attacking side of the Brazilian side are, as usual, electric; and you cannot overlook the quality in defense as well. The evergreen Thiago Silva still at the top of the game at 37-years-old while having two of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League to choose from, Allison and Ederson, they have depth all over the pitch.
France goes into the tournament second favorites behind Brazil and have recently seen Karim Benzema reintroduced to the national team. The reigning champions have one of the most envied squads there has ever been with world class talent in every position.
Any side with Kylian Mbappe in the team will be a danger and he will be expected to be one of the most influential players in the tournament. They may miss Paul Pogba through injury but players like Aurelien Tchouameni and Edourdo Camavinga would be starters in any side.
England are so hard to be confident about, but so difficult to write off. They have been relegated for the Nations League group, been predictable and struggled to score from open play until the final game of the Nations League where they drew 3-3 with Germany.
Suddenly, a 3-3 draw reminded people they can attack, with Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and players like Mason Mount and Phil Foden, they have so much quality, but a reserved manager who at times keeps them on a tight leash.
Brazil’s rival in South America, Argentina, are looking back to their best. While they may be just sixth favorites at present, there is a real feel-good factor around the team. At times it may have been fair to say that Lionel Messi was forced to carry the side, but now, the squad look confident and exciting.
Messi is cclearly one of the greatest to have ever played the game, and Angel Di Maria, Nicolas Otamendi and Nicolás Tagliofico provide experience and quality in the group. Rodrigo de Paul will be vital in the middle of midfield while Lautaro Martínez could be a key player in bringing the goals to see Argentina achieving success in Qatar.
European Champions, Portugal, will need to work out what they are doing with Cristiano Ronaldo. Struggling to get into the first team at Manchester United, it is hard for his national team to move on, despite the quality they have in reserve including Athletico Mardid’s Joao Felix.
Jamal Musiala looks set to be one of the most exciting young talents at the World Cup. The German forward has been in incredible form for Bayern Munich and could be a key part of an attack which isn’t as strong as it has been in previous tournaments.
Let’s also not forget Spain’s young talents, especially coming out of Barcelona. Pedri and Gavi have talent way beyond their years, as well as being full of energy and confidence. They can dominate games given the chance and will be two specially to watch.
Despite the concerns many rightly have over the organization of the tournament, once it begins we will all no doubt enjoy the spectacle and the talent on show.
Each of the big teams coming into the tournament will arrive with confidence, knowing that a win in their opening game will put them on course for a strong campaign. Whoever can come out of top will have to beat some of the best, while managing their squad well in the heat and compact timeframe of this particular World Cup.