by Contributing Author
Whilst the inevitability of Israel not qualifying for the 2022 World Cup was not a surprise within the sporting community, the disappointment for football fans continues.
Not since 1970 have Israel reached the World Cup finals, with the golden generation featuring Yossi Benayoun and Tal Ben Haim failing to deliver when it mattered.
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The qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar never really got going, with Willibald Ruttensteiner’s side finishing third in the group behind Denmark and Scotland, unable to emulate the successes of their Olympic counterparts in 2021.
Qualification for Euro 2024 is now next on the horizon for Israel but with the World Cup coming up later this year, attention inevitably turns to the key sides sure to be involved in the Qatari sunshine.
Breaking with tradition in the calendar, the World Cup will be played during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter to accommodate the soaring temperatures in Qatar – a moot point for many footballing purists.
However, with most of the key players facing the prospect of joining up with their national teams after almost half a season of club action, it could be a World Cup for the ages.
When it comes to World Cups, no side has the depth of talent and history that Brazil possess, and they will be looking to win their first World Cup title since 2002. Brazil are currently at odds 6/1 according to lift the famous old trophy and whilst they are a side in transition somewhat, the likes of Neymar Jr and Gabriel Jesus could formulate a deadly strike partnership in Qatar.
Defending champions France could take some stopping at 7/1, with Didier Deschamps’s side breezing through qualification once again in the UEFA section of the draw. They failed to deliver at Euro 2020, despite many pre-tournament predictions that they were the side to beat but they have a cohesion and understanding not many sides can cope with – making them genuine candidates here.
2010 champions Spain have a youthful side, capable of beating anybody on their day and look good value at 9/1. The Spaniards have crept under the radar somewhat in recent years, with the Golden generation of 2008-2012 seemingly forgotten but they were unlucky to lose the Euro 2020 semi-final to eventual winners Italy and they could go well here in sunnier climes.
Euro 2020 runners up England are also sure to be in the mix – looking to break their 56-year duck for a major trophy – at 10/1. Gareth Southgate has his army of fans believing again, having also reached the last 4 of the World Cup in 2018 and with his side now building up a memory bank of coping with big games, they could be a very astute bet for punters chasing value.
Few sides are as adept at turning up on the biggest stage as Germany, who look a decent outside punt at 12/1. Change has been afoot, with Hansi Flick now the man at the helm for the national team and they will be one of the sides to beat once more.
Lionel Messi’s Argentina are also sure to be in the mix at 14/1 to win the 2022 World Cup, in what many believe is the great man’s last chance to win the coveted trophy. Their Copa America triumph in 2021 was historic and how they would love to top that in Qatar.