Predictions for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, selection of each match: Germany and England make deep runs, Argentina win

We are just days away from kicking off the FIFA World Cup this Sunday, November 20. What better time to try to predict the entire tournament? From the host nation’s opening day to the final at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, here are my predictions. Could it be a glorious World Cup final for Lionel Messi with Argentina? If so, what about his Paris Saint-Germain teammates Kylian Mbappe and Neymar? Find out here.

Group A Predictions

1

Netherlands

3

0

0

5

9

2

Senegal

1

1

1

-1

4

3

Ecuador

0

2

1

-1

2

4

Qatar

0

1

2

-4

1

Choice of the 1st day
Qatar 1, Ecuador 1
Senegal 0, Netherlands 2

Choice of the 2nd day
Qatar 0, Senegal 1
Netherlands 2, Ecuador 1

Choice of the 3rd day
Ecuador 1, Senegal 1
Netherlands 3, Qatar 0

This one should be simple enough for the Dutch who will be on a mission under the crafty Louis van Gaal. Senegal look good for second place ahead of Ecuador but it will all depend on when Sadio Mane is fit to play given he has already been left out of the Teranga Lions’ opener with the Netherlands. Ultimately, Ecuador against the Senegalese on Matchday 3 should decide who joins Oranje in the knockout stage with hosts Qatar lucky to score a point.

Group B Predictions

1

England

2

1

0

2

seven

2

Wales

1

2

0

2

5

3

UNITED STATES

1

1

1

0

4

4

Iran

0

0

3

-4

0

Choice of the 1st day
England 1, Iran 0
United States 1, Wales 1

Choice of the 2nd day
Wales 2, Iran 0
England 2, United States 1

Choice of the 3rd day
Wales 1, England 1
Iran 0, United States 1

England should be able to secure first place here, which will leave the USMNT and Wales fighting for second place against unpredictable outsiders Iran. The opening day is expected to be a close one with day two bringing key clashes which could decide who advances given the Welsh and English meet in the final round of fixtures. Looks like Gregg Berhalter’s men will fall right next door by Gareth Bale Welsh side, but much will depend on the Melli team who have talent at a time of considerable political upheaval.

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Group C Predictions

1

Argentina

3

0

0

seven

9

2

Mexico

2

0

1

0

6

3

Poland

1

0

2

-2

3

4

Saudi Arabia

0

0

3

-5

0

Choice of the 1st day
Argentina 3, Saudi Arabia 0
Mexico 2, Poland 1

Choice of the 2nd day
Poland 2, Saudi Arabia 1
Argentina 2, Mexico 0

Choice of the 3rd day
Poland 1, Argentina 3
Saudi Arabia 0, Mexico 1

Argentina and the Netherlands seem the strongest bets to finish their group stages with three wins out of a possible three. Lionel Messi’s Albiceleste should make light work of Saudi Arabia, Mexico and then Poland, with El Tri needing to get off to a winning start if they are to beat the Whites and Reds to second place. Rare are those who give the Saudis much luck, but HervĂ© Renard is an experienced coach at international level with underdog teams.

Group D Predictions

1

France

2

1

0

3

seven

2

Denmark

2

1

0

2

seven

3

Tunisia

0

1

2

-2

1

4

Australia

0

1

2

-3

1

Choice of the 1st day
Denmark 2, Tunisia 1
France 2, Australia 0

Choice of the 2nd day
Tunisia 0, Australia 0
France 1, Denmark 1

Choice of the 3rd day
Australia 0, Denmark 1
Tunisia 1, France 2

France should be top of their group, but Denmark are a tough opponent who could easily rival them for the top spot. Expect both to get off to a winning start and it wouldn’t be surprising to see a low-scoring encounter between the two in the second round of matches. It could be that it’s decided by goal difference and the Buddies final round is ideal for the French and Danes in terms of trying to increase their goalscoring tally.

Group E Predictions

1

Germany

2

1

0

4

seven

2

Spain

2

1

0

2

seven

3

Japan

1

0

2

-2

3

4

Costa Rica

0

0

3

-4

0

Choice of the 1st day
Germany 2, Japan 0
Spain 1, Costa Rica 0

Choice of the 2nd day
Japan 2, Costa Rica 1
Spain 1, Germany 1

Choice of the 3rd day
Japan 0, Spain 1
Costa Rica 0, Germany 2

Germany and Spain could be two other teams that emerge undefeated from their group. Expect both to win their openers as their matchday two encounter should be evenly matched. Japan are unlucky to have been drawn in such a tough group and while they should make life difficult for the Germans and Spaniards, it’s unlikely to be enough in the end.

Group F Predictions

1

Croatia

2

1

0

2

seven

2

Canada

1

1

1

0

4

3

Belgium

0

3

0

0

3

4

Morocco

0

1

2

-2

1

Choice of the 1st day
Morocco 1, Croatia 2
Belgium 1, Canada 1

Choice of the 2nd day
Belgium 1, Morocco 1
Croatia 2, Canada 1

Choice of the 3rd day
Croatia 1, Belgium 1
Canada 1, Morocco 0

Of all the biggest European teams that could struggle this winter, I think it will be Belgium who fare the worst and pull out in the group stage. The Red Devils’ golden generation squandered their chance for international glory and their performance at Euro 2020 illustrated yet another step back from a potential title win. Expect Canada to be a tough opponent when they return to the World Cup stage and they might just sneak in with Croatia and let Morocco spoil a close result.

Group G Predictions

1

Brazil

3

0

0

6

9

2

Swiss

2

0

1

1

6

3

Serbia

0

2

1

-3

2

4

Cameroon

0

1

2

-4

1

Choice of the 1st day
Switzerland 1, Cameroon 0
Brazil 3, Serbia 1

Choice of the 2nd day
Cameroon 1, Serbia 1
Brazil 2, Switzerland 1

Choice of the 3rd day
Serbia 1, Switzerland 2
Cameroon 0, Brazil 3

Brazil are big favorites for the title and for good reason: their attack is sensational and they have perhaps one of the most balanced teams of all the contenders. Both Serbia and Switzerland have talented groups, but the Swiss have proven to be an underrated force internationally lately and should therefore be good enough to finish second behind the Brazilians.

Group H Predictions

1

Uruguay

2

1

0

2

seven

2

Portugal

0

3

0

0

3

3

South Korea

0

2

1

-1

2

4

Ghana

0

2

1

-1

0

Choice of the 1st day
Uruguay 1, South Korea 0
Portugal 0, Ghana 0

Choice of the 2nd day
South Korea 1, Ghana 1
Portugal 1, Uruguay 1

Choice of the 3rd day
Ghana 1, Uruguay
South Korea 1, Portugal 1

All signs point to Portugal really struggling this winter as Cristiano Ronaldo continues to dominate football headlines for the wrong reasons. Uruguay look like a good bet to finish top of the pack, with the Portuguese slipping just past South Korea and Ghana in an uninspired group. La Celeste should prepare for a first-place shot if they can win their opener and avoid defeat against Fernando Santos‘ dysfunctional side.

round of 16 predictions

Netherlands 3, Wales 1
Argentina 2, Denmark 1 (after extra time)
England 2, Senegal 0
France 3, Mexico 1
Spain 2, Canada 1
Brazil 2, Portugal 0
Croatia 0, Germany 1 (after extra time)
Uruguay 1, Switzerland 2

Two of those matches look ripe for extra time, with Messi doing just enough to lead Argentina past Denmark while the Germans are slow to put Croatia to the sword. The Netherlands, England, France and Brazil should advance quite easily while Spain and Switzerland are trying harder. Expect the Dutch, French and Brazilians to be highly rated for the quarter-finals. Portugal finally part ways with Santos after this latest disappointment which looks like a late change.

Quarter-final predictions

Netherlands 2, Argentina 3 (after extra time)
Spain 1, Brazil 2
England 2, France 1 (after extra time)
Germany 2, Switzerland 0

Arguably some of the best clashes we’ll see in Qatar, expect at least two of those four to go over 90 minutes. The Netherlands v Argentina has the makings of a true World Cup classic with Van Gaal’s men set to end Messi’s title dream while Germany beat the Switzerland in the easiest of four results. The Three Lions edging Les Bleus after extra time have a controversial French exit written all over it, which turns out to be Didier Deschamps’ last act as boss with Zinedine Zidane named his successor the day after the defeat.

Semi-final predictions

Argentina 1, Brazil 1 (Argentina win on penalties)
England 1, Germany 2

Heartbreak for Neymar and Brazil who lost to Messi’s Argentina on penalties in Lusail. Seeing how the pair fare on their return to Paris Saint-Germain will indeed be very interesting, but there will be no Neymar vs Mbappe clash in the third place clash given that England have qualified for the other semi-final. Spared the agony of a kick loss to the Germans, Gareth Southgate’s men find themselves up against a winner in Jamal Musiala, perhaps more painful given his English background.

Final prediction

Argentina 2, Germany 1

Messi and La Albiceleste do it and get revenge on the Nationalelf for the agony of their 2014 World Cup defeat in Brazil. The PSG man is on the scoresheet and provides Argentina’s second goal to win the title he has dreamed of throughout his career at the age of 35. Hansi Flick and his German team can look to the future with great optimism given that few of his outfield players are past the age of 30.

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