2022 FIFA World Cup Previews, Predictions and Betting Tips

What is the FIFA World Cup?

The FIFA World Cup is the men's international football world championship which is the biggest sporting event on the planet. The tournament is contested every four years and involves 32 football nations who have earned qualification (including hosts, who qualify automatically).

The football World Cup is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world with the cumulative audience exceeding the Olympic Games. It is estimated that more than one billion fans tuned in to watch the 2014 World Cup final alone.

FIFA World Cup History 

FIFA, world football's governing body, launched the World Cup after being inspired by the success of the Olympics' football tournament. The inaugural World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930, and has been held every four years bar 1942 and 1946 when it was not organised due to World War II.

Where is the 2022 FIFA World Cup being played?

The 2022 tournament will be the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup and will take place in Qatar. They were awarded hosting rights by FIFA after winning the bidding against the USA, Australia, South Korea and Japan. It will be the first World Cup to be held in the Arab world and the first in a Muslim-majority country. 

The 2022 World Cup will be the last to involve 32 teams before the tournament increases to 48 teams for the 2026 World Cup. The 2026 World Cup will be jointly hosted by 16 cities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. 

Due to the extreme heat in Qatar during summer and safety concerns regarding players and supporters, the 2022 World Cup will be the first World Cup not to be held in May, June, or July. 

The tournament is scheduled for late November until mid-December which will disrupt the major domestic leagues around the world. It will be played in a reduced timeframe of approximately 28 days.

When does the 2022 FIFA World Cup start?

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to kick off on 21 November 2022, with the final set to take place on 18 December.

Who has won the most FIFA World Cup titles?

Brazil are the most successful nation with five World Cup titles (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 & 2002) and are the only team to have played in every tournament. Germany and Italy have each won four, while Argentina, France and Uruguay all have two to their names and England and Spain one  World Cup each.

brazil 2002 world cup trophy
Brazil are the most successful nation at the FIFA World Cup, winning their 5th trophy in 2002 at South Korea & Japan (Getty Images)

Who are the defending FIFA World Cup champions?

France will seek to defend their crown in 2022, having beaten Croatia 4-2 in the 2018 final on 15 July in Moscow, Russia. Les Bleus' goals came through a Mario Mandžukić own goal, Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappé. Croatia, meanwhile, scored via Ivan Perišić and Mandžukić.

What happened at the 2018 FIFA World Cup?

The 2018 FIFA World Cup was a tremendous success in Russia with France defeating Croatia 4-2 in a thrilling final. There were plenty of upsets in Russia, defending champions Germany crashing out in the group stage and 2010 winners Spain eliminated in the last 16 by hosts Russia. 

Croatia stunned the world with a shock run to the final with Player of the Tournament Luka Modrić leading the way. England and Belgium impressed by reaching the semi-finals, but ultimately Didier Deschamps' France stole the show. 

The tournament will be remembered for the rise of French winger Kylian Mbappe. Mbappe became the youngest player to score in a World Cup final since Brazilian icon Pelé when he netted against Croatia at just 19 years of age.

France celebrate with the FIFA World Cup trophy after winning the 2018 tournament in Russia (AFP/Getty Images).

Who are the favourites to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

Bookmakers generally agree that the four favourites are Germany, France, Brazil and Spain. There is some variation with regards to who comes out tops among the four, but Bet365 lists Brazil at 6/1, with Germany, France and Spain all at 7/1.

What are the latest odds for the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

Betting is open for the tournament winner and there is plenty of value on offer this far away from kick off. Brazil are equal favourites alongside Germany, Spain and 2018 World Cup winners France. 

2022 FIFA World Cup Odds (correct as of 28/2/19)

Spain 10.00
Portugal 41.00

2022 FIFA World Cup Qualification

All 211 FIFA member associations are eligible to enter qualification for the 2022 World Cup. Qatar qualify automatically as hosts. For the first time after the initial two World Cups 1930 and 1934, the tournament will be hosted by a country whose national team has never played in the competition.

The same allocation as 2006 has been kept for the 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022 World Cups and is as follows, with the qualifying draw taking place in July 2019:

  • CAF (Africa): 5
  • AFC (Asia): 4.5 (not including host nation)
  • UEFA (Europe): 13
  • CONCACAF (North and Central America and Caribbean): 3.5
  • OFC (Oceania): 0.5
  • CONMEBOL (South America): 4.5

FIFA World Cup Hosts, Winners and Runners-up


South Africa
2002South Korea & JapanBrazilGermany
United StatesBrazilItaly
1990ItalyWest GermanyArgentina
1986MexicoArgentinaWest Germany
1982SpainItalyWest Germany
1974West GermanyWest GermanyNetherlands
1966EnglandEnglandWest Germany
1954SwitzerlandWest GermanyHungary

At FreeTips.com we will have 2022 FIFA World Cup Tips throughout the qualifying campaigns and the tournament in Qatar. Our 2022 FIFA World Cup bets will include our World Cup Bet of the Day, World Cup Score/Win doubles, 2022 FIFA World Cup Accumulator Tips and Outright Tips including Group bets such as Group Winner and to Finish Bottom of the Group.