- Group B Preview: USMNT, Iran, England, and Wales
- Three things you need to know about Senegal
- Three things you need to know about Argentina
, Our star-studded cast of soccer analysts here at FOX Sports makes their picks for the World Cup Final and more.,
FIFA World Cup 2022
3 mins ago
Picking a World Cup winner is often a battle between who you think will win and who you want to win, and that will be no different this year. While Brazil and France have arguably the most stacked squads at the tournament, there will be soccer fans at home rooting for Argentina’s Lionel Messi or Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo to win it what will be their final World Cup.
We asked our star-studded cast of soccer analysts here at FOX Sports to make their picks for the World Cup Final, as well as a dark-horse team they can see making a deep run. Here’s what they said.
Who’s your dark-horse contender to win the World Cup?
Doug McIntyre: The last dark horse to win a World Cup was West Germany in 1954. It’s not something that happens. After all, only eight teams have ever hoisted that beautiful golden trophy in the 92-year history of the competition. Which is why I’m going with Germany as my dark horse this year.
Picking a four-time champ might seem like cheating, but nobody seems to expect Die Mannschaft to add title No. 5 on Dec. 18. At +1000, FOXBet.com gives them the sixth-best odds in the 32-nation field. I’d take that all day. Based on current form, the Germans certainly appear to have a better chance than some of the teams in front of them, not least perennially overrated England and injury-hit holders France.
Martin Rogers: Denmark has the togetherness and ingenuity to go deep, as we saw at the Euros. Actually win it? That’s a stretch. Expect the winner to come from one of the top-four favorites, as usual.
Landon Donovan: England. Nobody ever expects them to succeed, but they have enough quality to win it all.
Group B Preview: USMNT, Iran, England, and Wales
Alexi Lalas and David Mosse break down Group B of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Carli Lloyd: Denmark. Coming off a successful EURO 2020 and Christian Eriksen‘s recovery from his collapse and cardiac arrest, they are hungry to win and inspire. Kasper Hjulmand has the tactical flexibility within his squad. Eriksen is in great form and will be appreciating every moment on the field knowing how fragile life can be. This will inject heart and confidence in the team.
Aly Wagner: Switzerland. I think when you look at their recent results in Nations League and you look at their potential pathway. If they advance second out of their group, I think they go over to a relatively easy side of the bracket. I think that’s a manageable pathway for them. [Granit] Xhaka‘s been in incredible form, you’ve got some good experience on that squad. I think that group has the potential to upset and go further than expected.
Stu Holden: Outside of the usual names, I’ll say Uruguay. Darwin Nunez is one of the top attacking talents globally and with the experience of Luis Suarez they will cause teams big problems defensively. Federico Valverde is playing some of the best soccer in his career, and they are always solid defensively.
Chad Johnson: Senegal. They’re hot right now and made it out of the Africa Cup of Nations. They have a bunch of veterans and play well together.
Three things you need to know about Senegal
Alexi Lalas breaks down three things we need to know about Senegal.
Kelly Smith: Uruguay. They have young players in fine form, with a midfield featuring Valverde and Bentancur, and Nunez up front, while at the back there is serious experience. Uruguay are tough, organized, and full of quality, and they will want to send [Edinson] Cavani and Suarez out with a bang.
Maurice Edu: The Netherlands. Despite the talent they have in their squad — [Virgil] Van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay, Cody Gakpo, etc. — I don’t consider them one of the favorites. They didn’t qualify in 2018, so they will have a point to prove this time around being led by manager Louis Van Gaal, who took them to a third-place finish in 2014.
Cobi Jones:Senegal. This is a semi-golden generation for the African Champions with top talent at all positions and Sadio Mane leading the attack.
Eniola Aluko: Portugal. They have a very experienced squad with some leading young players such a Rafael Leaõ, who has been a very exciting player for AC Milan. Cristiano [Ronaldo] will lead the way I am sure and will have a lot to prove given his frustrations at Manchester United this season. Bruno Fernandes, Ruben Neves, Ruben Dias and Joao Felix are also top players.
[Which Cristiano Ronaldo will show up for Portugal at World Cup 2022?]
Warren Barton: Senegal is one of my dark horses to do well, but I don’t know if they can win it, so I’m looking at someone like Spain. They’re not France, they’re not Belgium; they’re not Brazil, they’re not Argentina. I think Luis Enrique can do it with this team and with these players. He’s done a good job, he’s a proven winner at the club level and an excellent coach.
Who will play in the World Cup Final, and who will win it?
McIntyre: As much as I’d love to see Messi win a World Cup, Brazil’s been my pick to win it all since the summer, and I’m sticking with it. I think they outlast the Albiceleste in an all-South American semifinal. On the other side of the bracket I’m going with Germany, which can win any World Cup they enter. Die Mannschaft could relish the unfamiliar underdog role.
Rogers: If the big teams win their groups, the top half of the bracket becomes an absolute gauntlet. The bottom half becomes more open. Let’s go with a mouthwatering Spain v. Portugal matchup to decide it all.
Donovan: France vs. Brazil and Brazil will win.
Lloyd: Argentina will lift the trophy.
Wagner: I think I’m going to go Brazil and Germany with Germany coming out in second.
Holden: Argentina vs. France, and Argentina win the World Cup.
Johnson: I think it will be France and Argentina with Argentina winning it all. I don’t think you can ever count out Messi and that squad.
Three things you need to know about Argentina
Alexi Lalas breaks down three things you need to know about Argentina.
Smith: England vs. Brazil final with Brazil winning. I think Brazil has the most talented squad with exciting flare attacking players. They are so exciting to watch, and I think they will turn it on this World Cup.
Edu: Messi and Argentina lift the trophy after beating a strong France side in the Final!
Aluko: Argentina vs. England. I would love England to win, but England have key defensive injuries to Reece James and Ben Chilwell with limited strikers up front to support Harry Kane. I only see Argentina winning if this is the Final, but I hope I am wrong.
Barton: My favorites are Brazil, to go on and win it, but I think Belgium can win it. Kevin de Bruyne, the way that he’s playing, they can get there.gium