The countdown is on until the start of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Despite the controversy that centers around the competition and FIFA’s decision to award the most prestigious sports tournament in the world to a relatively unknown country, the event next year will still be the most-watched sporting competition of the year.
Betting will once again be prominent, as fans begin to dissect teams just as they would for horses when placing a bet on the Kentucky Derby. However, which countries could potentially go under the radar for the World Cup next year and be a decent outside play?
Denmark The Most Interesting European Selection
The number of European heavyweight national sides in the World Cup will see a top-heavy betting market favoring teams from the continent. England, France, Spain, and Italy all dominant the top six in the betting, but an interesting play outside of these could be Denmark.
The Danes, managed by Kasper Hjulmand, were one of the stories of the European Championships in the summer, as they reached the semi-finals before falling to England. The character of the national team isn’t even up for debate, as they quickly pulled together following the devastating collapse of Christen Eriksen in their opening game of the tournament against Iceland.
Some would argue that they were robbed in the semi-finals, as the penalty awarded against them could have easily been avoided. However, they weren’t about to start moaning about being hard done by, and became the third official team to qualify for the World Cup in the last international break. Their form in their qualifying group has been nothing short of breathtaking.
Eight games, eight wins, 27 goals, and zero against. Underrated quality at both ends of the pitch means that only a favorable draw could stand between the Danes and a chance at immortality in Qatar next year.
Possible African Outside Chance
African nations have so often created the everlasting story of the World Cup. Back in 2014, two nations from the continent reached the knockout stages for the very first time, before none managed to make it out of their group in Russia. However, the standard is clearly at an all-time high in Africa, with Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco all having quality squads. However, Nigeria could be the nation worth consideration when it comes to an outsider bet.
Nigeria have no shortage of quality throughout their squad, with a number of players playing at the top table in the European game. Victor Osimhen has started the season in fine form for Serie A leaders Napoli, while Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi from Leicester City have formed an integral part of a Champions League-chasing side in the Premier League. They have already looked strong throughout qualification, losing just once in four games.
Senegal could also be a decent outsider, with Kalidou Koulibaly at the heart of their defense and Sadio Mane leading the line. They have been faultless to this point in qualification, winning all four games that they have played. The World Cup promises to be a memorable event once again next year, and one of the stories of the tournament could come from outside the favorites.
World Cup Outsider Bets
- Denmark to win the World Cup @ +3300
- Nigeria to win the World Cup @ +10000
- Senegal to win the World Cup @ +15000
Stay tuned for more betting picks and previews over at KnupSports.com!