It’s less than two months until the World Cup in Qatar begins. The opening match between the hosts and Ecuador will take place on November 21st. So the favorites don’t have much time to get in shape.
SPOX and GOAL look at the ten top favorites – at least when it comes to the odds of the bookmakers. In the check we examine the current form of the nations and the mood in the home country. Who will win the title at the Winter World Championships?
In a Nations League group with France, Croatia and Austria, the Danes underlined that they also want to play a good role in the World Cup. With a total of 4-1 goals, they beat France twice, and Austria was defeated twice as well. Only against Croatia did Denmark draw the short straw, which is why it was not enough to win the group with a one-point deficit.
Coach Kasper Hjulmand’s team also went very far at the European Championships – namely to the semi-finals. There they failed conceivably close to England. So it’s no wonder that bookmakers have Denmark on their list again this year.
Kasper Schmeichel was already an important factor at the European Championship. Despite the good odds, Denmark will start the tournament with outsider chances. Accordingly, it is also important that the goalkeeper fishes away a lot again in Qatar.
Denmark: Will the Danes light dynamite again?
At the World Cup in Russia, Denmark reached the round of 16 in a group with France, Peru and Australia. There they failed because of the Croatians – but only on penalties. Denmark, as the European Championship showed impressively, is now in a much stronger position. Individually, but also as a team, they are more stable.
In this respect, the minimum goal should be quarterfinals. France and Australia are waiting again in the group stage, plus Tunisia.
In view of the latest results, the tournament will probably start with hope – at least in terms of sport. The association has already announced that it intends to start local protests about the human rights situation in Qatar. Still, there’s no question that Denmark have high hopes for this tournament. After the successful EM, the Danes got the desire for more.
In the Nations League, the Belgians finished second behind the Netherlands with ten points, which should perfectly describe where the team is. The Red Devils prevailed against Poland and Wales with three wins and one draw, but against the Netherlands they suffered two defeats (1-4 and 0-1).
Of course, the squad of the Belgians is still impressive. As always, the best hopes are on Kevin De Bruyne. As one of the best midfielders in the world, he should finally lead the golden generation to the big title.
On the last day of the game, Portugal lost their group victory in the Nations League after a narrow defeat against Spain. Nevertheless, it was shown in the games before that the form is basically right. A 1-0 defeat against Switzerland clouds the picture a bit, but otherwise the Portuguese presented themselves strongly – unlike at the European Championships last year.
Cristiano Ronaldo should be mentioned here in the first place, although he is perhaps no longer the strongest player in Portugal from a purely sporting point of view. Nevertheless, everyone is guided by him and he will once again play an important role as captain. At this tournament he can finally make himself immortal in his home country.
Portugal: Ronaldo’s last shot?
Portugal lost to Uruguay in the round of 16 at the World Cup in Russia. Overall, the impression remained that the team was too reserved, too passive and too conservative. Coach Fernando Santos stayed, many talents were added. It will also be up to him to unleash this talent.
Accordingly, one is ambivalent at home. On the one hand there is this great squad that has achieved good results in the Nations League. On the other hand, there is a fear that Santos will again choose an overly pragmatic and reserved approach.