BRAZIL haven’t won the World Cup since 2002 but there is a strong chance Qatar 2022 could be their year.
Using Stats Perform’s artificial intelligence World Cup prediction model, the South Americans have emerged as the favourites to lift the trophy for a record extending sixth time.
But how well are England and Wales going to perform?
To achieve a more well-rounded picture of who will win the 2022 World Cup, the prediction model estimates the probability of each match outcome — win, draw or loss — by using betting market odds and Stats Perform’s team rankings.
The odds and rankings are based on historical and recent team performances.
The model then considers opponent strength and the difficulty of their path to the final by using match outcome probabilities, taking into account the composition of the groups and seedings into the knockout stages.
Brazil emerge with the highest probability of winning.
The five-time winners, who are overall favourites to win, have a 16 percent chance of lifting the trophy according to the model, and as the overall favourites for the tournament, are also the team with the highest probability of reaching the final (25 percent).
Just behind five-time winners Brazil, it is Argentina who have the second-highest probability of winning this year’s World Cup. Lionel Scaloni’s side, who are the favourites in Group C, have a 13 percent chance of going on to scoop the trophy this year.
Rounding out the top five contenders at the 2022 World Cup are France (12 percent), Spain (nine percent) and England (nine percent).
Despite being the third overall favourites to win the tournament, it is France who in fact have the highest probability of qualifying for the knockout stages of the tournament (91 percent), before the overall favourites Brazil (89 percent).
Croatia, who were beaten finalists in 2018, look unlikely to repeat that performance.
Zlatko Dalic’s side have just a four percent chance of making it back to the final this year, with 11 other teams in the tournament holding a higher probability of doing so.
The United Kingdom will be represented by two teams for the first time since the 1998 World Cup, with England and Wales drawn together in Group B.
According to the model, England have a 60 percent chance of topping the group and the fifth-best chance of winning the tournament overall (nine percent).
Gareth Southgate’s side are highly fancied to at least make the quarter-finals.
Their probability of reaching the last eight is 56 percent – the third-highest percentage chance of any country at the World Cup.
The prospect of both British teams making the knockout stages is one to watch.
Wales’ showdown with the United States looks to be key to their chances of making it out of Group B.
They have been given a 41 percent chance of progressing to the last 16, with the USA at a slightly higher 45 percent.
Meanwhile, Sadio Mane will miss Senegal’s “first games” at the World Cup because of a leg injury, an official from the country’s football federation has said.
The Bayern Munich forward was named in the Teranga Lions squad for Qatar despite being forced off in a club game last week.
The German champions said the 30-year-old had an injury “to his right fibula”, but Senegal coach AliouCisse said Mane does not need an operation.
The West Africans begin their Group A campaign against the Netherlands on Monday, with games against hosts Qatar (25 November) and Ecuador (29 November) to follow.
“We will have to rely on playing the first games without Sadio and win without Sadio,” Senegal football federation (FSF) board member Abdoulaye Sow told AP.
“No-one would have wanted it, but that’s what’s happened to us.”
Sow added Senegal should “not whine too much” about the absence of the two-time African Footballer of the Year.
Mane is Senegal’s talisman, having scored the winning penalty when the Teranga Lions became continental champions for the first time in February, defeating Egypt in a shoot—out in the Africa Cup of Nations final.
Within two months Mane had repeated the feat, netting the decisive spot-kick as Senegal beat Egypt — in a game that again pitted him against then Liverpool team—mate Mohammed Salah — on penalties in a play-off to qualify for Qatar. — BBCsport,