Three Outsiders That Could Upset The Odds At The 2022 World Cup

Three Outsiders That Could Upset The Odds At The 2022 World Cup
Three Outsiders That Could Upset The Odds At The 2022 World Cup. Image source: Pixabay

The countdown to the start of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is well underway. There are just ten months to go before the competition gets underway in the Middle East, and national team managers will already be putting together the squads that they hope can go far at the World Cup.

The soccer lines odds for the World Cup next year have already been released. Brazil are the clear favorites in the betting to win the famous trophy for a sixth time. Defending champions France will also be looking to win the competition for the second consecutive time, and become the first nation to successfully defend the famous trophy since Brazil in 1962. But, could there be an outsider that may upset the odds?


There is a growing sense that Denmark could be one of the leading dark horses at the World Cup this year. The Dane’s have only won one major international trophy in their history, with that success coming in unlikely glory at the European Championships in 1992. They came within a whisker of having the chance to emulate that success at EURO 2020, as they were narrowly beaten in the semi-finals of the competition by England at Wembley in extra-time. Denmark are yet to make a real charge towards winning a World Cup.

Their best showing at the tournament came in 1998 as they were knocked out at the quarter final stage. However, they were one of the strongest qualifiers in Europe for the tournament this year. They lost just once in ten qualifying games, with that defeat coming after their qualification was assured. Denmark conceded just three goals in the games that they played, which was fewer than any other nation. Meanwhile, they scored 30 goals. Keeping Kasper Hjulmand in charge will be the biggest challenge that they face in the build-up to the tournament in November.


It has been a long way back for the Netherlands, as they failed to qualify for both EURO 2016 and the World Cup in 2018. However, the third spell of Louis van Gaal as manager of the national side has seen a change in their fortunes. The Dutch were strong throughout qualification, despite being drawn in a challenging-looking group, which also included Turkey and Erling Haaland’s Norway. However, the Netherlands scored 33 goals in the ten games that they played, and finished two clear of Turkey to automatically qualify for Qatar.

There’s certainly quality within their squad, with the likes of Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong among the most talented young players for their positions in world football. However, the main question mark that hangs over the Dutch is how they will perform against some of the more talented nations at the World Cup. The Netherlands have been unfortunate in World Cup history, as they have finished as runners-up on three occasions. Their most recent defeat in the final came in 2010, as they were beaten 1-0 after extra time by Spain.


Many believe that it is only a matter of time before an African nation wins the World Cup. There have been some close calls in recent tournaments, most notably Ghana’s elimination at the hands of Uruguay at the World Cup in 2010. However, one nation that could be set for a big tournament in Qatar is Nigeria. Nigeria still have work to do to qualify for the competition, as they face a third-round tie against one of the other group winners, which could mean a showdown against a heavyweight such as Cameroon or Egypt.

However, Nigeria won’t be daunted by the prospect, as they topped Group C in the second round after winning four of the six games that they played. The three-time Africa Cup of Nations winners have the quality in their squad to get to at least the knockout rounds in Qatar, and could also improve on their best showing at the biggest soccer event on the planet. Nigeria’s best showings at the World Cup have come in the tournaments in 1994, 1998 and 2014, as they reached the round of 16 stage on all three occasions.