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World Cup 2022: Opta predicts each country’s chances of winning

France lift the 2022 World Cup
Reigning champions France are second favourites, according to Opta, with a 13% chance of retaining their title in Qatar

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.

Opta's World Cup 2022 predictions

Brazil emerge with the highest probability of winning. The five-time winners, who are overall favourites to win, have a 16% 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%).

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% chance of going on to scoop the trophy this year.

Rounding out the top five contenders at the 2022 World Cup are France (12%), Spain (9%) and England (9%).

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%), before the overall favourites Brazil (89%).

Croatia, who were beaten finalists in 2018, look unlikely to repeat that performance. Zlatko Dalic’s side have just a 4% chance of making it back to the final this year, with 11 other teams in the tournament holding a higher probability of doing so.

What are England & Wales’ chances?

Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Last-16 QF SF Final Winner
England 62.9 22.9 10.3 4.0 85.7 56.0 30.9 17.0 8.7
USA 17.0 30.1 29.4 23.4 47.1 19.4 6.6 2.2 0.7
Wales 13.9 28.4 31.3 26.5 42.2 16.9 5.5 1.8 0.6
Iran 6.3 18.6 28.9 46.2 24.9 8.5 2.4 0.7 0.2
Data provided by Opta/Stats Perform (the numbers have been rounded up or down to one decimal place)

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% chance of topping the group and the fifth-best chance of winning the tournament overall (9%). Gareth Southgate’s side are highly fancied to at least make the quarter-finals. Their probability of reaching the last eight is 55% – 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% chance of progressing to the last 16, with the USA at a slightly higher 45%.