The 2022 FIFA World Cup is almost two years away, and the qualifiers in the CONMEBOL (South America), AFC (Asia) and CAF (Africa) have started.
Regarding UEFA (Europe), the preliminary phase will begin in March. Meanwhile, the European national teams are playing the UEFA Nations League.
Let’s take a look at the best 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and UEFA Nations League games of the week while making some predictions.
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CONMEBOL (South America)
Argentina vs Paraguay (Thursday)
Argentina won their first two games with some kind of troubles. First, they beat Ecuador 1-0 at home and then went to La Paz to beat Bolivia 2-1.
Lionel Messi scored the winning goal against Ecuador, but he’s not the same as in Barcelona. Luckily for him, some players like Lautaro Martinez and Lucas Ocampos are playing really well, and they take some pressure off him.
On the road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Argentina only won four games at home, which is why coach Lionel Scaloni said that right now their top priority is to transform their home turf into a fortress.Paraguay hasn’t lost either, but they have a 1-1-0 record.
First, they drew 2-2 at home against Peru, and then beat Venezuela on the road 1-0.
Angel Romero Villamayor is one of the tournament’s top scorers with two goals.
Paraguay didn’t qualify for the last FIFA World Cup (2018), but during the qualifiers they had a better performance on the road (48.15%) than at home (40.74%).
Pick and Final Score Prediction: Draw 1-1.
Colombia vs Uruguay (Friday)
Both teams qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and are among the favorites to do it again.
Right now, Colombia sits in third place with four points after a 1-1-0 record. They beat Venezuela at home (3-0) and drew 2-2 against Chile on the road.
Colombia has too many offensive weapons; James Rodriguez, Duvan Zapata, Radamel Falcao, Luis Muriel and Juan Cuadrado. All play in Europe regularly.
Uruguay started this process with a 1-0-1 record. They beat Chile 2-1 at home but lost against Ecuador (4-2) on the road.
Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani remain as the top players in the team. Suarez already scored three goals to be one of the tournament’s top scorers alongside Andre Carillo (Peru) and Neymar (Brazil). The last time these two teams met at Barranquilla they drew 2-2.
Pick and Final Score Prediction: Colombia to win 2-1.
Brazil vs Venezuela (Friday)
As expected, Brazil leads the competition with a 2-0-0 record, nine goals for and only two against.
Brazil started the road to Qatar 2022 with a 5-0 victory against Bolivia and then beat Peru 4-2 on the road.
Just like Colombia, Brazil has too many offensive weapons; Neymar, Roberto Firmino, Richarlison, Philippe Coutinho. But that’s not all, Brazil also has three excellent goalkeepers in Alisson, Ederson and Weverton.
Brazil led the road to Russia 2018 with a total of 41 points; they lost only one game and scored 41 goals (four goals per game). It seems that the story is repeating itself.
Venezuela appears at the bottom after losing their first two games; first 3-0 against Colombia and then 1-0 against Paraguay.
Venezuela is the only team that hasn’t scored a single goal so far.
Brazil leads the all-time series against Venezuela 21-3-1. Venezuela has never beat Brazil in the World Cup qualifiers.
Pick and Final Score Prediction: Brazil to win 4-1.
The other scheduled games for the 2022 World Cup CONMEBOL Qualifiers are Bolivia vs Ecuador and Chile vs Peru.
Be sure to check all the South America World Cup Qualifiers Odds before placing your ticket.
UEFA Nations League (Europe)
Portugal vs France (Saturday)
Portugal and France lead League A Group 3 with ten points. Both teams have a 3-1-0 record, but Portugal has scored more goals (9) than France (7), and also has conceded less goals (1) than ‘Le Blues’ (3).
Cristiano Ronaldo will be back for Portugal after missing the last couple of games due to injuries/COVID-19. During his absence, Diogo Jota led the way and became one of the tournament’s top scorers with three goals.
Portugal has too many offensive weapons; Cristiano, Diogo Jota, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Andre Silva and Joao Felix.
As reigning World Champions, France is always a serious threat on the field.
Just like Portugal, France has too many offensive weapons; Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Anthony Martial, Wissam Ben Yedder, Olivier Giroud.This team is so talented that players like Paul Pogba, Benjamin Pavard, Kingsley Coman and Eduardo Camavinga have to start on the bench. The last time both teams met ended with a draw (0-0).
Pick and Final Score Prediction: Drew 2-2.
Belgium vs England (Sunday)
|Belgium||– ¾||+133||2 ½|
|England||+ ¾||+200||2 ½|
For some experts, Belgium owns the most talented team in Europe thanks to players like Thibaut Courtois, Thomas Meunier, Yannick Carrasco, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku.
Belgium leads League A Group 2 with 9 points after a 3-0-1 record. They have scored ten goals (more than any other team) and allowed four.
Romelu Lukaku is the top scorer with three goals, while Kevin De Bruyne leads the way in the assists department with two.
England sits in third place with seven points and a 2-1-1 record. They have scored three goals and allowed two.
One of those victories was against Belgium (2-1) at Wembley. In that game, Marcus Rashford and Mason Mount scored for England; Lukaku did for Belgium.
The English team also has several offensive weapons; Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Next Sunday, England will be without Harry Maguire and Reece James due to suspension.
Pick and Final Score Prediction: Belgium to win 2-1.
Italy vs Poland (Sunday)
|Italy||– ¾||-131||2 ¼|
|Poland||+ ¾||+380||2 ½|
After four games, Poland leads League A Group 1 with seven points. They have a 2-1-1 record, scored five goals, and allowed two.
Robert Lewandowski is the top player in Poland’s squad, but he’s not the only elite player on it. Wojciech Szczesny, Kamil Grosicki, Mateusz Klich, Krzysztof Piatek and Lukasz Fabianski are some good examples.
Italy comes in second place with six points and a 1-3-0 record. They have scored three goals and allowed two; their only victory was against Netherlands 1-0.
As usual, Italy owns a very solid defensive unit with Gianluigi Donnarumma, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini leading the way.
On the offensive side, Ciro Immobile is their top player alongside Lorenzo Pellegrini.Last October, at Arena Gdansk, Poland and Italy drew 0-0.
Pick and Final Score Prediction: Italy to win 1-0.
Some other interesting UEFA Nations League games scheduled for next weekend are Germany vs Ukraine, Sweden vs Croatia, Switzerland vs Spain and Romania vs Norway.
Be sure to check all the UEFA Nations League Odds right before placing your ticket!