England, Brazil, Argentina: Predicting every 2022 World Cup game as Lionel Messi triumphs

The 2022 World Cup draw has been completed.

Millions upon millions of football fans around the globe were glued to their television screens as the roadmap for football’s biggest tournament in Qatar was laid out before their eyes.

From England potentially facing Scotland or Wales to Spain locking horns with Germany, there were plenty of fascinating outcomes for fans to sink their teeth into ahead of November and December.

Predicting the 2022 World Cup

And bearing in mind that the World Cup format is gorgeously simple in how the group winners and runners-up progress into the knockout rounds, we can start eyeballing every nation’s potential route to the final.

So, here at GIVEMESPORT, we figured that it be rude not to dust off our crystal ball and whip out the tea leaves to make a dramatically ambitious prediction for the entire 2022 World Cup.

Now, as you well know, football is predictably unpredictable and if you think for one second that we actually think we’ll be able to pull this off, then, well, you have too much faith in us.

Nevertheless, let’s not pretend as though it isn’t good fun imagining how the tournament might unfold and we’re not afraid to throw caution to the wind making a prediction that will probably age like milk.

Scaled-down replicas of 2018 FIFA World Cup trophy are displayed at the showroom of a factory which manufactures official licensed products in Dongguan, China May 8, 2018. Picture taken May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Who will the other three qualifiers be?

Besides, the fact that only 29 of the 32 qualifiers are confirmed in the first place means that before we even start forecasting the tournament, we’ve got to imagine who the final three teams might be.

We think that Wales will make the cut as a generally stronger team than Scotland and Ukraine from a purely footballing perspective and they also have one fewer game to contend with to secure their place.

And finally, we feel confident in the fact that Peru and Costa Rica are the superior outfits in their respective play-off games, thus rounding off our collection of 32 games to predict the entire World Cup.

Soccer Football – World Cup – Final Draw – Doha Exhibition & Convention Center, Doha, Qatar – April 1, 2022 Presenters Idris Elba and Reshmin Chowdhury during the draw REUTERS/Carl Recine

Predicting every Qatar 2022 game

So, without further ado, park your seriousness at the door and embrace your sense of humour as we try our best to make the impossible task possible by forecasting every game of Qatar 2022 below:

Group A

  1. Qatar 1-1 Ecuador
  2. Senegal 1-2 Netherlands
  3. Qatar 0-2 Senegal
  4. Netherlands 1-0 Ecuador
  5. Netherlands 3-1 Qatar
  6. Ecuador 1-2 Senegal
  1. Netherlands – 9 points (4 GD)
  2. Senegal – 6 points (2 GD)
  3. Ecuador – 1 point (-2GD)
  4. Qatar – 1 point (-4 GD)

Nothing too controversial here. The Dutch will fancy their chances of romping to a clean sweep, while the champions of Africa should follow them through despite Ecuador and Qatar both proving underrated.

Soccer Football – International Friendly – Netherlands v Denmark – Johan Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam, Netherlands – March 26, 2022 Netherlands’ Nathan Ake celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

Group B

  1. England 2-0 Iran
  2. United States 1-2 Wales
  3. England 0-0 United States
  4. Wales 1-0 Iran
  5. Wales 1-1 England
  6. Iran 0-2 United States
  1. Wales – 7 points (2GD)
  2. England – 5 points (2 GD)
  3. United States – 4 points (1 GD)
  4. Iran – 0 points (-5 GD)

Have we lost our minds? Maybe, maybe, but if we were to predict every single group by who comes out on top on paper, then we’d never get it right because upsets happen at every single World Cup.

And on the back of England enjoying two strong tournaments, they’re overdue a few moments of misfortune and mishap, which could well leave the door ajar for Wales to repeat their Euro 2016 feat.

Soccer Football – World Cup – UEFA Qualifiers – Play-Off Semi Final – Wales v Austria – Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, Britain – March 24, 2022 Wales’ Gareth Bale celebrates scoring their first goal with Aaron Ramsey REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

Group C

  1. Argentina 4-0 Saudi Arabia
  2. Mexico 2-2 Poland
  3. Argentina 1-2 Mexico
  4. Poland 1-0 Saudi Arabia
  5. Poland 1-2 Argentina
  6. Saudi Arabia 0-3 Mexico
  1. Mexico – 7 points (4GD)
  2. Argentina – 6 points (4 GD)
  3. Poland – 4 points (0 GD)
  4. Saudi Arabia – 0 points (-7 GD)

Argentina are in much, much better shape than they were four years ago having shored up their defence and before you think that we’re being harsh on them here, wait until you see our full prediction.

Let’s just say that a momentary lapse in concentration against Mexico could well be Argentina’s equivalent of Spain losing to Switzerland in 2010…

Soccer Football – World Cup – South American Qualifiers – Ecuador v Argentina – Estadio Monumental Banco Pichincha, Guayaquil, Ecuador – March 29, 2022 Argentina’s Lionel Messi reacts Pool via REUTERS/Jose Jacome

Group D

  1. France 2-1 Peru
  2. Denmark 2-0 Tunisia
  3. France 0-0 Denmark
  4. Tunisia 1-1 Peru
  5. Tunisia 1-3 France
  6. Peru 0-3 Denmark
  1. Denmark – 7 points (5 GD)
  2. France – 7 points (3 GD)
  3. Peru – 1 point (-4 GD)
  4. Tunisia – 1 point (-2 GD)

Three plot twists in a row and this is probably the one that we’re most confident about. France could take time to get into their stride as Denmark continue to prove themselves as a serious dark horse.

Soccer Football – International Friendly – Netherlands v Denmark – Johan Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam, Netherlands – March 26, 2022 Denmark’s Christian Eriksen celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

Group E

  1. Spain 2-0 Costa Rica
  2. Germany 1-0 Japan
  3. Spain 3-2 Germany
  4. Japan 0-1 Costa Rica
  5. Japan 1-1 Spain
  6. Costa Rica 0-2 Germany
  1. Spain – 7 points (3 GD)
  2. Germany – 6 points (2 GD)
  3. Costa Rica – 3 points (-3 GD)
  4. Japan – 1 point (-2 GD)

Back on slightly more predictable footing now as we try to predict the closest thing we have to a ‘Group of Death’ and the time is nigh for Las Rojas to really peak under Luis Enrique, narrowly ousting Germany.

Soccer Football – International Friendly – Spain v Iceland – Estadio Municipal de Riazor, A Coruna, Spain – March 29, 2022 Spain’s Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Vincent West

Group F

  1. Belgium 1-0 Canada
  2. Morocco 1-1 Croatia
  3. Belgium 3-2 Morocco
  4. Croatia 1-0 Canada
  5. Croatia 0-0 Belgium
  6. Canada 2-1 Morocco
  1. Belgium – 7 points (2 GD)
  2. Croatia – 5 points (1 GD)
  3. Canada – 3 points (-1 GD)
  4. Morocco – 1 point (-2 GD)

Sure, Croatia might have reached the 2018 final with a series of battling victories, but even the fatigue forming in the legs of Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation’ won’t be enough to stop them topping the charts.

Soccer Football – Euro 2020 – Quarter Final – Belgium v Italy – Football Arena Munich, Munich, Germany – July 2, 2021 Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their first goal with Axel Witsel Pool via REUTERS/Stuart Franklin

Group G

  1. Brazil 3-1 Serbia
  2. Switzerland 3-3 Cameroon
  3. Brazil 2-0 Switzerland
  4. Cameroon 0-1 Serbia
  5. Cameroon 1-4 Brazil
  6. Serbia 2-1 Switzerland
  1. Brazil – 9 points (7 GD)
  2. Serbia – 6 points (0 GD)
  3. Switzerland – 1 point (-3 GD)
  4. Cameroon – 1 point (-4 GD)

It’s not for no reason that Brazil are favourites to go all the way this winter and as tasty as this group might be, we’re not sure that there’s enough quality to stop them from harvesting nine points.

Soccer Football – World Cup – South American Qualifiers – Brazil v Uruguay – Arena da Amazonia, Manaus, Brazil- October 14, 2021 Brazil’s Neymar celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

Group H

  1. Portugal 2-0 Ghana
  2. Uruguay 0-1 South Korea
  3. Portugal 2-1 Uruguay
  4. South Korea 1-1 Ghana
  5. South Korea 2-3 Portugal
  6. Ghana 0-3 Uruguay
  1. Portugal – 9 points (4 GD)
  2. South Korea – 4 points (0 GD)
  3. Uruguay – 3 points (1 GD)
  4. Ghana – 1 point (-5 GD)

At least one major nation will fail to make it all the way to the round of 16 and we have a sneaky feeling that it might be Uruguay after an inconsistent qualifying run, giving Portugal a clear route to first place.

Soccer Football – Euro 2020 – Group F – Portugal v France – Puskas Arena, Budapest, Hungary – June 23, 2021 Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal Pool via REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

Round of 16

Netherlands 1-2 England (AET)

Mexico 0-1 France

Spain 3-1 Croatia

Brazil 2-0 South Korea

Wales 1-2 Senegal

Denmark 0-1 Argentina (AET)

Belgium 1-1 Germany (Belgium win 5-4 on penalties)

Portugal 2-1 Serbia

Look, we’re not tipping the Three Lions to have a complete disaster and reckon they’ll be at least one performance from Gareth Southgate’s men that will get the nation screaming ‘It’s coming home’ at the top of their lungs.

And they won’t be the only nation to put their wobbly group stage behind them with France and Argentina grabbing their shots at redemption, while the Welsh fairytale is ended at the hands of Sadio Mane.

Finally, call us crazy, but Germany losing on penalties at the World Cup has got to happen sooner rather than later and we’ve got a funny feeling that Belgium will really lean into their ‘now or never’ narrative.

Soccer Football – World Cup – Round of 16 – Colombia vs England – Spartak Stadium, Moscow, Russia – July 3, 2018 England manager Gareth Southgate celebrates after winning the penalty shootout REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Quarter-finals

England 0-2 France

Spain 2-2 Brazil (Brazil win 4-1 on penalties)

Senegal 1-2 Argentina

Belgium 3-1 Portugal

We’re calling it: this is the year of South American nations.

After years and years of Brazil and Argentina having their World Cup journeys ended by European giants, we think they’re peaking at just the right time to navigate their pivotal knockout clashes.

Elsewhere, we don’t have all that much confidence in Portugal’s ability to gel as a team despite all their stars, while even the most ambitious of England fans would struggle to picture them getting the better of France.

Soccer Football – Euro 2020 – Round of 16 – Belgium v Portugal – La Cartuja Stadium, Seville, Spain – June 27, 2021 Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after the match Pool via REUTERS/Thanassis Stavrakis

Semi-finals

France 1-2 Brazil (AET)

Argentina 1-0 Belgium

Belgium will do better than fans expect, they will, but they’re there for the taking against an Argentina side that will have sky-high motivation and confidence at having made it this far.

Then, there’s good reason to think that Brazil and France are the strongest two teams in the competition, but we simply can’t ignore the history books: no team has retained the World Cup since 1962.

Soccer Football – World Cup – South American Qualifiers – Brazil v Paraguay – Mineirao, Belo Horizonte, Brazil – February 1, 2022 Brazil’s Antony celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates REUTERS/Washington Alves REFILE – CORRECTING TEMPLATE

Final

Brazil 0-0 Argentina (Argentina win 6-5 on penalties)

Yes, you read that right, we have a sneaky suspicion that it might genuinely happen: Lionel Messi lifting the World Cup.

We’re well overdue a tournament where the South American nations come out on top and if this final did come to pass, then you can bet that it will be just as cagey as the Copa America climax.

If we’re being completely honest, we’re not entirely sure which nation would be the last man standing, but you’ll have to forgive us for suspecting that the fairytale victory might actually transpire.

Plus, sadly, we’re probably overdue a goalless final…

Soccer Football – World Cup – South American Qualifiers – Ecuador v Argentina – Estadio Monumental Banco Pichincha, Guayaquil, Ecuador – March 29, 2022 Argentina’s Julian Alvarez celebrates scoring their first goal with Lionel Messi Pool via REUTERS/Franklin Jacome

But what will actually happen?

So, there we have it, do you think we’ve been reading too many fairytale stories in tipping Messi to win the World Cup or do you also have a gut feeling that it could be Argentina’s year?

Either way, you can rest assured that absolutely nobody would be able to predict how each and every World Cup game would genuinely play out, even if it’s incredibly fun to think that you can.

As such, be sure to add a whole truckload of salt onto our walk through Qatar 2022, but give the challenge a go yourself because if it doesn’t get you excited for the summer, then you’re simply not human.

FILE PHOTO: Football – 2018 & 2022 FIFA World Cup Host Announcement – Messezentrum, Zurich, Switzerland – December 2, 2010 HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani holds the World Cup Trophy after Qatar win the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs/File Photo
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