Written by Alejandro Fernandez.
When the Spanish international team lifted the World Cup title back in 2010 to add to two consecutive European Championships, a lot of football fans expected them to go on and build on this success. However, since then, they have underperformed at the last two World Cups, to the disappointment of their expecting fans. Having said that, they did show promise last summer at Euro 2020, making it to the semi-finals, and they made it to the final of the Nations League. Now they will be looking to go one step further this year in Qatar and lift the 2022 World Cup title, and here we take a look at their chances.
Odds of Spain Winning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar
At the time of writing, the majority of the best sports betting sites have Spain at odds of 8/1 to go on and win the World Cup in Qatar. They have been playing some decent football as of late under Luis Enrique and, as a result, only Brazil, England, and France have shorter odds than Spain. Before the World Cup draw took place, Spain had similar odds to England, but these odds dropped slightly due to the group that they were drawn in more on that later.
In the table below, you can see the odds on offer for the top ten teams at the 2022 World Cup from some of the top bookies. These odds from these top bookmakers have been supplied by https://www.betinireland.ie/sports-betting/football/, which is a quality sportsbook comparison site that provides in-depth reviews for all the best bookies.
For a while it had looked like Spain would need to qualify for the World Cup via the Play-Offs since they lost control of the group in their opening match when they lost to Sweden. However, the Swedes failed to capitalise on their advantage in the last two matches, and Spain pounced to claim the automatic qualification spot for the 2022 World Cup.
The La Roja won six and drew one of their next seven games, and finished four points clear of Sweden in second. This is the 12th consecutive World Cup that Spain will be participating in, last missing out on this prestigious tournament in 1974. Sweden, on the other hand, lost in the Play-Off final to Poland and will not be taking part this time around.
Spains Path to World Cup Glory
Spain were seeded in Pot 1 for the World Cup draw, Spain landed themselves a tricky group. They were put into Group E, which also contains Germany, Japan and either Costa Rica or New Zealand. Spains opening match of the World Cup will be against the winner of Costa Rica and New Zealand, so they will not find out their first opponent until June.
Their second match is the big one against the Germans, before they take on Japan in their final group match. Their three group matches will be played in Al Khor, Doha, and Al Rayyan. Below you can see a list of the fixtures for Spains group matches:
If Spain were to go on and win Group E, then this would be their route to the World Cup final:
If Spain finish second in their group, then this would be their route to the World Cup final:
As we said earlier, Spain have appeared at all World Cups since 1978, and they won the 2010 edition by beating the Netherland 1-0 in extra time. However, this is the only time that they have managed to make it to the final. In fact, they have only made it past the quarter-finals on two occasions. Overall, Spains most common finish is being eliminated in the Group Stage they have failed to qualify from the groups on five occasions, which includes 2014 when they were the holders.
Spain Golden Boot Winner
Spain do not have a recognised striker in their squad, but Ferran Torres has shown that he can be quite useful for Spain. At the time of writing, some bookmakers, such as PaddyPower, are giving him odds of 25/1 to pick up the Golden Boot come the end of the competition.
The Barcelona star has played 24 times for Spain since he made his debut in September of 2020, and he has 13 goals to his name already. Since making his move to the Camp Nou in January from Manchester City, he has scored four goals in 11 games. In all honesty, we do not see him winning the Golden Boot this time around, not when he has to compete with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane, Karim Benzema, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar.
Our Prediction as to Where Spain Will Finish
Spain have a tricky group, but we fully expect them to qualify from it this time around. However, we are backing Germany to finish in the top spot, meaning that Spain will have to settle for second spot. This means that they will take on the winners of Group F in the Last 16, which will more than likely be Belgium. If they do indeed meet Belgium, then this is where we see them exiting the competition because we do not see them beating Belgiums talented side.
If Spain defy our prediction and manage to top the group, then it is likely that they will meet Croatia in the in the Last 16. Croatia are an aging side, and Spain should be able to pass them off the park and then overcome them when they get tired. Then, in the quarter-final, it is likely that they will have to play against Brazil, and we cannot see Spain winning this.
So, the best we think that Spain can managed at the 2022 World Cup is a quarter-final exit at the hands of Brazil.