Following the end of the World Cup qualifiers, we already know the 10 European teams which will compete in next year’s World Cup in Qatar. But three places are still available for the winners of the playoffs. Teams like Italy, Portugal, and Russia will compete for these places next March. Let’s see first the favorites to win the semi-finals in the three paths according to the 2022 World Cup European playoffs odds.
We can find the defending world cup winners France, the runners-up, Croatia, and the current FIFA rankings leader Belgium in the 10 qualified European teams. Along with England, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Serbia, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Surely many people miss two big football powers from the list, the last two European champions, Italy and Portugal. Well, both teams only finished as runner-ups in their groups. Which means they can only qualify through the playoffs now. And in a shocking twist, the two teams might face each other in one of the playoff finals next spring. But we can expect tight matches in the other two paths as well between the remaining 12 candidates.
2022 World Cup European Playoffs Odds Favor Italy and Portugal To Reach the Final
Path C seems to be the most exciting quarter in the playoffs for the 2022 World Cup. As we can find two top teams, Italy and Portugal here with one of them surely missing the tournament next year. First they need to get through the semi-finals, and win their first games. Italy will meet North Macedonia with the odds of 1.22 to win the game. It was a huge surprise that the European champions only finished second in their group behind Switzerland. But Roberto Mancini’s team should win against North Macedonia, who finished ahead of Romania and Iceland in Group J.
In the other semi-final, Portugal will have an even more difficult task against Turkey, which was close to winning their group. But they finished two points behind the Netherlands at the end. Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates looked stunned after they were beaten 2-1 by Serbia at the last game on home soil. Aleksander Mitrovic’s goal in the 90th minute meant that Portugal still needs to fight for a place in Qatar. The 2016 European champions will be the favorites though against Turkey. With online sportsbooks in Portugal offering the odds of 1.36 for their victory in their 2022 World Cup European playoffs odds. In which case they can meet Italy in the final in a mouthwatering game.
Favorites In The Other Four Semi-Finals
In Path A Wales vs Austria and Scotland vs Ukraine semi-finals will be held. Similar odds are offered in both games for each team’s wins, making it almost impossible to predict the favorites. Austria hasn’t qualified for the World Cup since 1998 while Wales only took part in the tournament once before, in 1958. According to their latest results and form, both can easily qualify this time. On the other tie, Ukraine has the higher odds, 2.80 to reach the final in spite of reaching the quarter-finals in this year’s European Championship. Probably Steve Clarke’s team is favored due to playing home this match ahead of the Scottish fans.
Another exciting pair is waiting for us in Path B, where Russia will host Poland in one of the semi-finals. Valeri Karpin’s team finished only a single point behind group winner Croatia after suffering a 1-0 defeat against them in the last round. So now they will face Robert Lewandowski and his teammates for a place in the World Cup. Online gambling sites in Portugal favor the home team to win with the odds of 2.37. In that case Russia can meet either Sweden or the Czech Republic in the final. Sweden is more likely to be their opponent after playing at home against Jaroslav Silhavy’s team. Who only finished third in their group behind Belgium and Wales. But they qualified for the playoffs thanks to winning their Nations League groups earlier. Now their odds to win against Sweden are 3.40 on bet365.