How has Euro 2020 affected the betting market for the World Cup in 2022 and should England be backed for glory in Qatar?
England’s performance at Euro 2020 has seen their price cut for glory in Qatar, with Gareth Southgate’s men now 7/1 third-favourites in places, having previously been around the 12/1 mark.
Semi-finalists in the 2018 World Cup and runners-up at Euro 2020, Southgate's side are developing into one of the most consistent nations in the world, and it would certainly be easy to see them repeating the heroics they have performed over the last month in the Middle East come November 2022.
If anyone is going to challenge Brazil and France for favouritism as the World Cup draws closer, it is likely to be the Three Lions, and anything bigger than 9/1 for Southgate's side to win in Qatar could be worth snapping up.
The head of the betting for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has changed very little throughout Euro 2020, with France and Brazil, the two teams vying for favouritism prior to kick-off in Rome, both still remaining at the head of proceedings as far as the betting is concerned.
Neither Brazil nor France endured the summer they had dreamed of, Brazil losing 1-0 to Argentina in the Copa America final, while France crashed out of Euro 2020 via a penalty shoot-out defeat to Switzerland in the round of 16.
Interestingly though, the market didn’t react too much to either defeat, with Brazil and France’s price for victory in Qatar remaining at a solid 6/1.
France demonstrated throughout the European Championship, not just in the one game against the Swiss, their vulnerabilities, so it is a surprise that they haven’t drifted in the betting for the World Cup.
But Didier Deschamps still has a young squad at his disposal, and with the potential for further development in the next year or so, perhaps that is why Les Bleus are still heavily fancied.
Somewhat surprisingly, Germany are a team that have seen their price grow and grow for World Cup success, despite perhaps performing better than many expected at Euro 2020.
Hansi Flick is due to take over duties as the head coach of Die Mannschaft after Joachim Low’s spell in charge came to an end, but even that news could not stop Germany’s price increasing.
A general 7/1 shot for World Cup success earlier in the year, the Germans can now be backed at as big as 10s in places, with many believing the quick turnaround between the Euros and the World Cup will not leave Flick enough time to work his magic.
Despite currently sitting top of what is a very winnable qualification group for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Croatia’s performances at Euro 2020 did little to enamour the bookmakers, and as a result they have seen their price drift from as short as 16/1 in places, out to as big as 66/1, for glory in the Middle East.
Their ageing squad, as well as the noises surrounding Luka Modric potentially retiring from international football, will also have plenty to do with the price drift.
The biggest steamer was always going to be Italy, not only winning the tournament, but Roberto Mancini’s men standing out as one of the most impressive teams at Euro 2020, and that has been reflected in the World Cup market.
Available to back at 16/1 for World Cup glory prior to June 11, Italy are now 10/1 in places, with most firms round about the 15/2 mark.
Given Mancini has only been at the helm for three years however, there could still be an awful lot more to come from this Azzurri side, and it would be no surprise to see them vying for favouritism come November 2022.
Spain’s lack of price movement has been a little bit of a shock given the surprising nature of their tournament. Though they admittedly had their frailties exposed on multiple occasions this summer, their performance against Italy in the semi-final demonstrated just how far this Spanish side had progressed during the length of the competition.
A team stuck between identities for the opening two matches, Enrique's side blossomed as the competition went on, and they may feel aggrieved not to have beaten the Italians at Wembley, controlling the match for long periods and creating good enough chances to score more than the one they managed.
A general 9/1 shot for World Cup glory pre-Euros, Luis Enrique’s side are still available at as big as 10/1 in places.
Belgium have seen their price drift slightly, but nowhere near to the extent as it probably should have. Outclassed and dumped out of the Euros by a much better team Italy side, how many more chances are this ageing Belgium squad going to have at winning a major tournament?
Given the age of Roberto Martinez’s backline, not to mention the fact that Eden Hazard has spent the vast majority of the last two seasons on the treatment table, it is difficult to see the Red Devils having much of a say at Qatar, certainly not at a general price of 10/1 anyway.
Portugal and the Netherlands are the other two nations that seem to have been unaffected by the events of Euro 2020, both available at a general price of 16/1, the same as they were pre-tournament.
Both countries look to have a big rebuilding job on their hands though, so it is not advised to be taking the plunge on either of these two sides ante-post.
It seems foolhardy to be tipping up a winner for a competition not due to be played for 16 months, particularly given how much can happen in that time in the topsy-turvy world of football, but there could be opportunities to find good prices purely based on the way the market has been moving around.
There are many different ways to read and react to how a market takes shape. Some punters like to follow steamers, latching onto teams whose prices are tumbling in the hope that they get on before their odds bottom out.
Others believe in contrarian betting, whereby backing against teams in good form can prove profitable, usually on the basis that their recent run has been overvalued and overestimated.
The best advice is to look for teams who are only going to get stronger, and who's price hasn't already collapsed.
Spain proved plenty of people wrong at the European Championship, and while the worry over them at Qatar would probably be around whether or not Sergio Busquets will still be playing for La Furia Roja, they do have a ready-made replacement in Thiago Alcantara.
Spain's price probably should have shifted more, particularly after their performance against Italy, so they could be the ones to get onside if you are looking for an antepost bet for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, especially if the 10/1 is still available.
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