With an average age of 26, France are one of the youngest teams to ever win a World Cup.
So why can’t they do it again at 30?
Just kidding, that’s not how math works. But the opening odds for the 2022 World Cup have been released, and France, not Germany or Brazil, are atop the list of favorites.
Here’s the full list of odds from Bovada:
Here’s some thoughts on the standouts:
The team that was favored to win a European championship in 2016 was largely scrapped in favor of a younger side for the World Cup. That squad, along with Didier Deschamps, carried France to destiny and their second World Cup title.
It’s honestly scary how young this team is. At the back, Pavard, Umtiti, Hernandez and Mendy are all under 25. Paul Pogba is 25. Antoine Griezmann is 27, old enough to be captain and contribute if he can stay fit. And then there’s Mbappe, who will be 23 and a Golden Ball favorite when the World Cup returns. It really doesn’t matter who gets subtracted at this point. We can lock in 5-7 world-class starters for France, and that puts them among serious contenders for an historic repeat attempt and a third World Cup title.
England fans may have gained faith, but they’ve gained no favor with oddsmakers.
Despite reaching the semifinal, England are still on the outside when it comes to World Cup contenders. They had a young squad along with France, but that youth was exploited by a composed Croatia squad in Russia.
England have some super-young pieces, but it’s not of the same quality has France. At the back, Jordan Pickford will be 28 and hopefully still in goal for England. Trent Alexander-Arnold didn’t play much in Russia, but he’s a World Cup caliber player and is only 19. The good news is that outside of Jordan Henderson, almost England’s entire midfield could return in 2022. The standouts are Delle Alli (22) and Raheem Sterling (23), but Eric Dier is 24 and could still play a role in Qatar.
Up front, I can’t see Kane being involved at 28. There’s just too much good youth talent coming up, and space needs to be clear for Marcus Rashford, who was only 20 in Russia.
All in all, England’s entire defense will likely be replaced. There’s too much hype on this team, but it’s fair to say that the bracket was kind to them in Russia.
Neymar will be 30, and you’ll likely see a full turnover from this squad. Brazil, along with Belgium, were hoping that Russia would finally be the year that this generation of players delivered. Unfortunately they played each other, with Belgium getting the edge, but both teams will look very different in 2022. Brazil’s squad averaged 28.6 years old in Russia, while Belgium’s registered at 27.6. The lone familiar face could be Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus, who will be 25 for the next tournament.
United States +8000
*Rolls up sleeves*
I know what you’re saying. But listen. I believe in this hypothetical team. One week before Russia, France played a meaningless warmup friendly against USMNT. Julian Green scored for USA, and Mbappe equalized to force a 1-1 draw.
With that in mind, USA and France are clearly on the same level. USA has major youth talent on the way, and national savior Christian Pulisic will be in his prime at 23. Pulisic and Tim Weah could form a lethal combo in Qatar, and that combo is favored over way more countries than you’d think.
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