Northern Monkey Punter

World Cup 2022 (Football)

Here are a list of my World Cup 2022 bets for Qatar.

I am heavily involved with Brazil outright and put them up as an ante post bet on record on the NMP service, with Argentina sent out as my saver selection (to cover the Brazil stakes) too. I've backed Denmark and Uruguay to win their Groups as I think they could upset the favourites in their respective Groups (France and Portugal) - I sent those out on the service too (albeit in doubles with a losing racing pick so they aren’t live bets). We have Neymar for the Golden Ball and Golden Boot on record in small (live) doubles too.

The other bets below are just small bets for a bit of fun.

The accumulators are tough to pull off but offer a bit of fun at large prices, as do the specials, which are tough to get on, but can be backed for a couple of quid nevertheless.

Main bets (singles)

  • Brazil outright 9/2 to 4/1 - strong bet (sent as an ante post on the NMP service)
  • Argentina outright 11/2 - saver to cover Brazil stake (sent as an ante post on the NMP service)
  • Denmark to win Group D, 5/2, William Hill
  • Uruguay to win Group H, 2/1 William Hill


Other smaller singles

  • Neymar to win Golden Boot, 12/1 Coral (4 places) EW
  • Darwin Nunez to win Golden Boot, 40/1 Paddy Power (5 places) smaller EW
  • Neymar to win Golden Ball, 11/1 William Hill


Accumulators - bit of fun at large odds for a few quid

  • Top team goalscorers acca: Kane (England), Neymar (Brazil), Messi (Argentina), Lewandowski (Poland), Nunez (Uruguay) - pays 30/1 on the Hills coupon in shop
  • Group winners acca: Netherlands (Group A), Argentina (Group C), Denmark (Group D), Brazil (Group G) & Uruguay (Group H) - acca pays 29/1 on the Hills coupon in shop
  • Top team scorers (Betfred coupon in shop): Dan James (Wales, 10/1), Bruno Fernandes (Portugal, 15/2), Jamal Musiala (Germany, 10/1), Kasper Dolberg (Denmark, 4/1), Darwin Nunez (Uruguay, 9/4), Dusan Vlahovic (Serbia, 5/2) - small trebles (x 20) and fourfolds (x 15).


Specials - bit of fun at large odds for a few quid

  • Uruguay & Denmark to both make the semi finals 22/1 Paddy Power (#WhatOddsPaddy)
  • Brazil to win World Cup, Neymar Golden Ball & Alisson Golden Glove 33/1 Paddy Power (#WhatOddsPaddy)
  • Brazil to win World Cup, Neymar Golden Boot & Alisson Golden Glove 50/1 Paddy Power (#WhatOddsPaddy)
  • Brazil to win World Cup, Neymar Golden Boot & Vinicius Junior Golden Ball 100/1 Paddy Power (#WhatOddsPaddy)
  • Argentina to win World Cup, Messi top scorer, Emi Martinez most clean sheets 100/1 Coral (#YourCall)
  • Name the semi finalists - Brazil, Argentina, Denmark & Uruguay - 500/1 William Hill (on sports betting terminals)


Bet Reasoning - posted 18/11/22

There are a number of teams I am 'for' this tournament and a number of teams I am 'against' - so it naturally follows that if you think one country is going to fare well at the tournament you are likely to be picking players from that team for awards like the Golden Boot (effectively top goalscorer*) Golden Ball (FIFA player of the tournament) and Golden Glove (most clean sheets)

      *although the bet settlement rules are different between a market titled Golden Boot and a Top Goalscorer one - you can't have a dead heat on a Golden Boot winner and assists will be taken into consideration to settle that market if two players are level on the same number of goals. With Top Goalscorer, dead heat rules will apply if players are tied on the same number of goals.

      I have been keen on Brazil for a number of months now and they are the nation I am most heavily involved in at the tournament. They boasted a tight defence during qualification (so I've backed Alisson for Golden Glove in a few specials), scored goals for fun and have a potent attacking threat in their squad which should give Tite (who is departing after the tournament and will be eager to go out with a bang) options to rotate and freshen things up when needed. Jesus, supported by Neymar (likely to be on pens, so I've backed for Golden Boot, and likely to be a key creative influence as well as scorer, so have backed for Golden Ball too), with Raphinha and Vinicius Jr out wide, with Martinelli, Anthony and Richarlison waiting to come off the bench, is quite some attack!

      It is true to say Brazil don't have the easiest Group compared to some, but they would still be expected to take the maximum number of points from their three matches against Serbia (for whom key man Mitrovic is recovering from a knock), Switzerland and Cameroon. Brazil skeptics have also pointed to a difficult path through the knockouts, but I fancy them to gain revenge over Germany to avenge their 2014 humiliation, should they lock horns again, and I've backed Argentina as my saver bet as I believe they are Brazil's main danger - a potential clash in the semis could be on the cards.

      Like Brazil, Argentina have a tremendous squad and have to be afforded the utmost respect. Messi will be playing in his last World up and eager to go out with a bang with the current Copa America champions, who are unbeaten in 35 matches. Inter's Lautaro Martinez, will chip in with goals along with Messi and they have a strong core of players based in Europe playing in the top leagues.

      There are four countries who I wanted to be against at the prices - England, France, Germany and Portugal.

      With England, their Nations League performances and results (including a Nations League relegation) have been terrible and there is a growing belief it is time for Gareth Southgate to move on, despite England's good performances at previous international tournaments (semi finalists at the last World Cup and finalists at the last Euros). 

      A negative approach and refusal to take the shackles off in games could be England's downfall. An opening game on Monday against defensively-solid Iran has all the makings of a snoozefest, and while I think England will nick it 1-0 or so and probably top the group even if taking a point against Wales in the final game, I do suspect the safety first approach will see the Three Lions fall short in the knockouts. 

      We will likely face Ecuador or Senegal (from whom Mane is a serious injury doubt) which gives us a great chance of progressing beyond the last 16, but then we are likely to face Argentina, assuming they win Group C and see off the runner up in France/Denmark's Group, and that is where we're likely to come up short. 

      I am against France, too, as they have had some sketchy results during the Nations League (only won one of their six games) and were, in fact, beaten 2-1 and 2-0 but Denmark, who are drawn against them here and look a better bet at 5-2 to win the Group. 

      While France have strong attacking threat with Mbappe and the effervescent Benzema, they have serious injury troubles in midfield with Kante and Pogba both ruled out. They had a soft World Cup Qualification Group (Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia, Kazakhstan) which they topped but you just wonder if those key injuries in midfield may come back to bite them this time as they bid to defend their crown.

      Denmark became everyone's second team at the Euros after the incident with Christian Eriksen (suffered a cardiac arrest). Remarkaby, without their best player after that, they went on to reach the semi finals. They've already shown they have the ability to ruffle up France, who are favourites in this Group, and while their XI may lack obvious star quality like a Messi, Neymar or Mbappe, they are a well organised, well drilled, functional unit, who could feasibly upset the apple cart. 

      England had to go to extra time to knock Denmark out of the Euros, so should the Danes top their Group and see off opponents who may well turn out to be Mexico/Poland in the last 16, I don't think they'd particularly fear England. They could, quite feasibly, get to the semis if they win their Group and get a smoother path through the knockouts, so I've chucked them in a few interesting specials, literally just for a few quid, for a bit of fun.

      With Germany, I am not sure where all of their goals are coming from as Havertz and Werner lead the line. While it is dangerous to write off any German side at major international tournaments, they just weren't a side that got me excited and they are in a tricky Group with Spain who are another who seem to lack a truly top class striker option (Morata likely leads the line).

      Portugal have a sketchy World Cup record in recent tournaments, winning just three matches during the last three competitions, and although they have a strong squad on paper, the recent drama surrounding Ronaldo can't have been an ideal prep for the tournament, despite what manager Fernando Santos has said. 

      Based purely on their results at recent tournaments, I've taken them on at the prices, with Uruguay my pick. New manager Diego Alonso has won seven of his first nine games in charge and they have a cracking squad containing the likes of Godin and Gimenez at the back, Bentacur, Valverde, Suarez, Cavani and Nunez. I've had a small bet on the latter to be Golden Boot winner (40/1 with Paddy, who are offering 5 places, or 50/1 with 4 places elsewhere) and also top Uruguay scorer. 

      The two-time tournament winners have not been the most free-scoring nation in qualifying but Nunez looks a promising talent and this tournament could sort of represent a changing of the guard for the South Americans, with Suarez and Cavani both now 35. If there is a man who can bag the goals to secure narrow victories, hopefully the Liverpool man is the one bagging!

      If Uruguay do top Group H, they would play the runner up in Brazil's Group (likely to be Switzerland you'd think) in the last 16. The Swiss are a solid side but you'd rather have them over Brazil or Argentina, for example. If Uruguay were able to come through that tie then they would likely face Germany or Belgium (assuming those two live up to market expectations). 

      As mentioned above, I'm a bit concerned where Germany's goals are coming from. I do respect Belgium more than most of the European teams as, in De Bruyne, they have one of the best players in the World right now pulling their strings, but the Red Devils have been knocked out in the quarter-finals in three of the last four competitions, so they have a history of flattering to deceive, so I've taken a punt on Uruguay making the semis in a few specials.

      Top Team goalscorers (reasoning posted 20/11/22)


      Betfred have an extensive coupon in shop and are allowing multis in these markets (not all firms do).

      I’ve fired in a few against-the-grain multis and hope at least three of the six selections land.

      With Wales, Bale and Ramsey are Wales’ highest scorers, internationally, in this squad, but both have had fitness battles domestically and maybe jet-heeled Fulham winger Dan James could offer a spot of value at 10/1.

      He tormented Man Utd on his return to action recently and if he can keep himself fit he could be a real nuisance to England, Iran and the USA.

      Jamal Musiala is one of the next big talents emerging in the Bundesliga and the Bayern Munich man could do well for a Germany side missing the injured Werner, in which the goals may well be shared about.

      For Bayern he has scored 9 in 15 this term, outscoring the likes of Muller, Sane and Gnabry - two of whom are shorter prices in this market.

      He likely plays in the attacking trio behind Havertz, who doesn’t strike as being prolific, so there could be mileage in Musiala’s 10/1 price.

      With Uruguay, I’ve mentioned Darwin Nunez already above as I backed him last week on the Top Team Goalscorer multi available in Hills. I’ve included him here too.

      Dusan Vlahovic has scored over 40 goals for Juventus over the last two Serie A seasons and has 8 in 15 for Serbia. He’s apparently on pens and with fellow striker Mitrovic limping into the tournament off the back of an injury, perhaps he may represent value.
       
      As far as Portugal are concerned it is going to be interesting to see how Ronaldo’s recent media antics impact the group. Portugal have a great squad but you wonder if this ageing Ronaldo may hold them back like he has Man Utd this season. He skipped training this week due to a ‘stomach’ bug and the coach has said his antics won’t distract the squad, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Ronaldo wasn’t the focal point as usual.

      Bruno Fernandes is 12/1 top team scorer with Coral but they don’t allow multis. The 15/2 with Betfred is still fair though.

      Kasper Dolberg looks like he will lead the line for Denmark, who I fancy to top Group D and cause an upset versus France.

      Eriksen is on pens so heads this market but Dolberg has netted 11 in 37 internationally and is no mug.


      Recent Winners

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