Football’s most popular tournament, the World Cup, begins on November 20, 2022, as the clash of the best against the best. There is a lot of speculation on what to expect from each team and its notable players. Some countries that were heavily banked on in the past flopped while unexpected names like Iceland left the world in disbelief at their magnificent performance.

There are many favourites for the World Cup because there are many teams that have what it takes to win. However, we know there can only be one winner and that will come from a fierce contest that is based on eliminating your enemy in the fixtures and succeeding in the group stage. There will also be a lot of farewells. Players like Neymar have hinted that this will be their last World Cup. Others who are aged like Messi (35) and Ronaldo (37) will most likely see this as the final phase in their careers.

Selecting a team/country to support and one to bankroll in the World Cup might not be an easy pick. Though many supporters will support their team, there’s no need to be biased about who will win. You can support your team and not bet on them because, having considered the odds and other factors, they might not have been in your country’s team’s favour.

The team’s world soccer odds have the characteristics to win the trophy. So as you choose which teams to bet on, look at these standards every winning team should have.

1. Desperation

Over the years, one major advantage winning teams have had is a strong desire to win. Before considering the squad’s strength and skills, the team’s widespread passion is a key factor.

This passion will serve as a motivator for winning matches, either early on or coming from behind. Many teams lose steam after conceding one or two goals. If this is the case, then such a team may not go beyond the round of 16.

One team that has some energetic and hungry drive is Argentina in the 2014 World Cup. They were desperate to win. Though they only got to the finals and ended up as runners-up, their collective drive made them reach the tournament’s final stage.

Every hungry team needs younger players. Younger talents are more passionate than oldies who just want to maintain a good game. This was one mistake of Spain, which at some point had old legs for a world competition.

Countries like France will continue to dominate because of the level of energy they bring to the pitch. However, this does not override the importance of having a few experienced legs on the pitch. Rather, an unequal balance of more youngsters than oldies will help a team thrive.

Watch out for the squad’s general age level; it can be a signal of how energetic they’ll be on the field. It will also affect how they pick themselves up or fight for a late win.

2. Teamwork

Synergy is an indispensable factor that cannot be overemphasized. Individual ambition does not propel a team to victory. Trophies are for teams, not a single player, though individual brilliance on the pitch can earn players awards. Teamwork builds the overall team’s strength against tough opposition.

A united squad of average players can defeat a disunited team with so much talent. For example, Iceland once defeated England in Euros to the amazement of fans and spectators. It is also a major feature that made Germany undefeated in the 2014 World Cup.

A team that celebrates an individual’s ability above team synergy may not go too far in the World Cup. Lookout for teams with the squad as their strength and not a player or a few players.

3. Outstanding players and individual brilliance

Every team needs able, skilful players. This comes third because it is important but not compared to teamwork. In every tournament, individual brilliance sometimes saves the day. The ability for the midfielders to spot this lone player is that once he handles the ball, he is sure to score—a goal poacher.

In some matches, it was a player’s free kick that gave them a win or made them remain in the competition. Just like Ronaldo’s free-kick against Spain to cling to a draw, which kept the competition hopes alive in the 2018 World Cup. Mbappe’s goals were the major decider in the 2018 World Cup match between France and Argentina in the round of 16.

These and more just go to prove that having players who can create chances out of nothing and also strikers who can convert from any range is priceless. Some players to watch in this World Cup for amazing individual brilliance are Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Messi, Ronaldo, etc

4. Discipline

Many people haven’t realized the effect off-the-pitch activities have on players on the pitch. Talented players have always been on the losing end because of a lack of discipline. Taribo West, a former player of the Super Eagles for Nigeria, once said his teammates’ escapades at nightclubs and hotels with women before their round of 16 clashes with Denmark in 1998 set them up for a 4-1 loss and exit from the world cup.

Players who are hinted to be distracted or busy with fun and partying during the World Cup usually have a toll on the team’s overall performance. Don’t gamble on teams that are widely filled with undisciplined players.

5. Plan B

The 2014 World Cup may remain a nightmare for Brazilians because they saw their team crumble after their talisman, Neymar, was sidelined because of an injury. The team had no plan B and no equal substitute for Neymar.

Teams that have a strong bench have a greater likelihood of winning than those that don’t. This is with unforeseen circumstances, which most of the time leave the team weak in the face of stronger opposition.

6. Endurance and extra time

Some players burn out before or after 90 minutes, and they are irreplaceable, especially when the subs are completed. This is a weak point in the round of 16 when a win is based on a fight to finish.

Another key skill that has helped some teams progress in the World Cup is the ability to convert penalties. Some players became objects of criticism because of how their inexperience in penalties ruined a country’s hopes in the World Cup.

I hope these few stop signs will help you predict properly the team that may most likely be favoured to win the 2022 World Cup trophy.

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