As the old saying goes – made popular today by a world-leading alcohol company in the beautiful island of Ireland – “good things come to those who wait”. True in many walks of life. But it’s being put to the test this year by lovers of professional soccer. Fans are waiting patiently for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar to begin, with the globe’s best-loved international sports tournament already postponed by five months. They can’t wait to place bets on the Bovada Sports Betting and enjoy the show.
Are we back to the dark days of 2020 when various major sporting events, including Wimbledon and the Grand National at Aintree, England, were shelved due to the pandemic and resulting lockdowns? That would signal a huge step back for the sport, but thankfully, that’s not the case. The World Cup in Qatar was pushed from June and July to November and December to accommodate the dangerously high temperatures experienced in the home nation during summer.
We’re Good To Go
Organisers, coaches, players, officials and fans knew from the start that this was the plan. For the games to play out in the safest way possible, all matches had to be moved to the last few weeks of the year. This gives the tournament the best chance possible of being played to a conclusion this year. We already saw Euro 2020 – eventually won by Italy over England at Wembley – delayed by 12 months. No one passionate about the beautiful game wants to see this World Cup spill over into 2023.
The signs look promising, with the host nation ahead of schedule on stadium builds and accommodation. They have promised to make this the most environmentally-friendly tournament of its kind in history, setting the standard before handing control to the United States, Canada and Mexico, jointly hosting World Cup 2026. As Qatar flexes its financial and engineering muscles, innovative cooling and drinking systems will be used in and around all World Cup stadiums.
WNT Set The Standard
Team USA secured their qualification for another soccer World Cup many months ago, and the team can now look forward to playing on the big stage. Will they enjoy the same success we’ve seen from the women’s team recently? The USA winning a men’s World Cup certainly isn’t beyond the realms of possibilities, but it would certainly be a major shock if they were to do it. America has never won this trophy, and critics believe the sport isn’t popular enough in the US ever to produce a team good enough to win it.
Women’s soccer in the US is flying, continuing to set standards and silence doubters. The men’s pool doesn’t enjoy the same fortune, and we find they have been written off by traders working at all major online betting apps. Brazil is the pre-tournament favorite, ahead of current holders France, Euro 2020 runners-up England and Argentina, who are never too far away from the summit. That’s a tight-knit pack. What must the USA do to change that and force its way into the running?
To stand any chance of winning the World Cup – even making it to the latter stages – the USA must progress from a tough four-team group. They share a pool with England, Wales and Iran, with the top two finishers moving to the next phase. The USA look to have a great chance of achieving that, and if this group goes as expected, it’ll be a battle to the finish between USA and Wales to fill the runner-up spot behind the Three Lions.
Team USA begins their World Cup campaign with a match against Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan, on 21 November. Most pundits believe the winner of that match will progress to the knockout stages, although a draw wouldn’t be the worst result for either on matchday one.
Gregg Belhater and co then travel to the Al Bayt Stadium for game two on 25 November, and that’s one for your diary; the day they face England. The Stars and Stripes vs the Three Lions. That has the potential to be a thriller, and with Gareth Southgate’s men toiling of late, the USA has a great chance. The group stage winds up with the USA playing Iran in Doha on 29 November, and three points there could send them through.