There is a World Cup on the horizon, and it almost goes without saying that it’ll be a top priority for football tipsters and experts in 2022. Perhaps the greatest sporting show on earth is also breaking new ground.
Both people recommending football bets on the 2022 World Cup and those placing them have to keep in mind certain things that make this edition of the tournament somewhat unique. Don’t worry, it’s not the return of the droning vuvuzela!
The double-edged sword that is VAR will almost certainly scupper a few expert picks and wagers made by football fans along the way. It was confirmed back in 2019 that the World Cup would have video referees and everything that goes with them.
Let’s not forget that goal-line technology, specifically, and VAR, in general, can trace their roots back to an infamous incident during a previous edition of the tournament. At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, besides the aforementioned vuvuzelas, Frank Lampard’s ghost goal late in the first half of the Germany v England last-16 match was a catalyst for change.
The introduction of VAR has had the greatest impact on club football so far. During the current English Premier League season, it has been called upon to confirm or overturn no fewer than 120 decisions. Of those, all but five have changed the game with 25 penalties awarded and 21 overturned, and 30 goals confirmed but 39 disallowed.
Whether we like it or not, both tipsters and bettors have to accept the fact that VAR is here to stay. From dodgy penalty calls to offside checks and possible red cards, the video referee can make as well as break football bets and predictions.
It’s in Qatar
Where a World Cup is happening can be hugely influential. This upcoming edition is in Qatar, a country on the Persian Gulf and part of the Arabian Peninsula. This is the first time that the tournament is being hosted in this part of the globe.
Because of this, the World Cup is going to be a big deal for Arabian bookmakers and their customers. Different states in the region take different attitudes towards gambling, but we are dealing with the most popular betting sport on Earth here.
Locals taking a punt on the World Cup need to make sure they use legal and licensed football betting sites with expertise in the Arabic markets, such as arabianbetting.com, where punters can find information about all the relevant events like the Qatar Stars League or the Arabian Gulf Cup. In general, the most popular platforms for punters in this region will be multilingual, offering a gambling experience in Arabic, English and French.
Tipsters and bettors must also give every consideration to what conditions are going to be like in Qatar. It is a dry, arid country full of sand and salt flats. The stadiums used for the World Cup will be air-conditioned, but many footballers will not be used to playing in dehydrating conditions, especially ones who are from countries with or represent club teams where there is a temperate climate.
Successful adjustments are possible with Germany winning the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, while the Samba Boys have triumphed in Asia, North America and Europe before. Thinking about this should shape which teams to bet on in the minds of tipsters and punters alike. Past form may easily go out of the window, as the nations which acclimatise best to Qatari conditions should go far in the tournament.
So as to make the World Cup feasible in the host country, it will be held from 21 November to 18 December 2022. All other editions of the tournament have taken place between May and July.
If the World Cup were to be in its regular slot, temperatures in Qatar are so high at that time of year that it just wouldn’t be practical. This is why it has been moved to the winter, but how will the players adjust?
Many big football countries in Europe have a winter break that starts around the time that the World Cup is due to finish. England is the only major exception. Domestic leagues in North and South America traditionally end during late autumn or early winter.
Playing international football in December during what is not a recognised window for that part of the game will also take some adjustment. A different mentality and mindset will be needed, but the special experience of competing at a World Cup should ensure that.
This is still worth bearing in mind before betting or taking a tip. Identifying which players are used to having lots of matches at that time of year is another thing you should consider when taking a punt on the World Cup in Qatar when it comes around.