The highly-anticipated 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar on Sunday, with the next World Champions awaiting to be crowned.
Four years ago, a 4-1 win over Croatia saw France win the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with England being knocked out to the eventual runners-up in the semi-finals of the competition. Arguably the two greatest players of all time, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, are both set to take part in what looks to be their final World Cup, with both yet to lift the trophy.
The 2022 World Cup could be the last chance for Belgium’s golden generation to win the World Cup, whilst there are set to be a few dark horses to look out for. World Cups always see a couple of major nations exit in the group stages, with Germany, England, Italy, Spain and Portugal all having been eliminated at this stage in the last two tournaments.
READ MORE: Almost half of England and Wales fans would skip work and funerals for World Cup
So, could we see another big shock in this year's World Cup Group Stages? We simulated the 2022 FIFA World Cup Group Stages on Football Manager 2023 to find out!
2022 FIFA World Cup Group Stages 'simulated'
To create this simulation, we used Football Manager 2023, updating the squads with the correct rosters. We then simulated the entire group stages of the competition, and this is what happened.
Who do you think will win the 2022 FIFA World Cup? Let us know in the comments section below!
2022 FIFA World Cup Group A simulated
There was no major surprise in Group A of the 2022 World Cup, with the table ending in the order that many people would've predicted. The Netherlands topped the group, winning two and drawing one to finish on seven points.
No Sadio Mane, no problem for Senegal, as the AFCON champions finished second on six points to advance to the Round of 16. Ecuador finished in third on four points, whilst host nation Qatar finished bottom of the group, losing all three games with a goal difference of -12. The biggest result in the group was Netherlands' 6-0 win over Qatar, with Virgil van Dijk and Cody Gakpo both scoring twice.
2022 FIFA World Cup Group B simulated
Group B had one of the biggest surprises in the simulation, with USA finishing in first place whilst England finished in second. This meant that the Three Lions would face the winners of Group A in the Round of 16.
England won two and lost one to finish second in the group – that one loss coming against USA with the Stars and Stripes tallying seven points to pip England to top spot. Wales finished third in the group on three points whilst Iran were bottom with one point and a -11 goal difference, with their crazy 9-2 defeat to England causing most of the damage.
2022 FIFA World Cup Group C simulated
- Saudi Arabia
Argentina topped Group C in the simulation, with Lionel Messi's side winning the group on goal difference. Both Argentina and Poland won two and drew one to end on seven points, but the Copa America champions' +9 goal difference proved the difference.
Mexico ended the group in third on just three points, a slight surprise with the North American nation tipped to challenge for the top two spots. Saudi Arabia finished bottom of the group on zero points – the worst side in the 2022 World Cup after scoring just one and conceding 15.
2022 FIFA World Cup Group D simulated
France got off to the perfect start in the World Cup, topping Group D with three wins from three – only one of three sides to win all their group-stage games. The defending champions were joined in the knockout stages by Denmark on six points, whilst Australia finished in third place on three points.
Tunisia had a tough time in Qatar as they finished bottom of the group on zero points whilst also being the only team not to score a goal. The biggest result in the group saw France beat Australia 5-0, with Kylian Mbappe netting four of the goals.
2022 FIFA World Cup Group E simulated
- Costa Rica
After their World Cup embarrassment in 2018, Germany redeemed themselves this time round, winning all three games in Group E to finish first. Spain finished second in the group with six points as they also advanced to the Round of 16.
Japan finished third on three points whilst Costa Rica picked up zero points, finishing in last. Once again, this group came out of the simulation like most players would've predicted.
2022 FIFA World Cup Group F simulated
Group F was the closest out of all of the World Cup group stages, with three teams finishing on six points each. With the table down to goal difference, Morocco missed out on a spot in the Round of 16 whilst Belgium and Croatia advanced.
Belgium topped the group with a +5 goal difference – their 4-0 win over Morocco was the difference between Roberto Martinez's side advancing out the group or not. Last season's finalists Croatia finished in second with a +4 goal difference, whilst Canada finished fourth, failing to pick up a single point.
2022 FIFA World Cup Group G simulated
By far the biggest shock of the group stages – if not one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history – FM23 predicted that Brazil would finish bottom of Group G, failing to win a single game. Switzerland and Serbia finished in the top two spots with seven and four points each respectively, whilst Cameroon just missed out on goal difference as they finished in third on four points.
Brazil are one of the favorites to win the 2022 World Cup, but they scored just one goal in Group G as they claimed one point out of a possible nine. The point came in a 0-0 draw against Serbia, whilst losses to Switzerland and Cameroon handed Brazil their fate.
2022 FIFA World Cup Group H simulated
- South Korea
In what could be Ronaldo's final World Cup, Portugal won three from three in Group H to finish top and advance to the knockout stages. South Korea earned second place as they picked up four points, meaning Uruguay missed out, a surprise to some.
Despite having a partnership of Luis Suarez and Darwin Nunez in attack, both received red cards in the simulation, and they ended on three points in third. Ghana finished bottom of the group, collecting just one point.
Overall, FM23 predicts that one of the big favourites could suffer a shock exit in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Group Stags, with Brazil failing to win a game in the simulation. The USA surprised the world as they topped Group B, but if Brazil were to exit the competition this early, it would be one of the biggest World Cup shocks in history with the squad they have.
England '86 World Cup stars refused to get on booze – but loved sunbathing for 20 mins
Seven countries who no longer exist but played at the World Cup – including the Soviets
Brazil gave in to 'arrogant' FIFA's demands to change beer laws for 2014 World Cup
Source: Read Full Article