Top 2022 FIFA World Cup Matchday One Games

By Jeff Stinger

The 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup is only a few weeks away. This tournament marks the first World Cup held in the Middle East and takes a significant break from the traditional start date of June. With rising temperatures in the host nation Qatar, we take a closer look at the must-watch games of Matchday One.

2022 FIFA World Cup Matchday One Games to Watch

READ MORE: Top 2022 FIFA World Cup Matchday One Games: Part Two

Qatar vs. Ecuador

  • 2022 FIFA World Cup odds: Qatar (+263) // Ecuador (+101)

The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off with a match between hosts Qatar and Ecuador. This is a clash between two Group A teams, but the South American nation gets the nod as the favorite considering their international experience. Qatar does have experience behind its coaching staff and Spanish manager Felix Sanches in charge, who aims for a more attacking-focused strategy. Meanwhile, Ecuador operates under a more conservative system that focuses on both ends of the pitch.

This is Qatar’s first World Cup appearance and we’ve seen the side score its fair share of goals in recent fixtures. Their opponents present similar results and enter the contest as +450 Group A sleepers, putting up at least a goal in eight of their last nine qualifying matches. With that, we expect goals traded between the two.

Senegal vs. Netherlands

  • 2022 FIFA World Cup odds: Senegal (+480) // Netherlands (-167)

The -200 Group A favorites and +500 favorites to reach the 2022 FIFA World Cup Final, Netherlands, open their campaign with a duel against Senegal. Many believe that this is the year that the Dutch side wins its first World Cup. They have the talent and an affinity for goals that could pave the way to a successful run. If they get over the struggles at the back which could end up costing them defeats, we might see them take the spotlight.

Meanwhile, Senegal’s heart and soul lie within +5,000 top goalscorer Sadio Mane. The African nation hopes to use the weather conditions in its favor as they aim to defy the odds and become the first-ever African country to win the title. With multiple Premier League players in their arsenal, Senegal hopes to improve on their last performance in Russia 2018 and make it to the knockouts and bring us one of the best 2022 FIFA World Cup Games of Matchday One.

USA vs. Wales

  • 2022 FIFA World Cup odds: USA (+147) // Wales (+193)

One of the more anticipated games out of Group B happens between USA and Wales. Both share similar figures on paper, with Wales coming in as a +550 favorite to win and the USA slated at +600 to win the group. The latter features a competent young squad. It’s only a question of how far they can go and how the team deals with the scorching heat in the Middle East.

On the other hand, Wales boasts a more experienced lineup in terms of playing time. Gareth Bale is the most prominent name here. If he does have big performances left in him, this should give him and his teammates an edge over an undeveloped Team USA. Ultimately, it will be interesting how both sides use their strengths to get ahead.

Mexico vs. Poland

  • 2022 FIFA World Cup odds: Mexico (+163) // Poland (+159)

Poland is a relatively young country in terms of World Cup exposure. This is only their night appearance, with their best finish happening way back in 1938. But with star striker Robert Lewandowski at their disposal and the multi-talented Arkadiusz Milik, this is a must-watch team in the group stage. The Polish side trails Group C favorites Argentina with +350 odds to win the first round.

Opponents Mexico and +400 Group C winners are neck and neck with The Eagles. With 17 total World Cup qualifications and two quarter-final appearances throughout the years, we expect a highly-contested match between the teams. Raul Jimenez will be an instrumental part of their run together with Hirving Lozano and Érick Gutiérrez.

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*All stated odds are subject to change without prior notice.