Benzema denies, Infantino boasts


world Cup It starts in Qatar TODAY, and ESPN has you covered for the world’s biggest sporting event.

Ahead of the opener between the hosts Queue And Ecuador (11 a.m. ET/4 p.m. GMT), we’ve got tons of great previews and reads to get you ready for it all. start with us 2022 world cup guide description of large stars (including Lionel Messi And Cristiano Ronaldo), favorite (Argentina, France, Brazil) and important games to circle on your calendar (obviously United States of america,England next Friday).

Be sure to check in with ESPN throughout the tournament as we bring you the latest from Qatar. Let’s join in.

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News and Notes

French striker Karim Benzema out of the world cup After injuring his left thigh during training in Doha on Saturday.

– Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies Canada’s World Cup opener remains an injury threat against Belgium on Wednesday as he continues to recover from a hamstring strain he suffered earlier this month. Canadian coach John Herdman said that Davies was “still getting towards top speed. But he hasn’t hit that top speed yet.”

– FIFA President Gianni Infantino Europe’s “hypocrisy” slammed Defended Qatar in surprising speech.

– Beer Bait-and-Switch? A major reversal for fans attending the Games as World Cup organizers Ban on sale of liquor around the stadium,

– rest easy, spain fans. The players on Luis Enrique’s side must be sleeping specially designed mattress toppers In the hope that a good night’s sleep will help him succeed in the tournament.

best from today

FIFA President Infantino’s speech on the eve of the Qatar World Cup messed up
Infantino’s monologue touched on criticisms and issues related to the 2022 Qatar World Cup, but felt tone deaf and detached.

Which players want a big World Cup?
The most prestigious tournament in football is your place to shine if you’re hoping for a transfer, keen to prove something to your current club, or even end your career on a high.

what’s on tap

– Qatar Coach Felix Sanchez Warns “The Internet Is Very Dangerous” And insisted his team is unaffected by speculation over the integrity of the World Cup as they prepare for Sunday’s opening game against Ecuador.

, Bernardo Silva insists that the downfall of Cristiano Ronaldo There are no distractions for Portugal with Manchester United. Asked about the mood in the camp and whether he had offered support to the 37-year-old, he said: “Top, top, top. The news that comes out of England has got nothing to do with the national team, so I will not do.” say anything. It doesn’t concern me, it concerns Cristiano. I don’t need to comment. It’s a matter for Cristiano, I’m not a Manchester United player and even if I were I wouldn’t answer because we’re in the national team so I’m not going to talk about it.”

– United States men’s national team pair Weston McKennie and Sergino Dest ready to go For Monday’s World Cup opener against Wales. McKennie has been battling a quad injury for the past few weeks, but he continues to build up his fitness, with the club working closely with side Juventus and the United States to monitor the midfielder’s progress. Likewise, Daest suffered from muscle fatigue, and had only trained indoors once, apart from his American teammates, since arriving in Qatar.

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Sam Borden wonders what else might change in Qatar after a last-minute reversal of beer sales at stadiums.

what caught our eye

Watch part one of Gianni Infantino’s incredible news conference here.

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino says Europe “must apologize for the next 3,000 years” for past mistakes.

And see what ESPN reporter James Ole made of it…

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James Ole recalled a remarkable speech by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, in which he called out the “hypocrisy” of nations criticizing Qatar.

– O’Hanlon: How to understand the 2022 World Cup (ESPN+)

read big

Is Qatar hosting the World Cup about “sportswashing” or are there more subtle and layered reasons for hosting FIFA’s flagship competition? ESPN’s Mark Ogden and Kyle Bonagura Spoke to experts about the motives behind the controversial decision,

Plus: Bill Connelly Has a Big Question For all 32 teams going into their first game.

Your best bets (Odds via Caesars Sportsbook)

Take a look at how to actually bet on soccer matches as ESPN contributor Paul Carr gives you important tips On odds, options and futures,

Here’s what we have for the first two matches.

Group A

Queue (+235) Vs. Ecuador (+130), draw +205

Dalen cough: Usually the host country is a tough game and capable of causing upsets (Russia Showed it again in 2018 by going to the quarterfinals). Qatar have been playing together since September after the domestic league was suspended, but I think Ecuador are a physical, fast team that can give the hosts the ball but can counterattack lethally. I love Ecuador +130.

Paul Carr: I don’t know what to expect from Qatar. I agree with Dalen that Ecuador is better, and I don’t know how the crowd or the teams will react. I will wait for the second game to bet on Qatar match.

Dan Thomas: It’s going to be a terrible game, but I feel like considering home advantage and the fact that they have more time than the other team, I’m going for Qatar. Qatar 1-0 Ecuador.

Netherlands (-160) v. Senegal (+500), draw +255

Phlegm: The Netherlands is looking much better at Euro 2020 than it was 15 months ago. No sadio mane There is a dagger for Senegal. I think the Dutch are going to come out flying, I’ll take 2.5 goals (+115).

Carr: I’m staying away from it now that Mane is out, but a +500 price tag on Senegal is certainly attractive for a team that is still defense-first.

Thomas: I think this could be a tough case. I am not sure where the goals are going to come from either side. I’ll take the under in it. Netherlands 1-0 Senegal.

group b

England (-290) v. Iran (+1000), draw +340

Carr: Can I place an under bet on each game in this group? Probably not, but I like it here under 2.5 goals (-150). Iran conceded five goals in 14 qualifiers and allowed only one goal each spain And portugal four years ago. England had a total of two goals in three group games at Euros last year, so unless Gareth Southgate has indicated he will use all of England’s attacking talent, I’m going with the under on England’s games.

Phlegm: I’ll just keep saying, I’m faking England. That said, his defensive approach against an inferior opponent would lead to victory, but without much style and perhaps only scoring one goal. Not much value here, and I don’t like this game, but I would pick England to Win to Nil (-128).

Thomas: I am not very hopeful that England can go very far in this tournament. However, given the weakness of the teams around them in the group, I think they will qualify easily, starting with a comfortable win against Iran in the opener. harry kane Scoring (-110) at any point looks like a lay-up. England 3-0 Iran.

United States of america (+160) Vs. wales (+200), draw +190

Carr: I hope it’s not my American bias, but America has more attacking options than Wales, highlighted by a quartet of quality wingers (christian pulisic, Branden Aaronson, Giovanni Reyna, timothy wow, Because of that and Wales’ not-as-good-as-you-think defense, which allowed an expected 1.2 goals per game in qualifying, I’m going at -135 with a US draw no bet.

Phlegm: Bias Alert! It’s been eight years since we saw America in a World Cup game. I can see it being low scoring. The young attacking talent hasn’t come together in the last few friendlies. Wales are not a dynamic attacking team, relying on talent Gareth Bale or looking across kiefer mooreThe head of Under play or both teams not scoring has no value. Fair move is probably Draw +190 or even Wales Draw No Bet +105. But there’s no emotional defense here — USA to win (+160).

Thomas: I know I’m not selling this very well. But I expect a 0-0 draw here.

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