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Qatar will become the 18th host nation of the World Cup this year
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World Cup: How previous hosts have performed

Hosts Qatar will be hoping that playing on home soil can boost their chances of performing at the World Cup.

The 22nd edition of the competition gets underway on Sunday when Qatar take on Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium.

What: World Cup
Where: Qatar
When: Sunday 20th November - Sunday 18th December
How to watch: BBC & ITV
Odds: Brazil 7/2, Argentina 11/2, France 7/1, England 8/1, Spain 8/1

Qatar are set to become the 18th nation to host the showpiece event since the first-ever competition in Uruguay in 1930.

Mexico, Italy, France, Germany and Brazil have all hosted on two occasions, while the 2002 edition was jointly hosted by South Korea and Japan.

There's often a feeling that the hosts are given an advantage by playing in familiar surroundings and having a loyal backing of fans.

However, only six times has the host nation gone on to lift the Jules Rimet trophy.

Uruguay laid down early marker

Uruguay haven't been considered a serious contender at the World Cup for a long time but they were the first nation to win the competition.

The 1930 edition had just 13 teams involved with four groups and the winner of each section earned a place in the semi-finals.

La Celeste beat Yugoslavia 6-1 in the last four and then went on to deliver for their fans courtesy of a 4-2 triumph against Argentina in the final in Montevideo.

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No fairytale ending for Brazil

Brazil, 7/2 to go all the way in Qatar, are the record five-time winners of the competition but they've never lifted the trophy on home soil, despite being one of the few nations to host it twice.

They made it through to the final in 1950 but, despite taking the lead, it ended in disappointment as Uruguay ran out 2-1 winners at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

The Selecao hosted for a second time in 2014 and they were hanging their hopes largely on Neymar, who was starring for Barcelona at the time.

Neymar, who is 12/1 to win the Golden Boot in Qatar, netted four times in the group stage to help Brazil through to the last 16 and he bagged the decisive spot-kick in a penalty shootout win over Chile.

A 2-1 win over Colombia booked Brazil's spot in the semi-finals but it came at a price as Neymar suffered a fractured vertebra, ruling him out of the rest of the tournament.

His absence proved to be a major blow as Germany sealed an emphatic 7-1 win in the last four and Brazil were denied the chance to lift the title on home soil.

South American rivals Argentina, priced at 11/2 to triumph in Qatar, are two-time winners and one of those triumphs came on home soil in 1978.

The Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aries was packed with 71,483 as Argentina sealed a 3-1 victory over the Netherlands in extra-time.

European quartet delivered

Italy, England, West Germany and France all stepped up on their own patch to win the competition.

The Azzurri were the first to do so when they hosted in 1934 and they went on to beat Czechoslovakia 2-1 in the final.

They were awarded hosting rights again in 1990 but they were unable to match their 1934 feat after losing on penalties to Argentina in the semi-finals.

The World Cup took place on English soil in 1996 and, despite drawing their opening group match, England, available at 8/1 to win this year's event, went all the way.

It remains the one and only successful campaign for the Three Lions after Geoff Hurst netted a hat-trick to seal a 4-2 win over West Germany in the final at Wembley.

West Germany had their turn eight years later and the trophy was theirs after beating the Netherlands 2-1.

France, who are 7/1 to win the World Cup in Qatar, complete the quartet of European nations to do the business in front of their own fans.

Les Bleus ran out victors in 1998 with a memorable 3-0 win over favourites Brazil in the final in Paris.

Spain seriously underwhelmed when they were awarded the competition in 1982 as they dropped out in the second group stage.

It was an all-European final, though, with Italy going on to beat West Germany 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.

Hosting can provide boost

The previously mentioned hosts are all regarded as big names on the international stage but there is some evidence that it can benefit smaller nations in their pursuit of glory.

Sweden hosted in 1958 and went on to enjoy their best run when reaching the final, but they came up short against Brazil.

Chile also fall into that category with their strongest performance at a World Cup - finishing third - coming on home soil in 1962.

Mexico are one of the few nations to have hosted twice and they reached the quarter-finals on both occasions - a run they have never managed to better.

South Korea's deepest run came when they jointly hosted with Japan in 2022 and they finished fourth.

Japan, however, failed to get beyond the last 16.

The 2010 edition took place in South Africa but they were unable to find a way beyond the group stage.

Russia are the most recent hosts and they ended a run of four successive group exits to make it to the quarter-finals.

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