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The biggest event in the professional pool calendar is almost upon us, with the 2022 edition of the Mosconi Cup just weeks away. This world-famous and much-loved event will be the 29th edition of the yearly nine-ball pool competition. As always, the trophy will be contested between the best players from Europe and the cream of the crop from the United States. Which team will win? We can’t wait to find out.
This year’s Mosconi Cup matches face something of a first as they will be played at the same time as the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, where the best in soccer scrap it out to become champions of the world. A little extra competition for the pool players in terms of viewing figures, but with the best of the ties from both tournaments shown live on television as well as at the leading betting online apps, you can enjoy both.
Affectionately known to casual sports fans as the “Ryder Cup of pool”, the game’s best players will be in attendance, with the Europe and USA captains enjoying the luxury of being able to choose from a full-strength team. Europe is the defending champions, having won last year’s event by a score of 11-6 in what turned out to be an easier triumph than many of us expected before the start. Last year’s result followed this competition’s recent trends, and the European have now collected 10 of the last 12 trophies.
The action begins on Wednesday, 30th November, when followers are treated to two doubles matches on either side of a singles shootout. Thursday is the opening day of December and comes with a lively schedule in Sin City with three rounds of singles and a couple of doubles matches, giving fans an action-packed afternoon and evening with all fixtures shown live on television. Friday’s programme reads singles, doubles, singles, doubles, and singles. Then on Saturday, we wrap things up for the year following one final outing of doubles before five rounds of singles matches.
Europe is in a dominant run of form, and the team will travel to Vegas looking to continue that purple patch over their main rivals. Having won each of the last two renewals of this competition, this represents a great chance to complete the hat trick. Three wins on the bounce is a big ask, especially to achieve that in the US, but they certainly have the skills, strength of character and the willingness to really floor their hosts.
Team Europe may be seeking a tremendous treble, but they have enjoyed home advantage in each of the last two years. Two years ago, they sealed an 11-3 win at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, England. The Europeans then defended with a slightly more competitive 11-6 win at the Alexandra Palace in London. Will the location help the Americans? There’s every chance, and despite being the underdogs for victory, we’ve seen plenty of support for the home win this week. It could be a great comeback for American pool.
It’s not often that pundits on both sides of the divide agree on something, but the experts all make Team Europe the resounding favourites to win this title for the third time. Team USA’s last win at this level came when the matches were last played in Vegas. Does that encourage you to take a chance on the underdogs? If it did, you certainly wouldn’t be in the minority there.
This USA side has a better chance than the critics are giving them credit for, and it would come as no shock to us if, cheered on by a support that has celebrated just two wins since 2009, were to cause an upset.