Who Are The Dark Horses This Time?

With a stroke of Gareth Bale’s magic wand in the left boot and an attempt to rid, unfortunately, Ukraine captain Andriy Yarmolenko, the 2022 World Cup qualifiers were finally decided. From Europe at least. It was Captain Bell and his Welsh wrestlers – specifically Ben Davies and the brick wall known as Wayne Hennessy – who triumphed in Cardiff on Sunday afternoon, securing their crossing to Qatar, their first appearance in football’s greatest masterpiece in over 60 years. Oddschecker, which compares online bookmakers who offer bets and Free offers on the World CupThey decided that Wales had a good chance of advancing from Group B to the knockout stages. They may provide some shockwaves down the road, just as they did at Euro 2016 when they beat Belgium on their way to the semi-finals.

But it’s not just Robert Page’s men who can turn a few heads. The World Cup has always been a surprise. The late Heung-Min Son’s goal with the South Korean national team knocked out the defending champion Germany four years ago. Looking further, who could forget the idea of ​​raising the curtain in 2002? At the time, it was Senegal who debuted in the tournament, defeating a French team that had won the tournament at home four years earlier, with a squad that included the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry. Also, this year’s battle in the desert has many surprising possibilities. Here are the ones to watch out for this winter.

world Cup
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will have some serious black horses

Qatar – Group A

Can you believe that it has been 12 years since Qatar was awarded the honor of hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup? Believe it or not, in December 2010 the world’s collective jaws fell on Sepp Blatter who revealed that the biggest party in football was headed to the Middle East. At the time of the announcement, the Qataris had not fared much worse on the field.

They were languishing in 113th place in the FIFA World Rankings, behind the likes of North Korea, Iraq and Syria. To make matters worse, videos were spreading rapidly of striker Fahd Khalfan who lost an open goal from one yard to Uzbekistan and the planet was preparing to embarrass the future hosts before their eyes.

However, “The Maroon” has benefited from those past 12 years. They have risen steadily in the world rankings and have managed to grab titles on their way, defeating South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Japan on their way to success in the Asian Cup in 2019. They then enjoyed a round in the semi-finals of the World Cup. The 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup, narrowly losing to the United States via late winner Gyasi Zardes. Their manager, Felix Sanchez, is a former Barcelona youth coach, and during his five years at the helm of the Gulf country, they have developed an understanding that reaps rewards.

The power of home support cannot be underestimated. Russia is ranked 65th in the world, having reached the quarter-finals four years ago, defeating Spain on the way. In fact, had it not been for the penalty shootout defeat to finalist Croatia, they would have reached the quarter-finals, just as Guus Hiddink’s South Korea did in 2002. They would be the first hosts since the aforementioned South Korea. 20 years ago, they did not open their own World Cup, instead opting for the second game of the opening day, which is 17:00 (local time) with Ecuador. If they can defeat South America, African champions Senegal and the Netherlands – who were prematurely eliminated at last summer’s European Championships – will be all that stands between them and a place in the knockout stage. And who knows where after that?

UEFA Champions League ball
The World Cup this season will be among the club’s schedule

Canada – Group F

Just as Wales ended their 64-year wait to appear at the World Cup, Canada also ended their drought. Their 4-0 win over Jamaica in March took the Canadians to the top of the CONCACAF qualifiers, ahead of two nations with significant World Cup history, Mexico and the USA. Their 36-year wait is now over and Canada’s golden generation can finally shine on the world stage.

The Maple Leafs are led by striker Jonathan David, who led Lille to crown the French league last season, with his 13 goals, ahead of oil-rich Paris Saint-Germain. He followed that up by scoring another 19 goals in all competitions this season, in addition to scoring five times on his country’s road to Qatar. The former Genk striker is the sure winner of the match, and backed by Besiktas striker Kyle Larren, the Group F defenders should be on top of their game.

However, manager John Herdman and the Canadian Football Association have some issues that need to be resolved before their due date. The first is the fitness of their star Alphonso Davies. The Bayern Munich left-back has been out since January when he developed symptoms of myocarditis, a mild heart condition. He made his comeback in April and helped his club win their 10th Bundesliga title, but now Herdmann must incorporate Davies back into the starting line-up.

Another issue they face is a Payment dispute That arose since the qualification of the seal. The last friendly against Panama in Vancouver was called off just two hours before kick-off as players began to strike. “It is time for us to take a stand on the future of football in Canada,” the players said in a joint statement. They also said they want 40% of the World Cup prize money, a travel package for friends and family as well as a fair structure for their women’s national team and the development of the Women’s National League. Their demands do not seem too unrealistic and such issues must be resolved before their opening match against Belgium on November 23.