23 days before the FIFA World Cup in Qatar; 10 surprising teams to watch | FIFA World Cup 2022 Prediction BetKing

In 1998, a little-known Croatia made it all the way to the semi-finals before eventual winners France knocked them out.

In 2002, TWO underdogs made it to the semi-finals where Turkey beat South Korea in the third place playoff. At that same 2002 World Cup, Senegal shocked the world after beating France in the group stage and reaching the quarter-finals.

And in 2010, a handball from Luis Suarez and the width of the crossbar robbed Ghana of the chance to become the first African country to qualify for the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Which of the pre-tournament underdogs do we think will surpass expectations this time around? Read below to find out!

Although no African team has ever gone beyond the quarter-finals of the World Cup, the reigning African champions are in the best position to break this misfortune. Grouped alongside hosts Qatar, Ecuador and the Netherlands, the draw was relatively favorable for the Teranga Lions. They are also likely to face a faltering England in the round of 16.

With an array of stars like Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, 2021 Goalkeeper of the Year Edouard Mendy, Chelsea’s Kalidou Koulibaly and the extra winning experience they gained in January, Senegal will be confident of their chances. in Qatar this year.

This will be Qatar’s first participation in the World Cup. Critics will say their participation in the tournament isn’t particularly impressive as they automatically qualified as hosts, but Qatar could give the other teams a hard time.

Playing in front of home fans is always an advantage and they could take advantage of it, just like Russia did in 2018 when they reached the quarter-finals.

They might not make a deep run in the tournament, but they might frustrate others in their path despite having no known names on their team.

This is arguably one of the finest player collections the United States has ever produced. The likes of Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Sergino Dest, Brenden Aaronson, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Matt Ryan, Brenden Aaronson, Luca de la Torre, Yunus Musah and Tim Ream all play in major European leagues.

This informs a lot of the optimism around this team, although it’s worth mentioning that recent results haven’t been that impressive. However, if coach Gregg Berhalter somehow manages to put everything together before the World Cup starts, chances are they could do well and stun more established teams. .

Iran, Wales and England aren’t the toughest group to qualify for, especially considering Wales’ poor form and the fact that the Three Lions are expected to comfortably win the group. The United States will love this second place, and rightly so.

If they can do it, anything is possible in 90+30 minutes and a penalty shootout.

Many will overlook them because they tend to underperform, but Poland won’t be a breeze.

They haven’t had much success since finishing third in 1974 and 1982, but this is a chance for them to make their first deep run in a long time.

The vast experience of their all-time top scorer Robert Lewandowski, goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny and Arkadiusz Milik will certainly count.

Grouped with Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Mexico, Poland will be confident of challenging Mexico for second place in Group C since beating Argentina to first place is beyond the reach of either. crew. But then, is it really?

Despite the dismissal of coach Vahid Halilhodzic less than four months before the start of the World Cup, Morocco do not seem to have lost a crumb. The controversial Bosnian manager had previously fallen out with star player Hakim Ziyech, but now the Chelsea man is back in the fold and in contention for a place in Qatar.

The Atlas Lions play an attractive style of football built on solid defense and a technical midfield. Their attackers are young but promising, they have one of the best goalkeepers in Africa between the sticks, and in Walid Regragui they have a coach who has proven himself at club level on the African continent.

Achraf Hakimi shocked the world with his set piece prowess in January. Opposition left-backs won’t be looking forward to the problems his partnership with Hakim Ziyech will cause them.

They are a team that tends to do well at World Cups and has been relatively consistent over the years.

While they may no longer be at the peak of their powers, it would be dangerous to undermine the experience of Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Godin.

There’s also new Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez, who is also among the players who could potentially shine in Qatar, and Real Madrid dynamo Federico Valverde is capable of playing in multiple positions at a very high level. The Madrid star has even added a new string to his bow this season, Portuguese, Ghanaian and South Korean goalkeepers will already be terrified by his precise shot from long range.

South Korea have faltered recently under Paulo Bento, and Ghana look seriously undercooked, so progress in this group should be fairly straightforward for the South American nation. They will, however, want to propel Portugal into first place, if only to avoid meeting Brazil in the round of 16.

The Danes are a well-trained team brimming with talent. Under the guidance of Kasper Hjulmand, they demonstrated their ability to punch above their weight at the Euros last year, and they should surprise many in Qatar later this year.

The Scandinavians are buoyed by the inspiring story of Christian Eriksen’s return to football, but beyond their talismanic midfield they are a compact team capable of stunning anyone in their day. Their UEFA Nations League double against France clearly demonstrated that, as they gave the reigning world champions an ordinary appearance in both Paris and Copenhagen.

Solid at the back, inventive through the middle, with full-backs flying to the flanks and a collection of exciting young forwards. Beating the Danes will take work, that’s for sure.

It’s been a minute since Canada reached a World Cup final, and this team is determined to make a good fist of it.

There is a decent array of talent available to them, as the North American nation has relied heavily on its African and Caribbean diaspora. Bayern Munich wing-back Alphonso Davies, of Liberian origin, is one of the fastest footballers on the planet and he is accomplished at the highest level.

Upfront, Jonathan David, playing for French club Lille and born to Haitian parents, is one of the most sought after strikers in Europe. The likes of Atiba Hutchinson and Junior Hoilett also have vast experience gained during their time at clubs in major European leagues.

Whether any of this will translate into anything meaningful remains to be seen, especially as Canada are in the tournament’s death squad, but underestimate them at your peril.

Serbia have always had a knack for making an impression on the world stage. However, they have long been let down by infighting and managerial incompetence. 2022 promises to be different.

Barring injury, they will arguably have the best striking partnership of the World Cup. Dusan Vlahovic and Aleksandar Mitrovic are a lethal duo and, more importantly, are both in hot form. Highly rated manager Dragan Stojkovic has found a system that welcomes them together, and there’s no shortage of supply with the talents of Filip Kostic and midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

They will likely face Switzerland for second place in Group G, so their final group game could very well be a winner-takes-all affair. However, if they manage to get out of this sticky situation, they pose a potential danger to anyone.

The Swiss are a solid team, the kind to thrive in a tournament setting. This makes them dangerous customers.

Under Murat Yakin, this team benefits from cohesion and experience. Midfielder Granit Xhaka is their most prominent player, but former Liverpool man Xherdan Shaqiri thrives on international duty and in Breel Embolo they have one of the most complete strikers in the competition, with the ability both to hold the game and to sprint behind the defences. .

They’re hard to break down and handy on set pieces. Their run to last year’s Euro quarter-finals also showed an unyielding attitude as they came from the brink to beat France on penalties and only bowed out to Spain. after going down to 10 men.

They’re in a tight group, but they’ll love their chances of pounding Cameroon and they held Brazil to a halt at the last World Cup. Keep an eye on them.

#FeaturedPost #FeatureByBetKing