The 2022 World Cup is just four months away now and there is rightly a lot of focus on who will win the tournament. A look at the bookmaker odds will show you that the African sides are being somewhat slept on – as per usual.
For us, that’s a bit of a mistake with plenty of quality heading off to Qatar to represent the continent. Now, that doesn’t mean we think an African side will win the World Cup but there are one or two that have the capability to make the latter rounds. Here we look at which African nation will go further in the World Cup, according to the world cup odds at Bovada.
We kick off our look at the African nations that can go deepest at Qatar 2022 with Senegal and, in truth, they’re our most fancied side to give the so called bigger footballing nations a run for their money. Senegal have enjoyed a highly successful period in the last 12 months having won the African Cup of Nations and then qualifying for the World Cup.
Both of those successes climaxed with victories over Egypt, which should be enough of a warning sign for other nations; Egypt are hardly mugs with the likes of Mo Salah – a likely Ballon d’Or contender in their ranks.
There are obviously a couple of key factors that determine how likely a team are to go deep in a tournament. One is the opposition they’ll come up against and one is the strength of their playing squad. Both of those things look good from a Senegal perspective. Senegal are in Group A where the big competition is likely to be a Netherlands side managed by Louis Van Gaal. The Dutch are highly capable on their day but with Ecuador and host nation Qatar completing the group, Senegal should be eyeing up a top two finish for sure.
Then you’ve got the Senegal players. Sadio Mane, who has recently joined German giants Bayern Munich from Liverpool, is the crown jewel of the team but he’s far from the only top tier player. The Lions also have a couple of giants at the back in Chelsea duo Edouard Mendy, who plays in goal, and centre back Kalidou Koulibaly. Idrissa Gueye and Pape Gueye are a solid offering in the middle of the park too with experience of Europe’s top five leagues. They are a serious dark horse.
On the surface, Tunisia might seem like a strange shout to be the African side that go deepest at Qatar 2022 but bear with us as there are a couple of reasons that we feel justify us calling them out. For starters, they made their way to the World Cup finals having conceded just two goals throughout their African qualifying; an ability to keep things tight at the back will always give you a fighting chance of collecting points and snatching wins.
Beyond that, they’re also in somewhat of a lottery of a group. Sure, one of the teams in their pool is France; we’d expect them to top Group D but with Denmark and Australia completing that four team group there is every chance second is up for grabs until the very death of the group stage. Denmark, despite their impressive European Championships last year, are far from unbeatable and Australia have only scraped into the Finals themselves.
From a squad angle, Tunisia have got some talent in a their setup too. Naïm Sliti is arguably their biggest attacking weapon; he already has 24 goal contributions for the Eagles having scored 13 and provided 11 assists in just over 4,000 minutes of international football; that’s a goal contribution around every 170 minutes in a Tunisia shirt whilst his current club form is more impressive than that! The name most people will know though is Hannibal Mejbri; the highly rated Manchester United midfielder will likely be operating in his preferred central midfield role. As for the defence, it’s all about organisation and doing the dirty work rather than star names.
Last but not least we are taking a look at a Ghana side that find themselves in the closest thing to a ‘group of death’ Qatar 2022 has to offer. That obviously makes it a tough group to progress from but should they manage to do so, they’ll be in fine form, have momentum and fancying their chances against most teams they’ll come up against.
The Ghanaians have a fair bit of history with the World Cup as well having made the quarter-final back in 2010 – no African side have gone further! That was a highly controversial game too with Luis Suarez denying them what would have been a winner with an on the line handball before Ghana missed the resultant spot kick. Ghana will have the chance for revenge here though with Uruguay one of the three teams they’ll come up against in Group H. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, who needed the playoffs to make it to Qatar, and South Korea complete that pool of teams. Any of those teams can beat any of the others.
Squad wise, Ghana will be reasonably content with what they can bring to the table as well. With Daniel Amartey and Joseph Aidoo at centre back they’re solid enough. Moving through side they’ve got plenty of young talent as well; Mohammed Kudus of Ajax, Kamaldeen Sulemana of Stade Rennais and Roma’s Felix Afena-Gyan are perhaps the pick of the bunch in that regard. It’s not all youth though with the Ayew brothers – Jordan and Andre – never having let their country down.
There you have it, our look at the three teams we think are best equipped to go deep at Qatar 2022. Who do you think will have the longest run?Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :