Which Five African Sides Will Make It To Qatar?

The Qatar World Cup is only little over a year away and yet it’s still so far away. 54 African sides had aspirations of a World Cup Finals appearance and that dream is already dust for many who were either dusted in the first round or who have fallen short in the second round, which is still in progress. 

Here we look at what African sides are best placed to make it to Qatar.

Group A

In group A qualification to the third round is a straight shoot out between Algeria and Burkina Faso with Niger and Dijbouti already mathematically out of the conversation. With Islam Slimani the leading scorer in qualification and Riyad Mahrez in a supporting role it’s hard to see Algeria not progressing to the third round. If they do, they’ll fancy their chances of beating anyone in a head to head match. 

Group B

Here it currently looks like Tunisia will be the team making it through to round three but Equatorial Guinea and Zambia are still in the race – sort of; Zambia would need a miniature miracle to seal top spot. Tunisia probably have to much quality in their team with Ellyes Skhiri and Wahbi Khazri, who scored a beauty for St Etienne this week, to not win the group. They’ll do well to make it to Qatar though.

Group C

Forget the fact that Cape Verde and Central African Republic are still in with a chance of winning Group C; Nigeria will be going into the next stage for the playoffs. With Wilfred Ndidi a monster in midfield and attacking options in the shape Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho and Genk man Paul Onuachi, who has been linked with Tottenham, in their squad it would be a failure if they don’t make the Finals.

Group D

As African football goes nations don’t come much bigger than the two sides shooting it out in Group D; Mozambique and Malawi are both out of the equation already leaving Cameroon and Ivory Coast to fight it out. The duo play each other in the final match of the group in what will almost definitely decide who goes through. Whoever progresses will have a real shot of making the Finals; we’re backing Ivory Coast with Franck Kessie a machine and Seb Haller a man in red hot form.

Group E

Group E is going to face an interesting climax as Mali and Uganda face off in match six to determine which nation goes into the playoff round. Unfortunately, that’s where the excitement and intrigue will end; no matter what team makes it through, they’ll likely just be prolonging the inevitable disappointment of not making it to the Finals.

Group F

On paper, only Angola have no chance of making it out of the second round. In reality, Libya and Gabon are as good as cooked too. Egypt are one result away from securing a playoff place and when (we think it’s a when not an if) they do, they will be cruising towards the Qatar World Cup with Mohamed Salah leading the charge; there is not a defender in the world who wants to face him at the moment. 

Group G

Here is a group that is close to impossible to call. South Africa hold a one point advantage over Ghana at the top with Ethiopia and Zimbabwe already eliminated. The top two face each other in what will be a sudden death style game later this month; the head to head record of the two nations in recent times doesn’t give you much to go on either. That means you have to lean to South Africa with their slender advantage. Will they make it to the Finals? 

A look at their squad has the odds stacked against them, more than the NFL odds against the New York Jets (every season?).

Group H

Group H is just one of two that is already tied up in the second round. Senegal are in the playoff hat; they’ve made it there in impressive shape too with four wins from four having scored 12 and conceded just three. Famara Diedhiou of Alanyaspor and Sadio Mane of Liverpool have been the driving force but Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly at the back are no mugs either. They’ll expect to make the Finals.

Group I

Here we come to the other group that is already sorted. Morocco are through and they made it there in even better fashion than the aforementioned Senegal with just one goal conceded and 14 scored. Ayoub El Kaabi has netted four goals to date. They’re probably not as nailed on to make the Finals as others though. Achraf Hakimi is a class act but there is a drop off in quality from him to the next player in the squad; the draw for the playoffs may determine their fortune.

Group J

We close our look at the African sides best placed to make it to Qatar with the only group where all four teams could feasibly make it to the playoffs. On one hand, you can look at that and say it is exciting. On the other, you could say the truth; it doesn’t matter who wins the group be it top of the table Tanzania or bottom placed Madagascar, they won’t be making it to the Finals.

There you have it a quick run through of the African sides best placed to make it to Qatar.

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