FIFA World Cup 2022: Teams that could surprise in each group including Canada, Japan and Iran

That The FIFA World Cup 2022 is just around the corner with kick-off this Sunday between the hosts Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. Out with Sadio Mane SenegalBehind them, Group A suddenly seems more open Netherlands This creates an opportunity for a surprise name to make it to the knockout phase. 2018 host Russia meanwhile got out of her group Sweden surpassed theirs and sent title holders Germany Hometown. Chile batted and advanced in front of defending champions Spain in 2014 during shock quarterfinalists Costa Rica topped a group who saw Italy and England eliminated and the USMNT also edged Portugal outside in their group. There are always unexpected success stories at the World Cup and we look at the unannounced names in each group.

Group A: Ecuador

Even before Senegal lost Mane through injury, La Tri was appreciated by some, but the dispute once risked La Tri being excluded from Qatar Byron Castillos Nationality. That drama aside, Gustavo Alfaro has a talented squad to work with including Bayer Leverkusen’s Piero Hincapie, Brighton and Hove Albion trio Pervis Estupinan, Moses Caicedoand Jeremy Sarmiento, Jackson Porozo of ESTAC Troyes, FC Augsburg Carlo Gruezo and Real Valladolids Gonzalo Plata. With most of the squad well under 30, this is a group that could grow here ahead of future tournaments, although there is still experience in the form of Fenerbahce Ener Valencia in attack.

Group B: Iran

Team Melli is entering its third World Championship under Carlos Queiroz and the 69-year-old has had a mixed record. A meager one-point success in 2014 to get past the bottom of their group Argentina, Nigeria and Bosnia and Herzegovina followed a surprisingly competitive 2018, in which the Iranians finished third, just a point behind Portugal and Spain. With Iran undergoing tremendous political upheaval, this squad has the resources to potentially break out of Group B, which also includes England. Wales and the United States men’s national team. FC Porto Mehdi TaremiBayer Leverkusen’s Sardar Azmoun and Omonia Karim Ansarifard are good attacking options, while Brentford’s Saman Ghoddos and Feyenoord’s Alireza Jahanbachsh Adding to this strength in midfield is captain Ehsan Hajsafi, who plays alongside his fellow defender Milad Mohammedadi for AEK Athens. The situation at home will be a distraction, but it could also make Team Melli a source of inspiration and positivity for Iranians around the world at a difficult time.

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Group C: Saudi Arabia

Between 1994 and 2006 there was a time when the Green Falcons were regulars at the World Cup. After missing 2010 and 2014, they were back in 2018 and managed to bat Egypt to finish third afterwards Uruguay and host Russia. Led by international underdog specialist Herve Renard since 2019 and boasting a squad made up entirely of homegrown players, the Saudis are arguably one of those unknowns with the potential for a surprise or two – especially considering that this is the case Poland and mexico vulnerabilities.

Group D: Tunisia

Few expect the Eagles of Carthage or the Socceroos of Australia advance at the expense of the defending champion France or Denmark, but Jalel Kadri’s side may be better positioned to make life difficult for Les Bleus and the Dynamite Danes. Tunisia’s squad boasts several France-based talents with Montpellier HSC’s Wahbi Khazri, FC Köln’s Elyes Skhiri and Birmingham City Hannibal Mejbri some of the better known names. However, Dylan Bronn from Salernitana, Montassar Talbi from FC Lorient and Al-Ettifaq Naim Slit also bring quality and experience to the backbone of this site. Should France or Denmark start slowly, the Tunisians could indeed make life very difficult with this clash with Les Bleus given the ties between the two countries.

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Group E: Japan

Since their first World Cup appearance in France in 1998, Samurai Blue have made it to each of the last six editions, with this set being their seventh appearance. The 2002 co-hosts took turns leaving their group three or six times, suggesting they won’t be out this time. However, of Group E favorites Germany and Spain, La Roja certainly looks vulnerable which could give the Japanese an opportunity to pick up enough points against Costa Rica and the Spaniards not to worry too much about the Germans . AS Monaco’s Takumi Minamino, Real Sociedad’s Takefusa Kubo, Celtic Daizen Maeda and Maya Yoshida of Schalke 04 are just some of the key names in Hajime Moriyasu’s squad to keep an eye on.

Group F: Canada

John Herdman has worked wonders with the Canucks women and is now trying to create some magic with the men by leading the Maple Leaf team to the World Championship for the first time since 1986. Canada will be one of three co-hosts coming in 2026 and now is the chance for the likes of Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies and Lille OSCs JonathanDavid to lay the foundations for a potentially very competitive national team. At Porto’s, quality across the board is higher than ever Stephen Eustaquio and Club Brugge pair Tajon Buchanan and Cyle Larin and Ike Ugbo of ESTAC Troyes. Against a decline Belgium and a moody one Moroccowith which the Canadians could sneak through Croatia or the Red Devils.

Group G: Serbia

If world championships were dictated by individual quality, the Eagles would probably already have a title or two under their belt. The legendary Dragan Stojkovic is now in charge and has ensured that a transformed Serbia side has turned into a real team, rather than just a collection of very gifted, albeit completely incompatible, players. With qualities like Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic, Juventus’ Dusan WlahovicAFC Ajax Dusan Tadic and SS Lazios Sergej Milinkovic Savic, Brazil, Switzerland and Cameroon could have a tough time in Group G.

Group H: Ghana

With South Korea’s hopes resting on Son Heung Min’s fitness while he recovers from a facial injury, the Black Stars could be the nation to surprise Portugal or Uruguay. This group really has a feeling it’s going to be tight as not much separates the first two from the other couples and the Portuguese are in danger of becoming a supporting actor in the circus Cristiano Ronaldo has become an ill-timed and egocentric interview. With starters like Athletic Club’s Inaki Williams, the Ayew brothers and Strasbourg’s Alexander Djiku, there is an experienced squad of good players. In the likes of Kamaldeen Sulemana from Stade Rennais, RC Lens Salis Abdul SamedMohammed Salisu from Southampton and Albion from Brighton and Hove Tariq Lampteythere is also a promising generation of young blood around whom future tournaments can be built.


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