The world will be shut down for a month as the 2022 edition of the greatest sporting event in the world, the FIFA World Cup, kicks off in less than two weeks.
32 nations from all continents of the world will fight for football’s greatest prize for a period of 29 days, starting on the 20th of November through the 18th of December, 2022.
With world-renowned powerhouses like France, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Portugal, and the likes tagged as front runners to lift the cup, African teams are popularly categorized as minnows or “underdogs” at best. This is understandable, as the continent has never produced a winner throughout the entire existence of the tournament, essentially one of the major reasons why the 2022 tournament is special for the continent.
Due to the fact that no African team has ever gotten as far as the semifinal stage of the World Cup, the continent has just 5 slots despite being home to more countries than any other continent.
Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia are Africa’s representatives at the tournament and will be looking to bring home the highly-coveted trophy for the first time in history. In this article, I will analyze the chances of each of these nations in their bid to win the World Cup in December on the basis of certain factors, including form, fixtures, and quality.
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The elephants of Cameroon had the most fairytale path to their world cup qualification, with Toko Ekambi scoring a 124th-minute header in the playoff to pip Algeria on away goals. The World Cup tournament seems to have come at a bad time for the country who have not been in the best of forms as the tournament approaches.
Rigobert Song’s men lost their final two preparatory friendly games before the start of the tournament to South Korea and Uzbekistan without scoring a goal in either fixture. Their last win came against 143rd-ranked Burundi in June, where they struggled to get a 1-0 win.
The team struggles to play quality football and seems to lack the much-needed connection necessary for national football teams to thrive.
Grouped with Serbia, Switzerland and favorites Brazil, Cameroon currently appears the weakest of the bunch and it will take a miracle to go past the group stage.
VERDICT: Group Stage
Ghana is another team who had to work extremely hard for their qualification. After a controversial win against South Africa sent them to the playoff, they put up a strong performance to shock the star-studded Nigerian team and booked the World Cup ticket at the expense of their neighbours.
After the 1-0 win against South Africa, Ghana failed to win their next 6 games. Their form has also not been the best of recent as they won just one of their last four friendlies which was a scrappy 1-0 win against 142nd-ranked Nicaragua. The country lost 3-0 to Brazil who are one of its group stage opponents and went down 4-1 against Japan.
Ghana were very unlucky with the draw as they go up against Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay ranked 9th, 28th and 14th respectively.
Although Ghana has a number of decent names in their squad including the likes of Thomas Partey and Iñaki Williams, it is difficult to see them get through to the Round of 16 considering their meagre form and their opponents being better. In fact, they are placed at 8.59 to beat Portugal, 4.41 to beat Uruguay and 2.96 to beat South Korea which means the bookies see Ghana as the weakest team in the group.
VERDICT: Group Stage
Morocco are one of the best African teams at the World Cup in terms of overall style of play as well as form. The North African team qualified for the tournament easily and have been in great form since then. They comfortably saw off Chile 2-0 in one of their preparatory friendly games which was followed by an unlucky 0-0 draw against Paraguay.
Coach Wadri Regrarui has created a formidable team which has lost just twice in 43 games. They go up against Canada, Belgium and Croatia in Group F.
Morocco are favourites (2.18) to beat Canada although it’s a tricky fixture. They have the ability and team chemistry to cause an upset in one or both games against Belgium and Croatia and I am very much positive here. However, they are very likely to face either Spain or Germany in the next round if they qualify which will be a much harder nut to crack. Hopefully they put up a monumental display against their potential opponent and pull through.
VERDICT: Round of 16
The current kings of Africa. Currently playing like football is too easy, dominating and winning every game in their path, have a squad of pure quality and a team chemistry similar to the mediaeval Spartans.
Senegal gives Africa hope of having a World Cup to remember and they are very much capable of achieving this dream. Paired with Ecuador, Netherlands and hosts Qatar, Senegal have the easiest group among all African teams and will almost definitely make it to the next round. They are favourites against Qatar (2.06 to win) and Ecuador (2.46 to win) and definitely possess the ability to beat the Netherlands.
The team screams positivity as they are in good form, have great players and are very hungry for the title, expect a great world cup.
Their potential opponents in the next round do not look too scary either, the outcome of other games could favour them in the quarterfinals but we can only hope.
VERDICT: Top of the Group, possible Semifinal finish.
Despite losing 5-1 to Brazil in their last friendly game before the World Cup, Tunisia have been in good form going 7 games unbeaten.
Jalal Qaderi has built an astonishing team capable of making it far in the tournament. This is very much possible as Tunisia are grouped with Denmark, France and Australia, difficult, but very much possible.
The team are 2.94 to beat Australia in their first game, and despite being placed by the bookmakers at a high 8.96 to beat Denmark, I think the squad is capable of causing an upset.
VERDICT: Group stage but good possibility of reaching the next round.
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Odds are correct at the time of publication.