Despite much of the focus being on the Champions League Final and the Premier League title race at the moment, most of the world’s football-supporting population is also looking forward to a momentous 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on November 21. For fans of African football, there’s plenty to be excited about, too.
African football will be strongly represented once again during the ultimate feast of football, with Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, Ghana and Senegal representing the African continent in the first ever November/December World Cup. As the hype continues to grow around the competition, African fans are gearing up for the ultimate football competition on the planet. Fans will gather in their thousands during any victories, there will be debates had online around team selections, fans will be accessing a Unibet bonus to back their beloved nation ahead of the tournament, and tears and anger will inevitably surface should an African nation fail to deliver in Qatar. After all, alongside bringing people together and showcasing the best talent from a variety of nations, drama is what World Cup football is all about.
For the competing African nations, winning the competition will be a tough task, but there are certainly some strong contenders in the pack. When assessing tournament football throughout history, there is generally a surprise package or two in the competition. Once a side qualifies from the group stages and into the knockout matches, anything can happen, too. With that in mind, let’s assess the African sides that are most likely to secure qualification from the group stages and potentially go on to cause a few shocks from there in the knockout games.
Senegal capable of winning Group A
After their momentous Africa Cup of Nations win, Senegal will be heading into the 2022 World Cup in a confident mood. Although the task will undoubtedly be harder, Senegal has the talent to win a group that contains hosts Qatar, Ecuador and the Netherlands. The first game of the group takes place between Senegal and the Netherlands too, leaving a real opportunity for the African nation to cause a shock and catch a potentially shaky Holland off guard. The main rivals for Aliou Cissé’s Senegal, the Dutch and the Senegalese will surely be battling it out for top spot in Group A. Securing second place also results in qualification for the knockout stages, of course, but a less favourable draw could be on the cards as a result. For Senegal, topping the group has to be the objective. Given the likes of Sadio Mane and Kalidou Koulibaly within their ranks, Senegal are certainly more than capable of doing it.
Ghana and Tunisia face a real challenge but could progress
For Ghana, a group consisting of Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea is daunting but certainly not impossible. Compared to the likes of Cameroon and Morocco, the Ghanians have opportunities to win against Uruguay and South Korea, although expecting to see off Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal is a lot to ask for. Much like the Tunisians, finishing second place in Group H is a real possibility for Ghana, although the Black Stars will need to be at their very best. With regards to Tunisia, they too are in a similar situation, although face a slightly trickier set of fixtures against a dangerous Denmark side and current holders France. The last place in Tunisia’s group is up for grabs, with Peru facing either the United Arab Emirates or Australia to determine who will complete Group D in Qatar. Once the final place has been secured, finishing second in the group will surely be Tunisia’s main goal.