520fa0aa549fa68ce73defca7c0a5f33

Qatar 2022 World Cup: Analysis of Group A – Favourites and talents to watch out for

My Football FactsArticles  | 2022 World Cup Predictions

By Martin Graham | 28th Oct 2022

As we continue to keep you updated with every bit of information about the World Cup, we ride on by offering an in-depth analysis of each group.

It is just under 30 days till the start of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and the sense of excitement is almost at a fever pitch.

In a series of articles, we’ll take a keen look at the 32 teams in the World Cup but via their groups. Our focus group for today: Group A.

This group consists of the Netherlands, Senegal, and Ecuador and hosts Qatar. Being the host nation, Qatar were already drawn into group A alongside the Netherlands who were deemed a pot A country by virtue of their high FIFA ranking. The likes of Senegal and Ecuador who were considered lower in the FIFA ranking system, were placed in Pot 2 and 3 respectively.

Although sometimes when a group is drawn, it looks like one team will coast through the group or another team will suffer but this great sport is notorious for its twists and turns which makes the group stages really exciting. However, some necessary questions arise such as: Who are the favorites to win the group? Which two sides are most likely to make it from the group, which players are of interest?

We’ll attempt to answer those questions.

Who are the favorites in Group A?

The Dutch National team are heavy favorites to win the group according to the odds from the bookies. The Oranje were outstanding during the World Cup qualifying stages as they won their group by claiming 23 out of 30 points and a goal differential of +25. They have a squad filled with very high quality players with a mix of talented young players and world class experienced players.

The Terranga lions of Senegal qualified for the World Cup without much hassle as well.  They claimed five wins during the initial qualifying stages and then knocked out the Pharaohs of Egypt in the playoffs. Interestingly, they also won the African Cup of Nations, also beating Egypt on penalties.

Meanwhile, South American nation Ecuador were able to qualify for the tournament by going through the famously notorious CONMEBOL group and finish in fourth place, marginally edging out Peru to book their tickets to Qatar.

As it is customary, the hosts will always have an automatic pass to compete in the World cup. Hence, Qatar are here by virtue of their position of being hosts.

The odds for each team according to the bookies are as follows;

Netherlands (-200)

Senegal (+350)

Ecuador (+600)

Qatar (+1100)

Who can advance to the next round?

Objectively, any of the four sides can make it through to the next round. This is football and we have seen bigger surprises in this sport over the years. However, based on the current strength of each squad and the odds provided by the bookies we can say that the Netherlands are hands-on favorites to not only qualify but to win the group. Their manager, Louis van Gaal, still has a point to prove to the footballing world that he is still one of the finest coaches in the history of the game.

He has assembled perhaps the most balanced Dutch side since the 2010 World cup when they made it to the finals and narrowly lost out to Spain.

Van Gaal had previously taken the Dutch national team  to the World cup prior to this edition. The former Manchester United and Bayern Munich manager took the country to the 2014 World Cup, where he guided them to a bronze medal in a campaign that saw them beat the then World Champions Spain by an incredible 5-1 scoreline.

Senegal are the defending champions of Africa. Their head coach Alou Cisse was also a member of their golden generation that stunned the World in the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan. The likes of Sadio Mane, Kalidou Koulibaly and Edouard Mendy are the headliners for the Terranga lions and if they are to qualify, they will need all three of them to be in great form.

The Ecuadorian national team, led by Gustavo Julio Alfaro, are also a threat in this group. The simple fact that they were able to navigate through the murky waters of South American qualification to be in Qatar is enough proof. The Ecuadorians will hope key players like Pervis Estupinan, Bryon Castillo and Moises Caicedo will offer enough firepower in their tanks to fire their nation to the knockout stages.

Qatar are making it to the World Cup for the first time in their history but didn’t need to go through qualification as they are the hosts. This says a lot about their quality and we think they will not have enough quality to trouble the other teams in the group.

We are tipping the Netherlands and Senegal to advance to the round of 16.

Who are the best Players?

This group is not deficient of top quality players. The Netherlands can boast of superior quality in almost every area. Memphis Depay is not far away from becoming the all-time leading scorer for his country while Virgil van Dijk remains one of the best center backs in the world. Elsewhere, Frenkie De Jong still has the quality to run the midfield. The Dutch also boast of young superstars like Cody Gakpo and Tyrell Malacia.

Senegal can boast of the likes of Sadio Mane, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy and Idrissa Gueye. While the Ecuadorians have Bryon Castillo, Moises Caicedo and Pervis Estupinan. While the Qataris can boast of Hassan Al-Haydos, Akram Afif.

Talents to watch out for

Netherlands

Cody Gakpo: The young Dutch forward has really emerged this season with his huge goal and assist contributions. He will be looking to carry his great form to the World Cup and have a breakout tournament.

Senegal

Pape Mater Sarr: The young Spurs man is one of the young players to shine if given the chance in Qatar.

Ecuador

Moises Caicedo: The 20-year-old Brighton midfielder is making strides in the Premier League and could sparkle in Qatar.

Qatar

Akrim Afif: At 25, Afif is surprisingly one of the youngest in the team, he is one to watch out for.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

63f335d6ff29a578828c9e8a50b51503
Qatar 2022: Cristiano Ronaldo told opponent to shut up in Portugal loss
C972fdff43c5714794193ea55f9ea339
"He is frightening in training," Grealish says of ex-Manchester City teammate
A066b96f4589e42fc7330d9e1f2de436
Juventus under UEFA microscope over alleged financial breaches
D605b8b3e6a86ad8af834ab5e6b4ae45
Roberto Martinez steps down as Belgium coach
04795a8a7ff40838ee82497df18d6fba
Qatar 2022: Ben White leaves England camp due to personal reasons
57994c9347c3473ac1993167e9dc9600
Graham Arnold hails his team as the new golden generation of Australia
03a60665c1a2e65fecade885f2cb673e
Portugal defender Nuno Mendes to miss the rest of the World Cup
98d3119dbe65f1cfa8e9bcfacd4adac5
Joe Cole predicts fierce battle for Netherlands star in January transfer window
A44a32df6c8ef6204c0049bcd6f66074
Louis van Gaal waves away criticism of Netherlands' playing style
A82dbd1389c3cca544cc25c6138a48d8
Senegal prepare for different World Cup knockout stages
Ff9213e645f11c052f302393535589ca
David Seaman: Arsenal could sign Jude Bellingham
E67d45fed3cf203395919dff5539b2c7
Chelsea set to sign highly-rated Leipzig star
F149c195ee1830a6cac815aa9ee80844
Gary Neville rates Brazil high, tips them to win the World Cup
7da5174f056fd32d20f268d35660d6d4
Arsenal set sights on Ismael Bennacer for January transfer
35f975cd1fc275b97ada92253ecbf32f
Jan Vertonghen trades barbs with Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard
49bbc1eaeb90f82ac5955914a0b30947
Sickness bug hits Brazil camp at the Qatar World Cup
76635b1fd72ca5393affe8ac4ca51d0b
£186 million transfer offer arrives for Cristiano Ronaldo
Cf3cbfeaccf36129e6b932c35e0a6a8a
Deschamps praises Mbappe influence on France squad
3e94b72d35b37d3bf725dfeaf85bbfec
Article: Online Betting on Football
7d85e7af1542a944837a33d7f00ab2fd
Qatar 2022: Kevin De Bruyne downplays Belgium challenge for title
12fe9545e266f7efeb22ded240507ec9
Aliou Cisse says an African country could win the World Cup
8196d1b3f492b66bfd2e699a66d0bacf
Harry Kane focuses on positives from England draw against USA despite boos
Bacf2783cd1bf8f2f0205ee8046fe6ee
Coady Gakpo attracts more attention following stunning World Cup goal
9af348dd3533f80d27d69435cf760f19
Bukayo Saka credits Arsenal and England for support following Euro 2020 penalty miss
7da93e0437c0613c52b0d0df3d7408ec
England not looking to escalate World Cup demonstrations
Ce086865ab6ebd9ce6153d58c96075ea
Matt Turner wary of Bukayo Saka's threat against USA
C0456146606d626cf814670ee149ea92
Germany deserved to lose - Thomas Muller
923fbbb7671dca9f0b5ac8d0b7443847
Manchester United sale: Sir Jim Ratcliffe to bid for the club
4a256249032e28e1cc8ae4bbf1447cfb
Manchester City and Guardiola extend partnership until 2025
Fd59245cd6d806b9737a6e80c0f372ef
Memphis Depay unsure of Barcelona future
B6663f5037ecb2e5bcc664677ee8989c
Cristiano Ronaldo responds to statement after Manchester United departure
594d0be345f883af2f51ecb55c0a93a1
How to Stream Football Games on Any Device
Bba744384dd7630198f9a563b6c664ac
Studying the Most Popular Football Betting Strategies and How to Use Them
6429b8934b7009c434eaecfb139f17fb
Ian Wright praises Saka after brilliant display against Iran
5bdb4d0f8fa6906c58dacb87878d539d
Real Madrid plot transfer move for Chelsea's Kai Havertz
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
Archives
Back To Top