2 Talking Points Regarding The Next Qatar 2022 Qualifying Matches

After yet another round of qualifying matches for the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup now in the past, it’s time to get to talking about some of the most important lessons we learned from this past action. As expert football stats surely noticed, while in Europe two teams have already punched their tickets to the most important football tournament in the world, in Africa most of the continent’s top teams continued to deliver dominating performances once again, proving why their status as favorites to qualify for next year’s World Cup Tournament is no sham. Meanwhile in Latin America, Brazil and Argentina have continued on their almost perfect road to the World Cup.

Now, while we prepare for yet another round of qualifying matches in November, the last of the year, what are two of the main talking points to take into account as we prepare once again for the action?

In CAF, Morocco and Senegal Are Through To The Playoffs, Who’s Next?

In Africa, all eyes will be set on what happens in the final two rounds of the CAF semifinal qualifier rounds for the final 10 team head-to-head knockout stages. Morocco, without their Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech, but with players like PSG’s Achraf Hakimi, Ayoub El Kaabi, Ilias Chair and Selim Amallah and Senegal, led by Liverpool star Sadio Mane breezed through their group competitors, showing that whoever draws the luck to face them in the knock-out stages, will surely have their hands full. While in group A, it is expected for Algeria to route their main competitors Burkina Faso in their matchup during the last day of the qualifiers, in group B it seems like it’s Tunisia’s spot to win or give away.

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Group C has Nigeria, a perennial favorite for reaching World Cup Finals Tournaments having to put in some extra work, especially after their shocking defeat against CAR on October 7th, before beating them in their rematch three days later. Group D is probably one of the most exciting with Ivory Coast and Cameroon, two of the continent’s strongest teams battling it out for the qualifying spot with their final day matchup in Cameroon expected to be one of the most thrilling games in the calendar. Group E has Mali and Uganda on a clear road to an epic last-day battle in their matchup to see who qualifies with Mali holding a slight 2-point advantage over Uganda.

While in group F Egypt has the road to qualifying more than clear and in group G South Africa and Ghana will surely take their battle into the last day of qualifiers to see who goes through in a matchup in Ghana, it’s group J with Tanzania and Benin fighting for the last qualifying spot who will have an obligation to win their last two matches and score as many goals possible to outlast their competitors to qualify.

Germany and Denmark Are Through In Europe, Who Will Be Next?

After having Germany and Denmark be the first two teams outside of the hosts Qatar to punch their ticket to the 2022 World Cup Tournament, the question for the UEFA qualifiers now is, who will be the next teams to join them? Given that for UEFA, the November qualifying dates will also be the last two before all second place finishers go into a knock-out stage to determine who will join all the group winners as the European representatives in Qatar, the competition around the continent is heating up like never before.

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal will have their hands full hoping to ensure a positive result in Dublin to not have to risk their direct qualifying chances against their direct rivals Serbia whose chances of sending Portugal to the playoffs is by scoring the last matchday win in Lisbon. Group B has Spain, who are going through a generational rebuilding process, put their chances for automatic qualification on the line with a very tough outing against Greece, followed by what could be a definitive matchup against their main group rivals Sweden in Sevilla on the last day of qualifiers. While Spain could lose their direct qualifying spot to the World Cup Tournament and even finish third in their group, they would still qualify for the later playoff rounds thanks to their 2nd place finish in the UEFA Nations League Tournament.

In group C, Italy and Switzerland are in a critical battle for the top spot with their Nov 12th match in Rome being the most important date in their calendar as the winner of this match will only need one more point afterward to qualify. Group D has 2018 World Cup Champions France only needing a win over Kazakhstan to qualify, leaving Ukraine, Finland, and Bosnia to fight it out for the second spot in the group. Group E has Belgium all but ready to qualify, with a simple win against Estonia in their next match as their requirement to punch their ticket to Qatar. It’s the race between Wales and the Czech Republic for the second spot that will surely be the talk of the group.

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In groups F and J, with Denmark and Germany already qualified, it will be Scotland taking the second spot in Group F if they manage to score a win against Moldova and Romania only needing a win against Iceland at home to take the playoff spot in group J. In group G the Netherlands will be hoping to secure their ticket to Qatar with a win against Montenegro, all while hoping that their closest rival, Haaland’s Norway fails to beat Latvia. If the scenario is not met, their last day matchup in the Netherlands could prove to be pivotal to see how the group’s fate will finally play out, all while Turkey will be sitting and hoping for a last-second miracle, that is if they manage to win their remaining 6 points. Lastly in group H, it will surely all come down to the last day of qualifiers, with the Russia vs. Croatia matchup deciding which of the two goes straight to Qatar and which stays for the playoffs and in group I the roads are all pointing to England qualifying with Poland taking the last playoff spot.

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