FIFA World Cup 2022: Will it finally “Come Home “?
After guiding England to a World Cup semi-final in 2018 and a European championship final in 2021, Gareth Southgate will have high expectations when his team attempts to win the World Cup in Qatar in November.
Despite their disappointing performance in the Nations League, which saw them demoted to League B, England remain among the tournament favorites, along with five-time winners Brazil and defending champions France. The Three Lions should advance from Group B, where they will face Iran, the United States, and Wales, as champions.
After relegation from Nations League A Group 3, Southgate faces a number of selection dilemmas before the squad travels to Qatar to begin preparations at the Saoud bin Abdulrahman Stadium.
The 2022 World Cup will begin on November 20 when hosts Qatar face Ecuador. Here is all you need to know before the inaugural Winter World Cup.
England’s World Cup 2022 squad
Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Newcastle), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Everton), Eric Dier (Spurs), Harry Maguire (Man Utd), John Stones (Man City), Luke Shaw (Man Utd), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Man City), Ben White (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Maddison (Leicester), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Man City), Declan Rice (West Ham)
Forwards: Phil Foden (Man City), Jack Grealish (Man City), Harry Kane (Spurs), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Man City), Callum Wilson (Newcastle)
Your #ThreeLions squad for the @FIFAWorldCup! 🦁 pic.twitter.com/z6gVkRTlT3— England (@England) November 10, 2022
Unsurprisingly, the England manager was ecstatic to give James Maddison the good news on Thursday, naming the Leicester playmaker among his traveling party – “he’s playing as well as any of our attacking players,” Southgate said – but he also had to make some difficult phone calls.
Ben Chilwell and Reece James are two of the best wing-backs in Europe, according to England manager Gareth Southgate, who described their absence as a double blow.
Other players such as Jadon Sancho, Ivan Toney, Fikayo Tomori, Dean Henderson made headlines after not being included in the 26-man roster for the World Cup.
Who will the Three Lions face in Qatar?
In dramatic fashion, Wales qualified for the World Cup finals via the qualification play-offs, defeating Ukraine in Cardiff in June. Wales qualified for their second World Cup finals, and first since 1958, thanks to the victory of their talented golden generation.
The United States also return to the tournament following a hiatus, although one of shorter duration. After failing to qualify for Russia in 2018, the United States finished third in CONCACAF qualifying to win a spot in Qatar. Due to the league’s recent infusion of American players, notably Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson at Leeds, Antonee Robinson at Fulham, and national captain Christian Pulisic who plays for Chelsea, team players will be more recognizable than ever to Premier League fans.
Group B’s underdog is Iran, although Wales and the United States might make a group upset and vie for second place. Although their Fifa rating of 22 shows they are not among the worst teams in the competition, preparations have been hampered by infighting, and head coach Dragan Skocic has been replaced by Carlos Queiroz, who oversaw the team’s elimination in the group stage in Russia.
The winners of Group B will face the runners-up of Group A – Qatar, the Netherlands, Ecuador, and Senegal – with the Afcon champions their most likely opponent.
If England reached the World Cup final, they may face Spain, Brazil, or Germany. In the semi-finals, they could face Belgium or Portugal, strong challengers from Groups F and H, respectively.
If the team finishes in second place in Group B, they would face the winner of Group A, and if they beat the Netherlands, they would have the opportunity to face either Argentina or Denmark in the quarterfinals.
In this scenario, if England advances to the semi-finals, their opponents may be Spain, Germany, or Brazil, the top teams from Groups E and G, setting up a potential final in Lusail against France, Belgium, or Portugal.
For more World Cup news: footballyst.com
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