There are 54 countries in Africa, but we’ll see only five of them take part in the 2022 World Cup. The African national teams traveling to Qatar in November are, namely, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, Cameroon, and Ghana.
Knowing that an African team has yet to win a World Cup, there are those wondering if 2022 is Africa’s year? The answer is no if you ask the oddsmakers of Paridirect. Their expert opinion is none of the African teams are at the top of the favorites list.
This, however, doesn’t mean that African teams will embarrass themselves in Qatar. On the contrary, the odds prediction by Paridirect.com is that some of them have a shot at later rounds. Here we’ll break down a bit about each team’s chances in the upcoming tournament.
Senegal is the highest-ranked African team in the FIFA National Team Rankings. The Lions of Teranga sit first in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and 18th in FIFA’s overall rankings. Senegal’s relatively high rank is due to being the reigning champion of the Africa Cup of Nations. They beat Egypt on penalties in the February continental tournament.
When it comes to Senegal’s road to the World Cup, it was a pretty smooth qualification process. They finished in the top spot in Group H without losing a single match. The Lions of Tenagra even won a crucial match, against rival Egypt, on penalties.
Sadio Mane scored the winning penalty both in the AFCON final and in the final match of the CAF qualification. He’s Senegal’s key player, but this team isn’t a one-man army. Idrissa Gueye, Kalidou Koulibaly, Édouard Mendy are some of Senegal’s elite players complementing Mane’s skills.
Senegal looks capable of reaching at least the Round of 16. They should have no problems finishing in one of the two top spots in Group A, in which they’re drawn together with Qatar, Ecuador, and the Netherlands.
The Carthage Eagles are part of Group D. The top seed is the reigning World Cup champion France. It seems very likely that the French will finish the group phase at the top of the table. This means that the only chance for Tunisia to get to the knockout round is to finish in the second position. The big question is can they pull it off?
Although Tunisia isn’t considered a heavyweight in the world of soccer, they did have luck on their side during the draw. In addition to France, their opponents in the group phase will be Denmark and Australia. Outside of France’s incredible skill, most of the group seem to be at relative parity.
Morocco is probably a better team than Tunisia, but the Atlas Lions will have a much tougher job on their hands in the group stage. They’re competing in Group F, together with Belgium, Croatia, and Canada.Belgium sits 2nd in the FIFA rankings, which explains how strong this team actually is. When it comes to Croatia, this team finished runner-up in the previous World Cup. Those two are very likely to finish in the top two spots, with Canada hoping for a surprise in its first-ever World Cup in the 21st century.
Same as Morocco, Cameroon too cannot be pleased with its World Cup draw. This team will play in Group G, together with the #1 title favorite Brazil, as well as Switzerland and Serbia. It’s needless to say that Brazil is expected to finish at the top of the table. The real battle in group G will be between the other three teams. In that battle, Cameroon seems to have the worst odds, the reason being that both Switzerland and Serbia have much better players on the roster than them.
Ghana’s World Cup group might not seem too difficult at first glance. However, this team’s players just do not look capable of advancing past the group stage. Group H, where Ghana is drawn, together with Portugal, Uruguay, and South Korea. Portugal is likely to finish top, but the number two spot seems uncertain.
Unfortunately, Ghana’s roster looks much weaker than the roster of Uruguay and South Korea. According to Transfermarkt, the most valuable Ghanian player in 2022 is Kamaldeen Sulemana, a 20-year-old playing for Rennes. His value is estimated to be around $20 million, while there are just two other players with a price tag of over $10M. In comparison, Uruguay has 12 players who cost more than that.
While miracles do happen, it’s unlikely that Africa will have a world cup champion this year. That is not to say that there won’t be exciting matches this year in Qatar. In fact, this may be the year that an African team advances further than ever before. Only time will tell when African will finally bring home the FIFA World Cup Trophy.