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Back the top African teams at the World Cup 2022
With just 7 days left until the first game of the 2022 World Cup, anticipation is already beginning to build for Soccer’s greatest showcase.
Since our beloved Super Eagles will not be present at the FIFA Mundial, we have previewed the five teams that will be representing Africa just for you.
Read on to gauge the chances of Africa’s representatives and let us know who you’ll be supporting in the comments!
The African champions are widely regarded as Africa’s best chance of success in Qatar. Not only are the Teranga Lions the continent’s highest-ranked team, but they also boast a strong squad, with the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly and Sadio Mane in prominent leadership roles within the group.
However, there are a couple of question marks, especially in goal, where Edouard Mendy has struggled for game time at Chelsea since the sacking of Thomas Tuchel. His lack of form could prove detrimental, considering Senegal’s recent success has been built on clean sheets and resolute defending. Koulibaly’s move to the Blues has also not worked out quite as expected.
Fans of the Senegal National Team will hope that he and Mendy play much better for the Teranga Lions than they have for the Blues so far this season.
There is also a lack of creativity in midfield; Idrissa Gueye, a defensive midfielder at club level, is often their most advanced midfielder, which limits them creatively. They could solve their creative problems by incorporating the ball-carrying ability of Tottenham youngster Pape Matar Sarr, however.
Incidentally, of all five African representatives, Senegal have the kindest group. While the Netherlands are a tough opponent, Aliou Cisse’s men will fancy their chances against Ecuador and Qatar.
Senegal’s AFCON success was built on a solid defense, and this should serve them well, although a second-place finish in the group could see them face England in the Round of 16.
- Back Senegal to finish in the top 2 of Group A at 1.72 on BetKing
- Back Senegal to be eliminated in the Quarter Finals at 6.00 on BetKing
Tunisia were the first African country to win a match at a World Cup when they beat Mexico in 1978. Of the 14 World Cup matches they have played since; they have won only once: in 2018 against Panama.
This sorry record paints an accurate picture of Tunisia’s credentials on the world stage. With most of their squad based outside of Europe’s marquee leagues, a coach who is only in the role because they could not afford to hire anyone better, and a tough group featuring reigning world champions France and Euro 2020 semifinalists Denmark, qualification from Group D is almost impossible.
Youssef Msakni and Wahbi Khazri, Tunisia’s best players, are both skillful forwards but are both on the wrong side of 30 and do not have the engines they once did. There is also uncertainty surrounding who starts in attack, with a bunch of unremarkable options meaning the Carthage Eagles will have to rely on winger Naim Sliti to supply end product.
Australia offers the possibility of a win, and Tunisia have performed better than expected in warm-up friendlies, so they should at least be able to get points on the board.
- Bet on Tunisia to finish the Group stage with 1 point in Group D at 3.20 odds with BetKing
- Bet on Tunisia to finish bottom of Group D at 1.80 odds with BetKing
Morocco are faced with a tricky group, and their decision to change coaches less than 3 months to the World Cup has only made their task trickier.
It is a shame, because the Atlas Lions have an interesting group of players – some of them in/near the world-class bracket – and play an attractive style of football. The returns of Hakim Ziyech and Noussair Mazraoui, both of whom were previously ostracized under former coach Vahid Halilhodzic, could give them a more attacking dimension, as the former could dovetail to great effect with flying wing-back Achraf Hakimi.
There is also the possibility, however, that Halilhodzic’s concerns about Ziyech were founded; the Chelsea man is a bit of an egotist and could destabilize an already cohesive group. Morocco also tend to underperform in tournament play, and they have problems upfront due to their lack of a reliable goalscorer.
All these considered, it is difficult to back them in Qatar. Their likeliest route to a result is in their final group match against Canada, one which Morocco should realistically win but probably will not.
- Belgium and Croatia are still too good to not go through here, bet on Morocco to be eliminated in the Group Stage at 1.36 with BetKing.
- While we don’t think Morocco will qualify for the knockout rounds, they’re still too talented to leave Qatar with zero points. Bet on their World Cup campaign to end with two draws & 2 points at 9.00 odds with BetKing.
It is difficult to see a situation in which Cameroon get anything at all out of Group G.
Brazil, Switzerland, and Serbia is a horrible group for the Indomitable Lions, and if recent results are anything to go by, Cameroon could be in for a historic beating in Qatar. Theirs is a squad short on quality, and the jury is still out on Rigobert Song’s tactical ability. When you lose to Uzbekistan, there can be few strands of optimism left.
Any hope for Cameroon will come from the attacking relationship between Vincent Aboubakar and Karl Toko-Ekambi, both of whom were prolific in the Indomitable Lions’ run to the semifinals at the AFCON earlier this year. Bayern Munich striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has also hit a rich vein of form; along with the other two, their attack should be threatening enough to get them some goals in Group G.
Their defense does not stand up to the same degree of scrutiny though, and in an ideal world they would be able to call on Liverpool defender Joel Matip, retired for over five years, to shore up a physical but unreliable back line.
A good defense is a must for any team that wants to do well at an international tournament and the unreliability of Cameroon’s rearguard should mean an early return home for the Indomitable Lions.
- Back Cameroon to finish bottom of Group G at 1.60 odds with BetKing.
- Back Cameroon to finish Group G with 1 point at 3.50 odds with BetKing.
It’s a bit of a shame that Ghana are so disorganized, as there is a chance for them to spring a surprise in Qatar.
Their Group H opponents are better on paper than in reality, as both Portugal and Uruguay have significant question marks hanging over them, and Korea are certainly beatable, especially with the injury status of Tottenham Hotspurs forward, Heung Min-Son in some doubt. However, Ghana have no idea what their best team is, and this tournament may have come a little too soon for their newly nationalized diasporans.
As it is, they’re kind of an unknown quality entering the World Cup and it’s possible that the Black Stars somehow fit better than anyone expected as the tournament progresses. Inaki Williams’ raw speed upfront, with the silky skills of Mohammed Kudus and Kamaldeen Sulemana providing service, could combine for a dangerous cocktail. At the base of midfield, Thomas Partey will provide control, and if Ghana can blend in time (an admittedly difficult ask, given the lack of time), there is the potential for them to spring a surprise.
They could frustrate Uruguay, who are not great at breaking teams down, by hitting the South Americans on the break, and get points off Korea to qualify.
- Back Ghana to be eliminated in the Round of 16 at 4.00 odds with BetKing.
- Back Ghana to finish Group H with 4 points at 4.50 odds with BetKing.
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