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    Wales World Cup chances


    Rating Wales’ 2022 World Cup Chances in Qatar
    November 21, 2022, is the day Wales play in their first World Cup game for 64 years. One must go back to the 1958 World Cup in Sweden to find the last time The Dragons played in a competitive FIFA World Cup fixture. A trio of draws saw the Welsh progress to the knockout stages, where they fell 1-0 to eventual champions Brazil, courtesy of a 66th-minute strike from the legendary Pele. Can Rob Page’s men go even deeper in 2022 in Qatar?

    Wales are the 20th favourites to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar before a ball has been kicked in the scorching heat. Anyone who likes a bet on soccer matches online knows that it is highly improbable that Wales will go all the way and lift the coveted Jules Rimet Trophy. But Page has selected a solid 26-man squad for the tournament, one with a mixture of youth and experience, and The Dragons could well ruffle a few feathers in Qatar.

    More Premier League Players Helps Wales

    Nine of the 26-man squad selected for World Cup duty ply their trade in the Premier League, which stands the team in good stead. The Premier League is considered the best and toughest domestic football league globally. Having the nucleus of the team playing against the world’s best players is only good for Page’s World Cup hopefuls.

    Notably, a handful of Welshmen will almost certainly not be available should Wales qualify for the 2026 World Cup. The likes of Wayne Hennesey, Chris Gunter, Joe Allen, Aaron Ramsey, and the talismanic Gareth Bale will have hung up their boots by then, meaning they will give their all in Qatar in an attempt to bow out of the international stage with a bang.

    Wales Should Progress From Group B; England Await

    Page’s men find themselves in Group B alongside Iran, the United States, and the old enemy England. With the top two teams progressing to the knockout stages, you would expect, on paper at least, for Wales to navigate their way out of the group. The United States awaits Wales on November 21, and they must get off to the best possible start. While the USA has some talented players available, Wales should be more than a match for them. Only three places separate the teams in the latest FIFA rankings, so it should be an exciting encounter, to say the least.

    Wales are then in action on November 25 against Iran, a team that Page’s men should roll over with relative ease. While there is only one ranking place difference in the team, Iran has played against minnows such as Nicaragua, Lebanon, and Syria of late, while Wales has been mixing it up with the best teams in Europe.

    Gareth Southgate’s England face Wales on November 29 in the final game of Group A. England has won the last six meetings between the two sides, but the English are out of sorts and without a win in six fixtures. The English are there for the taking.

    Four points will almost certainly be enough to progress from the group, although three will likely be enough.

    Possible Opponents After the Group Stage

    Should Wales finish second in the group, they take on the winners of Group A, which is likely to be the Netherlands. The Dutch beat Wales 3-2 in the Nations League in June, falling to an injury-time goal from Memphis Depay. If they brush aside the Netherlands, Wales will likely take on Argentina in the quarter-finals, which could be a step too far as many believe Argentina will become world champions.

    If Wales finishes top of Group B, they face the runners-up of Group A, which you would think would either be Denmark or Senegal, two teams you the Welsh would fancy their chances against. This scenario would set up a mouth-watering clash against France or Mexico if things go to plan.

    An exit at the quarter-finals stage looks the most likely scenario, but it is anyone’s game once you reach the knockout stages of any football tournament. Dewch ymlaen Cymru!

    [ Main photo embedded from FAW Cymru and dragonsoccer ]

    Posted: Monday 14th November 2022
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