Football fans around the world are waiting in anticipation for the 2022 World Cup to officially get underway next month. 32 nations will battle it out in the 22nd edition of the tournament in hope of lifting the trophy at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar on Sunday 18th December.
The World Cup is a special occasion for any nation but even more so this year for Canada.
This will be just the second ever World Cup that Canada has qualified for with the last being in 1986 when they were eliminated in the group stage of the tournament. In fact, Canada, who were managed by English football coach Tony Waiters at the time, failed to win any of their matches in the World Cup that year, conceding five goals and scoring none, resulting in them finishing bottom of their group and being eliminated from the competition.
That exit was followed by 36 years of failing to qualify for any of the eight World Cups that took place but fans have something to celebrate this winter as another English manager, John Herdman, has guided them to Qatar 2022.
Canada were confirmed to have qualified for this year’s tournament back in March when they smashed Jamaica 4-0 in Toronto. Goals from Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan and Junior Hoilett along with an own goal from Adrian Mariappa, sparked celebrations across the country as their nation qualified for their first World Cup since Mexico 1986.
How will Canada do?
Canada simply need to score a goal to improve on their World Cup record but Herdman and his players will be looking to do a lot more than that next month.
In their World Cup qualifying group, Canada topped the table ahead of Mexico and USA who will be joining them in this year’s tournament. Herdman’s side scored an impressive 23 goals in 14 matches, conceding just seven in the process and they’re looking like a team that could be a real threat to any opposition.
However, Canada’s draw in the 2022 World Cup has not been favourable, being placed in Group F along with Morocco, Croatia and FIFA number two ranked team, Belgium. Many World Cup predictions show that it’ll be Belgium and Croatia battling it out for 1st & 2nd place which means that Canada are considered the underdogs to make it through to the knockout stages.
Canada World Cup odds
Canada were never going to be one of the favourites to lift this year’s World Cup but their group draw certainly hasn’t done them any favours.
- Canada To Win The 2022 World Cup: 500/1
- Canada To Win Group F: 16/1
- Canada To Reach The Knockout Stages: 7/2
Currently, Canada are the longest price out of all four teams in Group F to qualify, with Morocco at 5/2, Croatia 8/13 and Belgium a short 1/8.
Belgium have a host of world-class players at their disposal with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard all set to feature. They finished 3rd in the 2018 World Cup and not many would be surprised to see them achieve a similar finish, if not better, this time around.
Croatia were runners-up in the 2018 World Cup, losing in the final to France. They’re ranked 12th in the world by FIFA but they do have an ageing squad with the likes of Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric, and Luka Modric aged 33, 30 and 36.
Morocco are the final team to complete Group F and are ranked 22nd in the world by FIFA. They have a few players of note such as PSG right back Achraf Hakimi and the trio of Sevilla players, Youssef En-Nesyri, Munir El Haddadi and Bono.
Canada are the lowest ranked team in the Group (44) but have produced an excellent run throughout qualification. Although backing them to win the tournament may seem like a foolish bet, Canada to qualify from their group is more achievable.
27-year-old Cyle Larin is Canada’s all-time top scorer with 25 goals in 54 appearances and they will be looking for him to cause issues in their opponent’s box.
Lille forward Jonathan David could be another player to watch for Canada. The 22-year-old has scored 7 goals in 10 matches in Ligue 1 this season and an impressive total of 22 in 34 games for his country. He’s 200/1 to claim the Golden Boot this year and although that may be out of his reach given that his side probably won’t reach the later stages of the tournament, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him bag a few.
Canada World Cup chances
There’s no denying the fact that Canada have it all to do in their upcoming World Cup campaign. However, there aren’t many other teams in the tournament that will be motivated as much as them.
This will be their first World Cup for 36 years and they’ll surely have the support of their fans behind them however far they go.
If they’re able to take some of the form that they have showed throughout qualifying into the tournament, it is possible that they could reach the knockout stages of the competition for the first time in history.
If they do so, they’ll meet either Spain, Germany, Costa Rica or Japan. They’ll need luck on their side to progress any further than that but either way, the team and the fans back at home will surely enjoy Canada being part of the 2022 World Cup.