Canada not solely achieved their objective of returning to the World Cup for the primary time since 1986 however did it in type, ending on prime of CONCACAF qualifying and going unbeaten till the ultimate sport.
The Canadians’ reward for such a powerful qualifying marketing campaign? A World Cup draw that put them in a bunch aggressive top-to-bottom, with Belgium, Croatia, and Morocco rounding out Group F.
But, regardless of Canada’s 36-year watch for qualification and a tricky draw, they are not going to Qatar to spherical out the numbers — development to the knockout stage is a real expectation.
How reasonable is that expectation? We unpack that query under, as we break down Canada’s roster and World Cup odds.
Group Canada World Cup 2022 odds
|Market||Odds to win|
|To win World Cup||+15,000|
|To achieve ultimate||+6,600|
|To win Group F||+1,200|
|To qualify from Group F||+275|
Odds courtesy of bet365 as of June 22, 2022.
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Group Canada projected roster for World Cup 2022
Canada’s assault is the place their most expertise is, and it is game-breaking capability all the way in which throughout the entrance line.
Alphonso Davies, one of the best male soccer participant in Canada’s historical past and nonetheless simply 21, is the place all of it begins. The Bayern Munich left-back will play on the left facet of assault however provides supervisor John Herdman the flexibleness to play him anyplace within the entrance 4, or additional again.
He is Canada’s finest participant, their talisman, and the participant who can win them a sport single-handedly in Qatar.
On the opposite flank would be the breakout star of 2021 for Canada, Tajon Buchanan. The winger earned a transfer to Membership Brugge in Belgium after an excellent 2021 with the New England Revolution and the nationwide crew.
Buchanan’s direct participant is a wonderful complement to Davies and can give Canada a threatening outlet in matches wherein they’re overmatched and taking part in on the counter.
Davies and Buchanan will play on both facet of a entrance two of Cyle Larin and Jonathan David, after numerous debates across the pair’s capability to play collectively — a debate fortunately put to mattress in 2022.
Larin was arguably Canada’s finest participant in 2021, scoring 14 occasions in 13 video games, and he added one other two in ’22 to turn into their file goalscorer.
David, this system’s different ascending star alongside Davies, is not far behind Larin on Canada’s all-time goalscoring chart and after 28 objectives in two seasons with Lille, a transfer to a much bigger membership in Europe is within the offing. Like Davies, David’s versatility — he can play out extensive, as a No. 9, or as a second striker — will present Herdman with tactical flexibility.
Rounding out Canada’s ahead group is Ike Ugbo, who debuted for the nationwide crew final 12 months, and Junior Hoilett, a veteran of the soccer league.
Ugbo, the previous Chelsea youth participant loved a powerful mortgage spell within the second half of final season, scoring 5 occasions for Troyes in Ligue 1, and may present physicality up prime as an alternative. Hoilett is a artistic choice able to taking part in on both flank or by means of the center as an attacking midfielder.
With Herdman dedicated to 4 forwards, Canada will depend on a two-man midfield, and there isn’t any query about who it will likely be.
Stephen Eustaquio is simply as priceless to Canada as Davies or David, has staked a declare as CONCACAF’s finest central midfielder, and can get Champions League expertise forward of the World Cup with Porto.
Eustaquio shall be partnered by the legendary and ageless Atiba Hutchinson, who’s nonetheless an overwhelmingly calm and safe presence in midfield at 39.
Behind the locked-in starters in midfield, there are two outstanding members of the squad who will play roles.
Mark-Anthony Kaye is probably the most like-for-like alternative for both Eustaquio or Hutchinson, as a gradual box-to-box midfielder who’s safe in possession.
Then there’s Jonathan Osorio, a dependable veteran for TFC and the nationwide crew. Osorio is definitely a extra attack-minded midfielder than Eustaquio, Hutchinson, or Kaye, and drives the ball ahead from midfield with much more regularity.
Osorio will little question get probabilities off the bench in Qatar and has made a behavior of scoring in large moments, most notably for Canada of their well-known draw away to Mexico final fall.
Canada’s protection is a combined bag, with certainty on the flanks and a scarcity thereof within the middle.
Whether or not they play a four- or five-man backline, the left facet shall be owned by Sam Adekugbe, one other breakout star of qualifying for Canada and a daily starter within the Turkish Tremendous Lig.
The suitable facet shall be manned by both Alistair Johnston or Richie Laryea, each of whom had been dependable all through qualifying. Ought to they play a back-five, Johnston would tuck into proper center-back, with Laryea working on the flank.
Canada will want sturdy play from their fullbacks, as a result of their CBs depart so much to be desired.
Steven Vitoria, 35, has been dependable in a Canada shirt however is more and more a bit-part participant for each membership and nation, making simply 16 begins in every of the final three seasons for Moreirense of Portugal’s Primeira Liga.
Vitoria’s associate shall be Kamal Miller, who has developed right into a dependable ball-playing CB greater than able to driving ahead in possession. He’s, nonetheless, pretty untested towards high-level competitors, with the vast majority of his professional expertise coming for middling Orlando and Montreal groups in MLS.
Whereas there are questions at center-back, there are not any such questions between the sticks. Milan Borjan, a veteran of practically 300 video games in European leagues and the Champions League, was improbable for Canada all through qualifying and can retain his place in Qatar.
Ought to Borjan miss time for any cause, Canada can flip to Maxime Crepeau, who has been considered one of MLS’s finest ‘keepers for a number of years.
Group Canada prop choose for World Cup 2022
Tactical flexibility is totally key to progressing in tournaments, and Herdman proved all through qualifying that he has constructed Canada into a versatile crew able to setting as much as replicate their opponent. That flexibility — and expertise taking part in alternative ways — will assist Canada get out of Group F.
With game-breaking pace and direct play from Davies and Buchanan, pinpoint passing from Eustaquio, and world-class ending from David, Canada thrives on the counter. They’re going to set as much as defend deep, take in strain, and strike on the break towards Belgium and Croatia, they usually could not have requested for extra best large groups to take action towards.
Each of Group F’s heavyweights will take growing older squads to Qatar and shall be inclined on the break, and each have had underwhelming moments in latest tournaments.
Croatia had been extremely common on the Euros in 2021, escaping a mediocre group, whereas Belgium’s golden technology continued its legacy of underperforming, with quarterfinal exits in Russia 2018 and the Euros.
A draw from one of many first two video games, doubtless Croatia in matchday two, would put Canada in an excellent place to advance with a win towards Morocco within the third matchday — with Croatia having to face Belgium on the identical time.
Morocco (thirty fifth in Elo rankings), like Canada (twenty ninth), are a younger and high-flying facet however flamed out terribly in ’18 and most lately had been pushed to the brink by Malawi at AFCON earlier than getting knocked out by Egypt. They will not be a straightforward out however the expertise Canada acquired in possession and breaking down lesser groups in CONCACAF will assist them to victory.
Will probably be a nervous group stage from begin to end, however Canada have the expertise and tactical nous to efficiently navigate their solution to the knockout levels.
PICK: Canada to qualify from group (+275 at bet365)
Group Canada schedule and odds for World Cup 2022
- Wednesday, November 23: v. Belgium (2:00 p.m. ET)
|Over 2.5 -155||Whole||Underneath 2.5 +115|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings on June 22, 2022.
- Sunday, November 27: v. Croatia (11:00 a.m. ET)
|Over 2.5 +100||Whole||Underneath 2.5 -135|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings on June 22, 2022.
- Thursday, December 1: v. Morocco (10:00 a.m. ET)
- Monday, December 5: v. TBD (10:00 a.m. ET) *if Canada finishes second in Group F
- Tuesday, December 6: v. TBD (10:00 a.m. ET) *if Canada finishes first in Group F