World Cup qualifiers Africa 2018

World Cup qualifiers Africa 2018

The FIFA world cup, often simply called the World Cup is an international association football competition contested by the senior men’s national teams of the members of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport’s global governing body. The FIFA World Cup has been in existence since 1930; the championship has been awarded every four years ever since, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the second world war. The current champion is Germany, which won its fourth title at the 2014 tournament in Brazil. The current format of the competition involves a qualification phase which features thirty two teams. However, 211 teams are eligible to enter the competition.

World Cup qualifiers

Source: Paemuka

World Cup qualifiers Africa

The qualification phase involves games being played over the preceding three years to determine which teams get to qualify for the tournament phase, often called the World Cup Finals. The competition takes place in a period of one moth or so. The twenty World Cups that have taken place along the years have been won by eight national teams. Brazil won the title five times, and has also managed to take part in each and every tournament. The other World Cup qualifiers are Germany and Italy, each with four titles; Argentina and Uruguay each with two titles and England, France and Spain all with one title.

The World Cup is the most prestigious association football tournament in the world, it is also the most viewed and followed sporting event world wide. It even exceeds the Olympic Games; the cumulative audience for all matches of the 2006 FIFA World Cup was estimated to be 26.29 billion with an estimated 715.1 million people watching the final match, a ninth of the entire population of the planet. It usually takes a huge coverage and the list of broadcasters, both television and radio is endless. The FIFA World Cup 2018 is bound to take place in Russia as from the 15th of June, all the way until 15th of July.

The World Cup qualifiers 2018 are: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay, Morocco, Iran, Portugal, Spain, France, Australia, Peru, Denmark, Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Serbia, Brazil, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea, Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England, Colombia, Japan, Poland and Senegal. There are eight groups each with four countries; this competition does not have a home and away custom. It only offers one leg and the country hosting the competition usually has direct entry into the competition, regardless of failing to qualify for the tournament.

Currently, there are five African countries which managed to qualify for the competition. Ghana World Cup qualifiers did not make it. they had a chance for some of their team to make it at the Ghana World Cup qualifiers table, but it did not happen. Ghana who looked like favorites for joining the competition somehow never managed to qualify following a very tight match against Egypt after edging Comoros 2-0 in the second round. We had hopes on Ghana black stars qualifying but there is always a next time. Egypt emerged as the winners of their group and proceeded to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Here we shall dissect the African teams that managed to qualify for the competition and the various opponents that they are bound to face.

World Cup qualifiers 2018 africa

Source: ishikistaa.com

World cup qualifiers 2018 Africa

Below are the World Cup qualifiers results in Africa.

1.Nigeria

According to the World Cup qualifiers fixtures,Nigeria is bound to face Argentina, Iceland and Croatia. This is probably one of the trickiest groups with all teams having players that are diverse and very professional along with a blend of experience from different major leagues. Argentina has one of the best players in the world, with likes of Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Pablo Dybala, who can cause havoc for Nigeria. They are however not favorites to win the competition since they cannot click well to play a 4-3-3 formation which would have made their attack more dangerous. The World Cup draw is very awaited for. Africa World Cup qualifiers are all talented and professional.

Argentina also faced a very hard time in qualifying for the World Cup as they had very tough competition from other South American countries in the CONMEBOL competition. They however made it to the World Cup qualifiers 2018.They managed to edge out Chile from the competition to go through as the second runners up, in a table that saw Colombia finishing fourth and Peru getting lucky and proceeding. The other competitor is Croatia, which has a very dedicated team. They managed to finish second in their UEFA group and went through along with Iceland. They played a total of ten games in their group, where they won six games, drew two and lost three matches. They scored fifteen goals and conceded a stunning four goals, which saw them having the highest goal difference at that specific point in the tournament.

They also had twenty points which made them only two points adrift of the winners of the group. Croatia has a strong squad with a single World class forward, Mario Mandzukic, who stars for Juventus. they are among the listed teams in World Cup qualifiers tables. They also have Ivan Perisic, Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric, just to mention but a few. They are much underrated but might end up surprising most people in this competition.

The other team is Iceland, which has a very good side as well. They managed to top their group in the UEFA qualifications after playing ten matches. They won seven matches, drew one match and lost only two matches. They scored a stunning sixteen goals, conceded seven goals and had a goal difference second best to Croatia’s. They also had twenty two points as the final points that saw them cruise through to the World Cup. Iceland has very many unsung heroes in the football game, they have most of their players who are in the national team playing locally and just a few who are in different leagues with likes of Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Gylfi Sigurdsson who are a huge threat as they fortify the midfield of the Icelandic team.

Nigeria managed to finish top of their group in the CAF competition as they played six matches and won four games, drew one and lost one. They scored eleven goals and conceded six games, which concluded them having a goal difference of five and topped with thirteen goals. Nigeria also pose a huge threat and are most likely to proceed to the next level as they have very fine players with the likes of the highly experienced Obi Mikel, Odion Ighalo, Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi. They have a variety of attacking options and midfield strongholds. They are very capable of even winning the cup only if they stay focused and take advantage of the squad that they have. FIFA World Cup 2018 will be like no other.

World Cup qualifiers Africa 2018

Source: Yahoo Sport UK

2. Egypt

Egypt is one of 2018 World Cup qualifiers Africa. The Egyptians have been put in a group that has Russia the hosts included, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay. Russia never participated in the event since they were to host the competition. That is why they were given a sure entry to the tournament. The other opponents seem to be a bit fiercer and will be more likely to punish the Russians in the group stages. Uruguay managed to finish second after playing eighteen games, where they won nine games, drew four and lost five. They scored thirty two goals in their favor, conceded twenty goals which made them have a goal difference of twelve.

They also had thirty one points in total which made them come as runners up after Brazil who had a forty one points with a stunning goal scoring record of forty one goals which saw them finishing ten points clear off the runners up, Uruguay. Currently, according to the World Cup qualifiers groups, Uruguay poses a very dangerous threat to other teams since they have the bragging rights of having players like Luis Suarez, Diego Godin, Jose Gimenez and Edinson Cavani. Luis Suarez is the Barcelona talisman who currently is in contention for the golden boot in Spain along with players like Cristiano and Messi.

Edinson Cavani is one of the best strikers in the World and his partnership with Suarez will cause havoc in many defenses during the World Cup group stages and even further. Cavani has the most goals in the ligue 1 of France as it stands now. Their back line has two world class defenders in Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez who have a great understanding between each other as they play together in club level at Atletico Madrid which is a Spanish club.

Saudi Arabia finished second in their group to go through to the World Cup during the AFC competition. They only played ten matches and were only one point away from finishing with same points as the number one of the group, Japan. They won six games, drew one game and lost only three matches. They had scored seventeen goals by the end of the matches and conceded only ten goals, giving them a goal difference of seven. They had a whooping nineteen points which saw them go through as second due to their many wins and their high goal difference as compared to Australia who also had nineteen points.

Egypt, they are the current African cup winners as far the AFCON competition is concerned, though they faced stiff competition from other African countries. They are among the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. They edged out Cameroon to win the cup and are seen currently as Africa’s finest. They have the likes of top class players like Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Elneny and Mohamed Salah. Ahmed Hegazy is a world class defender who plays for West Bromwich Albion united. He is quite creative and is highly rated, he has helped his team achieve great milestones and he will surely be a very tough man to face as he is well acquainted with experience.

World Cup qualifiers Africa 2018

Source: Reuters India Africa World Cup qualifiers , Egypt against Uganda on the 15th of September 2017

Mohamed Elneny is an Arsenal player who also plays as a central defensive midfielder. He is a world class midfielder and is bound to be successful in his remaining part of the career. He has helped arsenal win the FA cup and is a very much sang name at the Emirates stadium. He featured in the Europa league and starred as an important player in helping arsenal reach the semi finals of the competition. He however never played in the semis as he had an injury which saw the gunners knocked out of the competition after Atletico Madrid edged them out.

The ultimate player that will be kept on watch by many teams is Mohamed Salah who is currently the likely winner of the English Premier League’s golden boot with 32 goals to his name in his first season at Liverpool. He is a fine marksman and will definitely add some spice to this group as everybody will want to prove him wrong. He is also a current contender for the Ballon D’Or as he competes with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi. The World Cup qualifiers 2018 fixtures will enable Egypt to play with other teams.

READ ALSO: World cup qualifiers 2018 Africa

3. Morocco

Morocco is one of FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Morocco has to play against Iran, Portugal and Spain. Spain finished top of their group, they played ten games out of which they won nine, drew one and lost none, which means that they went unbeaten. They managed to score thirty six goals and only conceded three which saw them have a goal difference of thirty three. They also finished with twenty eight points which was because of the draw. Their back four has stunning players like Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Nacho Monreal and Pedro Rodriguez which features very professional players all from the best leagues in the world and they all have strong attacking qualities, making them very dangerous.

Their midfield has also world class players with the likes of Andres Iniesta who will be participating in his final World Cup. He is also a very outstanding player that specializes in goal scoring, game controlling and passing accurately. The front three for Spain includes one of the most prolific players, David Silva, who plays in England for Manchester City. He is very good at passing and his goal scoring ability is very high. He is a very skilled skipper and is very flexible to play in any position.

Portugal finished in first position after playing ten games, they won nine games, drew none and lost one game. They scored a magnificent thirty two goals and only conceded four goals; this gave them a goal difference of twenty eight and had total points of twenty seven, same as Switzerland, but beat them fair and square courtesy of goal difference. Their main man is Cristiano Ronaldo who is a stunning player with five Ballon D’or’s to his name and who is the most feared in this particular group. This group will more or less be an easy ride for Portugal as they also have a well organized defense with like of Pepe and Jose Fonte. The two defenders are very good at what they do and they will certainly stop goals from coming through.

World Cup qualifiers Africa 2018

Source: FIFA.com Morocco's player Mbark Boussoufa (up) celebrates a goal

Their midfield is also very talented with players like Joao Moutinho, Bernado Silva and William Carvalho. They are bound to cause a havoc to the oppositions and they will support their front two strikers adequately. Iran was also the first in their group in the AFC competition. They played ten games, won six of them, drew four and never had a loss in their campaign. They scored ten goals and only conceded two goals getting a goal difference of eight. They bagged in twenty two points and the runners up were seven points behind them. They boast presenting a fully local team that uses a 4-3-3 formation with players like Sardar Azmoun, Ali Karim and Ashkan Dejagah.

Morocco have a very organized back four and are bound to stop the big guns in the group from scoring, they are the under dogs in this stage. Morocco edged out all other teams to finish first in their group after playing six games. They won three, drew three and lost none. They also scored eleven goals and conceded no goal, making them have a goal difference of eleven; with a total of twelve points. Some of their star players are Nordin Amrabat, Nabil Dirar and Karim El Ahmadi. They sure have a good midfield, a powerful striking force and an indisputably strong defense as they use a 4-4-1-1 formation. They are bound to face other African countries in the World Cup qualifiers Africa fixtures.

4. Senegal

The Senegalese have been put in the same group as Colombia, Poland and Japan. They are also FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers. Poland finished first after playing ten games and won eight, drew one and lost one. With a goal difference of fourteen after scoring twenty eight and conceding fourteen goals. They have world class players like Robert Lewandowski who has starred for Bayern Munich this season and is a top gun and a potential threat to most of the teams in the group stages. They also have a very talented goal keeper and they have a good back four that has a good defense.

Colombia are fairly a good team after they finished fourth and got a direct entry into the World Cup after edging out Peru and Chile. They played eighteen games and won seven games, drew six and lost five games. They scored twenty goals and conceded nineteen goals, having a goal difference of two; getting twenty seven points in total. They have star players like Davinson Sanchez, Ospina and James Rodriguez. They will surely pose a huge threat to many teams as their defense is solid and their midfield is very strong. Their striker is Falcao who is very versatile and dangerous on attack. He will surely cause the defense of many teams to crumble if he gets the chance.

World Cup qualifiers Africa 2018

Source: Complete Sports Nigeria South Africa versus Senegal in qualifiers for the World Cup 2018

Japan also managed to finish first after winning six of their games, drew two and lost two out of all ten matches. They scored seventeen goals and conceded seven goals having a goal difference of ten; they finished with twenty points. They have star players like Shinji Okazaki and Takuma Asano. They will surely bring many teams down if they are not kept at watch. Senegal is also a very dangerous team since they managed to finish on top of their group with four wins, two draws and no loss. They had a goal difference of seven after scoring ten and conceding three goals; they finished with fourteen points. They have a strong side that is also dedicated and will surprise many in the tournament. I back them to finish first or second to proceed to the next level in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

5. Tunisia

Tunisia are in a group of death which features teams like England, Belgium and Panama. They are also part of African World Cup qualifiers. They will have to be at their best to beat these teams as the competition for the top two spot will be intense as the world class teams of Europe will be fighting so hard to proceed. However, the African spirit that Tunisia portrays might just see them cruise past all the teams in their group. This group will certainly be a very good one and the most interesting as nobody will want to be knocked out in the first round. World Cup 2018 qualifiers Africa will make us proud. The 2018 Africa World Cup qualification groups are all set, and am sure they will do their best.

It is therefore a hyped season and we should definitely not miss the World Cup matches!

READ ALSO: World Cup 2018 groups

Source: Yen.com.gh

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