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World Cup 2022: Group A Predictions – Ecuador, Netherlands, Qatar, Senegal

The 2022 World Cup begins on Sunday as host nation Qatar get their controversial campaign underway against Ecuador in Group A.

Qatar are underdogs heading into a group which also includes Netherlands and a Sadio Mane-less Senegal, although it is one of only two groups in the tournament not to feature a previous winner of the trophy.

  1. NETHERLANDS

When the draw was made, Netherlands could have few complaints, and the carrot of securing a favourable last-16 tie is in front of them providing that they win Group A and England perform to their best in Group B.

However, there is every chance that Argentina could be lurking in the quarter-finals. While anything is possible in a knockout tie at that stage of a major tournament, we would side with the 2021 Copa America winners if that scenario came to fruition.

  1. SENEGAL

Just as they did in 2002, we expect Senegal to progress as runners-up from Group A, but this time around we can see them falling at the last-16 stage rather than reaching the last eight.

Should they finish second behind Netherlands, it is likely that Cisse’s side would face England in what would almost certainly be a cagey, tight encounter, but we think the Three Lions may have a little too much for them across 90+ minutes.

  1. ECUADOR

Ecuador are likely to be battling Senegal for second spot in Group A, and they will have to be at their best in order to progress to the knockout round of the competition.

There is plenty of quality in the Ecuador squad, as demonstrated during their qualification campaign, but we are expecting Senegal to join the Netherlands in the knockout round of the competition, leaving Ecuador third in the section ahead of the hosts Qatar.

  1. QATAR

Also faced by the AFCON champions and one of Europe’s top teams in Group A, Qatar are surely reliant upon victory on the opening day if they are to stoke dreams of a knockout-stage appearance on their World Cup debut.

However, Ecuador are battle-hardened from the intense South American qualifiers and, with some serious talent in their squad too, should not be underestimated.

For that reason, it is tough to see where the Maroons can accumulate enough points to contend for last-16 qualification, and they may even find themselves rock-bottom of a competitive group by its conclusion.

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