The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off on November 20th, as hosts Qatar play Ecuador in the inaugural game of the long-awaited tournament. This year promises to be one of the closest competitions for many years, with a whole host of countries capable of being crowned champions on December 18th.
Argentina are 35 games unbeaten since 2019 and stand three games away from breaking the record of 37 set by Italy between 2018-2021. Brazil, the most successful World Cup nation with five victories to their name, are aways a threat.
Holders France will be eager to retain the trophy they won so convincingly in Russia in 2018 and have a squad that is capable of doing so, while England, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Netherlands and Portugal, also have a chance, according to the latest World Cup betting.
How many Chelsea players are going to the world cup
The fixture congestion caused by the World Cup has seen fatigued players pick up injuries that are already ruling many of them out of the tournament. With a fit squad, Chelsea could potentially lose:
Not to mention loan players Romelu Lukaku and Ethan Ampadu who will travel with the Belgium and Wales squad respectively.
Injuries have since ruled out Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante, while Reece James is a huge doubt, but there’s no doubt that the Cobham training ground is going to be a lot quieter in the coming weeks. Not ideal for new manager Graham Potter who is still trying to get his ideas across to his players, although he may welcome the breathing space it affords him.
Which Chelsea players will have the biggest impact at the World Cup
The wide man will be desperate to build on his impressive performances at last year’s European Championships where he was England’s stand out player of the tournament. Sterling will turn 28 and arguably be at the peak of his powers in Qatar, and as a guaranteed first choice pick for Gareth Southgate’s side, he will be looking to rediscover some of his England form after a difficult opening spell with Chelsea following his big money move from Manchester City.
Sterling made his debut for England ten years ago, in a friendly against Sweden, although he had to wait another two years before his next cap. Incredibly, he only scored 2 goals in his first 45 appearances, but since then he’s recorded an impressive 17 goals in his last 34, including several assists. It seems that no matter his club form, Sterling always performs when it comes to England duty.
An experienced player with Premier League titles and a World Cup Semi-Final appearance to his name, England will be looking to Sterling and Harry Kane to lead them to victory this year. A match winner on his day and a constant threat to defences, this is the Londoner’s chance to cement his place in English footballing history and finally end those many years of hurt.
Still only 23, Mount is a key member of the England squad and an integral part of Gareth Southgate’s plans. After making his debut in 2019, Mount has proven to be the manager’s go to player in the big games, having played a key part in England’s run to the European Championship in 2021.
He recently came off the bench in England’s thrilling final Nations League match against Germany, to level the scores at 2-2 with a brilliant finish. Already a Champions league winner with Chelsea and with big game experience under his belt, this tournament is Mounts chance to emerge from the shadows of his more celebrated team mates. If he can add more goals to his game and take some of the pressure off Harry Kane, he could be England’s secret weapon at this World Cup.
Still only 23 but already a Champions League winner, Havertz has proven that the big occasion does not faze him. He made his debut in a 2018 friendly against Peru, and is now a key part of the national team.
This German team is not as good as previous incarnations but you can never rule out Germany and they have an outside chance. But any progress they make will depend on Havertz hitting top form and firing them through to the final.
The American made his international debut in 2016, aged just 17. Now 23, he is a key member of the U.S. team, and has captained the side on numerous occasions. While his Chelsea career has never really taken off, despite his undoubted talent, Pulisic revels in playing for his country.
The U.S. are in England’s group along with Iran and Wales, and they will believe that they have a chance of progressing and surprising a few people along the way. To do that, they will need their talented wide man to be at his best, and there is no better platform to showcase his ability than a World Cup. Maybe Qatar is where Pulisic finally delivers on his promise.
World Cup Winners
Whoever lifts the trophy on December 18th, Graham Potter will just be hoping his players return injury free, and able to help Chelsea mount a push for silverware and a top four finish in the final half of the season.