OKBET Asian World Cup
The OKBET Asian World Cup in 2022 is rapidly approaching. The four-year wait will be over in just two months, when the world’s largest football event returns to Qatar from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18 because the tournament is taking place in the winter this time, competition schedules throughout the world have been adjusted to allow for a mid-season break.
This also means that, given the start of the new European club football season in August, the current international break is the only one teams will have until November, when they must begin finalizing their squads ahead of a few more pre-tournament friendlies.
With that in mind, what are the main questions that will hopefully be addressed over the next week or so for Asia’s World Cup hopefuls?
Will Qatar prove to be the genuine deal?
Qatar will face enormous expectations as hosts at OKBET Asian World Cup, however it should be noted that they have never played at this level before. They are the current AFC Asian Cup champions and have acquired significant experience with guest appearances in both the 2019 Copa America and last year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, when they made a creditable run to the semifinals before falling to eventual victors United States in a close 1-0 defeat.
Their most recent game, though, ended in a 3-0 defeat against Croatia U-23 in an unofficial friendly on Tuesday.
They will be aiming for better results in the following days against a Canada team that is also heading to the World Cup, as well as a Chile side that has Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal, and Ben Brereton Diaz.
Qatar has some quality in Almoez Ali and Akram Afif, but whether or not they can up to the pressure might be the difference between success and disaster in the Maroons’ World Cup debut at OKBET Asian World Cup.
Will Carlos Queiroz be noticed right away?
With the recent return of Carlos Queiroz as coach on OKBET Asian World Cup, Iran’s chances of reaching the World Cup knockout phase for the first time have improved significantly.
This year’s World Cup will be the Portuguese’s third in a straight at the head of Team Melli, and they will take encouragement from their previous outing, when they nearly lost out on advancing by a point from a difficult group that also contained Spain and Portugal.
Queiroz’s reappointment has been hailed by fans and players alike, not only because of the high respect in which he was previously regarded at the OKBET Asian World Cup, but also because some senior members of the club were said to have had strained ties with his predecessor, Dragan Skocic.
Queiroz has lost no time in recalling some of his favorites, and the Iran team is filled with skill and experience, with names like Mehdi Taremi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, and Sardar Azmoun hailing from Europe.
Both Iran and their returning coach have the opportunity to make an early impact in future games against top opponents in Uruguay and Senegal.
Can an inexperienced Saudi Arabia compete with the finest in the world?
The current Saudi Arabia squad is unusual in that, although not being the youngest at the OKBET Asian World Cup, they are not the most experienced on the international scene. Only five players on the newest lineup for games against Ecuador and the United States have more over 50 caps, while 17 have 30 or less.
This should not be seen as a weakness, since the Saudi Arabia squad has numerous late bloomers, like the tall centre-back Abdullah Madu. However, it is quite unusual for the Green Falcons to have a back four with an average age of 30.25 years but just 36 caps apiece. The position in attack does not improve, with 22-year-old Firas Al-Buraikan (six goals in 22 appearances) the most experienced option.
It does imply that Saudi Arabia will need to be led by its midfield brigade, which has the greatest experience in Fahad Al-Muwallad, Salman Al-Faraj, and Salem Al-Dawsari, who have a combined 203 international appearances.
Is Japan in dire need of a genuine No. 9?
Yuya Osako has spearheaded Japan’s attack since the World Cup in Russia, and although he is not a prolific scorer, he has always provided much as the focal point in attack, pulling others into the game.
With Osako out for the next friendly against the United States and Ecuador, it’s unclear who will take his spot.
Coach Hajime Moriyasu’s four alternatives are all significantly deficient in international experience. Even with the most senior of the group in Celtic’s Kyogo Furuhashi, Moriyasu has already expressed reservations about relying on him as the key man in attack during the Asian World Cup qualifiers.
Even though they have only collaborated for one goal at international level, Daizen Maeda and Ayase Ueda both have the talent – and desire – to try and establish they can play the No. 9 position for the Samurai Blue at the World Cup.
Though none of these choices hold up over the next week or two, Moriyasu could be better off returning Osako or one of the old guard, even if his reluctance to bring in new faces has previously been a source of criticism.
What about Son Heung-supporting min’s cast?
With Son Heung-13-minute min’s hat-trick off the bench for Tottenham against Leicester at the weekend, everyone involved in South Korea’s fortunes exhaled a sigh of relief. With Son back in action for the season, the South Koreans may once again dream of establishing a name for themselves in Qatar at the end of the year.
Even though they don’t need a Plan B for now, they still need a supporting cast to back up their star, so how are Son’s teammates doing so far this season?
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