With the international break starting, countries across the world will be competing to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Three World Cup qualifiers to watch are Spain vs Sweden, Poland vs England and Netherlands vs Turkey. In qualifying upsets can happen so nothing is guaranteed.
World Cup Qualifiers to Watch
Spain vs Sweden
Spain had a successful run in the Euros making it to the semi finals. They lost in penalties 4-2 to Italy. Italy went on to win the Euros. It should be noted Spain progress well despite the inconsistent play of Alvaro Morata. With a more consistent Morata or another striker Spain could have won it all. Arguably the best defender of all-time Sergio Ramos was missing meaning Spain progressed against the odds.
Pedri is a phenomenal player and any team would want him. In addition, he played at the Tokyo Olympics and now is playing for his club team Barcelona. Spain’s future is bright with Laporte, Pedri, Morata and Gerard Moreno to name a few. Moreno might become the first choice striker for Spain and scoring 30 goals for Villarreal last season along with winning the Europa League will have done his chances no harm at all.
Meanwhile Sweden lost a heartbreaking game to Ukraine in extra time. Robin Olsen was one of the best goalkeepers at the Euro’s and claimed a clean sheet when Sweden played Spain. Emil Forsberg scored four goals at the Euros and he will need to step up once more if Sweden are to win and safely navigate the World Cup qualifiers.
Poland vs England
The last time these two teams met England won 2-1. However, Robert Lewandowski did not play. As great as Lewandowski has been for Bayern Munich he has not won anything with Poland or made a deep run in a major international tournament but his quality is not matched by many of his international team mates. If Poland qualify for the World Cup and they make an impressive run it will be huge for the Country and Lewandowski himself. Meanwhile, this is England’s first game since they lost the Euro final 3-2 to Italy on penalties.
England will have more talent on the pitch with players like Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho, Harry Maguire and Kyle Walker and should be favourites to win this game with that talent at their disposal. Lewandowski however may have something to say on the matter and if on form he will cause the England defence plenty of problems.
Netherlands vs Turkey
Both of these teams were disappointing at the Euros. The Netherlands won their group comfortably but them fell to the Czech Republic in the round of 16 leading to manager Frank De Boer resigning.
Turkey were labeled as dark horses for the Euros based on an impressive qualifying campaign. If Turkey are to win they need to play with a stronger defence and look to Burak Yilmaz who has four goals in World Cup qualifying games.
The return of Virgil Van Dijk is huge for the Netherlands. with Memphis Depay‘s positive start at Barcelona giving hope for goals with the Netherlands. Georginio Wijnaldum was Netherlands leading goalscorer at the Euros with three goals and is another player looking to help his country quality for the Qatar World Cup.