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Canada WC 2022 Qualifiers: Canada’s Path to the World Cup
Team Canada begins its year-long journey to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The new team composed of both new and veteran players must get through three possibly four stages to make it. And despite being an underdog in the latter stages, Canada has the right mix of talent to push through. Let’s examine Team Canada’s path to the World Cup.
Team Canada is back on the soccer world stage! The team faces a long and challenging road to make it to Qatar in 2022. The team will have to pass its World Cup Qualifiers by advancing past three stages of the CONCACAF and possibly a fourth. Team Canada has put together a nice mix of veterans with previous FIFA World Cup Qualifiers experience and the new generation of talented players including two-way star Alphonso Davies.
Canada has one of its best rosters despite most online sportsbooks still projecting the squad to be a longshot.
Here is how Canada fairs compared to the rest of its CONCACAF rivals:
Odds to win 2022 FIFA World Cup
*available upon request
How Canada’s 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Look
Team Canada needs to get past three rounds of the CONCACAF’s FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. The qualifiers start this week and go all the way to March of next year, maybe longer. The team will rely on Davies, who was an integral part of Bayern Munich’s monumental 2020 where they won the UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, and Bundesliga among three other major competitions.
Davis won’t be the only key player on Canada’s squad. Veteran and six-time Canada Soccer Player of the Year Atiba Hutchinson returns. The midfielder is joined by his Besiktas teammate, Cyle Larin. Three other players will bring previous FIFA World Cup Qualifying experience.
Team Canada in the First and Second Round
This is where it all begins for Canada. The first round of the CONCACAF FIFA World Cup Qualifiers features six groups of five teams that will play each other in a round-robin format. The first-placed team advances to the Second Round.
These teams are ranked sixth to 35th based on their July 2020 FIFA Rankings. Canada is ranked 73rd overall and is the seven-seed, the second-highest seed in the group stage.
First Round: Canada vs Group B (March 24 – June 8, 2021)
Canada should be the favourite to win this group. They will play two teams per two windows and kick things off on Thursday, March 25 against 22-seed Bermuda (168). After that, they face the 29-seed Cayman Islands (193). The second window has them facing 31-seed Aruba (200) on June 5 and then they close things off against 15-seed Suriname (141) on June 8.
Suriname should be Canada’s toughest challenge here. The nation was once ranked as high as 84 back in 2008 but has since stagnated. Canada has only faced them once and defeated them. As for the other teams, Canada has only faced Bermuda and has a 5-4-0 record against them with a +13 goal differential.
Second Round: Canada vs Group E Winner (June 12-15, 2021)
Once Canada wins their group, they will face off against the winner of Group E. This will likely be Haiti (86), who is the ten-seed and the best in the group barring an upset. Haiti is a formidable team and made it to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2019. They were ranked as highly as 38th in 2013.
Canada is 7-2-2 all-time against them with a goal differential of +6.
These two teams will face each other in a two-leg series where the winner by aggregate (the tiebreaker is goals scored while away) advances to the third round. The rest of the group winners will also do the same. If Canada advances, they join the two other winners to complete the CONCACAF Final Round of Eight Nations scheduled in the Fall of 2021.
Team Canada in the Third Round
If all goes swimmingly, Canada will truly be put to the test against the seven other best nations in the CONCACAF Final Round of Eight Nations. These will be the top five teams that automatically advanced to this round plus the other two winners from the first two rounds.
This is the best of the best in their region and will include heavyweights like Mexico (11), Costa Rica (46), and their archnemesis, the United States (22).
Third Round: Canada in the Final Round of Eight Nations (September 2021 – March 2022)
Canada will face the seven other teams remaining from the CONCACAF twice each for 14 games in total. They will need to finish in the top three to instantly qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
However, they can also finish fourth and advance to the inter-confederation play-offs where they must beat a team from the AFC, CONMEBOL, or OFC in a home-and-away series similar to the Second Round of the CONCACAF Qualifiers.
This will be challenging for Team Canada, to say the least. If all the top-ranked teams advance, Canada will only be the seventh-highest ranked team. But it’s not the better teams that win. It’s the teams that play better. Canada has the talent to pull some upsets.
Mexico and the United States will likely be the favourites to advance here. Canada does not have to beat any of them, but it will help immensely if they did. They also need to beat Costa Rica, who they are likely competing against for that third or fourth spot.
Either way, Canada can ill-afford to not win games. Even if they do pull an upset over the US or Costa Rica, they’ll have to stay consistent and get wins over Jamaica (48), Honduras (62), and whoever emerges from the first two rounds.
The FIFA World Cup futures are already available from our sportsbook partners, like BetOnline. Find the odds plus CONCACAF matches and more soccer betting here.
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