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November 25, 2022 World

Where will the World Cup dark horses come from?

Where will the World Cup dark horses come from?

A shortened schedule, fatigue, and injuries will result in an unpredictable tournament. The “dark horse”—the team that enters the competition with little to no expectation regarding its performance and advances round after round—is an essential component of every World Cup.

Quite frequently, that team is the host nation itself, which travels far into the competition on the wave of public opinion (and, occasionally, a very bias refereeing decision): take South Korea in 2002 or Russia in 2018.It could be argued that there shouldn’t be any major surprises at a World Cup in an era where football is watched and studied more closely than ever before, but the dark horse brings out the beautiful chaos of elite sports.

The dark horse bursts into view knowing that its best chance of success lies in shocking its victims with its intensity while the eventual winners may start slowly. In their opening match against Poland in 2002, South Korea stunned their opponents with the speed of their counterattacks.

It must be acknowledged at this point that the definition of a “dark horse” has generated some discussion. Even though almost everyone was aware of Belgium’s offensive threat in 2014, they were mistakenly viewed by many as a dark horse because their squad included players like Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, and Romelu Lukaku. If everyone can see you coming, you cannot be a dark horse. For the same reason, it is incorrect to label Senegal as a dark horse. They are the African champions, and Sadio Mané, who just came in second in the Ballon d’Or voting, is in charge of their forward line.

Dark horses in the 2014 World Cup were legendary, despite initial indications that this year’s World Cup might not be. After all, the 2014 World Cup featured a competition in which a striking number of the traditional major teams—like England, Spain, and Uruguay—were a little past their peak and susceptible to being eliminated by younger, more aggressive rivals. But this time, each of those abilities has been restored.

The World Cup schedule itself will be the dark horse in this competition, if there is one. Simply put, we have never witnessed a World Cup like this one, one that takes place in autumn, one in which several teams appear to be clearly exhausted from recent exertions, and one in which some players have openly expressed their relief at avoiding injury.

Numerous professional footballers have just returned from their leagues. There hasn’t been much time for players who haven’t seen each other in a while to rekindle squad chemistry, and about half of the teams won’t get the chance to play a pre-World Cup friendly. This means that some countries will have to start selecting their best teams during the competition, which is bound to produce a few odd outcomes.

Furthermore, some significant players are missing, which has made the biggest teams weaker. For instance, France had to change their starting lineup after losing the first-choice midfield of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté, who helped them win the World Cup in 2018. Giovani Lo Celso, an Argentina playmaker who had a rare on-field connection with Leo Messi, has been ruled out, which is a particular setback for them. These ambiguities may allow a less well-known opponent, like Denmark, to gain an advantage in their match against France in the group stage.

But in the end, Qatar is the real dark horse. Both on and off the field, nobody knows what to anticipate from this World Cup. It is not the calendar’s crowning achievement; rather, it is something that has been crammed into its margins, something that must be addressed urgently and for practical reasons. It is challenging to recall a significant event that has occurred amid this level of uncertainty. We will swiftly continue with the domestic football after it leaves, but while it is here, it will undoubtedly leave its mark but we will see whether it’ll leave it mark as a good host or a bad host.

Other Interesting Articles: https://asiacasino.org/2022/11/24/world-cup-and-politics-are-now-together/
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