The World Cup is one of the most popular sporting events in the world, and it is being held in Qatar this year. Staking out an impressive total of 32 teams playing across 64 games, this World Cup has everyone talking. With such a long list of contenders and so many matches to watch, there is no shortage of competition for football fans to enjoy.
As the first knock-out round of the competition begins, here are some of the matches you should keep an eye out for;
Group A: Senegal vs Netherlands
After missing out on the World Cup in 2018, the Netherlands will be motivated to reestablish itself in world football. Memphis Depay, who has 12 goals in 10 games, will be their main man, but keep an eye out for Donyell Malen, Borussia Dortmund’s young, exciting attacker. On the other hand, Senegal enters Qatar after winning the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations and boasts an abundance of talented players such as Sadio Mane of Liverpool, Edouard Mendy of Chelsea, and Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli.
The match airs today at 5 pm on DStv, Ch. 202, and GOtv, Ch. 33
Group C: Argentina vs Mexico
What makes this match a remarkable one is the fact that Argentina defeated Mexico in the round of 16 in 2006 and 2010. Also, Lionel Messi, 34, maybe play in his final World Cup game. Argentina has been remarkably underwhelming in major tournaments throughout his career, but Messi is performing better for the country than the club for the first time. Argentina is set to advance to the knockout stages thanks to a strong ensemble of players, including Angel Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez, Christian Romero, and Rodrigo De Paul. This game has added significance for Mexico manager Tata Martino, an Argentine who previously coached La Albiceleste.
The match is set to air on Saturday, November 26th at 8 pm on DStv Ch. 202 and GOtv Ch. 33.
Group D: France vs Denmark
Defending champions France have arguably the most talented squad at this World Cup, making this matchup one of the best of the group stages. A front three of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, and the returning Karim Benzema will be dangerous. It is possible that we will witness the first repeat winner since Brazil in 1962. Denmark is on a positive trajectory. Kasper Hjulmand’s team has impressed, reaching the Euro 2020 semifinals and winning nine of their ten World Cup qualification matches. Denmark will be no pushover for Les Blues now that Christian Eriksen has returned.
This match is set to air on Saturday, November 26th at 5 pm on DStv Ch. 205 and GOtv Ch. 32
Group H: Portugal vs Uruguay
Portugal will be looking to put their recent poor international tournament performances behind them and should not be underestimated in their pursuit of the trophy. Portugal will be looking to put their recent poor international tournament performances behind them and should not be overlooked for the trophy. Christiano Ronaldo, who is aiming to become the first man to score in five World Cups, is joined by a talented supporting cast that includes teammate Bruno Fernandez, Diogo Jota, Bernando Silva, Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, and Joao Felix. Uruguay knocked Portugal out of the last World Cup and has looked strong under new manager Diego Alonso. They have a talented mix of youth and experience, with Luis Suarez, Edison Cavani, and Diego Godin joining Darwin Nunez, Federico Valverde, and Rodrigo Bentancur.
This match is set to air on Monday, November 28, at 8 pm on DStv Ch. 202 and GOtv Ch. 32.
This World Cup promises to be the best yet, although African teams have never breached the semi-final stages, making it difficult to predict who might impact this year’s tournament. However, the underdogs have broken the mold in previous years, so this may well be an opportunity for Africa to do likewise.