World Cup 2022 team preview: Canada could leave Qatar pointless after tricky Group F draw

It looks like being a tricky return to the tournament for Canada.

Canada national football team

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This will be only the second time Canada have appeared at a World Cup with their previous outing coming at Mexico 1986. To qualify for that tournament, they had to fight off 16 other nations, an incredibly tough qualifying campaign. As we’ll go into below, things weren’t as tough this time around.

Funnily enough, Canada have also already qualified for the 2026 World Cup, as they will be co-hosting the tournament with Mexico and the USA.

Here, Paddy Power football trader Dan Tobin assesses their chances at at the World Cup 2022.

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Canada World Cup 2022 qualifying record

Canada initially qualified for the ‘third round’ of qualifying by beating Haiti 4-0 on aggregate. This third round, nicknamed the octagonal, saw Canada pitted up against seven other CONCACAF nations. They ended up winning the group, securing their qualification with an emphatic 4-0 win against Jamaica in their penultimate group game. This was a massive occasion for the nation, qualifying for their first World Cup in 36 years.

Who is the Canada manager?

Englishman John Herdman has been managing the team for the last four  years. Prior to that, he led the Canadian women’s team for seven years, taking them to Olympic bronze medals in both the 2012 and 2016 Games. Herdman is not a manager with much experience at this level. However, he will go down in Canadian folklore as the man who finally led them back to the World Cup.  

John Herdman, Canada manager

Canada World Cup squad

Canada generally play with a 3-4-3 formation. In goal, Milan Borjan is the No.1 The back three usually consists of the veteran Steven Vitoria, with Alistair Johnstone and Kamal Miller likely to line up either side of him. Richie Laryea and Sam Adekugbe are set to line up as the wing-backs. In midfield, the team again picks itself, with Stephen Eustaquio and the experienced Atiba Hutchinson favourites to play. Canada’s two stars Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David are the main threats in the front three. The remaining position is up for grabs – Cyle Larin is the most likely to take it, although Tajon Buchanan will also fancy his chances.

  • Goalkeepers: Milan Borjan, James Pantemis, Dayne St Clair
  • Defenders: Kamal Miller, Steven Vitoria, Joel Waterman, Derek Cornelius, Sam Adekugbe, Alistair Johnston, Richie Laryea.
  • Midfielders: Atiba Hutchinson, Stephen Eustaquio, Jonathan Osorio, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Sam Piette, Ismael Kone, Liam Fraser, David Wotherspoon
  • Forwards: Tajon Buchanan, Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David, Junior Hoilett, Cyle Larin, Lucas Cavallini, Liam Millar, Ike Ugbo.

Canada Key Player

An obvious one here, Canada’s key man is Alphonso Davies. Widely regarded as one of the best full-backs in the world, the Bayern Munich man plays in a more advanced position for his country. He has scored 12 goals in 34 games for his country and his pace and directness will cause problems for any defence. He will need to be at his world-class best if Canada are to have any chance of being competitive in this competition.

Canada One to Watch

Jonathan David plays his club football at Lille. He joined in 2020, and helped them in securing their astonishing Ligue 1 title in the 2020-21 season, chipping in with 13 league goals. At international level, he has 22 in 34 games, and Canada will be very much hoping he can take this form to Qatar.

Canada World Cup Prospects

While it’d be nice to say Canada have a hope of success in their group, it doesn’t look like being the case. World-ranked No.2 nation Belgium are favourites to top the group, and 2018 finalists Croatia will also prove to be formidable opponents. Morocco have a number of top players too, including PSG star Achraf Hakimi and Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech. The most Canada can hope for is a win against the North African side, although this game will be their final Group F clash and could be a dead-rubber for both.

Canada World Cup betting tips

Belgium and Croatia should beat them comfortably. As mentioned previously, the final group game against Morocco could be a dead-rubber. However, the likelihood is Morocco will have too much quality for Canada. CANADA TO GET ZERO POINTS IN GROUP F 

Canada World Cup Winner Odds

Canada World Cup 2022 Fixtures

November 23, 7pm: Belgium v Canada (BBC)

November 27, 1pm: Croatia v Canada (BBC)

December 1, 3pm: Canada v Morocco (BBC)

CLICK BELOW FOR TEAM PREVIEWS ON CANADA’S GROUP F RIVALS

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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