The 2022 World Cup will not only be watched from the sidelines by fans, but also by unfortunate players who have been kept out of the tournament by injury. During the build-up to the big November kick-off, injuries to players also affect the football odds offered by top sports betting sites Australia, UK and other countries allow to operate.
All teams at the club and international levels have to deal with injuries. But completely different from the heavy turnover of matches in the Premier League, injury problems can hit harder at the World Cup. A successful World Cup-winning campaign currently is only seven matches long. So injuries can have a devastating effect.
FIFA’s Rules On Injured Players
For 2022, FIFA has ruled that injured players can be replaced in a squad, up to 24 hours before the team’s first match of the tournament. Squads have already been expanded to 26 players for the tournament to help cope.
France Hit The Hardest
Reigning World Champions France have been hit by injury issues ahead of their title defence. In late October there was a huge setback for Juventus’s Paul Pogba on his road to recovery. He picked up an injury back in July and had a delay in surgery.
Things were shaping up well for Pogba in mid-October on his road to recovery. But then a new muscle problem put his place at the 2022 World Cup in jeopardy. The French have deeper issues too.
N’Golo Kante, Lucas Hernandez, Wesley Fofana, Boubacar Kamara and potentially Rafael Varane could all be missing for Les Bleus at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
England Defensive Issues
England have already lost defender Reece James to a cruel ankle injury. The Chelsea man had installed himself as the leading right-back option for Gareth Southgate’s men.
Manchester City duo Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips are pushing for fitness, but the Three Lions, runners-up at last year’s European Championships, may not be at full strength. The latest injury concern came for Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell with a hamstring problem.
Germany Could Miss Neuer
Germany’s bid for the World Cup has been hit with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer not certain to be fit for the tournament. Other big doubts for Die Mannschaft at Qatar 2022 are Marco Reus and Leroy Sane.
Belgium Could Be Without Lukaku
Another big name that could miss the World Cup is Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku. The Inter Milan striker picked up another hamstring problem with barely a couple of weeks to go before the start of the tournament. Belgium are among the crop of leading contenders in World Cup betting.
Argentina Wait on Di Maria and Dybala
The Albiceleste are on a long unbeaten run of form and are heading to the World Cup in great shape. But they, too, are sweating on a couple of key players. Angel Di Maria and Paulo Dybala are both in races to be fit for the tournament.
Brazil’s Richarlison Still In Doubt
World Cup favourites Brazil were dealt a big blow when Tottenham forward Richarlison picked up a calf problem against Everton in a Premier League fixture. Richarlison’s World Cup hopes looked shattered, but now there’s a slight chance of recovery. But the Selecao will miss the presence of Arthur Melo.
Dealing With Injury
Having a deep, talented squad helps massively. France look as if they may have to dip into their well of talent. It is the teams who lose their one main leading striker that are generally hit the hardest by injury at a World Cup. Or those that are heavily reliant on a touch of superstar power.
Think of Brazil without Neymar, France without Kylian Mbappé and Karim Benzema, Portugal without Cristiano Ronaldo or England being without Harry Kane. World Cup challenges can hinge on someone like Kane remaining fit because in England’s case there is very little in the way of a backup plan.
The Stressful Build Up
Domestic leagues around the world are being interrupted mid-season by the FIFA World Cup. That has put extra stress on players. In the build-up to the World Cup, players want to put in big shifts for their clubs to try and get selected for a place on the plane.
But one tackle, one clash of heads or a freak accident can haunt players in the immediate period before a World Cup tournament. This is a busy period for players at top clubs playing in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League who have been playing a match every few days.
Normally a World Cup comes along after a break at the end of a domestic season when fixture loads are generally winding down. But not in 2022, as players are in full swing at a stage of a season where there is everything to play for and rewards from risks are still there.
A perfect example is Tottenham’s South Korean star Son Heung-min who fractured an eye socket during the final round of Champions League group stage action in early November.
Not The End
But this is the World Cup, which probably pulls an extra level of performance out of players. It is the biggest stage that players can appear on. It’s a tournament that every player dreams of playing in.
The loss of a key player can rally a team to dig a little deeper. To play a little harder to make up for the absence of a star. One thing is for certain is that injuries will affect the World Cup and teams will have to make their adjustments.Follow paulmbanks