Will Qatar stun the world in their first-ever World Cup? Inform your bets ahead of the 2022 World Cup with the Qatar team preview from Pinnacle.
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World Cup 2022: Qatar preview
Qatar will not only be hosting the World Cup for the first time this year, but they will also be making their debut appearance at the tournament.
They have recently moved into the top 50 in the world rankings, with Qatar’s results in the last 12 months including a win over Bulgaria and draw with Chile.
Read on to inform your predictions for Qatar at World Cup 2022.
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World Cup 2022: Qatar key stats
Manager: Félix Sánchez
Key player: Hassan Al-Haydos
FIFA World Ranking (at time of writing): 50th
Recent performances: 2021 FIFA Arab Cup – Third, 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup – Semi-finals.
World Cup 2022: Qatar schedule
All times listed are CET (Central European Time).
November 20, 17:00: Qatar vs. Ecuador
November 25, 14:00: Qatar vs. Senegal
November 29, 16:00: Netherlands vs. Qatar
World Cup 2022: How will Qatar fare in Group A?
Qatar are the only nation making their debut World Cup appearance this year and although they will have home advantage on their side, it is difficult to see them extending their stay beyond the group stage.
Head coach Félix Sánchez has seen his side win just one of their last eight matches, which is hardly ideal preparation for a World Cup, although Qatar will fancy their chances of getting something from their Group A opener against Ecuador.
A victory in that match could spur Qatar on, but with their other group opponents being Senegal and the Netherlands, it will be tough for the tournament hosts to get the points they need to reach the knockout stages.
World Cup 2022: An analysis of Qatar’s squad
Despite having never previously played at a World Cup tournament, Qatar do boast plenty of tournament experience, as many of the squad were involved in their 2019 Asian Cup success while they also finished third in last year's Arab Cup on home soil.
Qatar do have plenty of international experience
Defender Abdelkarim Hassan has made 124 appearances for his country to date and will be a mainstay of Sánchez's defence, alongside Boualem Khoukhi and Portuguese-born full-back Ró-Ró.
Karim Boudiaf and Abdulaziz Hatem will be key figures in midfield – the latter is set to win his 100th cap at the tournament – while captain Hassan Al-Haydos will be the creative force.
No player has made more international appearances for Qatar than Al-Haydos, who has featured 165 times, and that experience is likely to prove key as he supports strikers Akram Afif and Almoez Ali to form a trio that have scored (at the time of writing) a combined 98 goals on the international stage.
World Cup 2022: What tactics will Qatar use?
Sánchez has utilised several formations over recent times, but he is likely to go with a 5-3-2 formation at the World Cup, with Ró-Ró and Homam Ahmed providing the width from the wing-back positions.
With Hatem and Boudiaf likely to sit in the middle of the pitch, the onus will be on Al-Haydos to provide plenty of creativity for the front two, Afif and Ali.
World Cup 2022: Is there value in Qatar’s odds?
Qatar are outsiders to win the World Cup and anyone dreaming of an extended run for the hosts at the tournament may well be disappointed.
Getting out of the group will certainly be a tough ask for the team, but there is some value in backing them to make home advantage count in their opening fixture against Ecuador.
Sánchez's side will be extra motivated to open the tournament they are hosting in style, and given that they have been handed arguably their easiest group fixture in their first match, there may well be some value in backing Qatar to beat Ecuador at the current price of 3.490 (+249)*.
Don't forget to read our previews for all 32 teams at World Cup 2022 where you can find in-depth analysis of each team competing in Qatar.