World Cup is the event where the best sides from every continent feature. Although the Asian, African sides as well as the minnow sides from Europe and South America doesn’t match the quality of European heavyweights and South American hot favorites like Argentina and Brazil, World Cup often produces major upsets. In almost every edition of the competition, there have been some surprising results where a minnow side handed the heavyweights astonishing defeats. Let’s take a look at the probable giant killer sides of the Qatar World Cup.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Giant Killer Teams
|Giant Killer Team
||Players to Watch Out
||K Schmeichel, Y Poulsen, S Kjaer, P Hojbjerg
||Y Sommer, R Freuler, X Shaqiri
||L Modric, I Rakitic, I Perisic, A Kramaric
||Zlatan Ibrahimovic, V Lindelof, E Forsberg, D Kulusevski
||R Mahrez, S Benrahma, I Slimani, I Bennacer
||Son Heung Min, Hwang Hee Chan, Lee Jae Sung II, Hwang In Beom
||M Salah, M Elneny, A Hegazi
||G Haraguchi, T Minamino, Y Oasko, W Endo
Currently, the first team which may come into our mind when we heard the word “Giant Killer” would be Denmark. This side have had a wonderful qualifying campaign. In a highly competitive UEFA Euro 2020, they managed to reach semifinal stage where many of the heavyweight sides got knocked out earlier. The Danish side has a world class goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel who can turn down any front line on his days. Their defense got experience and solidity. A well balanced midfield and a formidable attack makes Kasper Hjulmand’s side a team to avoid. Denmark has got the ability to beat any big side and their appearance in the Euro semifinal is a proof for that. Our experts are expecting brilliant performance from this NORDIC country.
One may not consider Croatia as an underdog side and this labelling might seem an understatement. The Croats had an incredible run in the Russia World Cup where they finished as the runners-up side. Thus many of the footballer lovers may describe them as one of the giant side. But we are still putting them as an underdog side in Qatar among the heavyweight sides like Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina, England, Italy, Spain. But we do believe that this Croat side does have every quality to beat any of the giant sides. Their midfield is absolutely fearsome while the backline is full of experience. The Croat attack is also much formidable. Thus we are expecting another good run from Zlatko Dalic’s lads in the Qatar.
Switzerland has featured in WC knockout stage in the last 3 out of the 4 World Cups. They are a very formidable side and the giants might like to avoid them in the earlier rounds. Switzerland got the better of current world champion side France in the Euro 2020. They knocked out Les Bleus and their performance against Spain in the quarterfinal proved that the Round of 16 result was not entirely an accident. They almost knocked out the Spanish side but thanks to Unai Simon as he managed to save Enrique’s side in the end. The biggest strength for this Swiss side is the top class performance of their keeper Sommer in the mega events. This guy rarely has an average game and he is a very tough keeper to go past. The Swiss midfield and front line has got so many stars and the likes of R Freuler, X Shaqiri might prove themselves the difference in the big games.
Featured in the quarterfinal in Russia. Also played in the RO16 in Euro 2020 but unfortunately got defeated by Ukraine due to conceding a very late goal. Emil Forsberg is top class footballer and often plays sensational football during the mega events. He was the star performer of the side during the last Euro. Star defender Victor Lindelof, Juventus star Dejan Kulusevski are one of the very big names in the side. However, the side will be more boosted with the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. This veteran sensation is still performing big and is known for his specialty during big occasions. With the quality Sweden has, one must put them in the list of the giant killers.
The 2019 AFCON champions Algeria has an incredible team and they are one of the strongest sides from Africa. Although they haven’t done anything special in the FIFA WC finals so far apart from their RO16 appearance in Brazil world cup, they will be playing in Qatar with one of their strongest side in the history. Riyad Mahrez, Said Benrahma, Islam Slimani, Ibrahim Bennacer and many other superstars from various European clubs will be the key players for them.
In the latest edition of the FIFA WC in Russia, Korea Republic produced one of the biggest upsets. They beat thenceforth world champion Germany in their last group stage fixture. This time Korea will feature with even a stronger squad. Son Heung Min has been in sensational form along with Wolverhampton’s Hwang Hee Chan. With the likes of Lee Jae Sung II, Hwang In Beom in the side, if they produce another upset in Qatar, that won’t be a very big surprise at all.
Egypt didn’t perform big in the WC history. They only managed to make it to the knock out stage in 1934 WC. Then they featured in the group stage in 1990 and 2018 but failed to qualify for the knock outs. One may wonder why we are putting them among this list! It’s none but Mo Salah whose incredible form has forced us to rethink about this side. Salah has been top class since the start of the 2021-22 campaign and is among one of the world’s best performers. He is a type of player, who can single handedly destroy bigger opponents, if he is given a bit of support by his team mates. Thus we would suggest the giants to not take them lightly.
Asian super power of football, Japan is a consistent side to appear in FIFA WC finals. They often come up with a formidable squad. Although their best success it reaching RO16 on several occasions, it’s always tough to beat them. In the latest WC, they almost knocked out Belgium but somehow the Red Devils managed to overcome 2 goals’ trail in the last 25 minutes. Japan will be heading towards Qatar with a wonderful squad and wouldn’t be an easy test for any side for sure. G Haraguchi, T Minamino, Y Oasko, W Endo will be their key players. The Japanese defense line features Yuto Nagatomo and Maya Yoshida, who had previously played in Europe and would be key players as well.