Six teams have qualified from Asia for the 2022 World Cup, including the host nation Qatar. But, it has been too long since a team from the continent made an impact in the tournament when South Korea finished fourth in 2002. There are a lot of markets to consider for World Cup betting, notably the stage of elimination free bet offers on football through comparison platforms such as oddschecker where you can find value for betting on the World Cup with a sign-up bonus.
Japan has solid odds of 9/1 and South Korea 11/1 to progress to the last eight of the competition. Asian teams have not been overly successful in the World Cup and will come under the great spotlight at Qatar 2022 to put the continent on the map in a home tournament. Traditionally the World Cup has been dominated by teams from Europe and South America, with the last four winners of the World Cup being based in Europe with France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
The host nation Qatar have longer odds than their Asian rivals, although it was South Korea who achieved the best result when they were a co-host of the tournament with Japan in 2002, proving that home-field advantage and the backing of the crowd can be important to success. However, it would be a surprise to see them advance considering their lack of talent in the ranks and the other leading outfits such as Netherlands and Senegal in Group A. We’ll now look at the other sides in the competition that seemingly has a better chance of making an impact.
Japan has a tough draw in Group E which could hinder their chances of advancing to the round of 16 and beyond. Spain and Germany are two of their three opponents, while Costa Rica is also a decent outfit, making it a tough battle to secure one of the top two spots to reach the knockout stage. Japan does have a lot of talented players in their ranks that ply their trade in Europe. Takumi Minamino is arguably the standout having impressed in the Premier League with Liverpool and Southampton, although he has since moved to Monaco.
Takehiro Tomiyasu has been excellent for Arsenal at right-back over the past two seasons. North of the border a trio of Celtic players has displayed a propensity to perform at a high level in the form of Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda, and Kyogo Furuhashi. Daichi Kamada was a key cog in the Eintracht Frankfurt team that won the Europa League. At the same time, Takefusa Kubo is an extremely talented player that might be able to flourish after leaving Real Madrid for Real Sociedad fully. The talent is there for Japan, but they will need to be mightily impressive to beat out Spain and Germany for a place in the knockout stage.
South Korea seemingly has a stronger chance of reaching the knockout stage, facing off against Portugal, Ghana, and Uruguay. Portugal has Cristiano Ronaldo, but at the age of 37, it is not a Ronaldo at the peak of his powers. The Selecao should still advance, but there’s no reason why South Korea cannot compete with Ghana and Uruguay to secure second place. In Son Heung-Min, Paulo Bento’s side boast a world-class player that has proved caliber in the Premier League and the Champions League for Tottenham. He finished as the joint-highest scorer in England’s top flight last term, highlighting his quality in the final third.
Hwang Hee-chan, Hwang Ui-jo, and Lee Jae-sung also have the experience and the ability to cause problems, easing the burden on Son to have to carry his team. South Korea has a good core of players in their squad of a similar age. There is a good ethos within the side, which should stand them in good stead, while also boasting the quality to display a clinical edge to get on the scoresheet. Group H promises to be an enthralling battle with little separating the sides. South Korea, therefore, have the best chance of an Asian team to reach the latter stages of the 2022 World Cup.