ESPN FC’s Stewart Robson shares his ideas on the group most definitely to win the World Cup if it had been to happen tomorrow.
Gianni Infantino believes Russia 2018 is the benchmark for Qatar to reside up to at the 2022 World Cup.
Watch E:60’s eye-opening section on the migrant employee points in Qatar.

The subsequent World Cup is 4 years away, but when the match started today, how would the largest nations line up? Additional, what do they want to do between now and kickoff on Nov. 21, 2022? We requested our writers to look into the future.

Argentina

Beginning XI if the World Cup started today

Sergio Romero; Renzo Saravia, Juan Foyth, Nicolas Otamendi, Nicolas Tagliafico; Giovani Lo Celso, Leandro Paredes, Exequiel Palacios; Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Mauro Icardi.

The early exit in Russia meant Argentina lastly started to clear home. Messi’s worldwide future is the massive query mark; other than him, few veterans have a practical probability of creating the 2002 group.

Subsequent Gen

Followers nonetheless don’t perceive why Giovani Lo Celso, 22, didn’t play a single minute in Russia and the on-loan Paris Saint-Germain midfielder has since impressed at Real Betis.

Juan Foyth seems to be promising in defence, a division the place Argentina want new expertise. Solely 20, he stands 1.90m tall and has good ft, having started as a midfielder with Estudiantes de La Plata. He’ll solely get higher beneath Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham.

Expectations

Except miracles occur, particular person expertise isn’t sufficient. Argentina continues to produce nice gamers, however constructing group spirit and identification will take time. Enhancing on the round-of-16 exit in Russia is a practical objective for Qatar.

Any points?

Who will substitute Jorge Sampaoli? We nonetheless have no idea. His former assistant Lionel Scaloni is an interim alternative and may proceed till subsequent 12 months’s Copa America. Whoever takes over on a everlasting foundation could have to work on consolidating a enjoying model and provides younger gamers expertise, whereas strengthening in defence and midfield. — Nicolas Baier

Belgium

Beginning XI if the World Cup started today

Thibaut Courtois; Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen; Thomas Meunier, Axel Witsel, Youri Tielemans, Yannick Carrasco; Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard

Subsequent Gen

Nonetheless simply 21, Tielemans is Belgium’s nice hope to mature right into a top-class midfield expertise. Timothy Castagne, the 22-year-old from Atalanta, may additionally start difficult Meunier for the proper wing-back spot. Inter’s Zinho Vanheusden is on mortgage at Commonplace Liege; he’s too younger at 19 to relieve an ageing centre-back inventory proper now however his time will come.

Expectations

They may count on a repeat of this 12 months’s last-four end though the “golden era” are getting no youthful and can need assistance, notably with a view to 2022. A brand new breed will likely be built-in however the final eight could also be the greatest they’ll hope for.

Any points?

Recent blood at centre-back is certainly required, with Dedryck Boyata (27) and Jason Denayer (23) a step down from the incumbents. If Belgium are to go along with wing-backs then the proper stability is required and maybe Jordan Lukaku is a extra stable various to Carrasco on the left.

Up entrance Romelu Lukaku wants backing up, notably with Michy Batshuayi’s long-term suitability at the prime stage wanting unclear. There isn’t a apparent teen coming by means of simply but. — Nick Ames

Brazil

Beginning XI if the World Cup started today

Alisson; Fabinho, Marquinhos, Jemerson, Alex Sandro; Casemiro, Arthur, Philippe Coutinho; Vinicius Junior, Roberto Firmino, Neymar

The age of the beginning XI at the 2018 World Cup suggests a major change is probably going for the Brazilian in 4 years’ time, particularly in defence, the place the finish is coming for Dani Alves, Thiago Silva and Marcelo. In midfield, Arthur has what it takes to make himself a sure starter; up entrance, solely Neymar has that title.

Neymar is predicted to nonetheless be the principal man for Brazil at the subsequent World Cup.

Subsequent Gen

Neymar will likely be 30 by the time Qatar comes round and, whereas nonetheless important, he could now not be the most proficient participant as a result of Vinicius Junior’s potential is gigantic. The striker has already demonstrated his capability in a short while at Real Madrid, having beforehand starred with Flamengo. This state of affairs makes Brazilian followers look ahead to seeing him in motion in Qatar.

Expectations

To be world champion. Coach Tite will likely be ready to full a full World Cup cycle and design a match planning from the begin to the end line. As well as, Brazil has an excellent subsequent era. whereas each participant in the potential beginning XI has been enjoying at a excessive stage in Europe.

Any points?

The massive query is about the defence and the change it faces when so many veterans transfer on. Marcelo is one in all the greatest left-backs in the historical past, so his alternative in all probability won’t be of the identical stage, particularly from an attacking viewpoint. Fabinho, predominantly a midfielder at membership stage, seems possible to play at right-back. — Andre Tenreiro

England

Beginning XI if the World Cup started today

Jordan Pickford; Trent Alexander-Arnold, John Stones, Joe Gomez, Ben Chilwell; Jordan Henderson, Harry Winks; Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli, Marcus Rashford; Harry Kane.

There are a number of adjustments from the common line-up that reached the final 4 at the World Cup, particularly in defence the place solely John Stones is definite to retain his place. 

Subsequent Gen

Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden will likely be 22 by the time the subsequent World Cup comes round and each ought to be preventing for a spot in the beginning line-up. Sancho, having left Manchester Metropolis for Borussia Dortmund in 2017, is gaining the membership and worldwide expertise that can make him problem Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford.

However will Foden get the sport time with Metropolis in the coming months and years to guarantee the younger midfielder’s growth takes a pure course? Voted the greatest participant at the 2017 Underneath-17 World Cup, he will likely be a vital participant for Gareth Southgate if he’s given an opportunity at membership stage.

Expectations

Earlier Soccer Affiliation chairman Greg Dyke set a goal of profitable the World Cup in 2022, however that also appears an formidable goal, even when England’s surprising run to the semifinals at Russia 2018 has raised expectations and confidence.

England are enhancing and have a vibrant crop of expertise rising, however are they actually going to be higher than world champions France in 4 years’ time? That’s troublesome to envisage. A practical objective could be matching this summer time’s heroics and reaching the final 4.

Any points?

England nonetheless battle to retain and command possession towards the conventional heavyweight nations; the likes of Spain and Croatia have uncovered that deficiency in current months. If Foden, Winks and others make the crucial progress, although, they might make England extra aggressive.

In the meantime, there’s an over-reliance on Harry Kane for objectives. Over the subsequent 4 years, the likes of Rashford, Sterling, Alli and Sancho want to ease that burden. — Mark Ogden

France

Beginning XI if the World Cup started today

Alphonse Areola; Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Benjamin Mendy; Ousmane Dembele, N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial; Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe

Ten of that line-up had been a part of the squad that won the 2018 World Cup in Russia and most will likely be at their peak — Griezmann will likely be the oldest at 31, whereas Mbappe will solely be 23 — having performed collectively for a few years. 

Can France turn out to be the first nation to win successive World Cups since Brazil in 1958 and 1962?

Subsequent Gen

France have unbelievable younger expertise. As well as to the likes of Houssem Aouar, Tanguy Ndombele, Abdou Diallo, Sofiane Diop, Mickael Cuisance and Claudio Gomes, two gamers have to be adopted intently.

Matteo Guendouzi, the Arsenal midfielder, has been glorious in the final two seasons and Real Madrid’s Theo Zidane goals of following in his father’s footsteps to win the World Cup.

Expectations

The final nation to retain their crown was Brazil in 1962 so France face an enormous job. Nonetheless, they’re amongst the favourites and everybody in and round the group, together with the followers, count on Les Bleus to go all the approach as soon as once more.

Any points?

This can be a squad that has all the things: youth, expertise, maturity, abilities, physicality, depth, intelligence, group spirit and the data of what it takes to win a World Cup. The most important risk, then, is complacency; France should keep away from vanity and taking something with no consideration. — Julien Laurens

Germany

Beginning XI if the World Cup started today

Manuel Neuer; Thilo Kehrer, Mats Hummels, Niklas Sule, Antonio Rudiger; Joshua Kimmich, Toni Kroos, Leon Goretzka; Timo Werner, Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane

Sane missed Russia however has since been introduced again into the fold, whereas Mesut Ozil has opted out of worldwide soccer. Gnabry has additionally staked a declare as Germany look to overlook a reasonably dreadful 2018.

Subsequent Gen

Kai Havertz, 19, ought to be the excellent participant by the time Qatar comes alongside. The tall, elegant midfielder combines approach with an eye fixed for the killer contact, can play anyplace in midfield and is adept at discovering house between the strains towards deep opposition. He could have moved from Leverkusen to one in all Europe’s elite golf equipment by 2022, which is able to turbo-charge his growth.

Up entrance, 20-year-old Johannes Eggestein could be the reply to Germany’s centre-forward downside, with Cedric Teuchert one other one to watch.

Expectations

Relying on Germany’s efficiency at Euro 2020, expectations will both be sky excessive, with nothing however a win seen as ok, or for a semifinal place. It doesn’t get any decrease than that, the poor displaying in Russia 2018 however.

There’s additionally a superb probability that Joachim Low will nonetheless be in cost for his fourth World Cup, though by 2022 there ought to a minimum of be out there options to put extra strain on him.

Any points?

Germany’s downside positions stay full-back and centre-forward. It’s hoped that Eggestein and / or Teuchert will develop into-fully fledged internationals, however one other resolution may current itself if both Werner, Sane or Gnabry adapt their sport to turn out to be common scorers by means of the center.

Low — or his successor — may need to proceed to depend on collective putting energy as opposed to a person. So far as the full-backs, a profitable conversion of midfielders, a la Kimmich, is the most promising approach to take care of a scarcity that won’t abate. — Raf Honigstein

Italy

Beginning XI if the World Cup started today

Gianluigi Donnarumma; Lorenzo Pellegrini, Alessio Romagnoli, Mattia Caldara, Andrea Conti; Marco Verratti, Jorginho, Nicolo Barella; Lorenzo Insigne, Pietro Pellegri, Federico Chiesa

Italy play Four-Three-Three beneath Roberto Mancini, which displays an abundance of wingers and a shift away from the Three-5-2 that Antonio Conte used at Euro 2016. A generational transition with Qatar in thoughts has already begun and it’s cheap to count on the group to have continuity in all places besides centre-back.

Italy have cause for optimism after a interval in the doldrums that included lacking the Russia World Cup.

Subsequent Gen

Left-back Luca Pellegrini ought to be in bloom by 2022 and prospects for midfield additionally look good; Mancini has known as Barella “phenomenal for his age,” then there’s Andrea Pirlo-lookalike Sandro Tonali, the large Nicolo Zaniolo and 17-year-old Nicolo Fagioli, who has been lauded by Juventus supervisor Massimiliano Allegri.

The precociousness of youngsters Pellegri and Moise Kean bodes nicely for the centre-forward place though, extremely, Qatar 2022 may nonetheless come too soon for them.

Expectations

Although humbled by not qualifying for Russia, a four-time winner like Italy nonetheless expects. Mancini advised GQ: “Proper now I am interested by qualifying for the Euros and having an important match, however I’ve to confess that the thought of the World Cup is already whirling round in my thoughts.”

Any points?

Scoring objectives: The Azzurri discovered the web 9 instances in 11 video games in 2018 and the present batch of strikers usually are not taking the possibilities being created. Briefly, Italy wants one other Gigi Riva, a Christian Vieri regen, the second coming of Paolo Rossi, a Luca in the Toni or Vialli mould or a brand new Pippo Inzaghi. — James Horncastle

Mexico

Beginning XI if the World Cup started today

Guillermo Ochoa; Carlos Salcedo, Edson Alvarez, Nestor Araujo, Jesus Angulo; Hector Herrera, Erick Gutierrez, Victor Guzman; Diego Lainez, Hirving Lozano, Raul Jimenez

The over-riding problem is which gamers of their prime at Russia 2018 have one other World Cup in them. The likes of Javier Hernandez, Hector Moreno, Andres Guardado, Carlos Vela and Miguel Layun have all been regulars and would convey important expertise, however renovation is required between now and Qatar.

Subsequent Gen

Lozano ought to be at one in all Europe’s prime golf equipment by 2022; his tempo, directness and goalscoring imply he’s up there with Herrera as Mexico’s most necessary participant. The nice hope is 18-year-old Lainez, a particular and thrilling expertise who will want nurturing. One other title to search for is Cruz Azul ahead Roberto Alvarado, who will push if Lainez doesn’t reside up to the hype.

Expectations

The identical as each World Cup: Assuming a 32-team match, Mexico will once more goal for that “fifth sport.” Brazil is the solely different group to get out of each group stage since World Cup ’94, however in contrast to Brazil, El Tri hasn’t been ready to win a single knockout sport. In the meantime, although 2022 is clearly necessary, Mexico are co-hosts 4 years later; the federation is on the lookout for an eight-year venture to succeed.

Any points?

A lot will depend upon the gamers’ fortunes at membership stage. Too many youthful abilities have stagnated inside Liga MX; the likes of Guzman, Alvarez, Angulo and Lainez ought to compete in stronger leagues, whereas these already in Europe should try for as excessive a stage as potential.

The Russia 2018 era — led by Hernandez, Moreno and Guardado — has been battered in the media ever since the summer time, however was historic when it comes to these enjoying outdoors Mexico. The celebs of tomorrow have a lot to reside up to. — Tom Marshall

Portugal

Beginning XI if the World Cup started today

Rui Patricio; Joao Cancelo, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro; Ruben Neves, William Carvalho, Joao Mario; Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andre Silva

Ronaldo will likely be 37 by November 2022, however shows no indicators of strolling away from worldwide soccer. The Patricio-Cancelo-Bernardo-Ronaldo backbone will likely be key to Portuguese hopes.

Will Qatar 2022 be the fifth World Cup for Cristiano Ronaldo?

Subsequent Gen

Bernardo Silva has lengthy been touted as the largest expertise to come out of Portugal since Ronaldo. He’s justifying these expectations with wondrous kind for Manchester Metropolis and can be beginning to shine for the nationwide group, although he wants to be extra constant.

One other Premier League-based participant, Ruben Neves, has seamlessly made the step up to his nationwide group’s beginning XI since the summer time. Attributes reminiscent of unperturbable calmness, good positioning and pinpoint passing are possible to maintain him there for the subsequent decade.

Expectations

With a sprinkling of world-class expertise of their respective positions all through the group and a powerful supporting forged, equalling or bettering their best-ever end of third at the 1966 World Cup is lifelike. Out of the 12 groups in the elite League A teams of the UEFA Nations League, Portugal had been the solely aspect to stay unbeaten, displaying they’re in a superb place.

Any points?

The guts of the defence continues to be reliant on Pepe and there are few options for the former Real Madrid man, who will soon flip 36. Regardless of Bernardo producing some sensible Nations League performances, he was under his greatest away to Italy; can Fernando Santos get the greatest out of Portugal’s new golden boy? — Tom Kundert

Spain

Beginning XI if the World Cup started today

David De Gea; Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Inigo Martinez, Jordi Alba; Thiago Alcantara, Sergio Busquets, Saul Niguez; Isco, Iago Aspas, Marco Asensio

Saul didn’t a play a minute in Russia however has had extra possibilities beneath Luis Enrique. Rodri will push Busquets exhausting for a beginning spot in the close to future.

Subsequent Gen

The Atletico pair of Rodrigo and Saul look set to lead the subsequent era. Past them, Asensio is predicted to step up though his ascent is taking longer than anticipated. His expertise isn’t questioned; his temperament is beginning to be. It’s in all probability too soon to count on a major influence from any of these coming by means of the Underneath-21s, particularly on condition that the senior squad is already pretty younger.

Expectations

This isn’t a golden era and there are some doubts — the line-up for a current pleasant vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina was underwhelming — however there’s quite a lot of expertise at Luis Enrique’s disposal. As such, if Spain had been to get issues proper and if there usually are not key accidents, there isn’t a cause to rule them out as potential winners. Typically nostalgia doesn’t permit individuals to see how good the present squad might be.

Any points?

The retirement of Gerard Pique has uncovered the paucity of choices at centre-back, whereas the debate round the goalkeeper place is vastly exaggerated however does exist. Up entrance, the artistic choices are good however Spain do appear to have problem discovering a striker that correctly matches the mannequin. This problem has been deepened by Alvaro Morata’s obvious lack of kind and confidence. For the first time there’s a vital debate about model and identification; that creates an uncertainty which does not assist. — Sid Lowe

United States

Beginning XI if the World Cup started today

Brad Guzan; DeAndre Yedlin, Geoff Cameron, John Brooks, Jorge Villafana; Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Fabian Johnson; Christian Pulisic; Jozy Altidore, Bobby Wooden

The important thing phrases listed here are, “if the World Cup started today,” which explains why some veterans stay and a few children usually are not included. Cameron could be the greatest wager for proper now, though his worldwide profession seems to be over really; whereas midfield is extra muddled and there are few choices up entrance. 

The U.S.’s failure to qualify for the 2018 match meant Christian Pulisic should wait to seem on sport’s the largest stage.

Subsequent Gen

Though he’s established as a key participant, Pulisic stays the largest up-and-coming expertise. Past him are McKennie, who has proven box-to-box qualities, and Adams, whose strengths lie extra on the defensive aspect. Tim Weah has flashed in the attacking half, however may need to depart Paris Saint-Germain to discover minutes. 

Striker Josh Sargent has made encouraging progress with Werder Bremen. At the again, Matt Miazga and Cameron Carter-Vickers comprise the subsequent era of center-backs, adopted by Aaron Lengthy and Tim Parker. At outside-back, Antonee Robinson and Shaq Moore are gamers to watch.

Expectations

The People first want to qualify and, given what transpired final cycle, nothing could be taken with no consideration. If they do, the goal could be, as in the previous, to get out of the group stage and hope for a fortuitous draw which may permit for a deep run.

The U.S. has reached the knockout rounds three of the final 4 instances it has certified, so the temptation is to goal a bit of greater. However the program is at a low ebb so, for that cause, getting out of the group is perhaps formidable. 

Any points?

Till a everlasting supervisor is appointed — Gregg Berhalter is tipped for the position — the program stays in limbo. On the subject, the single largest downside is an absence of creativity past Pulisic. Sebastian Lletget has proven he is usually a artful performer, however harm has slowed his worldwide progress. Kenny Saief is equally proficient, however has defensive shortcomings. 

Weah, Jonathan Amon, Emmanuel Sabbi and Romain Gall all may evolve into attacking forces, particularly given their capability to run at defenders. However all three are nonetheless at the embryonic stage of their careers and have a lot to show earlier than they are often counted on. It will assist if the respective video games of McKennie and Adams evolve to the level the place they’ll chip in. — Jeff Carlisle

Uruguay

Beginning XI if the World Cup started today

Martin Campana; Mathias Suarez, Bruno Mendez, Jose María Gimenez, Diego Laxalt; Lucas Torreira, Matias Vecino, Federico Valverde, Rodrigo Bentancur; Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez

Oscar Tabarez, who could have been in cost for a outstanding 16 years by Qatar 2022, has proven the abilities to handle a bunch of top-class gamers and to change when wanted. How he handles thirtysomethings Suarez, Cavani and Diego Godin will likely be essential.

Subsequent Gen

Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde is a typical modern-game midfielder; he has tactical intelligence to play centrally and the bodily assets to function vast, with the bonus of an correct mid-range shot. He missed the lower for Russia — Tabarez thought it might be too early for the 20-year-old — however has since turn out to be a key half in the beginning XI.

Expectations

Uruguay have had good outcomes with their youth groups currently and that raises the bar for Tabarez and his teaching employees, who should discover the approach to give extra minutes to new expertise and, at the identical time, turn out to be much less reliant on veteran stars like Suarez, Cavani and Godin. If that transition could be achieved, a semifinal spot is feasible in 2022.

Any points?

Outcomes since Russia haven’t been good, with 4 consecutive defeats, however additionally it is true that La Celeste solely misplaced by a single objective to the likes of Brazil and France. Uruguay has struggled in the previous to mix youth and expertise, however Tabarez has 4 years to work on it. — Damian Didonato



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