Looking forward to the forthcoming festivities.
After impressing in the Premier League this season, four Aston Villa players have travelled out to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. Here’s a look at how Leander Dendoncker, Jan Bednarek, Matty Cash and Emiliano Martínez might fare at the major tournament.
Dendoncker And Red Devils Have A Chance
Belgium are considered one of the dark horses for the competition in the Middle East and Dendoncker will be hoping to have an impact in Qatar. The Belgians, who are 16/1 to win the tournament in the World Cup betting, find themselves in a winnable group alongside the likes of Canada, Croatia and Morocco. Dendoncker will face stern competition for a starting role with Belgium but will be hoping to get a chance to impress head coach Roberto Martinez in the group stages. So much can change with injuries, suspensions and form at a World Cup, and Dendoncker should get a chance to shine on the biggest stage.
Dendoncker’s performances have been positive for his new club this season and it looks like the 27-year-old will play an important role under new https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1696319/Barcelona-transfer-news-Franck-Kessie-Aston-Villa-Fulham-Unai-Emery-Premier-League. Being able to play in the backline or as a defensive midfielder, Dendoncker’s versatility is something that will benefit Villa in Emery’s new system, while also helping his chances to get minutes at the World Cup. With Belgium’s golden generation approaching the end of their careers, this could well be the Red Devils’ last hope of winning a World Cup for some time.
Poland Duo Out To Cause Upsets
Villa’s Bednarek and Cash will be hoping to help Poland cause a few upsets as they look to reach the knockout stages of the World Cup. The Poles find themselves in a tricky group, as they face Mexico in their opening game, before taking on Saudi Arabia and finally title-contenders Argentina. Both Bednarek and Cash have had injury problems this season but they fully deserved their call-ups to the Poland squad by head coach Czesław Michniewicz. With 44 caps to his name, Bednarek has plenty of international experience and scored his first goal for his country at the last World Cup in 2018, in a 1-0 win over Japan. The defender, on loan from Southampton, has had a somewhat frustrating start to life at Trinity Road with just two appearances before the World Cup. Bednarek will be hoping to find some form in Qatar before heading back to the West Midlands in December.
Cash on the other hand has been an important figure for Villa this season, with only five other players having more minutes in the Premier League for the club this term. Making 25 tackles so far this term, Cash is inside the top 50 players in the league when it comes to tackles and with his ability to get forward, he should be an attacking threat for Poland this winter. Cash may only have seven caps for his country ahead of the tournament but the former Nottingham Forest right-back will be determined to earn at least three more appearances for Poland at the World Cup.
Martínez Has Best Chance For The Title
In an Argentina side that is blessed with quality throughout the squad, Villa keeper Emiliano Martínez looks to be the player with the best chance of heading back to Villa Park as a World Cup winner in December. After showing excellent levels of consistency since his move from Arsenal to Villa in 2020, Martínez has emerged as Argentina’s first-choice goalkeeper. Competing with Franco Armani from River Plate and Gerónimo Rulli of Villarreal, it’s Martínez who is set to start Argentina’s opener against Saudi Arabia in Lusail.
The Argentines are expected to comfortably top Group C before the high-pressure games in the knockout stages. After helping his country to a 1-0 win over Brazil in the Copa América final last year in Rio de Janeiro, Martínez has the experience of what these high-profile games feel like and can use that to his advantage in Qatar.
It’s an exciting time for all four Villa players heading out for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and perhaps one could head back to England as a world champion.