The Qatar World Cup is only a month away – and international managers are likely to start naming their squads. We take a look at Villans likely to make the trip to Qatar.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
The controversial FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar is just over a month away – with the tournament set to begin on the 20th of November. This means that international managers like Gareth Southgate are likely to begin naming their 26-man squads for the tournament as soon as this week.
Aston Villa players have found themselves at major tournaments recently – with Tyrone Mings and Jack Grealish – when he represented claret and blue – both appearing for England in the rescheduled UEFA Euro 2020.
But, amidst poor form and a lack of tactical cohesion under current boss Steven Gerrard – are any players set to be called up for international action for England? Are any set to be called up for other national teams? We’ve prepared the low-down on who’s likely to be heading to Qatar and who’ll be remaining at Bodymoor Heath this winter.
Aston Villa Goalkeepers
Only one of Aston Villa’s goalkeepers is looking to be heading to the World Cup this winter – and it’s no surprise that number one Emi Martinez will be representing Argentina. The Villa stopper has impressed for the Argentina side since taking over as their first-choice keeper, and helped them on their way to winning the 2021 Copa América – as well as going viral for his cheeky distraction antics during a penalty shoot-out.
Robin Olsen would have been going with his native Sweden if they had qualified, but the second-highest ranked team to miss out on the World Cup lost their deciding tie 2-0 against Poland.
Aston Villa Defenders
The most likely of Aston Villa’s defenders to head to the Qatar World Cup this winter is Matty Cash, who since declaring for Poland has picked up seven caps for The Eagles, as well as a goal. While his starting berth for Poland isn’t guaranteed, he should get called up as a squad option at the very least.
His compatriot, Jan Bednarek, who joined on deadline day, could miss out due to his lack of game time under Steven Gerrard since the transfer window closed.
Tyrone Mings has performed admirably in this struggling Aston Villa side, and despite an unfortunate error against Chelsea in a 2-0 loss, has rarely put a foot wrong since Steven Gerrard stripped him of the Villa captaincy. With the likes of Joe Gomez being looked at as options for England and regular choices like Maguire either injured or horrifically out of form, Mings could find himself back in and amongst the Three Lions squad.
Lucas Digne may have an outside chance of returning to the France squad by the World Cup, but the full-back will need to prove his fitness and quickly to be named as a Les Bleus player this winter.
Aston Villa Midfielders
Surprisingly, the most likely midfield player to head to Qatar this winter is one that hasn’t started a game for the club yet. Summer signing Leander Dendoncker is a regular in the Belgium squad, albeit as a squad option, but should get the nod once again for the World Cup.
There are plenty of internationals across Aston Villa’s midfield, but the other player who’d likely get the call for Qatar is injured until after the tournament concludes in the form of Boubacar Kamara.
Douglas Luiz could be with an outside chance of making the Brazil national team, but that seems unlikely considering he has not received a call-up for the Selecao in over a year.
Emiliano Buendia and Philippe Coutinho are both likely to miss out on a call-up to the Qatar World Cup as their club form hasn’t warranted such international attention. Coutinho, for example, was a high-profile omission from the last Brazil squad.
Aston Villa Forwards
Considering all three forward options for Aston Villa are English, it’s looking pretty unlikely that any of them will receive a call up from Gareth Southgate this winter.
OIlie Watkins will have been the most likely to receive a call up out of the group, but poor goalscoring form will have put him firmly towards the middle of the pack in terms of selection, behind the likes of Harry Kane, Tammy Abraham and Ivan Toney.
Danny Ings will have a much slimmer chance of making the squad, while Cameron Archer has only been capped at youth level and should remain that way for Qatar.
So, what do you think? Are there any outside shouts for involvement at the World Cup? Will some of those that are “nailed on” potentially miss out? Let us know on Twitter.